One of the easiest, tastiest snacks you can make is pickled banana peppers! We always have a jar in our fridge to dress up sandwiches and eggs. It is not uncommon for us to throw a pickled banana pepper on top of a buttery cracker and a piece of cheddar cheese. Midnight snack anyone?
Banana peppers are one of our favorite varieties to grow in the garden. They’re tasty, prolific, and can be used in many recipes. Unlike some of the spicier peppers that we grow, we have no issue offloading banana peppers to friends and family.
Some people might be afraid of pickling with fear that it is too difficult. However, the process is much easier than you may think! You can pickle banana peppers using a quick pickling method, or by water bath canning. It all depends on how long you wish to keep your peppers good for.
We eat up our pickled banana peppers quick, so we typically opt for the quick pickling process. These pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are not shelf stable, and they are stored in the fridge and consumed quickly.
If you are looking for a guide to preserving your peppers for long-term storage, we recommend following the USDA guide to home canning.
Pickled Banana Peppers (Video)
What You Will Need To Pickle Banana Peppers
- 10 Banana Peppers (Depending on size)
- 2 cups white vinegar (5%)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pure salt (pickling salt)
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar (optional but recommended)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- Mason jars with lid
Note: This is a basic brine recipe. We encourage you to experiment with different spices! You can try adding dill, oregano, turmeric, or different varieties of peppers. Get creative and have fun with it.
When To Pick Banana Peppers For Pickling
If you’re growing banana peppers in your garden, you’ll want to make sure you pick them at the optimal time. Always wait for the banana peppers to mature before harvesting them for pickles. They should be a pale yellow color and have reached their mature size of 4-5 inches.
If you leave your banana peppers on the plant for too long, they will eventually turn to an orange-red color. It is fine to pick them at this stage, but for the best pickles, we suggest harvesting them at their pale yellow color. Banana peppers are good to eat at any stage of growth, so don’t overthink it too much! We also have a complete guide on when to pick banana peppers.
What To Do With Pickled Banana Peppers
The possibilities are endless! We love snacking on pickled banana peppers right from the jar. Pickled banana peppers also taste great on top of a pizza (especially Hawaiian or pepperoni!). If you’re looking to spice up plain scrambled eggs in the morning, throw some on top or mix them into an omelets.
Pickled banana peppers are also delicious on tacos, burritos, and sandwiches. They add a zingy punch of flavor without being too heavy. If you have a favorite way to use pickled banana peppers, let us know in the comments so we can try it out. We always have a jar in the fridge around harvest time!
Check out our list of banana pepper recipes to get even more ideas.
How To Pickle Banana Peppers
We also have an easy-to-follow video tutorial on pickling banana peppers on YouTube. Here is our basic procedure for quick pickled banana peppers.
Step 1: Sterilize your jars
In order to sterilize your jars, boil them for 10 minutes (without the lid on). Make sure the jar is completely submerged in the pot of water. After the 10 minutes have passed, remove the jar carefully (use tongs!), and place them on a towel with the rim side up.
Step 2: Clean and slice your peppers
Carefully inspect all of your peppers for signs of rot or mold. Clean your banana peppers thoroughly and prepare them for slicing. If you are using spicy banana peppers, you may want to wear gloves for this step. The best way to loosen the seeds of your banana peppers is to roll them gently back and forth on a cutting board. Then, slice off the top of the banana peppers and use a chopstick to remove the seeds and core.
We like to slice our banana peppers 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick.
Step 3: Fill your sterilized jar with your sliced banana peppers
After you have a big pile of sliced banana peppers, you can fill your jar and prepare them for pickling! You will want to pack them nice and tight and leave a bit of room at the top.
Step 4: Prepare your brine
This is where all the flavor happens! Combine your water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and spices in a medium saucepan. Stir well to make sure everything is combined. Bring your brine to a boil. After the brine boils, you can remove it from the heat.
Step 5: Pour your brine over the peppers
The smoothest way to do this is by using a funnel. I would also recommend putting your jar of peppers on a pan or in a large bowl. This will make it easier to clean up if there is any spillage. At this point, you can pour your hot brine into the jar over your banana peppers. Make sure all the spices get in there too! You may have a bit of brine leftover which you can discard.
Use a spatula to go around the edge and remove the air bubbles.
Step 7: Seal and store
If you are looking to pickle banana peppers for long-term storage, you would prepare a water bath for your peppers at this point. However, we are going to store these pickled banana peppers in the fridge and consume them rather quickly. At this point, they are ready to eat! However, we suggest letting them sit in the fridge for a couple of days, so all the flavors infuse.
Easy Pickled Banana Peppers Recipe
- Mason jars
- 10 Banana peppers
- 2 cups White vinegar 5%
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Pure salt Kosher, pickling, sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp Sugar Optional but recommended
- 1 tsp Mustard seed
- 1 tsp Black peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp Celery seed
- 3 cloves Garlic crushed
- Sterilize your jars by boiling them for 10 minutes (without the lid).
- Clean and inspect your banana peppers. Gently roll them on a cutting board to loosen the seeds. Slice the tops off the banana peppers and use a chopstick to de-seed them.
- Slice your banana peppers into 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch saucers. Fill your sterilized jar with the peppers.
- Prepare your brine by bringing the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, salt, and spices to a rolling boil. Remove the brine from the heat when it comes to a boil.
- Carefully pour the hot brine into the jar of peppers. Use a paper towel dipped in vinegar to wipe around the jar lid and clean up any spillage.
- Seal the jars and allow to cool before placing in the fridge. Allow them to infuse for a couple of days before digging in. These are refrigerator pickles and should be consumed within a month.
See how simple it is to pickle banana peppers? After trying this recipe at home, we’re sure you will never buy store-bought pickled banana peppers again. Let us know in the comments if you try this recipe and any variations you may have made. We encourage you to experiment with different spices and have fun!