Make a quick batch of refrigerator pickled jalapeños with your summer garden harvest. These pickled jalapeños are made in less than ten minutes and ready to enjoy after two days of rest. Perfect for adding to your next burger or enjoying straight from the jar as a spicy snack!
Refrigerator pickled jalapeños are a great way to use up those extra jalapeños you picked from your home garden. They'll keep for up to six months when stored in the refrigerator - if they last that long!
The best part? There's no canning involved. These pickled jalapenos require less than ten minutes of prep - that's it. That means that you don't have to sterilize jars (regular, clean jars are fine), boil them in a water bath, or worry about whether your jars have sealed properly.
All you have to do is combine a simple brine on the stove top, pour over your sliced jalapenos, and refrigerate. After a few days of resting in the brine, your jalapeños will soften slightly but maintain a nice crunch and spicy flavor.
Pickled jalapeños are perfect for topping your next backyard burger (along with some bread and butter pickles), plate of nachos, or bowl of queso.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Peppers - For this recipe, you'll need one pound of fresh jalapeño peppers. For me, this was about 7 medium jalapeños. This recipe works with any type of pepper you have on hand, like bell peppers, banana peppers, or serrano peppers. (Want to pickle a combination of cucumbers and peppers? Try my recipe for sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles)
- Vinegar - White vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work in this recipe.
- Garlic - Smash one clove of garlic for each jar of peppers.
- Salt - I recommend using kosher salt or non-iodized table salt. Iodized salt may discolor your peppers over time. Salt not only adds flavor but helps preserve the color of your jalapeños.
- Sugar - I like to add a small amount of sugar to my pickled jalapenos because it adds a hint of sweetness to balance the spicy flavor. However, you're welcome to omit the sugar entirely in this recipe.
Do I need to sterilize my jars?
The need to sterilize jars in canning is to ensure that your jars are free of bacteria and fungi. When canning, the food is prepared so that it can sit in a sealed jar at room temperature for long periods of time without spoiling. Thus the need to ensure your cans are totally free from bacteria that will spoil your food.
Refrigerator peppers are not shelf stable, and will keep for up to six months in the refrigerator. So, no, you do not have to sterilize your jars before making refrigerator peppers.
However, you are absolutely welcome to sterilize your jars if you want to, as an extra precaution.
Do I need to put my jars into a water bath?
No - there is no need to place your jars of peppers into a water bath. The point of making refrigerator pickled jalapenos is to bypass the process of canning entirely.
Since you have not canned your pickled jalapeños, they'll need to be stored in the refrigerator at all times (they are not shelf stable).
How long do pickled jalapeños last?
Pickled jalapeños will keep for up to six months when stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Making any alterations to this recipe, such as reducing/changing the amounts of vinegar, salt, or sugar, can reduce the shelf life of your peppers. All of these ingredients, combined with refrigeration, help to preserve your peppers.
Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños
- 1 pound jalapeños, thin sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Pack two pint size jars with sliced jalapeños and smashed garlic (one clove per jar). Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Heat to boiling and cook for 1 minute, or until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warm.
- Pour liquid into jars to completely cover jalapeños. Depending on how tightly packed your peppers are, you may have leftover brine.
- Tightly seal and refrigerate for two days to allow peppers to pickle. Store pickles in refrigerator for up to six months.
- Any peppers can be pickled - try this recipe with sliced bell peppers, banana peppers, serrano peppers, or any peppers you have on hand.
- Your refrigerator jalapeños need to be stored in the refrigerator. Since they are not canned, they are not shelf-stable and need to be refrigerated.
- Your peppers need at least two days to pickle in the brine before enjoying. They are edible immediately, but need at least two days of rest for best flavor.