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Pickled Jalapeños

I love fresh jalapeños on nachos, fajitas, pork carnitas, you name it, but I never seem to have any when I need them. You know, for that impromptu midnight snack of tortilla chips and melted cheese, or a last minute thrown together taco night. These easy to make Homemade Pickled Jalapeños are the perfect solution! I used to keep a jar of the store bought pickled ones in the fridge, but they were pretty sad in comparison. I decided to try my hand at pickling my own, without all the garbage that goes into the commercially prepared ones.


  • 5 or 6 green jalapeños, medium to large

  • 1 32 ounce bottle of white vinegar (at least 5% acidity)


Traditionally one would put salt in as well, and some put sugar but I don't think it needs it, so I leave it out. Also keep in mind, this is NOT a canning recipe. I usually just make one jar full at a time and keep them in the fridge. You can modify this recipe up or down to suit your jalapeño consumption. You could literally pickle one pepper at a time: the only rule you have to remember is to make sure it is covered with the vinegar.

Yes, I do absolutely use gloves when I'm handling jalapeños. No matter how careful you think you are, you will get some jalapeño oil on your skin, and after the fifteenth time of touching your eye even after you've washed your hands three times and then dealing with a burning eye for the next twenty minutes, you'll wear gloves, too.

Wash your jalapeños in soapy water and rinse well. Set them on a towel to dry. Get out your cutting board, sharpen a big knife and a small paring knife, put on some gloves, and chop each jalapeño into rings. I usually start at the pointy end and continue up the pepper to the stem.

Once I get about halfway up the pepper, that's where the seeds and the membrane are. The membrane is where the heat is. I like spicy, but I also like to be able to enjoy the flavor without burning my mouth up, so I take the seeds and membrane out. Just take the skinny paring knife and slide it up inside the pepper and cut those bits of membrane loose. Then, as you continue cutting the jalapeño into rings, the membrane piece falls out onto the cutting board and get discarded. Of course if you want them spicy, leave them in. If you want them über hot, you can use the red jalapeños. These are more ripe than the green ones and have developed more heat. Discard the stems and put the cut jalapeños in the jar. Pour in enough vinegar to cover them, and that's it! Store them in the fridge and enjoy for up to three months.

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