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How To Preserve Jalapenos in Olive Oil

As the gardening season comes to an end, you will hopefully have a bounty of fruits and vegetables to cook and use. Jalapenos are some of the most prolific pepper plants, thus why we have to plan to preserve them once harvested.

In this article, we’ll share how to preserve jalapenos in olive oil at home. This method is a quick and simple way to keep your jalapenos in oil.

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Roast The Peppers

Warning! Before we begin, an important disclaimer about using olive oil to “preserve” your fresh produce. Using oil alone will not preserve your peppers for long-term storage. At best, jalapenos in olive oil will remain safe to eat for 2-3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. After this period, the peppers should be discarded to avoid the potential for toxic pathogens.

First, roast the jalapeno peppers in order to soften them and make them more able to take in the olive oil. This process is simple. Here is a quick guide to roasting jalapenos:

  • Set the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  • Place whole jalapenos on an oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake for 5-15 minutes, turning at least once and checking often to avoid overcooking. The skin should begin to darken, and the peppers should become soft.
Roasting Jalapenos
Roasted jalapeno peppers.

Be sure not to cook your peppers for too long, as this can cause the peppers to become mushy. The best texture for your jalapenos is slightly firm, but bendable. The pepper skins should look blackened and charred when they are ready.

Tip: Oven temperatures can vary widely. Be sure to keep an eye on your jalapenos while they are cooking to avoid overcooking.


Skin & Cut the Peppers

Now it’s time to prepare your peppers for the olive oil. First, remove the skin from the jalapenos. By broiling, the skin will become loose.

To make removing the skin easier, place the hot peppers in a bowl and seal it with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. This will cause the peppers to steam themselves and loosen the skin further.

After removing the skin, remove the stems and slice your peppers into the desired shape. Lengthwise slices are the most common, but you could also try slicing into chips. Wear gloves to avoid skin irritation!

Optional: Remove the seeds to reduce the heat of your olive oil jalapenos.


Add Spices and Olive Oil

The peppers are now ready to be stored in olive oil. To add some additional flavor, you can season the peppers with oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder or other dried spices. However, this is not required to preserve jalapenos in olive oil. You can simply use just the peppers.

Once you have seasoned the peppers, place the slices into a clean, glass jar. Add enough olive oil to fully submerge the peppers, stirring to allow any trapped air to release.

Note: Olive oil is not a true “preservation” method, as the peppers will only last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. For longer-term storage, try one of our other preservation methods.

How Long Do Jalapenos In Olive Oil Last?

Preserving jalapenos in olive oil does not provide safe long-term storage. Conservatively, your peppers will last about 1 week in the refrigerator, though they could potentially last up to 2-3 weeks.

Always keep peppers in olive oil refrigerated to avoid bacterial or mold growth. If your peppers begin to smell rancid, or you see any sign of mold growth, throw them away!

Hopefully you won’t have to worry about your peppers going bad, because you should eat them well before then!


If you have more jalapenos than you know what to do with, try a longer-term preservation method. We love making hot sauce and especially preserving jalapeno peppers in vinegar (pickling). We love to preserve our peppers and keep the harvests lasting months instead of days. Enjoy!

Calvin Thumbnail

Calvin

One of the original Pepper Geeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.

Tracy

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

When I put olive oil in the fridge it it becomes thicker and cloudy thought you couldn't refrigerate olive oil?

peppergeek

Tuesday 1st of September 2020

Hi,

This is true, it will thicken slightly when cold. However, it will thin back out when it warms back up a bit. It also depends on the type of olive oil.

We don't recommend storing peppers in just olive oil unless you plan to refrigerate it.

Best, -Calvin

Steven Craig

Sunday 13th of October 2019

How can I can jalapeños in oil for long term ? Thanks

peppergeek

Monday 14th of October 2019

We don't recommend canning in oil for long-term storage. Peppers and oil are both low-acid, making a great environment for mold and bacterial growth. Better to can using vinegar, or ferment the peppers if you need to keep them for a long time. Good luck!