Not only is it easier to make homemade pickled jalapenos than you'd think, the results far surpass anything store-bought. With a few simple ingredients and a couple of mason jars, you can easily make this recipe any time. Keep a jar of these in your fridge to put in quesadillas, top nachos, fill tacos, and so much more!
Canning preserves and pickles is becoming all the rage with DIY activities to make more homemade fresh foods. There are so many items that benefit from pickling, but jalapeños are my favorite!
These pickled jalapeños are so incredibly easy to prepare, I can't imagine ever buying them in the store again. The flavor is also above and beyond anything I have tasted on bar nachos.
The spice level really depends on the jalapeño peppers themselves. I have gotten super spicy batches, and some slightly milder ones.
Over the years I have made countless jars of these spicy, versatile homemade pickled jalapenos. I vow to never purchase them since they are so straight-forward to make myself.
How to pickle jalapeños
This recipe is so simple! If you blink, you might miss it. First, wash and thinly slice 1 pound of jalapeño peppers, discarding the stems.
You may want to wear gloves, especially if you're not used to dealing with chile peppers. Touching your face or eyes after touching hot chiles is VERY painful, and needs to be avoided. This is where gloves can help.
Now, make the pickling liquid. Add water, distilled white vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, and a couple of peeled garlic cloves to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Once the mixture begins to boil, remove it from the heat. Add your sliced jalapeños, pressing occasionally to submerge them in the liquid. Let them steep for 10 to 15 minutes in the hot brine, mixing once or twice to ensure all the jalepeño slices spend time submerged.
They will begin to change color from bright green to a muted olive green. It's ok if some slices are still a little regular green. They will continue to pickle in the jar.
If you already have pint-size Mason jars, you're halfway there. You can store them in other containers in your fridge, but glass jars are always best, and this is what I recommend. I also prefer plastic lids in place of metal, since I don't process my pickles. I simply store them in the fridge, and the plastic avoids rusting.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer your homemade pickled jalapenos into each of 2 pint-sized jars, or 1 larger quart-sized jar. Pack them into the jars if you must.
Then strain the remaining pickling liquid from the saucepan through a small fine-mesh strainer into each of the jars to cover all the sliced chiles with brine. Using a strainer will help you avoid some of the excess seeds getting into your jars.
Allow the jars to cool to room temperature, then cover with lids and refrigerate. I always recommend chilling the jars overnight before enjoying any of the pickles. They will still be very spicy that first day, but the pickling will continue as they chill into the next day.
These homemade pickled jalapenos will last for weeks and even months in the refrigerator.
I don't go through the official process of canning them, and instead opt to refrigerate my jars. If you want to process them to make them shelf-stable (like you would with other pickles or jams), you certainly can do that by boiling the sealed jars for 10 to 15 minutes and following the usual steps.
Use your homemade pickled jalapenos in these recipes
- Bacon Jalapeño Popper Quiche
- Pepito (Mexican Steak Sandwich)
- Build Your Own Nacho Bar
- Pescado a la Veracruzana (Veracruz-Style Fish)
- Homemade Chile con Queso
- Duck Carnitas Nachos
- Ground Beef Tacos
- Mac and Cheese with Pickled Jalapenos
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Homemade Pickled Jalapeños
- 1 pound jalapeños stems removed and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan combine the garlic, water, vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Once at a boil, add the sliced jalapeños pressing them so they are submerged. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, occasionally stirring and pressing the jalapeños into the brine.
- Transfer the jalapeños to 2 pint-size jars or 1 quart-size jar. Ladle the brine over top until the jar is full (doing this over a small strainer will remove the bulk of the excess seeds). Let cool at room temperature before securing a lid and popping them into the fridge (alternatively to can them: when the mixture is still hot, process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 to 15 minutes).
- If you already have pint-size Mason jars, you're halfway there. I also prefer plastic lids in place of metal, since I don't process my pickles. I simply store them in the fridge, and the plastic avoids rusting.
- I always recommend chilling the jars overnight before enjoying any of the pickles. They will still be very spicy that first day, but the pickling will continue as they chill into the next day.
- These homemade pickled jalapenos will last for weeks and even months in the refrigerator.
- Adapted from Simply Scratch
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*