An overhead shot of a jar of pickled jalapeños.

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was on a Detroit-style pizza kick. I’m still on that kick, and I’ve just shared that recipe, but first: pickled jalapeños.

One of my favorite pizzas from Emmy Squared, a Brooklyn-based Detroit-style pizza restaurant, is The Colony, a red sauce pie topped with pepperoni, pickled jalapeños, and honey. It hits all the sweet-spicy-savory notes, and the combination, as you might imagine, is heavenly.

I’ve been making this pizza at home using pickled jalapeños from the grocery store, which work just fine, but when two jalapeños arrived in our farm share last week, I knew their fate.

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I use one and only one pickle recipe, originating from David Lebovitz. I’ve simplified it over the years in that I now never bother adding garlic or peppercorns or any additional seasonings, but the 4-ingredient base brine is still the same: equal parts water and vinegar plus a little salt and sugar.

It takes no time to make: heat the brine until the sugar and salt dissolve; then pour it over the vegetables. That’s it. It doubles, triples, and halves well, so you can adjust the recipe easily to whatever amount of vegetables you have on hand — often I make 4 or 6 times the recipe depending on the amount of vegetables I plan on pickling.

Other Vegetables to Quick Pickle

ALL the vegetables. Over the years I’ve used this brine to pickle beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, peppers, onions, fennel, kohlrabi, cauliflower … everything.

If you subscribe to a weekly farm share, I find pickling to be as helpful a technique to turn to when I am overloaded with certain vegetables (radishes! turnips!) as when I am underloaded with vegetables (a single fennel bulb, for example, or two small peppers).

Pickling is a great way to buy yourself some time when you can’t quite get to cooking all of those summer gems, and pickles are so nice to have on hand — what sandwich isn’t instantly transformed with the addition of a pickle? And what taco doesn’t shine a little brighter when peppered with pickled jalapeños?

No sandwich. No taco. I hope these spicy spheres find their way into your condiment collection soon. Your sandwiches and tacos (and pizza!) will thank you.

How to Make Pickled Jalapeños, Step by Step

Slice up 3 to 4 jalapeños (or as many as you wish).

Sliced jalapeños on a board.

Transfer them to a glass jar. Then combine: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan, and bring it to a simmer.

Ingredients for pickled jalapeños on a countertop.

Pour the hot brine over the sliced jalapeños. Let the peppers cool completely in the brine.

An overhead shot of pickled jalapeños in a jar.

Store in the fridge for months.

A jar of pickled jalapeños.

Sprinkle the pickled jalapeños over tacos or bake them atop pizza:

Detroit-style pizza topped with pepperoni and pickled jalapeños.
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An overhead shot of a jar of pickled jalapeños.

Quick-Pickled Jalapeños

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Adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe, which I’ve written about previously, this pickle recipe is the only one I use. It comes together in no time and produces great results every time.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar, such as distilled white, rice, white balsamic, or apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 34 jalapeños, sliced thinly


  1. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to ensure the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Place the jalapeños into a glass jar, such as a 2-cup Mason jar. Pour the hot pickle brine over top. Use a spoon to push the peppers down to ensure they are submerged. Let cool completely; then cover and stash in the fridge for many months.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Pickle
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Mexican

Keywords: quick, pickled, jalapenos