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17 October 2015

A quick and easy recipe for pickling your chili peppers so you can preserve them throughout the year. Enjoy them on anything. Perfect for any type of chili pepper.

Pickling peppers is one of the most popular and traditional methods of preserving your chili pepper harvest. I’ve pickled so many peppers over the years, I can hardly count, and I’m always happy to have them around.

Pickled peppers of any type are welcomed to many a meal.

Using Pickled Chili Peppers

You can chop and stir them into soups or stews, use them as a condiment by topping sandwiches, cook them into pizzas. Go crazy, really. I prefer pickling a variety of chili peppers, though you can keep one type all to itself in its own jar.

Pickled jalapenos, anyone? Yeah! Jalapenos are crazy popular any time of year.

This truly is a quick and easy recipe.

Pickled Peppers – The Recipe Method

Always be sure to wash and dry your chili peppers before pickling them. Also, sterilize any jars and jar lids before using. Boil them on the stove for a half hour, or throw them in the dishwasher for a cycle or two.

The basic steps for making pickled peppers include chopping your peppers, then bringing a seasoned brine solution to a boil. The brine consists of vinegar and salt.

From there, you’ll add your own preferred pickling spices, which you can use coarsely chopped or whole. Typical pickling spices include All Spice, Bay leaves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Garlic, Ginger, Mustard seeds, Peppercorns, and more.

See my Pickling Spices for Pickled Peppers page.

Below is a super easy recipe to get you going. Add in whatever pickling spices you prefer.

Pickled chili peppers, jarred and ready for consumption.

Pickling your chili peppers is a great way to preserve your chili pepper harvest. Here are a couple of pickling recipes to help get you started:

Simple Pepper Pickling Recipe

This is a bit like you’ll find in Mexican restaurants. Great when you want to serve the peppers as a side dish or at a picnic, especially if you like spicy carrots like I do.


  • 1 pound chili peppers, quartered
  • 1 pound sliced carrots
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups white vinegar (or enough to cover the peppers)
  • Dash of your favorite hot sauce


  1. Bring the white vinegar to a boil in a small pot.
  2. Add the sliced carrots, boil 10 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Pour Contents into a jar (or several jars), screw on jar lid, and let cool.


Pickled Chili Peppers – Another Recipe


  • 1 pound chili peppers
  • 3 one-pint jars with lid (sterilized)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
  • dash of basil
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of thyme
  • Boiling brine solution (1 pint 5% vinegar, 1 pint water, 2 tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp salt)


  1. Poke a small hole in each jalapeno, then blanch for 4 minutes in boiling water. The holes will keep the peppers from collapsing.
  2. Add the peppers to the jars.
  3. Before the peppers cool, add onion, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and olive oil.
  4. Pour in boiling brine solution. Ideally, you will have this mixture begin to boil as you begin to blanch your peppers.
  5. Cap the jar tight and boil in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool and store in a cool, dark place.

NOTE: You can skip the additional boiling in step 5 if you keep your pickled peppers in a refrigerator. It is best to boil, however, for longer term storage outside of the fridge.

Additional Resources for Pickling Your Chili Peppers

Additional Resources for Preserving Chili Peppers

Related Pickled Chili Pepper Recipes and More

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Pickled Peppers
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pickled Peppers Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for pickling your chili peppers so you can preserve them throughout the year. Enjoy them on anything. Perfect for any type of chili pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili peppers, pickled, pickling, preserving
Servings: 10
Calories: 56kcal


  • 3-4 cups chili peppers - you can use any type of pepper here. The amount will vary depending on how you chop them.
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Wash and dry the chili peppers. Cut the large ones up into small chunks. Any small peppers you can leave whole, but poke holes in them to the pickling solution can enter the peppers. Pack them all into a cleaned quart jar.
  • To a large pot, add vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, salt and sugar. Stir.
  • Heat and bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the hot brine into the jar, over the peppers, and seal with a tight lid. Cool and refrigerate.



Let the peppers sit a few weeks before using so they can get nicely pickled, though they are fine to eat right away. It is best to wait!


Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1406mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2955IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Learn more about pickling peppers here.



  1. Thomas Fahey

    I made a mistake, the first recipe didn’t specify pepper CORNS, lol. Not sure if it will be edible but maybe I can rescue it with water. First time, will write back after I do it right.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thomas, peppercorns are better, but pepper will work for flavoring. I adjusted the earlier information to be more specific.

  2. David Sperber

    Hi Mike! Big fan of the website. We’ve been pickling banana peppers and are now on to batch number 2. Can we re-use the brine from our original recipe or should we make it fresh? These peppers are home grown from the garden so don’t want to ruin then if using old brine is not as good. But if there is a more nuanced flavor from aging….

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      David, you can reuse brine if you want to. Many people do that. It’s fine if you keep it refrigerated. You may want to check the acidity if you did a water bath can.

  3. Linda Lewis

    Do you have a safe water bath canning recipe similar to this pickled pepper recipe but also includes cauliflower and green beans? Or just being able to add cauliflower? I’ve picked 365 peppers in one week and need a variety of recipes. Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi!!
    I want to make one of these recipes using some chillies I was given, my only issue is that I don’t like garlic, is it necessary to add garlic to it?
    Thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Mariella! Not at all. You can omit the garlic. It’s just for flavor. Let me know how it turns out for you.


    5 stars
    I grow the peppers and vegetables I use. The problem is everything comes in at different times. Is there anything wrong with jarring as they come in and mixing/ re-jarring at the end? This way everything is being jarred at peak freshness. Thanks!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Michael, it’s best to do the hot packing of the brine solution with your fresh peppers with each batch, though I know people who say they mix as you are talking about. It’s not ideal for very long term storage or water batch processing, but it can work in the shorter term. Also, if you heat your brine several times, your vegetables/peppers will have more opportunity to go soft.

  6. John Sargent

    Good morning Mike,
    My mother, when we lived in Panama, used to make a hot sauce with the local peppers that looked like tiny carrots but would blister your lip if you bit into one (very HOT peppers). She used a mayonnaise jar that was cleaned, a piece of wax paper under the lid. The ingredients beside the peppers were some chunked up onions (same amount as the peppers), flattened garlic cloves and some sliced carrots, covering it all with white vinegar and kept it in the fridge. No boiling of anything was done. Forget the used mayo jar as I will use a cleaned in the dishwasher glass container with a snap lid and gasket. My main question is given the 5% vinegar with a pinch of salt added why heat the vinegar to a boil which seems to be normally recommended? This hot sauce she made used to last a very long time and was really great when a small amount is added to black beans, soups, etc… Your thoughts on the heating of the mixture would be most appreciated.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, John. With hot sauces, the cooking helps to meld the overall flavors and take away that fresh bite, though you can certainly make fresh hot sauce by simply blending everything and using as-is. What you’re describing sounds like a Hawaiian chili water or Puerto Rican pique, which is peppers and other veggies infusing the vinegar. The vinegar is used to season all sorts of meals, just like your mother did. For pickling, heating/boiling the vinegar solution dissolves the salt more quickly and gives you a faster pickle. i have seen some recipes for pickling without boiling, but have not done that method. I hope this helps!

  7. Michael, If I use the following recipe can I multiply to accomodate many peppers? I have 75 or more ripe red serranos ready to be picked. Also, can I add a couple of carrots without affecting to recipe? And do you consider a “dash”? Thank you oin advance.

    1 pound chili peppers
    3 one-pint jars with lid (sterilized)
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
    dash of basil
    dash of oregano
    dash of thyme
    Boiling brine solution (1 pint 5% vinegar, 1 pint water, 2 tbsp sugar, 5 tbsp salt)

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      This should be fine, Ron. Just make sure you have enough brine to cover. Carrots would be a great addition. A dash is about 1/8 teaspoon, though you can add more or less as desired. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  8. I’ve pickled peppers in the past using the water bath method recommended in Ball recipe book. The peppers always lose their vibrant color and become soft and mushy. My grandmother’s pickled peppers always stayed bright green and crunchy. I use 5% white vinegar and pickling salt. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Darla, it’s difficult to pickle peppers without losing some of that vibrant color, as the heat and vinegar will dull it no mater what you do. However, white vinegar is better for helping to retain some of that bright color over darker vinegar, like apple cider vinegar. Green peppers tend to turn more olive or army green. Red, orange and yellow peppers will keep their overall bright color much better. The mushiness usually comes from heating the jars too long in a water bath after you’ve sealed them. Try limiting that time if possible. Also, look into using alum. This is supposed to help with the crispness of peppers for pickling. It’s an old school method, but worth investigating for yourself. You can also try adding the fresh peppers to the jar, then pour the brine into the jar. It’s really the heat that makes the peppers mushy. Let me know if this helps.

      1. Thanks for your help. I will buy some alum before I can more peppers. I have a lot this year and plan on trying several of your recipes.

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          Sure thing, Darla. Please let me know how it turns out for you, and if any certain tips or tricks work well for you. Happy to share!

  9. I didn’t try this recipe I’m looking for an old fashion pepper canning recipe like my mom used to make. They were the best in the world ni sugar added not fattening.tou could eat as much as you wanted great in salads on pizza in meat recipes they were delicious. I just can’t remember how to make them.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      5 stars
      Lorraine, you don’t have to add sugar. You can just use salt and vinegar if you want to. Other ingredients are for flavor. The salt and vinegar are the preservatives. In the post, I offer a simple recipe that uses no sugar. It includes the following:

      1 pound chili peppers, quartered
      1 pound sliced carrots
      1 clove garlic, chopped
      1/8 cup salt
      1/8 cup pepper
      1/8 cup white pepper (optional)
      2 cups white vinegar
      Dash of your favorite hot sauce

      Let me know if this helps.

  10. What is the difference between using distilled white vinegar and white wine vinegar when pickling?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      DB, distilled white vinegar is made from a grain alcohol mix and it has a sharper flavor. It’s used mostly for pickling and cleaning. White wine vinegar is milder. The most important thing is to make sure the acidity is 5% or higher. Do not use 4% acidity vinegar.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Mike,
    I want to can my peppers. Do i need a pressure canner or do i just do a simple wayer bath in my regular canner?

    Than You,

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Helen, you can use the water bath method with pickled peppers, as they are acidic enough from the vinegar.

  12. If I am going to keep the jars in the refrigerator, do I still have to put the jars in boiling water for 30 minutes (second recipe). Or can I just put in the fridge after I add brine and let cool?


    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Diane, it’s always a good idea to work with sterilized jars when pickling, but just be sure to clean them. If you’re going to refrigerate them, try this simple Refrigerator Pickled Peppers Recipe. It works great! Nice and easy.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Danielle, yes, you can use this method to pickle any type of pepper. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  13. Does waterbath method affects the crunchiness of the chili?

    REPLY: Rose, it can if you over process and leave it in the water bath too long, but not when done properly. Over time, though, they will soften some. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  14. Is it necessary to sterilize a Ball jar before pickling chili peppers?

    REPLY: Kevin, it’s a good idea for food safety, though if you want to skip that step, perhaps run it through the dishwasher to make sure it is very clean. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  15. Hi Mike, is the amount of vinegar correct in your recipe? I made it today with the 1.5 cups vinegar it called for and had to make more of the brine because the liquid didn’t even cover a third of the peppers. Thanks for your help!

    REPLY: Alli, I typically make a bit more brine that is needed for pickling and fermenting, just in case. Usually 1-1/2 cups is enough, but sometimes you might need more, depending on the volume of your peppers. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  16. What about using cider vinegar instead of white vinegar? Thoughts?

    REPLY: Ellen, yes, feel free to experiment with other vinegars. Apple Cider Vinegar will make it a bit sweeter. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  17. If I triple the recipe, do I triple the salt?

    REPLY: Gwen, use the same overall ratio of liquid to salt. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  18. Hello!! I really want to try this – but I’d like to can them. To clarify, the recipe should work for that, how long to process you think?

    REPLY: Vimy, yes, you can “can” these. If doing the waterbath method, you’ll need about 10 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, you’ll need to follow your machine settings/instructions. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  19. Can I process this and not put it in the fridge?

    REPLY: Cathie, yes, this should be acidic enough, though you may want to test to ensure it is 4.0 or below. Otherwise, use a pressure canner. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  20. What do you eat with these? How do you use them?

    REPLY: Marcy, they are good on sandwiches, burgers/dogs, as a general condiment, chopped and mixed with other ingredients to add some zing, etc. So many ways. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  21. Hi was just trying to remember my parents canned bushel baskets of hot banana peppers about 50 years ago and they were hot.How do you make them taste Hot. Thank You George

    REPLY: George, it’s hard to say. Some banana peppers can have a bit of heat, depending on what you consider “hot”. Sometimes the heat can build a bit in the canning process just by spreading around the brine or water, depending on their process. Or, they may have added something spicier to the overall mix when processing. These are just a few possibilities. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  22. What does this recipe yield? One quart jar?

    REPLY: Cameron, this should yield you about 1 quart. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  23. Have you ever made this without the sugar? I am looking for a less sweet brine but didn’t know if omitting the sugar would affect the quality.
    Thanks, Pam

    REPLY: Pam, YES, you can omit the sugar. It’s only for sweetness/flavor. The salt is the actual preservative. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  24. Can you put these in a quart jar with a plastic lid, or does it have to be a canning jar with metal seal lid? I wanted pickle some peppers like this using some glass quart size yogurt jars, but they have a simple plastic screw on lid.

    REPLY: Debbie, yes, you certainly can though the probably won’t last as long. Just be sure to consume them in a timely manner. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  25. How long will the pickled peppers last for?

    REPLY: Rob, pickled peppers will easily last a few months in the fridge or longer because of the pickling, though if you want them to last longer, look into canning. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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