Introduction: How to Pickle Jalapenos

Picture of How to Pickle Jalapenos

We eat a ton of spicy foods in my house, so I've been on the search for a great pickled jalapeno recipe for a while now. We go through several tiny jars of jalapeños every month, so it's cheaper and tastier to pickle them ourselves!

After lots of trial and error, I found a wonderful pickled jalapeño recipe from David Lebovitz. I've altered it slightly and changed the method of making them to be more like my quick pickled vegetables.

This recipe makes amazing Mexican-style pickled jalapeños and carrots - perfect for eating right out of the jar or any other way you can figure out to get them into your mouth. They're delicious!

Step 1: Ingredients + Tools

Picture of Ingredients + Tools


  • 6-10 jalapeño peppers (this will all depend on the size of the jalapeños - start with six and work your way up!)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1-2 tablespoons salt (start with 1 tablespoon, 2 is pretty dang salty.)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a few black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 dried bay leaf

You can absolutely add more sugar if you like sweeter pickles, but the carrots add a little bit of sweetness so I scaled the sugar down from the original recipe.


  • 32 ounce jar for canning
  • gloves wouldn't be a bad idea either, you will have jalapeño hands for two days after this without them.

Step 2: Prep Work Time!

Picture of Prep Work Time!

Slice the jalapeños into rounds as thin as you like, I normally do 1/4 inch. Test the jalapeños and remove the seeds and membranes if you think they'll be too spicy for you - this is your chance to make it as spicy as you like! You could also throw in a habanero (pierced with a knife) or some serranos to increase the heat.

Slice the carrots as well - if you like them softer, go thinner than 1/4 inch.

Slice the onion thinly, and crush the garlic cloves and remove the skins.

Now you'll want to combine the water, vinegar, oregano, peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, salt and sugar in a microwave-safe measuring cup.

Step 3: Pack the Jalapenos and Carrots Into the Pickling Jar

Picture of Pack the Jalapenos and Carrots Into the Pickling Jar

Wash your jar and hands VERY well with hot water and dry well. You want everything to be as clean as possible.

Put as much of the prepped jalapenos, onions and carrots into the jar that you can. Really push it down!

Step 4: Heat the Pickling Liquid and Pour It Over

Picture of Heat the Pickling Liquid and Pour It Over

Heat the pickling mix in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until it's hot enough to boil.

Pour it over the jalapeños and carrots you've packed in the jar. It might not all fit, but it should be close!


This method results in slightly firmer pickles than the original recipe. If you like them to be softer, follow the method in the original recipe by heating up the pickling liquid in a pan until it boils, and then add in the jalapenos, carrots and onions and cook it for a minute before taking it off the heat. Then you'll need to pull the veggies out of the liquid, pack them in the jar, and pour the liquid over.

Step 5: Cooling + Storing

Picture of Cooling + Storing

Once the veggies and liquid is in the jar, let it sit out open until it cools down to room temp. Now you'll want to seal the jar and place it in the fridge.

The original recipe states that these pickles keep very well in the fridge for a month, but after that they're just not as tasty. Though I have to say we go through one of these 32 ounce jars in about two weeks, so I can't confirm that. We've pretty much been eating these with every meal since I started making them. ;)


chinesecat (author)2016-10-30

I have made these about 6 times since I found your recipe for these jalapeños. All I can say is...YUUUUMMMM!!, I did make a few minor adjustments because I like them a little sweeter and more garlicky, but that's just me. I absolutely LOVE these and so have the people I've shared them with. The carrots and onions are amazing. I put them on my burgers and pizza and...I could go on and on, but I'll just say Thanks!

jessyratfink (author)chinesecat2016-10-31

Yay!!! I'm so happy you've enjoyed them so much. I know I never go without a jar in the fridge. :D

imxtoph made it! (author)2017-08-19

I love this recipe. I find this one works best for me and my peppers last a long time. They seem to sweeten as they age in an opened jar and I have had a sealed jar sit in the fridge for 9 months and it was still fresh and crisp. 64 oz.

JaneM124 (author)2017-03-17

I'm excited to give these a go! Just wondering how long you leave them sealed before starting to snack? Thanks :)

jessyratfink (author)JaneM1242017-03-30

Honestly, not very long! If I make them in the morning we usually start eating them by that night, ha!

But they do taste their best after a couple days. :)

RuudvandeLooij made it! (author)2017-01-01

I made it, and adjusted it to a new recipe for jamaican style habaneros (with mango). Made an Instructable of it here, which I entered in the remix contest. You really should try the spicy mango.

treverandamber (author)2016-10-01

I just made my first batch and I am pretty excited to try them. Just curious, so you eat the carrots and onions too or just the jalapenos? Or does it depend on what you are eating? (Carrots on my hotdog sounds weird)

Yup! You can eat the carrots and onions! The onions are great on burgers, and I normally snack on the carrots all the time - they're the first thing gone from the jar. :D

rm250169 (author)2016-04-16

Fantastic recipe. Awesome flavor. Can't wait to make it again.

DavidH409 (author)2016-03-08

Rub citrus juice (half a lemon or lime) on your hands and that will remove the jalapeno juice. Rinse under cool water after.

ElizabethS3 (author)2015-08-18

This is great! But don't use white vinegar. Some of it is even made from petroleum products. Use real APPLE CIDER VINEGAR from Braggs or another reliable company. It is more expensive, but it is actually a health food with many benefits. I don't use black pepper either, as it irritates the lining of the stomach. Thanks so much for the idea!

jls24712 (author)2015-07-25

Wonderful! Perfect taste and texture. Thanks.

jjimi (author)2015-07-15

I have several jalapeno plants in my garden.... will save this and try. Thanks

JennaJMac (author)2015-07-14

Yum! Love these with nachos.

Pirate_Prince (author)2015-07-12

Will have to try this too! :)

jimmoa (author)2015-07-09

I would like to try this using apple cider vinegar. Any suggestions?

jessyratfink (author)jimmoa2015-07-09

I'd leave out the sugar completely if you're not a fond of sweetness - you may need to scale back the carrots as well. Just make sure to taste the mix after it's been heated but before you add it to the jalapeños and adjust.

GenerallyOdd (author)2015-07-09

Instructables needs a fermenting section.

I completely agree! Hopefully we'll have enough content one day to create it. :)

Ah! I'm brand new to fermenting and this instructable is about pickling with vinegar - sorry!

No worries! I often think of them as being one and the same, too. :D

p0laris (author)2015-07-08

Definitely going to make this. Looks and sounds delicious. Thanks!

BeachsideHank (author)2015-07-08

I gotta try this, I haven't had genuine pickled jalapeños in years, The stuff sold in the food store is so bland and over- processed they are tasteless.

xxlauraxx (author)2015-07-08

Oh man, I *just* bought a jar of these. I love them on sandwiches. When I run out, I'm going to try making my own. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working ... More »
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