My Quick Pickled Jalapenos will make a delicious addition to your next barbecue. We like them on tacos, burritos, even burgers! They take just a few minutes to make and their tart, spicy flavor will complement all your favorite southwestern style meals.
One of the things that I enjoy most is making what I call “condiments and extras” in the kitchen. You know, all the little things that add that extra special touch to meals. In fact, I have a whole category of those recipes on this blog.
I just really enjoy making things like homemade croutons, tomato jam, relishes, a good classic vinaigrette, and more. It’s not that you can’t purchase them, it’s just that it’s fun to know how to make them yourself.
Take for instance, this recipe for Quick Pickled Jalapenos. Can you buy these at your grocery store? Yep. By the case full if you want to. But I think it’s just a lot of fun to know how to do it yourself.
I mean, what if there was a shortage of pickled jalapeños tomorrow and you couldn’t get them? Heaven forbid. That would be no problem for us because we have the recipe!
The Ingredients You’ll Need
To make one standard pint jar of Quick Pickled Jalapeños, you’ll need:
- About 8 nice plump jalapeno peppers – I often grow my own jalapenos but they are readily available at any grocery store and are very inexpensive.
- White vinegar – Plain old distilled vinegar. Nothing fancy.
- Garlic – About three cloves, peeled.
- Sugar (or honey) – Either one works fine.
- Bay leaf, salt, oregano, and black peppercorns – The spices that give the jalapenos all that great pickled flavor.
You probably have most of that in your pantry right now!
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
About Your Equipment
Since this is not an actual canning recipe, you can use any container you like to store your finished pickled jalapeños. I used a canning jar simply because I had one available. An old pickle jar or mayonnaise jar would work just as well. We’re not making a product that needs to be properly sealed for shelf storage so any old thing will be fine.
For cooking the brine, you do need a non-reactive pan. What’s that you ask? Well, some metals react with acidic ingredients (like lemon, vinegar, or tomatoes) and that can cause an off-taste or color. Pots and pans made of cast iron, copper, and aluminum are reactive whereas ceramic, glass, stainless steel, and enameled pans are non-reactive.
How to Make Quick Pickled Jalapenos
Prep the Jalapenos
Now that we have the equipment and ingredients sorted out, let’s get started on this recipe!
Before you do anything else, just trust me and put on a pair of disposable kitchen gloves. Jalapeños contain oils that remain on your skin for several hours and can transfer to your mouth, nose, and eyes if touched. If you’re a contact lens wearer, you’ll thank me later for insisting on the gloves.
Start by thinly slicing the jalapeno peppers using a sharp knife or mandolin. I always use the mandolin because it makes really quick work of this step. Use caution with a mandolin however because they’re really, really sharp, and will take the end off your finger before you even know it happened. Use a guard with your mandolin, if you have one, and pay attention to what you’re doing.
Discard the jalapeno stems and set the slices aside. Peel the two cloves of garlic.
Make the Brine
Add all the ingredients, except the jalapeño slices, to a medium non-reactive saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Add the Jalapenos
Stir in the jalapeño slices and remove the pan from the heat.
Cool the Jalapenos Slightly
Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes or until you see the peppers start to turn a pretty olive green color. You’ll recognize the color from the commercially produced pickled jalapeños you’ve seen.
Remove and discard the bay leaf. You can remove the garlic if you like or leave it in. Removing the garlic will give the finished pickles a bit of a milder flavor. I always leave it in because I like garlic!
Transfer the Mixture to a Container
Once the peppers have changed color, use a slotted spoon to transfer the slices (and garlic if keeping) to a clean storage jar.
Strain the pickling liquid into the jar filling with enough liquid to cover the jalapeño slices.
Close the jar and store it in the refrigerator. You can use your pickles immediately if you like, but their full flavor won’t be developed for about a week. They’re best used within about two months but will likely keep much longer.
How to Use
I use these Quick Pickled Jalapenos as a topping on tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, or any other southwestern or Tex-Mex style recipes. They’re also really good just as an accompaniment to a sandwich or on top of a hamburger or hot dog.
Can I Make More Pickled Jalapenos?
Of course, you can! Just multiply the ingredients to make as many pints as you like.
More Recipes You’ll Like
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Homemade Pickled Okra
- Pico de Gallo
- Jezebel Sauce
- Marinated Feta with Roasted Lemon and Dill
- Refrigerator Kosher Dill Pickles – Claussen Copycat Recipe
- Sugar Free Bread and Butter Pickles
- Oven Roasted Tomatoes in Oil
- Crispy Baked Okra Chips
- Melange of Onions
- Tart Pickled Cherries and Pickled Celery Sticks
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Quick Pickled Jalapenos
- 8 large jalapeno peppers
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and lightly crushed
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Thinly slice the jalapeno peppers using a sharp knife or mandolin. Discard the stems. Set the slices aside.
- In a medium non-reactive pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil.
- Stir in the jalapeno slices and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for approximately 5 minutes or until the peppers begin to take on an olive green color.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the jalapeno slices to a clean storage jar. Strain the pickling liquid into the jar filling adequately to cover the jalapeno slices.
- Close the jar and store in the refrigerator.
- Allow about a week for full flavors to develop. Best used within two months.
- I always recommend wearing disposable gloves when working with hot peppers. The oils can remain on your skin for several hours and can transfer to your mouth, nose, and eyes if touched.
- You may substitute honey for sugar if desired.
- Adjust the sweetener to your taste. The sweetener mutes the heat of the peppers, so the more you use the more muted the peppers will be. If you like a lot of heat, go with just 1 tablespoon. I like the heat fairly muted so I use 3 tablespoons.
- The garlic may be removed before transferring the jalapenos to the jar for a milder flavor.
- You can use your pickled jalapenos immediately but full flavors won’t develop until about a week later. Lasts several months in the refrigerator.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.