Pickled jalapenos is a really fun topping that you can make at home in just a few minutes and have it any time you need some. It’s a great combination of spicy, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors. You can use them on just about anything from nachos, to tacos, to burgers and sandwiches!
There is not a time when I don’t have a jar of pickled red onions and pickled jalapenos in the refrigerator. It’s one of our favorite toppings for nachos and tacos. It’s just the perfect way to add a flavor pop with these spicy, salty, tangy, and slightly sweet jalapenos.
You only need a few ingredients to make this tasty jalapeno topping and a few minutes of your time. So grab a bag of jalapenos at the store and don’t forget the garlic!
It’s super easy to make, and fast too! While you can definitely dig in and serve them soon after preparing them, just like picked red onions, I highly recommend that you give them some time to pickle in the brine. The jalapenos themselves will soften slightly and take in more flavor as they sit a longer.
Feel free to experiment and add them to your favorite burgers, sandwiches, tacos, and nachos. You can even mix them into fresh salads and BBQ salads. Macaroni salad is great with a pop of pickled jalapenos.
Are pickled jalapenos spicy?
Jalapeno peppers themselves are one of the milder peppers, so the spice level won’t be overwhelming. These peppers measure at 2,500-5,000 Scoville heat units.
As comparison, poblano peppers are about 1,500 SHU, serrano peppers are 6,000-23,000 SHU, and habanero peppers range at 150,000-350,000 SHU! Since you’re keeping the seeds in, there will be a higher spice level as opposed to taking them out.
One way you can control the spiciness, by either making it milder or hotter, is the peppers themselves. For hotter results, opt for more mature jalapenos. Older and more mature jalapenos will have light brown veins running along the skin. Young jalapeno peppers are much milder, and they have a smooth, deep green skin without any veins.
How to Make Pickled Jalapenos
Ingredients You Need:
Jalapeno peppers – as mentioned above, you can opt for mature jalapenos for more heat or younger ones for less heat.
Garlic – you will need a few fresh garlic cloves
Whole Peppercorns – you can use mixed color peppercorns or just black.
White distilled vinegar – you don’t want to substitute this vinegar with others, just a simple white vinegar.
Sugar – white granulated sugar is what will work best.
Salt – use coarse sea salt or kosher coarse salt.
Slice jalapeno peppers across and I highly recommend that you use gloves when you handle them!
Smash garlic cloves and set them aside.
In a medium sauce pot, combine water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, mix and bring it to simmer. Whisk slowly and simmer gently until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Add sliced jalapenos and smashed garlic to the pot, make sure they are completely submerged and take off heat.
Let them sit about 15 minutes and transfer the jalapenos (just the jalapenos) into the jar. Pour off the remainder of the pot into the jar over the jalapenos.
Make sure to cool them completely to room temperature, then close the lid tight, and refrigerate.
Pickled jalapenos should last a pretty long time in the refrigerator, when stored properly in an air-tight container with a lid.
Make sure to use clean utensil to take some jalapenos out each time. Keep them refrigerated and closed. They should last for several months in the refrigerator, up to 6 months.
Canning Pickled Jalapenos:
You will need to follow some canning rules and proper procedures, but you can definitely can the pickled jalapenos!
First of all, you have to make sure to sterilize the jar and the lid in boiling water. Make sure to wash the peppers before preparing as well. You can pack the sliced peppers right into the jar and then pour boiling water/vinegar mixture over them.
Make sure to leave about ½ inch space off the top.
Follow the instructions on your canner to can the jars.
You can store canned jalapenos at room temperature, in a cool dark place, for up to a year. Once the jar is opened, make sure to refrigerate it.
- Large sauce pot
- 2 16-oz mason jars
- Cutting board and a knife
- 1 lb jalapeno peppers
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 1 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp coarse kosher salt
- Slice jalapeno peppers. You can cut out while white membrane and seeds or leave them in (or you can even do half and half). Membrane and seeds are what contribute to the heat level. I highly recommend that you use gloves when you handle jalapenos!
- Smash garlic cloves and set them aside.
- In a medium sauce pot, combine water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, mix and bring it to simmer. Whisk slowly and simmer gently until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Add sliced jalapenos and smashed garlic to the pot, make sure they are submerged and take off heat.
- Let them sit about 15 minutes and transfer the jalapenos (just the jalapenos) into the jars.
- Pour the pickling liquid into the jars almost to the top.
- Make sure to let them cool completely to room temperature. Close the lid tight and refrigerate.