These Quick Pickled Jalapeños are easy to make and will become your favourite condiment to add to just about everything. The tangy brine is utterly addictive and tames the heat of the jalapeños. Simple, fast, delicious.
Not a whole lot makes me happier than seeing a large jar (or two) of tangy, crunchy pickled jalapeños sitting pretty, and invitingly, on my refrigerator shelf. Easily one of our favourite condiments, the store-bought options are nowhere near as good as a homemade batch.
Late summer, the markets are overflowing with fresh jalapeños and I can’t resist bringing tons home with me to pickle. They’re quick to make and so great to have on hand. We enjoy piling them on pizza, tacos, tostadas, scrambled eggs (addictive!), cheese platters, and in all sorts of salads. I honestly can’t get enough of these slightly sweet and not too spicy pickled jalapeños. I think you will love them too.
Basic Quick Pickle Recipe
The method of quick pickling produces refrigerator pickles. In other words, there is no need to sterilize jars and go through a fermentation process. A cold, or hot brine is all that is needed to preserve and flavour any vegetable. With this method, however, they will need to be kept in the refrigerator as soon as they are pickled.
The basic brine I use is the one I use for quick pickling just about everything. A little more water than vinegar, only a small amount of sugar and salt, fresh garlic, and a few optional additional seasonings such as peppercorns and coriander seeds. Even though I love the sharp flavour of vinegar, using a little less acid than water prevents the brine from overpowering the flavour of the vegetable.
Once the jalapeños are in the brine, it is best to refrigerate them for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. That said, I find them quite delicious even after just 1 hour. With this brine method, most vegetables will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator and I find the flavour improves over time.
Ingredients You’ll Need For This Recipe
- Distilled White Vinegar, or a mix with rice vinegar
- Water (filtered if possible)
- Optional: Peppercorns, coriander seeds, thyme sprigs, bay leaves
How To Quick Pickle Jalapeños
Preserving jalapeños with a quick brine really couldn’t be simpler. This recipe makes a pretty big batch that can be easily halved if necessary.
PRO TIP: Use rubber gloves to slice the jalapeños! This will protect your hands from the pepper oils which do not wash off and can burn on your fingers for hours.
Here’s how to quick pickle jalapeños:
- Thinly slice the jalapeños into rings and pack them tightly into a canning-type jar, along with any other seasonings, leaving 1-inch head space from the top.
- Put brine ingredients in a saucepan and heat until salt and sugar dissolve. This should only take about 2 minutes.
- Pour brine over the sliced jalapeños to cover completely. Let cool, then cover with a lid. You can enjoy the jalapeños within an hour or for best results, refrigerate overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quick Pickled Jalapeños
Will the jalapeños stay crunchy once pickled?
For the best flavour, I find all chilis benefit from a hot brine pickling, rather than a cold one. But once you pour hot brine over the jalapeños they will soften and lose their vibrant green colour. A cold brine would help maintain their crunchiness, but I find the pickling effect takes longer to achieve and the flavour not as sharp.
Does pickling jalapeños make them less spicy?
Jalapeños can be quite spicy, though not as spicy as habanero, for example, and every jalapeño pepper is naturally different in spice intensity. Pickling does seem to temper the heat somewhat but if you want them very mild, you will have to remove all the seeds and membranes.
How long will the pickled jalapeños last?
Quick pickled jalapeños can last up to two months in the refrigerator. That said, they really are at their best within 2 to 3 weeks, after that, they do lose a bit of flavour and vibrancy.
Suggestions To Use Pickled Jalapeños
You can use these full-of-goodness, tangy pickled jalapeños as a condiment to pretty much anything. Here a few of my favourite:
- On any Mexican food such as tacos, tostadas, salads, nachos, burritos, enchiladas
- In burgers or sandwiches
- Chopped into potato salads, or egg salads
- In scrambled eggs, frittatas, or omelettes
- On pizza
- As part of a cheese platter
- To top chilis, or black beans
You can use this basic method to pickle any vegetable you love. Carrots, radishes, beets, green beans, and cauliflower are among my favourites. In fact, adding a few chopped carrots and cauliflower pieces to the jalapeños, is never a bad idea.
As far as seasonings go, you can absolutely get away without adding any and the pickles will still be great. Use this recipe as a jumping off point, then have fun with flavours you enjoy.
If you like your pickles a little sweeter, add more sugar. If you like a little more seasoning, here’s a few suggestions to add:
- Mustard seeds
- Grated ginger and/or turmeric (awesome with cauliflower!)
- Cumin seeds (I like to toast them so they release their oil and flavour)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Strips of orange, lemon, or lime zest
Note: All seasonings, even seeds, should be rinsed before adding to the brine.
If you give this Quick Pickled Jalapeños recipe a try, please feel free to leave a comment and/or a star rating below. We appreciate and welcome all your feedback. Thank you!
Quick Pickled Jalapeños
- 3/4 cup Distilled White Vinegar or sub with half rice vinegar
- 1 1/4 cup Water
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Sugar I use cane
- 10 - 12 Jalapeño Peppers
- 2 - 3 Large cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Throughly wash the peppers and thinly slice them into rings. Tip: Wear gloves when handling cut jalapenos to protect your hands from the hot pepper oils.
- Pack the peppers tightly into one large, or two small/medium, canning-type jars, leaving 1-inch head space from the top.
- Combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and any other optional seasonings (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
- Pour the hot brine over the sliced jalapeños to cover completely. Use a spoon to push the peppers down, if necessary. Let cool completely, then cover with a lid. You can enjoy the jalapeños within an hour or for best results refrigerate overnight.
- Quick pickled jalapeños can be stored for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
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