Pickled Jalapeno Slices

Alvarez Farm jalapeno chiles, whole and sliced ready to pack

I couldn’t wait for this. Each year I make this recipe for pickled jalapeno peppers because it’s a staple condiment around here.  Store bought versions are too mealy and soft for me.  I liked walking through the Ballard Farmers Market with a half case full of these vine ripened hot chiles.  I like to spice things up every now and then, especially here in Seattle, the land of the mild.  We chile lovers must fend for ourselves in these parts.

I like pickled jalapenos on cold sandwiches, enchiladas, grilled cheese, chili con carne, tacos, any eggs dish, burgers, sausages, nachos, well, you get the idea.  I use the leftover pepper vinegar in bloody mary cocktails and drizzle it on a bowl of beans and eat it with cornbread.

I multiplied this recipe by ten which is pretty simple math, but I assume that many of you won’t want twenty pints of pickled jalapeno peppers like we do.  I contributed this recipe to the international collection in my book, Pickled: Preserving a World of Tastes and Traditions (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2003).  It’s tried and true.  I hope you like it.

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers

Makes 2 pints

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 8-10 large or 20 small jalapeno peppers (it’s hard to be exact here, but it’s about a pound- thanks Belinda!) rinsed, and sliced into thin rings

In a nonreactive saucepan (meaning stainless steel or any other modern cookware- NOT 100% aluminum), whisk together the vinegar, water, salt and cumin.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt dissolves.  In the meantime sterilize the jars and lids according the the USDA Canning Guidelines.

Hot chile peppers boiling in a hot water bath

Pack each pint jar tightly with sliced pepper rings and one whole garlic clove each.  Leave enough room at the top so the lid rests easily on the mouth of the jar.

Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot brine to cover the pepper rings leaving about 1/4 inch at the top of each jar.  Insert a clean chopstick to free any possible air bubbles and check the mouth of the jar to make sure it’s clean and then screw on the lids. Process in a hot water bath for 10-15 minutes and then pull from the water with rubberized tongs.  I cover my countertops with a clean dish towel so any water left on the jar is absorbed into the towel.  Each jar will ping as it cools.  That means it’s sealed and safe to store on your shelf.

Once all the jars reach room temperature, store in a dark cupboard for about three weeks to let flavors develop before opening. The peppers will turn a dull shade of green but at least they won’t be slimy.  Opened jars can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months as long as you use clean utensils to take the pepper rings out each time. Sealed, these pickles will keep for about one year.  Enjoy!

Twenty pints of pickles


30 thoughts on “Pickled Jalapeno Slices

  1. Thanks! Just made these, and they’re fab! I accidentally used too much salt, but it worked out just fine all the same. One note on the amounts: When I weighed my peppers, I only had one pound, but I still couldn’t quite fit all the slices into four half-pint jars. Two pounds would’ve easily made 4 pints of pickles for me, if I’d doubled the brine recipe.

    • Thanks Belinda for the comment. The sizes vary a lot- but the same thing happens to me so I’ll alter the recipe online here. It seems every time I make this recipe, I have to cut more than I thought or end up with extra. Last week I saved the leftovers to roast and put into a salsa verde.

  2. Are these crisp? I noticed that you didn’t soak in lime or anything …. Is that necessary? What about adding pickle crisp to the jars?

  3. No need for the fuss of lime for most canned pickles. They are not crisp, but not mushy either. Personally I would just follow the recipe and then if you think you like a more crisp chile pickle, then play around with crisping agents…cherry leaves, horseradish are commonly used for dills (as a natural crisper), but it wouldn’t work here. I have never used pickle crisp. Just use the freshest ingredients possible- straight out of the garden or within a day of buying your ingredients from a farmers market and any pickles you make at home will have a good texture even after processing.

  4. I love this recipe. This will be the third year I will make my hot mix. I use this recipe as the base. I grow a mix of hot peppers from seed starting early spring. I also cut up and include other other vegetables such as celery, pearl onions, mushrooms and olives. The result is a nice spicy mix I use all year. I just have to be careful people don’t try the olives and such without knowing how they were prepared.

  5. Thanks- and I loved reading this post Geoff! I have also used the base brine for a mixed refrigerator pickle with carrots, purple onion and jalapeno chiles. I should try it with other things to…hmmm maybe mix of celery and green tomatoes would work.

  6. I have just bottled my first batch of jalapeños and they are now cooling. I added an extra 1/2 cup of water to the brine to make sure I had enough and it worked out perfectly. Looking forward to sampling these.

  7. I used this recipe to prepare a mix of vegetables. I use different types of hot peppers (including Jalapeno slices). I grow most of the peppers I use and purchase and purchase a few types that I don;t grow. I include pearl onions, sliced mushrooms, sliced green onions, sliced olives both black and green and what ever else I might have that I feel like slicing up. I have done this for 2 years. The mixture ends up quite hot, I have given a few jars away and they enjoy them.

    I will not be growing or jarring this year,. Last year I ended up with 36 jars of mixture, enough to last me through this year.

    Any way, yes you could use sliced jalapenos, I do along with habanero, cayenne, poblano, and whatever else I can get.

    Have fun with it, try different things.

    • Yes- You still need to pack the peppers in the hot brine but instead of processing in a hot water bath, just let the jars cool slightly before storing in the refrigerator. It might take a little longer- wait about a week- before enjoying. The 10 minute processing continues to cook the chile and speeds up the flavor melding. To ensure food safety, do not store unprocessed jars indefinitely at room temperature. They’ll stay edible in the fridge for months as long as you use clean utensils when in use.

  8. This is a great, simple recipe. I have a small market farm and we use this recipe to can our extra jalapenos that do not sell fresh and give the recipe to our customers…

  9. I have a question, I don’t have kosher salt but I have canning salt, I hear its basically about the same…..can I use my canning salt and do I have to measure it differently?

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