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10 May 2019

Pickled jalapenos are a tasty addition to many meals, and they’re quick and easy to make at home, ready in 10 minutes. Top your tacos, nachos and so much more!

You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own pickled jalapeno peppers at home. I’ve been pickling chili peppers for years, and these really are so much better than any store bought pickled jalapenos.

They’re crispy and tangy, sweet and spicy, and I have to give fair warning. They’re very addictive. I can’t help myself from stealing a few straight out of the jar to munch on for a mildly spicy, tangy snack. they’re just so good!

And, they only take about 10 minutes to make! Isn’t that great? It’s outstanding for a slow cook like me who takes forever in the kitchen. Even I can whip together a quick batch of pickled jalapenos for all sorts of enjoyment.

Tasty Pickled Jalapenos

Let’s talk about how we make them, shall we?


How to Pickle Jalapenos – the Recipe Steps

First, slice your batch of jalapeno peppers into rings and discard the stems.

Next, add the following to a large pot: 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, 1 clove smashed garlic, 1 tablespoon honey or sugar, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano. You can use other seasonings, but these are some of my preferred flavors.

Next, bring to a boil, then add the jalapeno pepper slices.

Give it a quick stir, then remove from heat. Cool slightly, then remove the bay leaf and garlic. Pour the pickled jalapenos into a large mason jar (or large sized jars).

I use these Ball Jars (affiliate link, my friends!). They can hold a lot of peppers! Bonus.

Boom! Done! Super easy, right?

You can use your new stash of pickled jalapeno peppers right away, or top them with a jar cover and keep them in the fridge after they come to room temperature. I like to let mine sit in the refrigerator a good week before enjoying them. The brine and seasonings penetrate the jalapeno slices more deeply, resulting in greater flavor.

But they’re great either way!

Here are some common questions I get about pickled jalapenos and peppers in general.

Holding a Jar of Pickled Jalapenos

Can I Pickle Whole Jalapenos?

Absolutely. If you’d like to pickle whole jalapeno peppers, poke them through with a knife in several places to allow the vinegar brine to more fully penetrate the peppers, then store them in a large jar.

You won’t be able to fit as many jalapenos in a jar as sliced jalapeno peppers, but they will last as long.

What Do Pickled Jalapenos Taste Like?

Pickled jalapeños are tangy from the vinegar brine, slightly sweet from the (optional) addition of sugar or honey, and herbaceous from the Mexican oregano and bay leaf. You’ll get a piquant zestiness overall, as jalapeno peppers have a bit of natural heat, as well as the peppercorns used.

However, you can easily add in other ingredients to flavor your pickled peppers. Other popular ingredients include cumin seeds, dried basil, mustard seeds, coriander, ginger, allspice, chili flakes and more. So many choices and ways to personalize your pickles.

You can also skip the sugar or honey if you prefer less sweet, or increase the amount for sweeter jalapenos.

See my post on Pickling Spices for Pickling Peppers.

Realistically, you really only need vinegar, sugar and salt to make sweet pickled jalapenos. And you really only need vinegar and salt to make any basic pickled pepper. The extra seasonings brings in a lot of flavor, though.

The peppers also maintain their crunch factor for a long time. Some pickled peppers can go a bit soft. This is usually a result of boiling the jalapenos for too long, or from processing the jars for too long in a water bath. The length of heat exposure is what causes them to go soft, so keep this in mind. Don’t boil them for too long, unless you want softer pickled jalapenos.

How Long Do Pickled Jalapenos Last?

Pickled jalapenos will last for several weeks in the refrigerator, easily up to 3 months or longer. Vinegar and salt act as a preservative, letting the pickled peppers keep for longer. However, they probably won’t last that long because they’re just too tasty to resist eating.

If you’d like to keep your pickled peppers for longer outside of the refrigerator, check out my post on How to Pickle Chili Peppers for information on how to can or jar pickled peppers.

Through proper canning or jarring, pickled peppers can last for years in a cool, dark place, until you open them.

Quick Note: This is not meant to be a long term preserving method for chili peppers. It is more of a short term preserving solution, allowing you to prolong the life of the peppers for a few months, which is still a long time.

Enjoying Pickled Jalapenos

Aside from topping nachos and tacos with your peppers, try them out on pizzas, as burger toppings, piles onto grilled hot dogs, brats or sausages, and scattered onto sandwiches.

You can chop them and swirl them into soups for a spicy tang factor, or use them anywhere you might use a pickle relish.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your pickled jalapenos! Better than anything store bought. They’re definitely a favorite in my house. Can’t get enough of them. I love pickled peppers. Such a great recipe.

Variations on the Recipe

Try adding sliced carrots to the mix to make pickled jalapenos and carrots. You may have tried these in  your favorite Mexican restaurants, where they are commonly served. I love them!

Fresh or cooked onions are a nice addition for flavor and snacking. You can also vary up the pickling spices, as mentioned above.


Pickled Jalapenos in a jar

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. 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 Jalapenos Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Pickled Jalapenos Recipe

Pickled jalapenos are a tasty addition to many meals, and they're quick and easy to make at home, ready in 10 minutes. Top your tacos, nachos and so much more!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jalapenos, pickled, pickling, recipe, spicy
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 151kcal


  • 5-6 jalapeno peppers sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey or use sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns


  • First, slice your batch of jalapeno peppers into rings and discard the stems.
  • Next, add all of the ingredients except the jalapeno slices to a pot. Bring the mixture to a quick boil.
  • Add the jalapeno pepper slices.
  • Give it a quick stir, then remove from heat. Cool slightly, then remove the bay leaf and garlic. 
  • Pour the pickled jalapenos, brine and all, into a large mason jar (or jars).



Use immediately or wait a week to let the flavors develop. Keep covered in the refrigerator. This will last a few months refrigerated.


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 6998mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Pickled Jalapenos


  1. 5 stars
    Hi there, great recipe! Enjoyed it so much that I need to make a second batch. Have one question though: can I reuse the brine from batch one for batch 2, maybe adding in the spices again but not adding more vinegar and water? Feels like a waste to have to use a bunch more vinegar when I have all the brine from the first round.

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Ben, pickling brine is reusable for refrigerator pickling, though not for canning. You can also use it for drinks, like making spicy bloody marys or spicy martinis, or also using it to brine meats for grilling. You can also freeze it. Yes, hate to see it go to waste!

  2. Andrew Ronnow

    I asked about the peppers going soft and then read the WHOLE post, which mentions how to keep the peppers crunchier! Feel free to delete or not post that original question! I’ll do better about reading the whole post in the future before I ask questions. BTW, LOVE LOVE LOVE this site! Thank you for loving peppers (and other good foods) add much as I do!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Haha, no problem, Andrew! I appreciate it! Enjoy!!!

  3. Andrew Ronnow

    Haven’t tried it yet, but looking forward to it! One question: are the jalapenos at least semi crunchy after a week or do they end up soft/soggy after a week? Certain unnamed (popular) companies that make jalapenos sell really mushy peppers and they are inedible to me! I have a way of keeping giardiniera crisp when I make it and was going to use it with these peppers if needed, but I would prefer to skip that overnight step if it’s not necessary!

  4. Sheri Fortune

    Mike, what is the heat level of these. I like mild but I can no longer find them at the store and I sure miss them.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sheri, these aren’t any spicier than your typical jalapeno peppers. If you’re concerned about heat levels, you can core out some or all of the jalapenos to remove the innards, where most of the heat resides. Or use a mixture of jalapenos and milder peppers. Let me know how it turns out for you.

  5. Hello and THANK YOU for these amazing recipes! My question has to do with the oregano used – can I use regular oregano in place of Mexican oregano?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      You are very welcome, Doreen! The oregano is for flavor, so absolutely, you can use regular oregano or other dried herbs to your preference. Let me know how it turns out for you!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for the quick reply, Mike! The peppers are AMAZING!!! They are currently sitting in their jars waiting for a ribbon to be wrapped around them. I’m excited to be giving them as gifts this holiday season. Keep these wonderful recipes coming!!!

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          That’s GREAT, Doreen! The perfect holiday gift! I hope they are enjoyed!

  6. 5 stars
    I quadrupled the recipe because I had 36 average size peppers and your recipe is for 5-6 peppers and you said use a large jar (which I assumed meant quart but your picture looks more like a regular). Well I ended up filling one regular mason jar and 2 jelly jars with about 2/3 peppers and 1/3 liquid. Please tell me why I got so much less jars than you. I had 3 regular size mason jars of liquid left which I kept for future use, I.e., salad dressing, marinade. Also, what kind of salt do you use for your recipe please. Oh, and I ate an apple when I was done and poured some liquid over it. Yum yum! Thank you very much for your time and expertise!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Cindi. Glad you are enjoying them. The recipe usually makes about 4 cups, though much can depend on the size of the peppers you’re starting with. I usually use either a couple pint jars or a larger quart jar.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      David, yes, you should be fine. You can always add in a bit of salt if you’d like.

  7. 5 stars
    These turned out perfectly. Thanks for yet another great recipe. Enjoying these on sandwiches as we speak.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Nadia! Glad you are enjoying them!

  8. Pam Madziarz

    Hi Mike!
    My husband makes these every year and cans them!!!
    His great aunt used to can hot peppers in garlic, dill and oil and were very yummy. Unfortunately she passed before we could get the recipe. Have you or do you know of a recipe to can hot peppers without vinegar but oil!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Pam! You can “can” your peppers in oil with a pressure canner. I haven’t done it myself, but it can be done. I love the texture and flavor of peppers in oil. I have a recipe here for Roasted Peppers in Garlic Olive Oil that’s meant for a short term solution. Very delicious.

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