It's time to ditch store-bought cans to make this quick and easy pickled jalapeño recipe at home.
In less than 20 minutes, a tangy and spicy reward could be yours!
There's something about spicy peppers and Mexican food that get us way too excited (we grew almost 10 different chilies in our garden this past summer).
We know you'll be obsessed with pickling them as much as us when you see how easy this recipe is! You can enjoy hot and spicy peppers with a tangy kick in no time.
Pickled jalapeño peppers are the perfect topping for all your Mexican-inspired dishes. We serve them with dishes like black bean soup, cauliflower tacos, or sopes. We even find ourselves eating these chiles straight from the jar!
If you want in on a little secret, pickled jalapeños are actually a great addition to guacamole or pico de gallo. Just keep that to yourself, then surprise your friends when they wonder how your dish tastes ahh-mazing!
But, why go through the trouble of making your own pickled jalapeño recipe?
For one, the taste is better. If that isn't enough of a reason, it's also much cheaper to make your own over store-bought (and doesn't contain preservatives).
Just keep in mind this recipe is not a canning recipe (we have guidelines for that in our FAQ).
If you need an easy peasy pickled jalapeño recipe that's vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free, this is your lucky day. Just a fair warning — they're addicting.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: a fresh, bright, garden-like flavor with a mild to moderate heat level. Jalapeños take on a bit of tang and sweetness when they're pickled, making them perfect to top basically anything with.
Health: surprisingly, one jalapeño pepper provides 2% of your daily fiber needs. There's also research to support metabolism-boosting effects. So, eating more spicy peppers may be the secret to weight-loss (alright, bit of a stretch).
Taste: with a mellow aroma and tart, acidic flavor, vinegar is often called for in pickling recipes. It's a top choice since it doesn't alter the color of vegetables.
Health: because of the acetic acid content, vinegar carries a whole host of health benefits. One of the more promising health effects of vinegar the potential ability to help lower cholesterol.
Taste: as a member of the lily family (along with leeks, shallots, and onions), garlic has a distinctive flavor and aroma. Many describe it as pungent with a slight spice (good, this recipe needs more of that).
Health: garlic has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. The health benefits come from sulphur compounds formed when garlic is broken down. Studies have found these compounds can actually reduce the length of cold and flu symptoms!
Taste: as one of the five universally recognized tastes (along with sweet, sour, bitter, and umami), salt is used in pickling and canning recipes for its distinct flavor. We use plain sea salt in this recipe, but you can also use pickling or kosher salt.
Health: before you try to completely cut salt out of your life, know this! Salt is crucial for balancing fluids in our body, maintaining blood pressure, muscle, and nerve function. Just remember, keep your consumption to 2300mg or less per day.
If you have questions about this quick-pickled jalapeño recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: start by discarding the jalapeño stems and thinly slicing them. Peel and crush the garlic (this will help release the flavor). Set both of those aside.
Step 2: bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar (if you're using it) to boil in a saucepan. Once boiling, add in the garlic cloves, oregano, and jalapeño slices.
Step 3: let everything simmer for about 1 minute, then turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and leave it for 10 minutes.
Fridge: these pickled jalapeño peppers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months. This is not a canning recipe, so treat it the same as any other open jar in your fridge.
Separating ingredients: if you don't like the look of your garlic turning greenish-blue, make sure to remove it prior to going in the mason jar. Note: it's perfectly normal to turn color and is still safe to eat.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while perfecting this recipe for you:
- If you like things extra spicy, omit the sugar. We personally don't use sweetener because we love a little heat!
- If you want more taqueria-style jalapeños, add sliced carrots into the mix.
- For optimal storage, use a mason jar with a canning lid.
- Make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands well after handling the jalapeños. You don't need any eyeball or bathroom mishaps!
- Jalapeños with striations on them (lines) are perfectly safe to eat. They're actually an indication of a spicier pepper (proceed with caution).
🍴 Tasting notes
We use pickled jalapeño peppers in virtually all our meals, and we know you will too. They're:
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Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
- Chef knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons
- Mason jars with lids
- 1 cup water ($0.01)
- 1 cup white vinegar ($0.16)
- 2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 2 cloves garlic ($0.04)
- ½ tsp Mexican oregano ($0.01)
- 7 large jalapeño peppers ($0.21)
- 2-3 tsp cane sugar optional
- First, remove and discard the stems of the jalapeños. Then, slice the peppers thinly. Peel and crush the garlic with the side of your chef knife (this will help release the flavor). Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar (if you're using it) to a boil. Once boiling, add in the garlic cloves, oregano, and jalapeño slices and stir.
- Let the mixture simmer about 1 minute, then turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the jalapeños to a mason jar and pour the liquid over top to cover them. Let them cool completely before putting the lids on. When they are cool, transfer to your fridge for storage.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more delicious Mexican dishes, check out our:
- Quick-Pickled Red Onions to try your hand at another easy pickling recipe!
- Vegan queso fresco for soft, creamy, and crumbly Mexican cheese you've been missing out on since going vegan.
- Simple salsa roja to taste a 6-ingredient table salsa that's super addicting!
- Perfect refried beans for a rich and creamy recipe to serve with all your favorite Mexican meals.
- Easy corn tortillas because if you're not having fresh tortillas, you're missing out!
This is not a canning recipe. If you're looking for a canning recipe, follow the USDA guidelines.
If you want to tone the heat down, add 2-3 tsp of sugar to this pickled jalapeño recipe. We personally never add it because we love the spice!
Garlic turning blue or green in pickling recipes is totally normal! When a specific compound (allicin) in garlic is formed and makes contact with an acid (vinegar), a reaction happens. This is what causes the color changes, but it's perfectly safe to eat and the taste isn't affected.
Yes, you can replace white vinegar with apple cider vinegar at a 1:1 ratio. The jalapeños will darken, and the flavor will change a bit.