If you find yourself with an overabundance of jalapeños, you will likely be asking yourself what to do with jalapeños in order to use them all. Here are some tasty ideas to help you when you have too many jalapeño peppers to use up.
Did you grow any peppers this growing season? Peppers – and particularly chile peppers – are one garden crop that tends to produce a lot.
Jalapeño peppers are small (2-4” long) and popular chili peppers. They have a flavor similar to that of green bell peppers, but with a little kick and are used in many different ways. Jalapeños have a mild to medium amount of heat which helps to explain their popularity.
What to do with Jalapeños: 15 Tasty Ideas
So what can you do with too many fresh jalapeños?
If you grew jalapeños this season and ended up with far more than you could ever use (even if you ate salsa 5 nights a week), here are some handy and delicious ideas to inspire you on what to do with a lot of jalapeños!
There are many ways to preserve fresh food, such as freezing, canning, and pickling. I make cans and cans of pickled jalapeños every year to get my family through the rest of the year!
If you want to try your hand at it, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to pickle jalapeños. It doesn’t even take a lot of time to do!
One of the most common reasons people grow jalapeños is to throw them into homemade salsa. It’s really a great way to use up extra jalapeños, tomatoes, and cucumbers! You can easily whip up and can a year’s worth of salsa.
Play around with the flavors to use up even more of your jalapeño supply. And, don’t forget that homemade jars of salsa make great gift ideas any time of the year!
The one downside to using jalapeños in homemade salsas is that you usually can’t use very many of them at a time. Hot sauce recipes use many more at a time, giving you the opportunity to use more of your extra jalapeños.
Another benefit of making homemade hot sauces is that the vinegar in them will extend the shelf-life much longer than that of fresh salsa.
Have you ever bought roasted chile peppers from those roadside stands or farmer’s markets? You can easily make them yourself since jalapeños are a cinch to roast. They taste so good on so many meals such as soups, stews, pizzas, and tacos. I definitely recommend that you try roasting them.
If you find they’re too hot, just remember to remove the innards and use only the outer flesh for eating.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
Stuff a half-pepper with cream cheese, parmesan cheese, cayenne, and chives, wrap it in bacon, and broil it. Oh, my stomach is growling just thinking about it.
They make an amazing crowd-pleasing appetizer!
This is my favorite type of cornbread, and I scarf it down anytime I’m in a restaurant that serves it. Why not make your own?
You can find some amazing recipes with just a quick search and enjoy some jalapeño cornbread muffins with many different dishes (or freeze them to enjoy later in the year).
Add Them to Homemade Sauces
Whenever you find yourself wondering what to do with jalapeños, try adding them to your sauces. They taste great in many different recipes for pasta, fish, chicken, and more. Depending on how much heat you can tolerate, you can incorporate a lot of jalapeño peppers into a single sauce.
Bonus: You can freeze your sauces to use later, and they’ll last for many months that way.
Add Them to Your Soups
When you need to use up a lot of jalapeños, throw them into your soups and stews! As a very versatile and delicious chile pepper, they will work in many different recipes.
Use Them in a Stir Fry
If you enjoy making Asian stir-fries, throw some jalapeños into them as they cook in the pan. They’ll deliver nice flavor and a nice kick of heat too!
Make candied jalapenos (aka cowboy candy)
Candied jalapenos are delicious. If you like spicy and you like sweet, you will love candied jalapenos. You can process them and keep them shelf-stable for a year! They are one of our favorite recipes by far and we make them every single year (never enough!).
Chili pastes are a fun way to add some variety to your sauces and other recipes. They are easy to make and can be used as delicious toppings to dishes or spreads for toast.
All you need for a basic paste is peppers, garlic, oil, and herbs, and seasonings. Process them together in a food processor until they reach a paste-like consistency.
People have been making jellies for a long time for the purpose of preserving garden yields to use during the offseason. A batch of jelly may only use a few peppers, but hey, that just might be enough to use up your supply.
Can you freeze jalapeño peppers? When you really have a large number of fresh jalapeños on hand, it’s understandable that you may find yourself wondering just that.
I have good news for you – the answer is yes! Freezing those peppers works to preserve as many as you want to freeze for months.
It’s really as easy as it sounds. Here’s how to freeze your extra jalapeños:
- Spread your peppers (whole or sliced) on a cookie sheet.
- Flash freeze for 1 hour.
- Put the frozen peppers into airtight freezer-safe containers and remove as much air as possible.
- Keep frozen until you want to enjoy them (or up to 1 year).
To thaw: Remove as many peppers as you’d like to use on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Once your peppers thaw and reach room temperature, use them as you would fresh peppers.
One way to really extend the shelf life of your excess jalapeños is to dehydrate them. Use your dehydrator (or the oven method) to dry your peppers and enjoy them for months. Once you dry them, you can either store them as is or you can crush them into a powder that you can use in seasonings or rubs.
If you don’t crush them, you can rehydrate them later and use them in stews, soups, and salsas.
Note: Once you rehydrate them, they are not as good as a standalone food but work well as a complementary ingredient.
Give Them Away
If you’re still wondering what to do with jalapeños, one very effective way to rid yourself of the last of your bumper crop is to give them away. Give them to your friends, family, and neighbors. They also make great housewarming gifts!
You can give them away as fresh peppers, or make anything I’ve listed above (especially canned pickled jalapenos, salsas, jams, or dehydrated peppers) and give them away. They make great homemade gifts.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHAT TO DO WITH JALAPEñOS
I hope you found some inspiration from this list of ideas on what to do with jalapeños when your garden produces a bumper crop. By using several or all of these ideas, you can easily set yourself up to enjoy your jalapeño harvest for months to come.
More Garden Inspiration:
- Companion Planting Vegetables for Higher Yields and Healthier Gardens
- Vegetable Container Gardening: 15 Veggies to Grow in Pots
- 28 Vegetables That Grow in Shade For Gardens Without Sun
- Seed Saving Basics: How to Save Seeds From Your Garden
- 11 Easy Vegetables to Grow for Beginners That will Produce all Summer Long