Crunchy Quick Pickled Jalapenos

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These easy to make quick pickled jalapenos add a little bit of spice to any meal! Perfect for tacos, burgers, barbecue or just adding to your favorite sandwich. This is an easy 15 minute refrigerator pickle recipe!

quick pickled jalapenos in a jar

Like all refrigerator pickles these pickled jalapenos are simple to make. Because these aren’t canned for long term storage there is no special equipment or complicated vinegar/water ratios to worry about.

Just slice some jalapenos, combine a few spices with vinegar and water and your pickles will be ready to eat in no time at all.

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I enjoy making quick refrigerator pickles all year round. Pickles are a great way to preserve and enjoy fresh veggies and they add flavor and excitement to meals.

Homemade refrigerator pickles are a fun way to simply try different things and experiment. Expand beyond basic dill pickles and make some interesting and different pickles like pickled chard stems, pickled beets or these pickled jalapenos.

pickled jalapenos after adding the brine

Why You Will Love Quick Pickled Jalapenos

  • They are crunchy, spicy, tangy and a little bit sweet, which is a delicious combination of flavors in one small pickle.
  • They take only 10 minutes to make.
  • You can eat the picklesin as little as 20 minutes.
  • They add a spicy burst of flavor to almost any meal, from fish tacos to pulled pork to a simple roast beef sandwich.
ingredients for pickled jalapenos
Ingredients for Quick Pickled Jalapenos

Key Ingredients

  • Jalapenos – Select jalapeno peppers that are medium sized, about 2 to 6 inches long. The peppers should be fresh with smooth skin.
  • Vinegar – I like to use basic white vinegar for this recipe. Other types like apple cider vinegar will also work, but the color of the pickles won’t be as pretty.
  • Sugar – The sugar in these pickles helps cut the spiciness of the jalapenos. So if you want really spicy pickles add less sugar to the brine.
  • Salt – Use kosher or pickling salt. If you use salt with iodine, like table salt, the pickles will be fine but the broth will be cloudy.
  • Spices – I added cumin seeds, whole peppercorn and garlic to the brine.

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

I prefer to make small batches of one jar of pickles at a time. The pickles need to be stored in the refrigerator and I don’t have unlimited space in my frig.

Plus refrigerator pickles should be used up in 3 weeks, so if I make 5 jars I will have to serve pickled jalapenos at every meal. As much as I love them that is too much!

Store the pickles in a glass jar like a mason jar or Weck jar. This recipe is for one half pint jar of pickles, about 8 ounces. Since the pickles aren’t being canned you don’t have to use a sealing 2 part lid.

jar of quick pickled jalapenos

How to Make Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos

1. Slice the Jalapenos and Garlic

Wearing gloves while slicing jalapenos is a very good idea. The oils from the peppers will get on your skin and it is difficult to get them off, even with scrubbing.

So either wear gloves or be very careful not to touch the membranes, seeds or cut surfaces of the peppers.

Start by cutting the stem end off the jalapenos. You can either take the center membranes and seeds out of leave them in. The pickles will be hotter if you leave them in.

sliced jalapenos on a cutting board
Sliced jalapenos on a cutting board

I usually remove the membranes and seeds by using a knife to scrape out the insides of the pepper. Don’t cut the peppers in half lengthwise, because the jalapenos look better as rings.

Slice the jalapenos into rings about 1/8″ to 1/4″ in width. Slice as many jalapenos as you need to fill the jar. I find about 5 medium will fill an 8 ounce jar.

Once the jar is full of peppers slice a garlic clove and add it to the jar, pushing it down among the jalapenos.

2. Make the Brine

To make the brine combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns and cumin in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring.

Heat the brine until the sugar and salt have dissolved. There is no need to boil the brine, it just needs to heat enough to dissolve the sugar and salt.

3. Add the Brine

Once the brine is ready take it off the heat and pour it into the prepared jar over the jalapenos. If the brine doesn’t quite cover the peppers add water to fill the jar.

adding brine to the pickle jar
Adding the bring to the pickle jar

Put a lid on the jar and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

jar of pickles with jalapeno on a cutting board

Since these pickles aren’t being canned you don’t need to use 2 part lids with bands, any lid that fits will work. Plastic lids for mason jars are nice because they are easier to wash.

Serve and Store

You can eat these pickled jalapenos as quickly as 20 minutes after you make them. The flavor will continue to develop as they are stored in the refrigerator. Their color will become more of an olive green as they age.

pickled jalapeno

These refrigerator pickles will keep for about 3 weeks in the refrigerator. They are an excellent addition to lots of Mexican inspired dishes but also are perfect for adding to many other meals, from burgers to barbecue.

Here are some of my favorite meals to serve them with:

Variations and Tips

Spice Variations – You can add some different spices to change up the flavors. I like to use spices common to Mexican meals to go with the jalapenos. Some spices that work well are coriander seeds, oregano or crushed red pepper.

Adjust the Sugar – If you reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe the jalapenos will be spicier.

Different Peppers – You can use different hot peppers like serrano or habanero peppers instead of jalapenos. Or add just one really spicy pepper like habanero to the jar to make it spicier.

top view of jar of pickled jalapenos


Are pickled jalapenos hotter than fresh?

No, pickled jalapenos will be less hot than fresh ones. The pickling process will reduce the heat, although they will still be spicy.

How long do refrigerator pickled jalapenos last?

The vinegar and salt will help preserve the peppers as long as they are kept refrigerated. A jar of these jalapenos will last for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.

Yield: 16

Pickled Jalapenos

jar of quick pickled jalapenos

These easy to make quick pickled jalapenos add a little bit of spice to any meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 5 jalapenos
  • 3/8 cup water
  • 3/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic


This recipe is for refrigerator pickles. It is not suitable for canning or storing the pickles at room temperature.

  1. It is a good idea to wear gloves when slicing jalapenos. The oils in the pepper can burn your skin and if you accidentally touch your eyes it will burn and sting. Cut the stem off the jalapeno. You can take the seeds and membranes out of the pepper or leave them in for extra heat. Slice them into rings by chopping through the pepper. Fill the jar with peppers as you go.
  2. Slice the garlic clove into slices and add them to the jar.
  3. To make the brine combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Heat until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  4. Pour the brine over jalapenos in the jar.
  5. Put the lid on and let the jalapenos cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate and they will keep for about 3 weeks.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 398mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

refrigerated pickled jalapenos
collage pin for pickled jalapenos

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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