Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles

The fire of jalapeños and the sweetness of bread and butter pickles: a winning combination. Can them or just keep them in the fridge for months.

Jalapeno Bread and Butter Pickles

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

My friend Peg gave me some sweet pickled jalapeño chili peppers that she made using my bread and butter pickle recipe and oh my gosh, I couldn't stop eating them.

So of course I had to make my own batch the very next day.

They're so good! And oddly not as spicy as you would expect. Certainly not as hot as my regular jalapeño pickles. Just a little bit hot. Perky hot.

And sweet and crunchy the way a bread and butter pickle should be.

Safe Handling of Hot Peppers

That said, the road to these pickled beauties was rather bumpy. Silly me, I thought given that I have been handling jalapeños my whole life I was immune to them and didn't need to wear gloves when I stripped them of their flaming hot seeds and ribs.


No I didn't touch my eyes (thank God) but my hands were burning hot for several hours. Only soaking them in yogurt with ice cubes helped.

My mistake?

Washing my hands in hot soapy water before and during the processing of the peppers. This washed away the natural oils in the skin that protect the pores.

The lesson learned?

Wear gloves, or plastic baggies, when scraping the seeds out of the peppers. If you absolutely must use your bare hands, rub your hands with a little vegetable oil to protect your pores while working with the peppers. Then when you're done, wash thoroughly in hot soapy water.

Jalapeno Bread and Butter Pickles

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

Ways to Enjoy These Sweet Pickled Jalapeños

Back to the sweet jalapeño pickles. They're delightful.

Please don't let my tale of woe scare you away from making them. As long as you take precautions, you will be fine (don't touch your eyes!)

They're delicious in a taco, on a burger, or as I love them, straight up out of the jar.

They'll easily last a year (or two) in the fridge. I find the heat of the chiles tends to mellow over time, so if they're too hot when you first make them, just hide them in a corner of your refrigerator for a year and try them again.

More Peppery Jalapeño Recipes to Thrill You

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chilling Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Servings 32 servings
Yield 2 quarts

You can use Kosher salt or sea salt as a substitute for the pickling salt. Regular table salt has additives in it that will darken your pickles and make the color of the pickle juice muddy.


  • 2 pounds jalapeño peppers

  • 1 pound white or yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup pickling salt or kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups white vinegar

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 1/4 cups sugar

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 1 star anise

  • 1 cardamom pod

  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick

  • 6 whole cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Prep the jalapeños:

    Cut the stem end off of the jalapeños. Then cut them in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and the ribs.

    Simple Tip!

    I highly recommend that you wear protective gloves while cutting and de-seeding the jalapeños. If you don't have gloves, you can protect your hands with plastic baggies. If you must handle the cut peppers with your bare hands, rub a little vegetable oil over your hands first. The oil will provide your pores with some protection.

    Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after handling the peppers. Do not touch your eyes for several hours.

  2. Salt the jalapeños and onions, cover with ice, and chill:

    Place the jalapeños in a large bowl. Add the onions and stir in the pickling salt so that it is well distributed. Cover the peppers with a clean, thin towel. Put ice over the towel and place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at 4 hours.

  3. Rinse and drain the jalapeños and onions:

    After the jalapeños and onions have been chilling for 4 hours, rinse the salt off of the peppers and onions. Drain, and rinse and drain again.

  4. Heat the jars:

    If you are planning to store your pickles outside of the refrigerator for any length of time, you will need to heat your canning jars in a hot water bath after canning.

    Simple Tip!

    Because the jars will be processed in the water bath for more than 10 minutes, it is not necessary to first sterilize the jars for this recipe. Do make sure your jars are clean.

    If you are planning to eat the pickles right away and store them the whole time in the refrigerator, you can skip the water bath step.

    To heat the jars for canning, place the empty jars on a metal rack in a large, 16-quart canning pot. (Jars must rest on a rack in the pot, not on the bottom of the pot). Fill with warm water at least 1 inch above the jars and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to warm to keep the jars hot and ready for canning. 

    Wash the lids in hot, soapy water.

  5. Make the pickling brine:

    In a 4 or 6 quart pot, put the vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.

  6. Add the jalapeños and onions, then bring to a boil:

    Add the peppers and onions to the pot with the pickling solution. Bring to a boil again.

  7. Pack the jars:

    Watch the jalapeños. As soon as they are all cooked through (you can tell because their color changes from a vibrant to a more dull green), start packing your canning jars with the peppers and onions, using a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan.

    Pack the jars evenly with the peppers and onions, up to about 1 inch from the top of the jars.

    Then pour the brine over the peppers, until it covers them. Leave about 1/2 inch headspace between the tops of the pickles and the rims of the jars.

  8. Seal and process:

    If you are planning to store pickles outside of the refrigerator, you will want to process the filled jars in a hot water bath.

    Return filled jars to the same canning pot with its already hot water. The water level needs to be at least 1 inch above the top of the jars.

    Bring to a boil and boil hard for 15 minutes. Remove jars from the pot using tongs or jar lifters.

    If you live over 1,000 feet above sea level, adjust your processing time using the directions here.

    Cover the jars and let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.

    Simple Tip!

    Bread and butter pickles (whether they’re water bath canned or not) can be eaten as soon as 24 hours after making, but they’ll have the best flavor if you let them sit for at least a week (ideally 3 or more weeks).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
46 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 32
Amount per serving
Calories 46
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 229mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 34mg 172%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 103mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.