Pickled Jalapeno and Serrano Peppers


One of my favorite things about growing hot peppers is having my own pickled peppers all year long. I actually ran out this year and had to buy some at the store.  I have to tell you, home-made are soooo much better! It is also nice to have them around to give as gifts for friends.

I use the same pickling recipe for jalapeno, serrano, and, this year, for pepperoncini peppers.  It is surprisingly quick and simple, the whole process is less than half and hour.

For the recipe below, I had about 4 cups of peppers.  The same amount of pickling spices will work for more peppers, the only thing you may need to adjust is the amount of pickling liquid.  The amount below makes more than needed for this amount of peppers, so I save the vinegar/water mixture for use the next time.

Pickled Jalapeno and/or Serrano Peppers

4 cups jalapeno and/or serrano peppers

1.5 cups of good vinegar

1.5 cups of water

canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp salt for each pint of pickles

Add the vinegar and water to a pot and bring to a boil, then let cool.

Cover a large skillet with canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic, cumin and coriander.

Add the peppers in batches and cook until the peppers start to blister.

Remove the peppers from the oil and put in clean jars (leaving 1/2 in headspace). Add 1 tsp salt for each pint (or 1/2 tsp for each 8 oz jar).

Pour the vinegar over the peppers and add 1 tsp of the spice/oil mixture for each pint (or 1/2 tsp for each 8 oz jar).

Seal and let sit for 1 month before using.

Refrigerate after opening.  Enjoy!

Makes about 3 8-oz jars of pickled peppers.

37 Comments Add yours

  1. Bryan says:

    Hi Andrea! I’ve been looking for a pickling method for my serranos. I tried one method but everything came out mushy (yuck). Does your method result in firm peppers (not crunchy, just firm)? Thanks!

    1. Yes, but you have to watch how long you sear them for. The longer you sear them, the softer they will be. I like mine to be firm enough so they slice nicely, but are not crunchy, so I think I know just what you mean. Most of mine are nice and firm, every now and then I get a mushier one.

  2. Robbie Simmopnds says:

    Do you seal them in a hot water bath?

    1. No, there is no need. Once the jars are opened, I store them in the fridge.

  3. Bryan says:

    Hi Andrea! It’s Bryan again. I haven’t had a chance to make these yet but plan on it in the next 2 days since I just picked a boatload of Serranos from the garden! Looking at the recipe I’m curious as to why you boil the vinegar and water and then let cool…. Can’t you simply just mix the two together and use without boiling first?

    1. Hi Bryan,
      I am not exactly sure why you boil the mixture first, but it is a common step in all the pickling recipes I have seen.
      Since the level of acidity is important for safety reasons, and boiling increases the level of acidity of the mixture slightly, I would not leave out that step.
      Andrea

  4. Holly says:

    Andrea, i forgot to let the liquid cool, and finished sealing the jar. Its my first time canning. Will that effect anything…or should I say, what will that effect?? Holly

    1. I am not sure. It may cook the peppers more, so they will may be softer rather than crispy. But I am not sure if there will be other effects. I think I may have sealed them once before totally cool, but not still hot.

  5. ashley says:

    Can I slice them before I jar them?

    1. I have not tried it, but I don’t see why not.

  6. Shannon Bedingfield says:

    Andrea, I am new to canning and have seen a couple of other recipes for pickled hot peppers and they all seal the jars using a hot water bath. I have noticed that they don’t cook the peppers at all in the process either, could this be the difference between the recipes? How long will your peppers last on the shelf? Thank you so much!

    1. Mine have lasted at least a year. I have seen pickling done both ways.

    2. But make sure to sterilize your jars and lids.

    3. I just opened a jar that was 2 years old…firm peppers, just fine.

      1. Shannon Bedingfield says:

        Thank you, Andrea, for the responses. I got my peppers from a local farm and pickled them on Sunday. I will wait until the beginning of December to see how I did. Can’t wait! Thanks again!

  7. terry says:

    Haven’t tried them yet but they sure are pretty

  8. Linda says:

    I’m wondering what prevents botulism from occurring? Does the length of cooking time suffice?

    1. They are in an acidic bath – pickling juice. It is my understanding that that is what prevents botulism.

  9. Laura says:

    I hate to keep beating a dead horse….but just to be sure I understand, you just put the lids and bands on after putting in all the ingredients and don’t do anything else? They will keep in the cabinet, or do they need refrigeration? Thanks

    1. Yes. But refrigerate them after opening. The difference is pickling v canning. You can refrigerate them if you are uncertain, that is fine

  10. Vickie says:

    Andrea this is my second year using your recipe and I and my friends love this! I use the heated water & vinegar mixture to seal the Iids. It is cooled down some yet is enough to pop the lids as it all starts cooling down. I found it doesn’t mush them out and I chop them for all sorts of meals.
    I use my own coriander and Serrano it all taste great. Thank you for this recipe.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback. That is a good idea, I’ll have to try it next time I do make some (my pepper crop was awful this year 😦 )

  11. Lorrain says:

    I don’t need to process to make the jars seal

      1. Laura says:

        I made these last fall and they were super hot. They looked good but I couldn’t even taste the seasoning thru the heat, a little disappointing.

      2. That would be the peppers themselves that were hot, not from the pickling. Pickling does not intensify the heat. I would suggest trying again with a different batch of peppers. The heat of mine varies with my pepper crop.

      3. Laura says:

        Yes, I agree. The type of pepper I had was just too hot. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Andrea Arguelles says:

    I am going to try it, you explain and make it very simple for someone trying It for the first time. Thank you! Andrea.

    1. Let me know how it turns out.

Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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