Do you have an abundance of fresh jalapenos growing in your garden this year? Me too! With canning season right around the corner, I wanted to share one of my favorite canning recipes and show you how to pickle jalapenos. I promise it’s easy and requires only a few simple ingredients.
The very first year we moved into this house, I built my garden. I was eager, so I started a few hot peppers indoors in January. I had no idea what I was doing.
I was bummed when several people told me my hot peppers didn’t have much chance in our short growing season.
It’s a good thing I never listen to anyone because I planted those peppers anyway, and they produced like mad that first year.
Looking at my “little” garden now, I have 48 pepper plants.
Before you go thinking I’m crazy, I have to tell you that in this house, we eat a lot of peppers. Forty of these pepper plants are different varieties of red bell peppers; the rest are jalapenos.
We learned how to pickle jalapenos a few years back, and now we can’t get enough. I pickle enough of the little firecrackers to last my family all winter! We put them on almost everything.
Growing My Own Jalapenos
I didn’t know then what I know now about growing peppers- I just lucked out. I started the pepper plants indoors in January, lopped their heads off in March, and stuck them in the ground in mid-June. The sun and the heat did the rest.
But starting the hot peppers that early is vital. They need time to grow, and they need a long season to ripen.
My eight jalapeno plants from this year produced so much that I had to give much of it away. The rest I pickled to eat all winter long.
Once you know how to pickle jalapenos, you will always make room in your garden for a plant or two.
Where To Get Fresh Jalapenos If You Can’t Plant Them
Before I started growing jalapeno plants myself, I used to buy them at my local grocery store or farmer’s market. I was a bit gobsmacked over the price of a few jalapenos at the grocery store. Where I live, four peppers cost about $5.00.
Say what? Not in this lifetime!
Now granted, I am in Northern Canada, and jalapenos are not just growing on the side of the road. They do take some care to grow here, but still, a buck a pepper seems a tad excessive.
For my home garden, I raised my jalapeno peppers from seed, so my cost was pennies. Even if I bought plants at the greenhouse, they are way cheaper than peppers at the grocery store.
Where I live, it is not at all price-savvy to buy and pickle your jalapenos. I highly recommend growing them if possible- it’s the best way.
How to pick jalapenos from the plant: Jalapenos are ripe and ready to be harvested when they are bright green, firm, and glossy.
How To Pickle Jalapenos This Canning Season
This pickled jalapeño recipe is incredibly easy. It’s not at all complicated and does not require a lot of time or special ingredients. It is a great recipe for anyone who is starting out with canning.
I do not add anything to my pickled jalapenos. No garlic, no oregano, nada. I want a nice, simple-tasting pickled pepper that tastes like jalapenos.
But if you like garlic and want some oregano, you should make them how you want.
I don’t like peppers with many flavor additions and want my jalapenos to taste like jalapenos, but that’s just me. I use plain brine, and they taste fantastic after a few months in storage.
I’ve detailed my process and a few tips and tricks in step-by-step instructions below. I’ve even included a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Large canning pot
- Canning Jars ( we use half pints )
- canning bands
- Jar lifter
- Canning funnel
- Clean dish towel
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Hot peppers ( Jalapeño peppers, Hungarian wax peppers, banana peppers, etc.)
- Vinegar ( regular 5% acid)
- Canning Salt
You can pickle any hot pepper with this recipe!
Step 1: Prep and Sterilize Your Jars
It’s very important to clean and sterilize your jars before using them, especially if you plan to store these peppers for the winter season.
I prefer to store my pickle rings in 1/2-pint jars. They are perfect for us to use for a meal or two or to add a few to a sandwich. I do not have to worry about a larger container going to waste if we do not get through it on time.
Of course, if you want to store them up in larger jars, go ahead. The processing time will be longer for quarts vs. pints vs. half pints, but it does not affect the outcome.
Step 2: Clean And Cut Fresh Jalapeños
Clean them with fresh, cool water before working with the jalapenos. Dry and allow them to sit on the counter to reach room temperature.
Do NOT try to process cold peppers from the refrigerator. Your peppers should be at room temperature when you add your brine.
Note: Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands, and be careful not to touch your face or eyes with those gloves. Although Jalapenos are low on the Scoville scale, they can still burn your skin and eyes.
Slice the jalapenos into small rings and fill your jars, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top. My jalapenos were quite large this year, and I only needed a single pepper per 1/2 pint jar.
Step 3: Make The Vinegar Brine
Add 5 cups of water, 5 cups of vinegar, and 1/2 cup of coarse pickling salt (not iodized salt; it must be pickling salt) to a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.
Fill your jars to a 1/4 inch from the top with the hot brine.
Use a knife to poke around your jars to remove any bubbles.
Next, wipe your rims with a clean cloth or paper towel, add your lids and rings, and twist just finger tight.
Tip: Do not over-tighten your caps.
Add your jars to your canner and process for 10 minutes for 1/2 pints and pints and 15 minutes for quarts.
We sometimes get specific cooking questions from readers, and we’ve included them here with answers:
Can I use Apple Cider Vinegar In My Homemade Pickled jalapeños?
You can use apple cider vinegar for canned jalapeños. We’ve found that apple cider vinegar overpowers the peppers, but if you like apple cider vinegar, you can use it in this recipe with no safety issues. I recommend trying a blend first, 50/50 regular vinegar and apple cider vinegar, and going from there.
Can I Refrigerate Sliced Jalapeno Slices and Pickle them Later?
I would hold off on slicing them and storing them, and even then, I would only store them for a few days at the most. You want the peppers to hang on to some fresh crispness, and the longer they store the less likely they are to be crisp.
Step 4: Store Your Homemade Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
Remove your jars from your canner and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.
Check your seals. If any did not seal properly, store them in the refrigerator to eat within a month. For the jars that did seal, your jalapenos are suitable for an entire year stored in a cool location.
It’s a waiting game, much like homemade pickles. You’ll have to wait two months before your pickled hot peppers are ready to eat.
And that’s how to pickle jalapeno peppers – I told you it would be easy!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pickled Jalapenos
After I had shared this picking recipe with others, I did get some really good questions I wanted to share with you all. Just in case you were also wondering the same…
Are Pickled Jalapenos Spicy?
They can be.
If you want to make these pickled peppers spicy, leave a couple of the seeds. You can remove the seeds if you wish to have milder pickled jalapenos. Removing the seeds requires more processing time, but it cools down the peppers.
Can I Pickle These Jalapenos Whole?
Yes, you can, but it requires a bit of additional prep work. To can whole peppers, you will need to slice them down the side or puncture them with a fork. The inside of the pepper needs to fill with brine, so we need to create a way for that brine to get in.
If you use the fork method, you want to ensure you pierce through the flesh and into the pepper.
My husband had a permanently raised eyebrow as he watched me stabby-stabby my peppers.
It was quite therapeutic!
What Can I Eat With Pickled Jalapeños?
Pickled jalapenos are spicy, lip-puckering additions to any of your Mexican meals.
We love them in tacos, on top of nachos and enchiladas! But we also use them around the kitchen to punch up sandwiches, add to burgers, spice up eggs, and mix with cream cheese to have with crackers.
My husband likes to add them to grilled cheese sandwiches; I must admit, they make a boring cheese pop with flavor.
If you can think of it, we probably tried adding pickled jalapenos to it.
I made 12 pints last year, thinking that was MORE than enough, but they were gone before summer hit. This year, I made even more and branched out and started pickling jalapeños whole.
These fun pantry staple items add a uniqueness to your cooking that you simply can’t buy at the store.
Note: You can buy pickled jalapenos at Walmart or any other big-box grocery store, but they are never as good as the ones you make yourself.
Fill your pantry!
I love to preserve food from my garden and have it on hand in the winter. There is nothing quite like a nice fresh jar of rhubarb jam, or a pumpkin pie made with homegrown pumpkins in the middle of a winter storm.
Canning preserves that fresh taste of summer and adds such a wow factor to homemade meals and desserts.
Seriously, this whole gardening thing started because someone said my homemade tomato sauce wasn’t from scratch because I didn’t grow my tomatoes. Now that I do, I wouldn’t return to a commercially canned sauce.
Learning to pickle jalapenos is probably the easiest canning recipe ever; I highly recommend making a few jars for your pantry even if you’ve never tried canning before.
More Canning & Preserving Resources:
- Have Too Many Cucumbers? Here’s What To Do With Extra Cucumbers!
- How To Make Perfectly Crunchy Homemade Dill Pickles
- How to Make the Most Amazing Rhubarb Jam Without Sugar
- How to make delicious pickled beets!
- How To make cowboy candy (candied Jalapenos!)
- How to Dehydrate Jalapeno Peppers Easily At Home
- Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Recipe – Quick & Easy Instructions!
- How to Make Smoked Salt at Home
- How to Freeze Green Beans for Long Term Storage
- 1.25 quart (5 cups ) white vinegar
- 1.25 quart (5 cups) freshwater
- 1/2 cup Pickling salt
- 36 Fresh Jalapenos, Mid-large size jalapenos
- Prepare your canner, jars, lids, and rings for processing. 12-pint jars, or 24 half-pint jars. The number of jars will depend on the size of your jalapenos.
- Clean jalapenos under fresh cold water. Dry, and allow to sit out on the counter to reach room temperature.
- Slice jalapenos into small rings and fill jars to within 1/2 inch from the top.
- Add your vinegar, freshwater, and pickling salt to a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Carefully pour your brine into your filled jars using a ladle and a canning funnel. Fill to 1/4 inch from the top.
- Add lids and rings and twist until finger tight. Do not over tighten your rings.
- Process half-pints and full pints for 10 minutes, for quarts process for 15 minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and place on a level surface. Leave undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Check seal. If no seal, keep in the refrigerator for up to a month. The sealed jars are good in cool storage for up to a year.
- Do NOT try to process cold peppers from the refrigerator, your peppers should be room temperature.
- If you are making whole pickled jalapenos, puncture or slice your peppers to allow your brine to seep inside.
- For those folks at higher altitudes, it is always a good practice to verify your processing time with your local extension office. If you are in the US you can find your local extension office here: https://pickyourown.org/countyextensionagentoffices.htm
Nutrition Information:Yield: 192 Tablespoons Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g