Pickled Jalapenos (Escabeche)

CanningMexican and Tex MexJalapenoPickle

Classic pickled jalapenos or jalapenos escabeche, made with fresh jalapeno chili peppers, white onions, garlic, carrots, cider vinegar and herbs.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Pickled Jalapeños

This year I decided to grow jalapeño and serrano chiles—those wonderfully hot and flavorful Mexican chiles that are used salsa, guacamole, and so many Mexican dishes. But I certainly wasn’t expecting each plant to yield over a pound of chiles. What to do with so many?

Make jalapeños escabeche, or pickled jalapeños!

Pickled jalapeños, or escabeche, are served as a condiment with many meals in Mexico. Chiles, onions, carrots, cauliflower are pickled with the jalapeños. My mother used to buy jars of escabeche when I was a child. The chiles can be cut up and used for many dishes.

Pickled Jalapenos or escabeche

Pickled Jalapenos (Escabeche) Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 4 to 5 pint jars

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jalapeño (and/or serrano if you wish) chile peppers
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 medium white or yellow onions, thickly sliced
  • 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • Florets from half a small cauliflower (optional)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 sprigs of fresh marjoram (can sub fresh oregano) or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Special equipment:

  • 4 - 5 pint-size canning jars

Method

1 Prep the chiles: Wash the chiles, leaving the stems intact. Cut a cross in the tip end of each chile so that the vinegar will be able to penetrate the chiles.

2 Fry chiles, onions, carrots, cauliflower in olive oil: Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the chiles, onions, carrots, cauliflower if using, and garlic. Fry over medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning them over occasionally.

3 Add vinegar, salt, bay, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sugar, bring to boil: Add the vinegar, salt, bay leaves, dried oregano, marjoram, thyme, and sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Make sure the chiles are entirely cooked through before canning. You will know they are cooked when they are no longer vibrant green, but a dull, olive green.

4 Pack jars with vegetables, top with cooking liquid: Pack 4 to 5 pint-sized sterilized jars with the chiles and vegetables. Top with the vinegar cooking liquid and seal.

5 Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Once opened, can keep for one to two months in the refrigerator.

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Recipe adapted from Diana Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.

Links:

Jalapeño Bread and Butter Pickles here on Simply Recipes

Michael Simon's Pickled Chillis from Ruhlman's blog

Water bath canning instructions from Food in Jars

Pickled Jalapenos or Escabeche in 3 jars

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

70 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Michelle

    Yum! I have been trying to find a recipe for celery pickled with jalapenos. I’d like to make more celery than jalapenos. Would this recipe work? If not, do you have suggestions? I can’t find a jalapeno based recipe anywhere and I’m not sure what changes would need to be made.

  2. Kimberly

    Can you double the recipe?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Joseph

    On top of burrito bowl the escabeche brings the savory hot chutney goodness. Once you know it, you will come to see it as essential. The vinegar aids in digestion.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Courtney

    I’ve been making your recipe for years! Thought I should finally review it, too. :) This is a must for me every summer. We use them all year on tacos and tostadas and pretty much anything with beans and cheese. YUM! Thanks for the great recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Brian C.

    If I were cut the jalapenos in half to remove the membrane and seeds to cut down the heat should
    I cut down on the cook time too?

    Show Replies (1)
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