Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles

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.

  • Prep time: 4 hours, 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 quarts


  • 2 pounds jalapeño chile peppers
  • 1 pound white or yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt (can use Kosher salt or sea salt as a substitute, regular table salt has additives in it that will darken your pickles and make the color of the pickle juice muddy)
  • 1 1/4 cup white distilled 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 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Special equipment:

  • 2 clean 1-quart canning jars, or 4 pint jars


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.

2 Salt peppers and onions, cover with ice, chill: Place the peppers 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 peppers 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 Make pickling solution: In a 4 or 6 quart pot, put the vinegar, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.

5 Boil peppers and onions in pickling solution: Add the peppers and onions to the pot with the pickling solution. Bring to a boil again.

6 Pack jars with peppers and onions: Watch the jalapeño peppers. 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 an inch from the top of the jars.

Then pour the sugary vinegar mixture over the peppers, until it covers them.

7 Seal and chill: Cover the jars and let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.

If you are planning to store outside of the refrigerator or for an extended period of time, use canning jars. Sterilize your jars and lids first. Wipe the rims of the jars after you pack them with pickles. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. For specific canning instructions, see more detailed instructions on our bread and butter pickle recipe post.