Homemade Quick Pickled Jalapenos (Spicy & Sweet)

Quick Pickled Jalapenos in jar, bowl with fresh Jalapenos
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Posted On: January 24, 2022
Last updated: October 18th, 2023

If you like food with a kick, you’ll love these easy quick pickled jalapenos! They’re a little spicy and a bit sweet.  After living in California and then Texas, my love of spicy food peaked! I remember amazing tacos in California with pickled jalapeño slices that took those tacos to supreme levels. In Texas, pickled jalapenos were a standard condiment sitting on tables at BBQ joints. And the heat…the high heat of those Texas Jalapenos, they were some of the hottest jalapenos I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming. They were nothing like the mild jalapenos I had before in California.  Homemade quick pickled jalapeños 

I like to enjoy the heat of jalapenos, but don’t want to bite into a raw jalapeno in a taco. Pickled jalapenos are a delicious addition to food to give you that kick, without the harsh bite. 

Spicy & Slightly Sweet Jalapenos in Bowl
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Quick Pickled Jalapenos


Pickling jalapenos isn’t as hard as I once assumed. I make 1 large jar to last me a couple months. In less than 20 minutes you can make quick-pickled jalapeños just like you would make refrigerator pickles.  In about 5 minutes you’ll be done with all the prep work for your spicy and slightly sweet bites of delight! Since these are semi-sweet pickled jalapenos, I simmer the jalapenos in apple cider vinegar and water with some sugar to make a hot pickling brine which softens and sweetens them just a touch.  The jalapenos will fade from bright green to an olive green color. I don’t like to over-simmer so that the jalapenos still have a little crunch to them and aren’t too soft.

Simmering Jalapenos in Semi-Sweet Brine
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Quick Jalapenos Post Simmer in Mason Jar
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I make this recipe every 2-3 months because the quick pickled jalapenos can be enjoyed up to 2 months if they’re kept refrigerated. The vinegar solution and refrigeration keeps this spicy topping fresh and ready to enjoy for weeks!


Pickled jalapenos are only as spicy as your jalapenos are to start. If you love extra heat, look for Jalapenos with white stripes, they’re like the “old men” out of the batch.  It’s called “corking” and it’s the ideal time to pick a jalapeno if you’re hoping for more heat. If you’d like more information about the lines on jalapenos, check out this article from Spicy Trio on Jalapeno lines.

If you prefer for your pickled jalapenos to have a lower spice level, you can choose the jalapenos without the corking.  They look smoother, without the striations.   You can also hollow out the seeds from the jalapenos before slicing. That’s totally your call on what you prefer.

Home Grown Jalapenos

If you enjoy the heat of jalapenos and want to grow them yourself, I recommend Craig’s Grande.  They are the ones we grow that have a great heat level for recipes like this, roasted jalapenos or even jalapeno poppers. it’s quite a prolific plant in late summer.  We highly recommend them for spicy food lovers!  

Spicier Jalapenos with Striations
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How should I SERVE THESE pickled peppers?

These pickled jalapeño rings are great to spice up tacos, add to homemade bread for an extra kick or a great spicy topping to a cracker appetizer. If you’ll looking for a healthier treat, try it on an apple slice with a drizzle of honey. It sounds weird, but the spicy and sweet combo is just a delight for you jalapeno lovers! Add them to sandwiches, nachos, top a chilipizza, virtually any food you want to add a spicy and sweet kick to!

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What you need to make Quick Pickled Jalapenos

You do not need special equipment to make this simple recipe, just these 4 items you probably already have in your kitchen. 

  • 1- 16 oz. Wide Mouth Mason/Canning Jar– You will be adding temperature HOT jalapenos to your jar, so a wide-mouth will be much easier for this task. Highly recommended.
  • Sauce pan– Must hold at least 3 cups
  • Gloves– I cannot begin to stress the importance of wearing gloves while handing jalapenos if you’ve never handles jalapenos before. Even after washing your hands, rubbing your eyes after chopping jalapenos can be brutal.
  • Tight fitting canning jar lid– I really like these leak proof lids for the fridge pickled food since they don’t leak, are easy to open and don’t rust like the metal ones. You can run them through the dishwasher as well.
Pickled Jalapenos Ingredients
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Quick Pickled Jalapeno Ingredients

  • Fresh Jalapeños– Garden fresh raw jalapenos peppers or store-bought will work.
  • Apple cider vinegar– If you don’t have ACV, you can use white vinegar. 
  • Water-good old fashioned unflavored water.
  • Sugar– Plain old white cane sugar.
  • Salt– I use kosher or sea salt.
  • Celery seed– It just gives it a nice taste.

Optional Additions- I like to keep it simple with this basic sweet and tangy brine, but there are different ways you can adjust the flavor if you like. 

  • Garlic cloves-  you can add a few to your jar of jalapeno peppers and pickling liquid for a garlicky flavor.  
  • Coriander seeds– add about 1 tsp.
  • Cumin seeds– add about 1 tsp.
  • Mustard seeds– about 1/2 to 1 tsp.

If you love this recipe, check these out as well:

Quick Pickled Jalapenos in jar, bowl with fresh Jalapenos
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Homemade Quick Pickled Jalapenos (Spicy & Sweet)

These jalapenos are spicy and slightly sweet.  If you'd like them less sweet and spicier, add less sugar, If you'd like them less spicy, hollow out the seeds from the jalapenos before slicing them. Enjoy on appetizers or as a delicious spicy condiment. 
I recommend a 16 oz. wide mouth mason jar for this recipe.  
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Chilling in Fridge Overnight 1 day
Total Time 1 day 18 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 28 kcal


  • 12 oz. jalapeños stems removed and cut into 1/8" rounds (Leave seeds in if you like it spicy)
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp celery seed


  • Put on disposable gloves 1st! You do not want jalapenos juice on your fingers.
  • Slice jalapenos into ⅛" even rounds and set aside. ( I leave the seeds in, but if you want them less spicy hollow out the seeds before you start slicing)
  • Add vinegar, water, sugar, salt and celery seeds to a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling lower to a simmer for 5 mins.
  • Then add jalapenos to the hot brine in the saucepan and simmer for 5 mins.
  • Remove jalapenos with a slotted spoon and add to your mason jar. (I recommend a 16oz. wide mouth)
  • Continue simmering liquid for 3 more minutes.
  • Turn off burner and remove saucepan from heat, let cool slightly.
  • Carefully pour the liquid into jar with the jalapenos.
  • Let jar of jalapenos cool to touch.
  • Once cool enough seal jar with air tight/leakproof lid and Refrigerate. You can try them immediately, but ideally wait 24 hours for the full pickled flavor. 



Enjoy  this spicy condiment up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Calories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.05gSodium: 584mgPotassium: 85mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 306IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.2mg
Keyword gluten free, jalapenos, pickled jalapenos, quick pickled, sweet and spicy, Vegan, vegetarian
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