Pickled Jalapenos


I don’t eat pickled jalapenos much, but hubby loves to chomp on  ‘em, especially with his burritos. He and I have tweaked this recipe since summer 2011, and now he officially gives it his thumbs up.

Although we have 15 plants growing in our garden, we found jalapenos on sale at the market several weeks ago and stocked up. Our jalapeno plants are looking a bit on the weak side since the gigantic rhubarb plant next to it overshadows its sun. I had no idea a rhubarb plant would take up so much room. The leaves for each stalk grow to the size of elephant ears–HUGE!!! The other day I pulled all the stalks and plan to attempt a relocation for the rhubarb.

Anyhow, back to pickled jalapenos. So, the original recipe calls for sauteing the onions and carrots in some oil. Turns out to be too much oil for hubby. He doesn’t like his pickled jalapenos so slick. He did, however, love the flavor of all the herbs in there (oregano, thyme, and bay leaves).

To remedy the slickness problem, I tried roasting the onions and carrots the next time. Although he liked it, now he wanted some of the slickness back as he had grown accustomed to it. So on this last batch, I used less oil, tossed the onions and carrots with it first, then roasted them to deepen their aromatic contribution.

Hubby also suggested we slice the jalapenos in half (seeds and membranes removed) so we could squeeze more into a jar. Excellent idea since not a lot would fit into the jars when left whole, which means with only 6 or 7 jalapenos in a quart jar, hubby would eat them up in no time. With halves, we got closer to 9 jalapenos in a jar instead. Yay.

On this last batch, hubby was so excited to test out the halving idea that he actually participated in making this batch. I had to run an errand, and by the time I returned, he had chopped all the onions and carrots and halved the 3 pounds of jalapenos. He learned that next time he needs to wear rubber gloves when dealing with jalapenos because his hands burned until the next day!

He also stuffed all the jars with herbs and veggies and jalapenos and poured in the brine. Love that he helped out.

These guys can go straight into the fridge or you can give them a quick water-bath canning. So now we have several jars of home-pickled jalapenos in the pantry for a very reasonable price and with flavoring that has hubby’s stamp of approval.

And the juice–ah, the juice. It’s useful to add a spicy kick to your dishes. We love to add it to burritos and tacos. I’ve not tried it in soups but that might work, too. After all, I often add a can of diced chiles to my soups so why not jalapeno juice to amp the kick factor?

P.S. We are both very excited about this recipe because, as I mentioned earlier, hubby loves jalapenos. However, the store-bought products have triggered some seriously massive heartburn for him, but these don’t cause that reaction. Yay again.

Pickled Jalapenos (original recipe from Cooking Lessons)

Printer-Friendly Version

Yield: 3 pints (with 4 peppers in each)


  • 1  pound jalapeno peppers
  • 6 sprigs fresh oregano in 3-inch lengths
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thickly sliced
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water.
  2. In each pint jar, place two 3-inch lengths of oregano, one sprig of fresh thyme, and one bay leaf.
  3. To prepare peppers: Cut a small cross in the tip of each pepper and leave stems intact.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onions wilt.
  5. Add the jalapenos, salt, pepper, vinegar, and water to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring to a full boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Set a colander over a bowl. Ladle the vegetables into the colander; reserve the liquid that collects in the bowl.
  7. Pack the peppers and vegetables into the jars. Ladle the hot brine over them, leaving a 1/4-inch head space. Gently slip a wooden skewer or chopstick between the peppers and the side of each jar to release air bubbles.
  8. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. For room temperature storage of up to one year, process the jars while still hot in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (directions below).

How to Preserve in a Boiling Water Bath

  1. Fill a large, deep pot with enough water to cover the jars by one inch. Bring to a boil.
  2. Inspect canning jars for cracks and discard defective ones. Thoroughly wash the jars in hot, soapy water or run through the dishwasher.
  3. Wash the lids and screw bands. Use only unused lids each time to ensure a good seal.
  4. Fill jars to within 1/4 inch of the top (headspace) with hot jalapenos (wide mouth funnel works beautifully for this). Wipe the rim of each jar with a clean, damp paper towel before covering with the lid. Screw on the bands (not overly tight, though).
  5. Set a canning rack or a thick, folded dish towel on the bottom of the pot of boiling water. With a sturdy pair of tongs, place the jars in the pot.
  6. Process the jars at a gentle boil for 10 minutes. If necessary, add more boiling water to keep the jars covered by one inch of water.
  7. Remove the jars from the water with tongs; set on a dishtowel to cool.
  8. After 12 hours, check the jars to ensure that they are sealed. Press on the center of each lid; it should remain concave.
  9. Label and date the jars by writing on the lids with permanent marker.
  10. Remove the screw bands to prevent them from rusting. Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

SOURCE: adapted from Cooking Lessons

Pickled Jalapenos (my adaptation)

Yield: 4 quarts (8 pints)


  • 3 pounds jalapeno peppers
  • 16 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 16 3-inch sprigs fresh oregano
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8-12 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, thickly sliced


  • 7 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water.
  3. In each quart jar, place four cloves garlic, four 3-inch lengths of oregano, two sprigs of fresh thyme, and two or three bay leaves.
  4. Place cut onions and carrots in a large bowl and toss with the 2 tbsp. olive oil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, spread the onions and carrots. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. When done, evenly divide the onions and carrots amongst the four jars.
  5. To prepare peppers: For halved peppers, cut off tops, cut in half lengthwise, then remove membranes and seeds (wear gloves or your hands will burn for many, many hours).
  6. Pack the halved jalapenos into the jars (you should get approximately 16-17 halves into each jar).
  7. To make the brine: In a pot, bring water, vinegar, salt, and pepper to a full boil. Once salt dissolves, pour the brine into each jar, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Gently slip a wooden skewer or chopstick between the peppers and the side of each jar to release air bubbles.
  8. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. For room temperature storage of up to one year, process the jars while still hot in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes ( see directions above for water bath canning method).

2 thoughts on “Pickled Jalapenos

I love hearing your comments, so please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s