These quick pickled jalapeños are extra crunchy, fresh, sweet and spicy. I use a cold pickling brine to preserve their crunchy texture, green color and vibrant flavor.
Pickled jalapeños are one of my favorite condiments– I pile them on tacos, scatter on top of pizza, tuck them into omelets, fold them into artisan bread. We also just love to eat them straight from the jar– like a pickle, with extra kick and crunch.
That being said, a lot of quick pickled jalapeños are completely sub-par. They’re too salty, too mushy, too processed. All of that vibrant jalapeño flavor is cooked out, and the pickled pepper you get is a soft, brownish green thing that delivers vinegar and salt– and that’s about it.
I wanted to solve this homemade pickled jalapeño problem and create a brine and technique that highlights, rather than cooks away, the crunchy texture and fresh flavor of the jalapeño pepper.
These sweet, crunchy pickled jalapeños are sure to become your go-to homemade pickle. I know I can never get enough of them!
why are these the best homemade pickled jalapeños?
There are a few key qualities and techniques that make these the absolute best quick pickled jalapeños. They’re crunchy, fresh, simple and have a juicy sweet-tart brine that will make you drool.
Texture: These are the crunchiest pickled jalapeños out there, thanks to the cold brine! Cooking the peppers will accelerate the pickling, but it also softens the texture and introduces a cooked flavor. I’m all about crunchy pickled jalapeños and am willing to wait 12 hours to get the best possible version.
Fresh, clean flavor: I stick with white vinegar, sugar and salt for the pickling brine. The flavors are super clean and simple on purpose, so the jalapeños are given the space to shine. Feel free to experiment with added spices and different vinegar for complexity (I’ve included a list of flavor variations further down in the post).
No cooking: No need to get out a saucepan for these quick pickled jalapeños! Just mix up the brine, pour over the jalapeño rings and refrigerate. It couldn’t be easier.
Perfect balance: I love the balance of vinegar, sugar and salt in these quick pickled jalapeños. Sweet enough to offset the spice and vinegar, but not so sweet that they taste like bread and butter pickles. They keep you coming back for more!
how to make quick pickled jalapeños
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt
- Stir until completely dissolved
- Pour over sliced jalapeños
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably 12 hours
watch the video to see how to make pickled jalapeños
Located at the bottom of the recipe card!
how to make a small batch of quick pickled jalapeños:
This pickled jalapeño recipe makes enough brine for about 10-12 peppers and a large, 64 oz mason jar. It looks like a ton, but if you’re anything like me and love crunchy, sweet, spicy things, then just make a big jar and keep it in your fridge.
If you only have a few jalapeños that you want to pickle, don’t worry! Here’s the downsized pickling brine recipe, which is perfect for a small 4 oz jar and 1-2 jalapeños.
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Follow the directions in the recipe card, below!
best ways to use pickled jalapeños:
- On tacos, nachos and burritos
- In omelets and frittatas
- In sandwiches or on hotdogs
- On hamburgers, pulled pork and fried chicken sandwiches
- On pizza
- Chopped up in egg salad, tuna salad or potato salad
- As a Bloody Mary garnish
- In deviled eggs
flavor variations for quick pickled jalapeños:
- Add cumin seeds, cracked black peppercorns and a peeled garlic clove
- Use rice wine vinegar and toss in a chopped green onion
- Use apple cider vinegar and brown sugar, add mustard seeds and a bay leaf
- Add mustard seeds, celery seeds, cloves and turmeric
- Add coriander, ginger, and cumin seeds
answers to a few common questions about homemade pickled jalapeños…
The best way to keep pickled peppers crunchy is to use a cold pickling brine so they are pickled, but not cooked. Hot brines, cooking peppers in the brine, and processing the jars will all cook the peppers and produce a softer pickled jalapeño.
These quick pickled jalapeños will last up to 2 months in the refrigerator. I prefer them the first few weeks of pickling when they’re the crunchiest and freshest. Reminder: they’re not canned and need to be stored in the refrigerator!
You can eat these pickled jalapeños right away, but they’re best after 12-24 hours of soaking. Since we use a cold brine, it takes a little bit longer to infuse the peppers than if it were a hot brine. But we’re after crunchy pickled jalapeños with fresh flavor, so the wait is worth it!
quick pickled jalapeños
Extra crunchy quick pickled jalapeños will be your new favorite summer pickle! Put them on your favorite tacos, pizza, burgers and salad or eat them straight from the jar! Tart, spicy and just sweet enough to be completely addicting.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x
- Category: Pickles
- Method: Quick pickle
- Cuisine: American
- 10– 12 jalapeños, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- Pack jalapeño slices in a large 64 oz glass jar.
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a glass measuring cup and stir until fully dissolved. Pour into jar with peppers until they’re fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
makes one 64oz jar of pickled jalapeños, or about 2 1/2 cups pickled jalapeño rings (depending on the size of your peppers)
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 2 tbsp
- Calories: 7.2
- Sugar: 1.5g
- Sodium: 58mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 1.7g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 0.1g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: quick pickled jalapeños