Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers

pickled hot peppers on the creekside cookThis is just another iteration of one of the most popular recipes on the blog, Refrigerator Garlic Dill Pickles. Just like the original, it makes fast work of an otherwise more time consuming chore – and I maintain, with better results.

Our hot pepper plants have been quite generous this year, providing us with a steady stream of Hungarian wax peppers, jalapenos, red cherry peppers and pepperoncini, plus another kind, for which I can’t find the seed packet, but they look like jalapeno’s taller cousins.

I freeze a lot of them whole. Wash and dry the peppers, lay out in single layer on a sheet pan, and pop in the freezer for a couple hours, then bag up the frozen pepper-sicles and pop the bags back in the freezer. To use them later, allow to partially thaw and then slice, or split lengthwise to remove the seeds and membranes, just ion case you want a little less heat. Frozen peppers work great in chili, tacos, black beans and rice or on pizza, and they stay nice for a whole year.

But Larry’s favorite taste of summer-in-the-wintertime are pickled peppers, so I make a lot of these every year. Like the Garlic Dills, they keep in the fridge for months, and not having to can them ensures they keep all that summery crunch.

You can use any kind of hot pepper for these, either separately, or as I did with these, mixing the different kinds together so that you end up with jars of beautiful color. I used the “thick” blade on my mandoline slicer to get even slices in a hurry. That is an Amazon affiliate link to the one I have – a cheapie that I don’t mind replacing every few years as the blade gets dull.jalapeno peppers

No canning involved, so you can use any sort of jar that has a snug lid, and you can expand [or contract] the brine amounts to suit whatever amount of peppers you have on hand. You can also cut the peppers anyway you like, but these slices make sure that you can cram a lot of peppers in a jar. They can be left whole, but make sure you poke a few holes in each one so that the brine can get inside. I used about 2 and half pounds of peppers and got these three jars plus a little brine left over.

Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers
Wear disposable gloves when handling the peppers, as they can burn the skin.
Recipe type: Food Preservation - Pickles
Serves: approximately 3 quarts
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup pickling salt
  • 2 to 3 pounds of hot peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  1. Wash 3 quart jars and the lids - set aside.
  2. Measure the water, vinegar and salt into a 3 quart sauce pan, and stir until salt is dissolved. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Wash and dry the peppers, and cut however you like - smaller slices means more will fit into the jars, but they look nice just cut in half the long way.
  4. Peel the garlic cloves.
  5. Divide the peppers and garlic evenly between the jars, pressing down to fill in spaces.
  6. Carefully pour in the brine, making sure that the peppers are completely covered.
  7. Screw on the lids, and leave at room temperature for 2 or 3 days and then store in the refrigerator. They can be eaten fairly quickly, but are best after sitting a least a month. They will keep for several months in the fridge.
Remember - these aren't canned, so after a couple days, they must be refrigerated.

Larry is almost glad to go to work when these are in his lunch. Well, happy might be an exaggeration, but they make the day a little better!
jars of refrigerator pickled hot peppers


note: this post contains one or more Amazon affiliate links  
and I make a small commission on your purchase.

Donalyn/The Creekside Cook

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65 thoughts on “Refrigerator Pickled Hot Peppers

  1. I developed a serious craving for all things pickled during my pregnancy and it hasn’t gone away! I will have to give these a try soon! Thank you for sharing!

      • I have 2 qt freezer bags of the small red/green peppers in my freezer. Would i thaw them first to do that process?

          • I buy peppers locally in the desert when there is an abundance really cheap..wash green, red, yellow and some hot peppers… after washed and dried.. I do a not quite fine chop on all… place on a plate and freeze- stir every 10 minutes, when almost frozen put in marked bags- for hot… the pieces don’t stick together or if do, a small whack on counter breaks them apart… good for just a taste of in stews, omelets, etc. and they don’t mush nice to have in the winter when they are expensive..also good in casididas, mashed potatoes, twice baked potatoes, etc.

  2. Now that I’ve looked up the meaning of “iteration” and read the entire blog entry, I have got to pin this one. What a great idea and such a simple recipe, plus no canning process involved. Thanks, too, Donalyn, for the info on freezing fresh peppers.

  3. Can you tell me what kinds of peppers you have in these jars, I am guessing red poppers , jalapeno but would be interested .

    • Hi Laurie – we grow different ones each year, but it looks like these are red cherry peppers, jalapenos and Hungarian wax. Different peppers have differing heat levels, and it can vary even from one pepper to the next, so I do like to mix them up to kind of even things out. This particular batch was really hot, while the earlier batches had been more mild – you just never know 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been looking all over for an easy non-canned pickled pepper recipe. We have an over abundance (if there can there be such a thing?) of Red Fresno Chiles, Italian Yellow Wax, and Sweet Banana Peppers. I also need to say thanks for the tip on freezing whole. Awesome!!

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    • Hi Samantha – i can’t recommend canning these with this recipe. It’s specifically designed to be stored in the refrigerator long term, and canning with the proportions given will not give you a good or safe result. I would suggest Googling for canned recipes, or consulting a trusted source.

  6. Hi Heather – I freeze a lot of peppers myself, but I am almost certain they would not work for these. Frozen peppers would not have the crispness you want for these pickles. Maybe you should Google for a canned hot pepper recipe?

  7. This is the first year I’ve grown hot peppers and we have an abundance of them that we don’t want to go to waste. Being new at canning, I was getting totally overwhelmed with the whole process, until coming across this amazing recipe! Thank you – I can’t wait to try this out. 🙂

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  10. I just made these with whole pepperoncini peppers and cut a couple slits in each one before pouring the brine on top. After sitting for 5 minutes the spots where the slits are seem to have browned. I assume this is not necessarily a bad thing? I’m new to canning, so just want to make sure 🙂 Thanks for the easy recipe – I can’t wait to taste them!

  11. I tried to de-seed a lot, out of the peppers in this batch (Jalapeño, Serrano, Cubanelle, Anaheim, Italian Long Hots) then I added onion. My ultimate goal will be to make relish with this batch after they sit in refrigerator for about 6 months.

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  14. I am getting ready to try this – thanks for posting! I’m wondering though: why do you freeze the whole peppers first. Could I skip that step? Or what does that do?

  15. When visiting Vermont last summer the restaurant at the Inn had a wonderful culinary garen out back. I saw the Cherry Peppers in thier garden and asked the chef if I could take a couple of peppers home with me to Washington State. He said “No problem, help yourself.” I did and dried the seeds. This summer I had 12 wonderful plants in my garden and your recipe for the pickled peppers is awesome!! Thanks so much!!

  16. Hi there. I have canned pickled peppers with less than stellar results (too soft) so I look forward to making these. I have made gallons of refrigerator cukes over the years, and so I noticed that the water/vinegar ratio is significantly weaker in vinegar than what I am used to seeing in many other recipes (Usually 2:1 or 3:1.) Does this affect the keeping quality? I have been able to keep other pickles for up to 8 months, how long did yours keep with this recipe? Thanks!

    • For us, these keep for a good 6 months, maybe longer. I fiddled with ratios over the years, to get something a little less vinegary [it is the same ratio I use for pickles actually], and they stay nice and crisp, even at this concentration.

    • People… Read the directions. If you do they will come out WONDERFUL. This is so simple , no need to make it difficult. The best peppers I’ve ever made – so much better then what you get in the store. Thank you “thecreeksidecook”.

  17. I love the recipe. However I made a batch and they have been on the counter for three weeks unopened…I just put them in the refrigerator today. Are they safe to eat since they (peppers) are unopened

    • Hi dimitrious – 3 weeks is an awfully long time for them to be sitting out, so I would probably not eat them at this point. I have accidentally left them sitting out for too long [2 weeks in my case] myself, and hated throwing them out, but I didn’t want to risk anyone becoming ill from eating them.

  18. Hi! Great recipe, but i’ve got a que atino though.. Hoy ml of water did you use aprox? Cause i dont know wich quarter did you use.

    • You can use whatever salt you prefer, Erin, but you may need to do a little research about the relative sodium levels of different kinds. I have only used pickling salt, and other salst may be too salty or not salty enough.

      • Christopher Velichka

        The salt must be the non-iodized type, such as Kosher or pickling. Iodized salk can turn your pickled item dark or spotty.

  19. I tried these for the first time. I was wondering, since you say these aren’t canned, should the lids seal? Mine did not.

  20. We just tried this yesterday & have few questions since I am new to canning, pickling, & preserving… We put the brine in while it was quite hot and wondered about “headspace” ? We basically filled to the rim to cover the peppers… Should there be any air space at all? They all sealed very well but there is some air or bubbles which I don’t think will be an issue but we wanted to double check. We are putting in the fridge tomorrow night and marking the calendar for 30 days! Anxious to try! They look great!! Thank you!

  21. Ok I want to try the refrigerator pickled hot pepper recipe but I have a few questions first does the brine need to be hot when you pour it into the jars and if so won’t it break the jars or do you have to have the jars hot as well. And are the lids suppose to seal. Please let me know as soon as possible I have a lot of hot peppers. Thank you.

  22. Well, I just used your recipe today and visually, it looks quite appealing. I used 1/2 guart jars to improve quantities, as I give most as gifts. My peppers are on the hot side, jalapeño, super chile, sport, Tabasco, habanero and trinidads. These are all from my garden. Looks like I’ve developed a new habit! I’ll post when they are sampled

    Thanks, DBA

  23. We ha an excess of chili peppers that I had no idea what to do with until I came across this recipe. Now I can’t wait to try the peppers that are sitting in their jar on the counter right now. I can’t believe how easy this recipe is!

  24. Christine A. Roppel

    I Ferment a lot, and make refrigerator pickles and was wanting to try this recipe. My concern is that if I leave these at room temp for a few days, won’t they mold?
    Can I just put into the fridge right away and wait 4 days to eat? This is what I do with my refrigerator pickles.

  25. This is a 5 star recipe! I made these about 3 weeks ago and served them at 2 different parties… seriously every person who tried them wanted to know where I “got” them! (I pointed them to your site). What’s great about this recipe is that it has no sugar, it’s versatile (we added carrots, onions and peppercorns) and it stays crisp. What’s not to love?!

  26. I’ve been using your method for the last three years and just wanted to say thanks! It’s such an easy way to quickly use up my peppers. I put them on sandwiches, eat them straight out of the jar, top my pizza with them, and occasionally add them to grilled cheese! I like to use red cherry, jalapeño, and Hungarian wax peppers to get the three beautiful layers/colors. I’m not sure where I picked this up but I also add a few peppercorns and some sliced onion (maybe I combined your recipe with a pickle recipe?). This summer I’ve experimented with adding other veggies in as well – like radishes! Thanks for this recipe!

  27. These look so delicious! I definitely want to make them at home the next time I take on a pickling project. What happens to the flavor of the peppers when they’ve been pickled? Do they get hotter / more concentrated or dulled? Thank you for your recipe!

  28. Arnet Richardson

    Can I do this with okras n tomatoes ?Back in my grandma days there were no canning pressure cooker and she canned everything.So how did she do it.If you know please give me a recipe.Thanks

  29. In 2016 I got back into gardening with a move and had the area to do a good sized garden and started growing peppers, because I love spicy peppers. I also had too many cucumbers and I found your garlic dill pickle recipe also. I have no interest in trying canning so I was looking for refrigerator picked peppers and pickled recipe. These have been my go to recipes ever since. I have been doing 60-70 pint jars of peppers, mostly I do jalepenos and Serrano peppers for this, along with banana peppers for my wife, and dry habeneros for dried powder, and experiement with other peppers each year also. I do about 30 quarts of pickles a year as well. I have experimented with these recipes with other flavors, but I’ve found your recipe is my go to, really let’s the peppers shine through, and the pickles have a nice clean flavor also. I’m now on my 5th season with your recipes and I really appreciate it’s ease and it’s great flavor!

  30. I happened across this easy recipe 4-5 years ago and it is the only one I use. I grow even more peppers just to can up because many friends want a jar or two that are too lazy to do it themselves. I do add 1/8 to1/4tsp of pickle crisp and they stay crunchy.

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