Introduction: How to Pickle Jalapenos

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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


  • 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!

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

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

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

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. ;)

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