If you ever bought canned jalapeños, this recipe will change your life. My quick pickled jalapeños are super easy to make, require no special equipment, and are deliciously spicy and tangy. Perfect for topping burgers, salads, bowls, tacos, and whatever else you can think of!
I’ve been on a bit of a quick pickling and refrigerator jam. I haven’t pulled the plug on an actual canning set-up yet, and I’m a bit nervous about trying *real* canning, so I’m getting my feet wet with quick pickling food.
Quick pickled jalapeños (aka refrigerator pickled jalapeños) have been my newest obsession this summer. They’re inexpensive to make, super easy, and require minimal ingredients.
WAY better than the jarred ones – trust me.
Even for those who don’t like a LOT of spice, you can modify the spice level by a) scraping more seeds out, and b) allowing the jalapeños to sit in the refrigerator longer, where they’ll become more sweet and less spicy.
**DISCLAIMER: I call these quick-pickled because they don’t require traditional canning set-up. However, for best results you’ll want to let these sit for around 24 hours, and so if you’re making these in advance keep that in mind!**
What is Quick Pickling?
Quick pickling is a method of pickling that doesn’t involve canning. Essentially, you’re brining fresh vegetables and storing them in the refrigerator (that’s why sometimes quick pickles are referred to as “refrigerator pickles”).
You can pickle any fresh vegetable by soaking them in a brine of vinegar, salt, spice, and sometimes sugar. Although the flavor may not be as deep as a fermented pickling recipe, it’s a super easy method that requires no canning.
How to Make Quick Pickled Jalapeños:
- Prep your jars – Make sure to use wash your pint jar in warm soapy water and set aside to dry or dry by hand.
- Slice the Jalapeños – Slice the jalapeños super thinly (aim for 1/8 inch) and deseed if you prefer. I’m not a HUGE spice fan, but I don’t deseed the jalapeños and find them perfectly edible after a solid brine!
- Place the jalapeños in your jar(s) – If there are too many jalapeños slices, you can split them into two pint jars. In the summer when jalapeños are big, I typically use 2 jars.
- Mix & boil the liquid – In a medium saucepan, boil all of the remaining ingredients and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. This only takes a few minutes.
- Pour the liquid over the jalapeños – Pour the vinegar mixture over the jalapeños and press them down so they are completely submerged. If a few are poking out, it is okay.
- Allow them to rest at room temp – This is important. You want to let the jalapeños rest in the mixture for approximately 1 hour at room temperature, and then move them to the refrigerator. After about 30 minutes, I like to give them a couple flips to ensure the jalapeños are evenly coated and disbursed.
- Refrigerate 24+ hours: Pickled jalapeños taste best after sitting for at least 24 hours. They become a bit less spicy with time, and develop a delightful sweet tang.
- Storing – Since this is not a canning recipe, these must be stored in the refrigerator. They can last for up to two weeks. If you’re using fresh herbs, they are good for one week in the refrigerator.
Customizing Quick Pickled Jalapeños:
- Fresh or Dried Herbs: Dill, parsley, chives, or basil.
- Whole Spices: Mustard seeds, allspice, peppercorn, coriander or caraway.
- Mexican Variation: Add the juice from one lime, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, and 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro.
Quick Pickled Jalapeños
- 1 Medium saucepan
- 2 mason jars with lids (16 ounce)
- 4-5 jalepeños (medium), washed and thinly sliced (1/8 inch)
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (substitute distilled white vinegar)
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar (substitute white)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Prep your pint jars for pickling: Wash the jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse and drain.
- Add the sliced jalapenos and garlic to your prepared jars.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat bring the water, white and apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Whisk to ensure the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Pour the liquid evenly into your prepared jars so that the jalapenos are fully submerged.
- Allow the jars to sit on the counter for approximately an hour before screwing on the lids and transferring them to the refrigerator. At this point, I like to give the jar a couple of turns to ensure the jalapenos are evenly submerged. The pickled jalapenos should sit in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before enjoying for best flavor. Quick pickled jalapenos will last in the fridge for approximately two weeks.
- Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen How to Make Pickled Jalapenos.
- If your jalapenos are on the smaller side you may want to use 5-6. This recipe works great in the summer when jalapenos are in season and large.
- The thinner you slice the jalapenos the shorter time it takes for them to pickle. Thicker may take longer than 24 hours.
- If you like more mild jalapenos, remove the seeds.