How to Make Pickled Peppers

An easy tutorial on how to make pickled peppers at home. This fun and simple recipe is perfect for those who are new to canning and enjoy a little spice.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote A Guide to Hot Sauces for Oh My Veggies, which was (and continues to be) quite the spicy episode. I procured an armful of hot sauces and chilies so that I could snap photos for the post, which resulted in…lots of hot sauce…and chilies.

Because hot sauce keeps for all of eternity and I use it frequently, I experienced no scratching-of-the-chin, what-will-I-do-with-all-the-hot-sauce befuddlement. It’s hot sauce. Drink it.

How to Make Pickled Peppers
I did, however, wonder what to do with all the chilies. Stuff them? What about the habeneros? What’ll I do with the habeneros?

While I had many-an-option for all of my chilies, I came across this recipe from Cooking Light for Hot Pepper Vinegar.  “I could go for some hot pepper vinegar,” I said to myself. But moreover, I could always go for some pickled peppers. So follow the instructions, I did.

How to Make Pickled Peppers

How to Make Pickled Peppers:

Pickling peppers is easy! Choose which chilies you want pickled (jalapeños are always fantastic) and snag the white vinegar and sugar out of the pantry.

If you want a spicy vinegar to use in your cooking, slice some of the peppers in half. For less spice, remove the seeds.

How to Make Pickled Peppers

To open up the flavor of the chilis and ensure they soften up during the pickling process, saute them first. To do so, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced chilis and saute, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, and the skin begins to turn brown.

As an alternative, you can roast the chilis in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes.

While you can pickle the peppers raw, I don’t recommend this as they will stay very snappy and the flavor won’t be quite as developed.

How to Make Pickled Peppers

Pickled habeneros. Everyone’s doing it. 😉

Pour your vinegar mixture over the peppers, seal the hatch, then refrigerate.

The longer you allow the pickled peppers to sit in the refrigerator, the softer they become.

How to Make Pickled Peppers

How to Store Pickled Peppers:

Make sure you’re using a sanitized jar (or jars) for pickling the peppers. Once the peppers are in the jars with the pickling liquid and are nice and sealed, you can store them in the refrigerator for several months un-opened, or up to 1 month if you continuously open the jar to use the peppers.

This recipe is a bare bones pickled pepper recipe, but there is plenty of room to add seasonings.

What to Do with Pickled Peppers:

I used pickled peppers almost exclusively for sandwiches because I find them to be so tasty on a good lunch sammie! Here are some more ideas for what you can do with your pickled peppers:

  • Chop them up and put them in a quesadilla, burrito, or taco.
  • Blend them with other ingredients such as fresh tomatoes and onion to make salsa.
  • Chop them up and put them on pizza or flatbread.
  • Add them to a salad.
  • Make your own hot sauce.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of a store-bought pickling spice blend, or any combination of the following: 1 tsp whole cloves, 2 tsp whole mustard seed, 2 tsp coriander seed, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.
  • You may also add more sugar for sweeter pickled peppers or omit the sugar altogether. You can also replace the sugar with coconut sugar or pure maple syrup.
  • Saute up an onion for a two-in-one pickled pepper and pickled onion fiesta.
  • Omit the garlic if you don’t have any on hand
  • Add a few nubs of fresh ginger.

Let your hair down and enjoy the pickling process! Whatever tickles your pickle. <- Couldn’t resist.

If you make these Pickled Peppers, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

How to Make Pickled Peppers

How to Make Pickled Peppers

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canning, pickled, preserving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1 quart
Author: Julia

An easy tutorial on how to make pickled peppers. Use this recipe to can peppers from your garden to keep them fresh for months!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil *
  • 12 ounces chilies of choice about 4 cups
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced in half
  • 1 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar **
  • ½ teaspoon salt

You Will Also Need:

  • 1- Quart Mason Jar

Optional Add-Ins:

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 tsp whole coriander seed
  • 1 to 2 tsp cloves
  • 1 to 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 to 2 tsp whole cumin seed
  • 1 to 2 tsp whole mustard seed


  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high and add the chilies and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Allow the chilies to cool enough to handle.
  2. Add the chilies and garlic to a sanitized 1-quart sized jar (or 4 smaller mason jars).
  3. Note: If desired, slice some of the chilies in half length-wise in order to infuse the vinegar with chili spice and flavor.
  4. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved.
  5. Pour the water/vinegar mixture over the chilis and allow the contents of the jar to cool to room temperature. Seal the jar and refrigerate. Pickled peppers will stay fresh in an air-tight jar for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes

*Replace the olive oil with avocado oil or grapeseed oil.

**If you don't do cane sugar, you can use coconut sugar or pure maple syrup.

You can also leave the chilies raw and skip the sautéing process, but they will come out more firm.


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  1. Julie

    i kept waiting for the Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers line. But, then and again, you probably didn’t have a whack-a-doodle dad that taught you things like this at the dinner table. Ah, well. Jerry would love these.

    1. Julia Post author

      We definitely did the peter piper rhyme said 10 times fast 🙂 I thought about doing the whole rhyme for my post but then realized I’d get some sweet peter piper comments if I left it out, and I’m so happy you obliged! ;D

    1. Julia Post author

      I eat pickled peppers plain, and also use them in salsa. I like putting pickled jalapeños on sandwiches and on too of eggs. If you’re not super into pickled peppers, I could see why you’d resist the process of making them 🙂

  2. Alissa

    I have a few jalapeno plants in my garden, which means if all goes well it won’t be long before I’ll have more peppers than I’d normally know what to do with. Now I know what I’m doing with them 🙂 Never thought to saute before pickling, so I’m definitely looking forward to trying that out.

  3. Laura

    So…. DID peter piper pick the peck of pickled peppers??? I was waiting on the edge of my seat to find out. I figured with Julie’s question you may have shed some light on the topic, but alas, no light.

  4. Francesca

    Literally, the first thing I thought of when I saw this in my inbox was the Peter Piper tongue twister. I’m a 30 year old trapped in a 5 year old’s body!
    These look awesome.

  5. Isadora @ She Likes Food

    I love peppers and I can’t get enough of anything and everything that is pickled, so these pickled peppers are really speaking to me!! I want to eat them by themselves and put them on everything! They also look so beautiful in the jar together! I think I just found my new favorite condiment 🙂

  6. Joanne

    I love spice, but pickled peppers are just way way way better than raw peppers. I’ve never really thought to pickle peppers other than jalapenos…but hey! Why not?!

  7. Dianna

    Can you use this recipe for roasted red bell peppers? I like to use those when I make my hot sauce. I’ve got jalapenos and Fresno reds growing now in my garden and this will be a great recipe to utilize the overabundance of peppers in the next few weeks.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Natasha, as long as you seal the jar really well, I think the peppers would stay perfectly preserved, and should do fine in the mail 🙂 Best of luck!

  8. Ryan

    Hi, I sealed my jars when the contents was still very hot. Is this a problem?
    Why does it have to be at room temp before sealing, will it make my batch go bad if I sealed it hot?

  9. Larrick

    Seems like one month is extremely conservative for how long they’ll last refrigerated, no? Another question is how long to wait for a sufficient pickle to be ready to eat?

  10. Allan

    Made homemade pickled red peppers, 1 cup water,1/2 cup vinegar ,1/3 cup sugar and salt 2 taste., put thm in sterilized mason jar, let cool 2 room temperature, and putnin fridge, confident they will taste good, but how long will they keep in fridge?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Allan! As long as they’re tightly sealed, they should keep for upwards of 2 months…often longer, but I don’t want to make guarantees 😉


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