One thing I’ve noticed is that pickled jalapeños from the grocery store are inconsistent. Some are hot, some aren’t, and none of them are fresh. I like to make my own. It’s easier than you think.


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  •  5 or 6 jalapeño peppers, sliced very thinly
  • sliced red onion (optional)


  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and salt. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Place the peppers, garlic, and onions in a small jar. Add the Italian seasoning and the cumin seeds.
  3. Pour the cooled vinegar mixture into the jar, cap it, and put in the refrigerator for at least an hour.


  • These will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
  • Although the onions and garlic add flavor to the peppers, they can also be used in cooking. Add some to nachos, to taco meat, or to refried beans. The onions are especially good in enchiladas. You can do an entire jar of just onions this way if you like.
  • To lightly crush the cumin seed, place them on a cutting board and roll the back of a large spoon gently over them. If they go flying, you may want to put them in a plastic bag first.
  • The key to this recipe is slicing the peppers very thin: about 1-2 mm, or about the thickness of a small coin. The heat in a chile pepper is contained in the white membrane holding the seeds, along with the seeds themselves, so the more this is exposed, the hotter your peppers will be.
  • Yes, the Italian seasoning is an odd choice, but it somehow works.
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