Canning Jalapeño Peppers (quick, canned, jar-by-jar)
Do you love pickled jalapeño peppers? This easy recipe for canning jalapeño peppers is perfect for first-time or experienced canners. With this jar-by-jar recipe, you can easily alter the recipe for as many pounds of peppers as you have. And this jalapeño recipe gives directions for both water bath canning and refrigerating your canned pickled jalapeños; it’s up to you which direction you choose to go!
My garden harvest was a little so-so this summer, which is partially due to the fact that we were gone for three straight weeks. My sweet dad did everything in his power to battle the tenacious raccoon and voracious hornworm caterpillars, but there was not a lot he could do for the extreme temperatures. Our sprinkler system is automatic, but had we been here, we might have increased the watering during July’s heatwave.
All that to say, while our late summer tomato and cucumber harvest hasn’t been much to crow about, our jalapeños, bell peppers, and eggplant have really tried to fill in the gap.
ingredients for pickled jalapeño peppers
Fresh jalapeños: Always look for fresh, firm, and brightly colored jalapeños without any blemishes or soft spots. The thickness of the slices will affect the heat and crunchiness of the final product; 1/8″ is a good middle ground.
White distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of the two: The vinegar’s acidity (minimum of 5%) is crucial for the pickling process. You can use either distilled white vinegar for a more neutral flavor or apple cider vinegar for a slightly sweet, fruity undertone. You can also mix both for a balanced flavor.
Water: This dilutes the vinegar and makes the pickling liquid less harsh.
Sugar: This is optional. The sugar will help balance out the acidity of the vinegar. If you prefer a less sweet pickle, you can decrease the amount.
Pickling or Kosher salt: Salt helps pull moisture from the jalapeños and aids in the preservation process. .
Whole black peppercorns: Adds a slightly spicy, aromatic note to the pickles.
Whole cumin seeds: Gives a warm, earthy flavor.
Mustard seeds (optional): Adds a tangy, slightly bitter depth of flavor. Leave it out if you’re not a fan of mustard flavor.
Bay leaf: This adds a subtle layer of flavor; some people find it slightly floral, others slightly bitter.
Whole garlic clove: The garlic infuses into the vinegar, providing a slight sharpness and depth of flavor.
go-to canning jars
- wide-mouth makes canning easier.
- use for water bath canning or just refrigerating.
- BPA-free lids
- freezer safe for 18 months
canning jalapeño peppers, jar-by-jar
My most recent pepper haul was shy of 1 pound, so I augmented with a few from our local grocery store to make 1 pound of hot peppers. The beauty of this recipe for Pickled Jalapeño Peppers is that it easily lets me alter the recipe for as many pounds of fresh jalapeños as I have, similar to my Jar-By-Jar Dill Refrigerator Pickles.
If you choose the refrigerator route for your canned pickled jalapeños, you don’t need much more than fresh jalapeños, garlic cloves, vinegar, spices, and pint jars.
If you are water bath canning, you do need to be sure that your pint jars are mason jars, and you need the lids and rings to go with them. On top of that, you will need a pot deep enough to cover the jars by at least 2″. Some equipment will surely make your canning experience more enjoyable, and luckily, it’s inexpensive.
While water bath canning isn’t hard, it does require a few pieces of equipment to make the task much easier:
- A pot deep enough to cover your jars by at least 2 inches
- Weck Can Lifter or Ball Can Lifter
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
- Headspace Gauge
- I use both Weck Jars and Ball Jars, pint size
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
- A clean surface
- Clean Towels
- A bowl of white vinegar
The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is my bible. Even if I think I could make the recipe in my sleep, I double-check myself against the Ball Book…that whole botulism thing. It should be your first purchase if you are new to canning. My cookbook library recently expanded with the addition of The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes! Another great canning and preserving resource is the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia website.
questions about canning jalapeño peppers
can I use different types of vinegar for the pickling process?
Yes, you can use different types of vinegar, such as white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a mix of the two. Do make sure that your vinegar is at least 5% acid, which most of those vinegars are. If it is less than 5%, it may not control microbial growth. Please note that the flavor of the vinegar can influence the taste of the final product.
how long does it take for the jalapeños to pickle?
The jalapeños will start to pickle as soon as they are submerged in the pickling liquid, but it’s best to let them sit for at least 24 hours to fully absorb the flavors. They will continue to develop flavor as they sit.
how long do pickled jalapeños last?
If properly stored in a clean, airtight jar in the refrigerator, quick pickled jalapeños should last for 1-2 months. For long-term storage, a canning process with proper sterilization should be used. This recipe includes instructions for both quick pickled jalapeño peppers and canned jalapeños.
can I pickle other vegetables with this recipe?
You can use this pickling liquid for vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or onions. The pickling times may vary based on the type and size of the vegetables.
do I have to use sugar in the pickling liquid?
No, sugar is optional in the pickling liquid. It is used to balance out the acidity of the vinegar, but if you prefer a more tangy pickle, you can reduce or omit the sugar.
can I add other spices to the pickling liquid?
Absolutely. Feel free to experiment with other whole spices like coriander seeds, fennel seeds, or cloves to customize the flavor to your liking.
why are my pickled jalapeños soft?
The jalapeños can become soft if they are overcooked or if they were not fresh, to begin with. To ensure a crisp texture, use fresh jalapeños and try to minimize the cooking time. You can also add a small amount of calcium chloride (pickle crisp) to help maintain a crisp texture.
are pickled jalapeños as spicy as fresh ones?
Pickled jalapeños are typically less spicy than fresh ones because the pickling process tames some of the heat. However, they will still retain some heat, and the seeds and membranes of the jalapeños contribute significantly to the spiciness. For a spicier end product, include the seeds in with your slices.
This recipe produces pint jars of pickled jalapeño peppers, which are barely sweet, perfectly spicy, and delightfully HOT! Not that I consider myself a hot stuff weenie, but these pickled jalapeños are just a little too hot for me to eat right out of the jar. My son, however, is another story. Rob has no concept of the Scoville scale of pepper hotness and has no problem with popping one or two in his mouth. It comes as no surprise that his favorite stocking stuffers are different varieties of hot sauce. And his endorsement of these peppers carries A LOT of weight, so you know they’re good!
how to use your pickled jalapeño peppers
So, once you have your Little Slices of Hot as Hellfire, AKA canned pickled jalapeños, what will you do with them?
I like mine on my nachos, either traditional nachos or pulled pork. But they’re also good on tacos (I use them in my chile-braised short-rib tacos), Tex Mex rice bowls, white chili, and other sandwiches. I regularly toss them in my southwestern or Mexican salads. In fact, they are de rigueur for all of your Mexican dishes.
looking for more jalapeño recipes?
Jalapeño Wine Jelly is not only great to include on your next charcuterie, but oh man…you need to try it on bacon! And then there is this Jalapeno Cheese Spread! It is a twist on pimento cheese and is made on a regular basis in our home.
Nab some red jalapeños, Anaheim, or Sonoran peppers for this red pepper jelly.
Alternatively, if you’re into some truly wonderous pickling experiences, pop on over and try our Spiced Pickled Cranberries or these tangy Pickled Blueberries! Enjoy!
Canning Pickled Jalapeno Peppers, Jar by Jar
A pickled jalapeno pepper recipe with just the right amount of spice and a touch sweetness.
For Each Pint
- 1/2 lbs. fresh jalapeños, sliced into 1/8" slices
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of the two
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, optional
Add to each pint jar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
Wearing rubber gloves, slice your jalapenos into 1/8" thick rounds. Discard the stem end.
If you will be canning these pickled jalapenos, then prepare your water bath canner, mason jars, and lids. Wash your jars and lids. Sterilize your jars in a large pot filled with water. Bring the water to almost a simmer over medium heat. Keep the jars in the simmering water until you are ready to fill them. Use a jar lifter to remove them from the water when you are ready to fill them, dumping the hot water back into the pot when you remove each jar from the water. Right before you are ready to can, put your lids in a small pot or bowl with hot, but not boiling water. Put some additional white vinegar in a small bowl, alongside a clean washcloth or paper towel. Keep the water in your canning pot at a simmer while you fill your jars.
See The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving for additional guidance
Combine the vinegar, water, & sugar in a medium saucepan and heat until just before it starts to boil.
Add the salt, pepper, cumin, mustard seed, bay leaf, & garlic to each jar.
Divide the jalapeño slices between each jar, packing them in compactly until jars are filled.
Pour the hot vinegar water mixture into each jar, leaving 1/2" headspace; a canning funnel is helpful for this.
Insert a bubble remover tool (or clean chopstick) down the side of each jar and press in toward the center to release any bubbles.
Clean jar rims with a wet paper towel, dampened with white vinegar.
FOR REFRIGERATOR PICKLED PEPPERS: Allow jars to cool to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before eating. The pepper slices will keep for several months.
FOR CANNED PICKLED PEPPERS: Process using standard USDA water process canning procedures:
Bring your large pot of water to a boil. The pot needs to be deep enough to hold enough water to cover the jars by 2".
After filling the hot jars as directed above, wipe your rims with white vinegar, apply the lids and rims, tightening the rims until just 'fingertip tight'.
Fingertip Tight means that you can tighten with your fingers only, that you won't use the palm of your hand or all of your fingers to tighten.
Place your jars in the canner, making sure the jars are completely covered with water by 2". Add additional boiling water as needed to raise the water level.
Cover canner and bring water to a gentle boil. Once water is boiling, process for 12 minutes, adjusting time as necessary for elevation. (see notes)
At the end of processing time, turn off the heat, remove the pot lid, and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
Remove jars, keeping them upright as you transfer them to a rack. Allow the jars to cool completely, undisturbed, for 24 hours.
Refrigerate any jars that do not seal.
May be eaten within a few days, but best if allowed to marinate for several weeks.
Good for at least 1 year.
This recipe assumes some knowledge of proper and safe canning techniques. See The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving for guidance.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g
To refer to this post on canning jalapeño peppers, bookmark this page or pin the following image.
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Hooray! Found your email in my inbox just in time! I just got home from picking up my CSA and have about a pound of jalapeño! I’m thrilled because I’ve wanted to do this for so long! Thank you for your timely recipe and inspiration,, Lynn!
Traci, you are so welcome! I am so happy to have contributed in a wee bit to your kitchen inspiration! Enjoy your peppers!
Love pickled jalapeno’s. Yeah are garden is hard to take care of if you are gone 3 weeks. Know matter how hard your Dad tried. Pinned! Thanks for sharing with us at #Throwback Thursday link party. Please join us again next week and invite your friends to join. Thanks Quinn Dad Whats 4 Dinner
Thanks Quinn, see you next week.?
I am new to canning and I am excited to use this recipe for al the jalapeños we have been getting this season! Can you please tell me if I could use canning salt in place of kosher salt for this recipe. Thank you!
Yes, you can substitute 1:1 the pickling/canning salt for the kosher salt!
Happy Canning, my friend.
Do the jalapeños stay a little crunchy? My problem I’ve had in the past, they get soft and mushy. Any suggestions are much appreciated!
Good Morning Becky,
If you want your jalapenos to stay crispy, then opt to do the ‘refrigerator’ version, which will not be shelf-stable. When they are water bath canned, they do ‘cook’ a little and so will not be very crisp. That being said, I don’t find the water bath canned ‘mushy’…but definitely not crisp and crunch…rather in between. I hope that helps.
Hugs and happy canning!
YUM! My boys will love this!
Oh good! A great way to preserve those abundant peppers.
I followed your recipe, and after canning there is quite a bit of air in the jar. They did all seal, but not all of the peppers sit in the brine. Is this an issue?
Good Morning Pam,
As long as your lids have sealed, your jalapenos are fine. Though the peppers are safe, the part above the brine may discolor over time, so maybe use those jars first.