Quick Jalapeño Pickles

How to "pickle" jalapeños, no canning required, all it takes is five minutes and five ingredients and you'll have these cute little rings of pickled jalapeños. These are "quick" pickles, that means they're kept in the refrigerator and still keep for weeks, even months. And lucky day, that means the jalapeños are always on hand for tacos, nachos or wherever you usually pile on some jalapeños. Better still? Use pickled jalapeños a few rings at a time, whenever a recipe calls for a bit of minced fresh jalapeño.

Pickled Jalapeño Rings ♥ KitchenParade.com, easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required. Great for Mexican Meal Prep.

Budget-Friendly Mexican Meal Prep. Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.

G.I.A.N.T. Pickle Jars

Whoah, who's seen those watermelon-size jars of pickled jalapeños at Costco and Sam's Club?! They're not just for restaurants. People buy them! If your family goes through an industrial-size jar of jalapeños? Let's be realistic, this recipe probably isn't for you.

Quick Pickles Instead, this recipe is for those of us who appreciate small batches of homemade pickles, especially ones that don't require all the fuss and trouble of actual "canning," that's the boiling-water technique that seals food jars so they can be safely stored without refrigeration.

Refrigerator Pickles Instead, this recipe is for those of us who stock our fridges with homemade salad dressing and our bread drawers with homemade bread. These are "refrigerator" pickles, they're meant to be stored in the fridge but will still safely keep for weeks.

Using What We Have Instead this recipe is for those of us who find ourselves with a bunch of jalapeños and want to use them up, all at once.

Cooking with Jalapenos ♥ KitchenParade.com

Mexican Meal Prep

Most of all, this recipe is for those of us who cook tacos, tortillas and tortas. And quesadillas. And eggs for breakfast. And rice for dinner. And. And. And.

For Party Food Back in January, we invited a couple of dozen people over for tacos. The week of the party? I made not only Quick Jalapeño Pickles but salsa (recipe coming soon!), Spiced Pickled Red Onions, Lime Crema, all days ahead of time!

The day of the party, my husband cooked the meat and I made a giant batch of my restaurant-style Guacamole and the taco buffet was d-o-n-e done!

For Everyday But especially during late spring and summer, beginning about Cinco de Mayo in early May, I don't let us run out of Quick Jalapeño Pickles. They're just ... handy. We learned so much during a month-long project we call Deep Mexico, buying Mexican-style ingredients and then cooking Mexican-style food for an entire month. I highly recommend it!

What to Make With Quick Jalapeño Pickles

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Do You Need a Special Canning Jar? No. A glass jar works best, it lets you see if your supply is running low! Make sure it fits in the fridge door or on the fridge shelf wherever you're likely to store it. It's fine to re-purpose a glass jar, just be sure both the jar and the lid are super clean before using for Quick Jalapeño Pickles.

Can You Use Another Vinegar? Yes But. You do want to use a clear vinegar and one with the same % acidity.

How to Avoid Jalapeño Burns Yikes, do be careful here. Jalapeño skins contain an oil that will rub onto your hands when you're slicing them. To avoid getting the oil on their hands, some people wear disposable gloves, this would be a good idea for a big batch. But for a small batch, I find it enough to wash my hands very well with soapy water after slicing the rings. I use a paper towel to dry my hands and even then avoid touching my face, especially my lips and eyes, afterward.

How Much to Make We go through about a cup's worth of rings every month or so during summer taco season, that's for two people who aren't prone to piling on. Does that help gauge how much to make?

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this easy DIY recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Quick Jalapeño Pickles ♥ KitchenParade.com, easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required. Great for Mexican Meal Prep.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time-to-table: about 7 days
Makes a small batch, a big batch, whatever you want
  • Fresh medium-size jalapeños, all about the same size
  • Thin slices of carrot, optional but pretty
  • A bay leaf, optional but nice
    (make as much to completely cover the jalapeños)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt

Wash the jalapeños well. Trim off the tips and stem ends. If you like, burrow into the stem end to remove the seeds inside. (I don't usually but it does make things a little neater. The seeds are also a primary source of heat / spiciness if that makes a difference.) Slice the jalapeños cross-wise to form 1/4-inch rings.

In a clean clear glass jar with a tight lid, pack the jar half-full with rings. Add the carrot and bay leaf, then continue filling the jar. It's okay to pack the jar really full, the rings will shrink a bit once they're pickled. You don't, however, want to pack the rings so tightly that once they absorb the liquid, the rings on top are no longer covered by the Pickling Liquid.

Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Carefully pour the boiling liquid into the jar, covering the jalapeño rings, a funnel helps if you have one, be sure to completely cover the rings.

Put the lid on the jar and refrigerate for seven days before using.

Quick Jalapeño Pickles will keep for weeks and weeks.

ALANNA's TIPS Buy more jalapeños than you think you'll need. If you end up with more than you need, make another jar and gift it to someone who loves jalapeños! Not sure how much Pickling Liquid to make? Before packing the jar with jalapeño rings, measure how much liquid the jar will hold, then multiply the Pickling Liquid ingredients. Some but not a lot will go to waste but water, vinegar and salt are cheap, better to have more than enough than be forced to cook a second batch.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2008/01/quick-jalapeno-pickles.html .
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 2 Tablespoons: 5 Calories; 0g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 60mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 1g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 0g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 0 & PointsPlus 0 & SmartPoints 0 & Freestyle 0 & myWW green 0 & blue 0 & purple 0 & future WW points
RECIPE HISTORY This recipe was first published with Chicken Nachos. But it's so good, so useful, it deserves attention all on its own!

Planning a Taco Party? Taco Tuesday?

~ more Mexican Meal Prep ~
My Guacamole, the restaurant-style house recipe ♥ KitchenParade.com. Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Unusually Low Cal. Low Carb. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
Best Quick Tomato Salsa ♥ KitchenParade.com, 10 minutes start to chip. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.
Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥ KitchenParade.com, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.
Lime Crema ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple way to upgrade tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Another great basic must try! I keep a jar of the pickled red onions on hand at all times, so useful! I will make these, I have a number of things I make that require 1 pepper, and I can’t tell you how many times I have lost that pepper in the fridge.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna