Homemade Sweet Peppers


Fresh homemade sweet peppers is one of the wonders of summer in my opinion. My family make homemade sweet peppers as a normal side dish with lots of other veggies and sauces every time we barbecue. Our favorite way to cook them is with fresh plum tomatoes and onions in a bit of salt and olive oil.

Pickled Sweet Peppers


Homemade Pickled Sweet Peppers are simple to make with sliced peppers, onion, vinegar, sugar, and simple spices. A quick and easy recipe for pickling bell peppers that you are sure to enjoy throughout the entire year.  Add them to your favorite sandwiches, homemade pizza, omelets, and cheese and crackers.


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 8-10 cloves garlic smashed
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4 ½ to 5 pounds red, green, and orange bell peppers sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 large onion halved and sliced thinly


  • In a large pot, make the brine. Place the salt, cider and white vinegars, water, sugar, garlic, and spices in a large pan and bring to a boil over medium to high heat.
  • Sterilize your jars in a 16-quart canning pot. Place the sliced peppers and onions into the jars. Press down to compact and make sure you have plenty of peppers and onions in each jar, as they will rise up to the surface during the processing.
  • Using a wide-mouth funnel, ladle hot pickling brine over top of the peppers and onions, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rim with a clean, damp paper towel. Center the lid on the jar. Apply the band until the fit is fingertip tight.
  • Place the jars in a water bath and process for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove from the water bath. Allow to cool completely on the counter for 24 hours. For best flavor, let stand for 3 to 4 weeks before enjoying. Store the jars in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
  • Once opened, store in the refrigerator.

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickled Peppers Recipe

Aaron picked a peck of peppers to pickle. Deanna and Aaron pickled a peck of peppers that Aaron picked. The picked peppers that they pickled were perfect! Now I want to teach you how to make our favorite, quick-and-easy, refrigerator pickled peppers recipe. Yup, no canning required! Though, you could can them – if you desire. These pickled peppers are delectably tangy, just a tad sweet, and as spicy as you make them!

Truth be told, we grow banana peppers pretty much just to make this recipe! They’re excellent prepared other ways of course, but are exceptional when pickled – much like a classic pepperoncini! However, banana peppers aren’t the only type of pepper that you can use for this refrigerator pickled pepper recipe. Hot, mild, sweet, savory… use whatever variety of pepper your taste buds or garden dictate! (Find our top tips to grow your own peppers here)

We have pickled jalapeños, spicy corn de chevre peppers, and even sweet bell peppers in this same manner. Personally, we prefer to save our hot peppers for making homemade chili powder!


Per quart jar, stuffed with peppers of your choice:

  • Peppers of choice – the amount will vary, depending on pepper size
  • 1 cup of filtered water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • About a dozen peppercorns
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill 
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt and sugar each
  • A sprinkle of celery seed

We typically make several quart jars at once, or one large half-gallon jar, so we triple the recipe by combining 3 cups of vinegar, 3 cups of water, 4 tablespoons of salt and sugar each, and just under ½ teaspoon celery seed.

Optional: Grape, oak, black tea, or horseradish leaves. All of these leaves contain tannins that help the peppers stay more crisp. I highly suggest adding them if you choose to hot-bath can pickled peppers. The heat will cause them to soften much more than the refrigerator method!

Speaking of canning, if you intend to hot-bath can this pickled pepper recipe, increase the vinegar-to-water ratio than what is listed above. For food safety, adjust the recipe to be about 3 times the amount of vinegar to water. For example, 1.5 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cup of water, scaling both up as needed.

Many green/yellow banana peppers and a few red cayenne peppers litter a barn wood surface. There are also cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of dill, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and celery seed each in their own measuring spoon in the middle/front of the peppers. These are the ingredients for the recipe.


Step 1: Prepare Jars

In the bottom of each glass mason jar (or similar container), add a few sprigs of fresh, washed dill. Peel 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, crush them lightly with the wide side of a knife, and throw them in the jar as well. Finally, add a pinch of peppercorns. We add about a dozen per quart jar. If you are using grape or oak leaves, add one or two to the bottom of each jar now. We’ve done it both ways, and simply didn’t have any available to use this time!

A close up image showing the bottom of a quart size mason jar. It contains, three cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of dill neatly nest around the outer edge of the inside of the jar, and a number of peppercorns dot the bottom as well.

Step 2: Create A Pickling Brine

On the stovetop, combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a pot. Next, add equal parts sugar and sea salt, plus a sprinkle of celery seed – following the amounts list above. Stir, and lightly heat the mixture until the salt and sugar has dissolved.

We don’t want to add the brine to the peppers when it is piping hot though! “Cooking” the peppers in boiling brine will make them soften. Therefore, allow the brine to cool a bit while you are preparing and packing the peppers in jars. Lukewarm is good.

Step 3: Prepare & Poke Peppers

You have probably noticed that we leave our peppers whole for this refrigerator pickled pepper recipe! We have found that this helps maintain crispness. It also reduces the preparation effort upfront. Later, we can either snack on the pickled peppers whole, or slice them into rings as desired! 

Wash your peppers. Keep the stems attached, but feel free to trim them down to a shorter length if they are extra lanky. Next, poke each pepper with a sharp knife in a couple of places. This allows the brine to adequately penetrate and engulf the peppers, seeping in through the small slits you’ve created. 

A close up image of a yellow banana pepper being held with one hand while the other inserts a slit into the pepper with a knife. Below the pepper that is being focused on lies a metal strainer full of more banana peppers.

Step 4: Pack Peppers

Now pack those jars! Rather than simply tossing them in there all caddywhompus, I try to carefully and methodically place, pack, and tuck the peppers into the jars in a manner to fit as many as possible, leaving little spare room. Packing them tight also reduces their ability to float, and helps them stay submerged in the brine.

Hint: This pickling recipe can be used for a variety of peppers – and other veggies too! Feel free to add a few slices of onion, carrots, green beans, or other garden goodies to your jar too. When we are making pepperoncinis, we like to use mostly all banana peppers, but add at least one hot pepper into each jar for an extra kick! The flavors will meld a bit, so keep that in mind if you desire distinct flavors. For example, make one jar of mild peppers and one jar of hotter peppers, rather than two mixed. 

A hand is holding a quart mason jar by the bottom, the jar is packed with yellow banana peppers and one  red cayenne. Along with the garlic, dill, and peppercorns lining the bottom of the jar.

Step 5: Add the Pickling Brine

Once your brine is no longer hot, pour it over each jar stuffed with peppers – until it is completely full and all of the peppers are submerged. You will see the peppers begin to bubble as the brine seeps into the slits you created. After adding a lid, tap and wiggle the jars side to side to encourage that seeping. This will also help knock loose any air bubbles. 

If you have any leftover brine, keep it! It will take a couple days for the brine to completely penetrate and fill the peppers. As it does, the brine level in the jar will decrease and need to be topped off. If you do not have any brine leftover, no big deal! Simply top off the jars with plain white vinegar as needed. 

Feel your jars. If they’re still rather warm, allow them to sit out at room temperature to cool down for a couple of hours before refrigerating.

A quart mason jar full of peppers sits in the center of the image with a metal canning funnel on top of it. There is a stream of vinegar pouring down from the top into the jar. Two jars of peppers that have already been filled with the vinegar brine sit behind the jar in center.
The top of a jar of peppers with brine is in focus, many air bubbles are forming and floating to the top illustrating the brine is seeping into the peppers and the air inside of them that is escaping out.

Step 6: Refrigerate

After the jars of peppers are fairly cool, add a lid to each jar. The acidic nature of pickles can make standard mason jar lids corrode with time, so we opt to use these BPA-free plastic wide mouth jar lids, or these stainless steel ones. 

Refrigerate the jars. As mentioned above, keep an eye on them for the first couple of days to monitor the brine level! If it drops below the peppers, top them off with more reserved brine or vinegar as needed. Now, allow them to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 to 3 weeks before enjoying. I mean, you can totally sneak an early taste of course! Just keep in mind that they will improve with time as the pickle flavor develops to reach its maximum, delicious potential! 

These easy refrigerator pickled peppers will stay good for up to 6 months in the refrigerator. 

Step 7: Enjoy!

I have always been a pickle-lover, and find myself snacking on these straight from the jar! Pickled peppers make a great addition to any hors d’oeuvre plate, with cheese and crackers, on pizza, and on sandwiches of course. Because the peppers will be filled with brine, keep that in mind as you plate or bite into them! To easily drain the peppers, you can simply cut (or bite) off the tip. 

Easy Pickled Peppers

This quick pickled peppers recipe is easy to make and results in deliciously tangy pickles! No special canning equipment required.

Pickled peppers

Love peppers and love canning? Then it’s time to try making your own. Here’s our very favorite Pickled Peppers recipe! This basic quick pickles recipe works with any type of pepper: bell peppers, jalapeños, or banana peppers. Mix them up, throw them in a jar, and cover with a tangy sweet brine. In 1 hour you’ve got pickles! They’re fantastic for adding to chili, sandwiches, salads, sautes, and more.

What you need for pickled peppers

These peppers are quick pickles or refrigerator pickles: pickles that are stored in the refrigerator instead of the shelf. They’re not shelf-stable, but they last for 1 month in the refrigerator: plenty of time to enjoy the jar. The best part: quick pickles don’t require any special canning equipment! Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 1 wide-mouth pint canning jar
  • Peppers of any kind
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Garlic
  • Peppercorns
  • Celery seed
  • Bay leaf
Pickled Peppers

Types of peppers

You can use any type of pepper you have on hand to make pickled peppers: mild or spicy! Here are a few different types of peppers that work well and how to slice them before pickling:

  • Bell peppers: thinly slice or chop them, as desired
  • Banana peppers: thinly sliced
  • Jalapeño peppers: thinly sliced: make sure to take precautions by either wearing gloves or washing your hands after slicing
  • Mini sweet peppers: whole
  • Shishito peppers: thinly sliced (be careful: 1 out of 10 is spicy!)

How to make pickled peppers

Making pickled peppers is fast and easy: it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to assemble the jar, and 1 hour for it to cool. Once it’s done you can eat the pickles right away, or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Here are the basic steps (or jump right to the recipe):

  • Thinly slice the peppers: Place them in a wide-mouth pint jar.
  • Bring the brine ingredients to a boil: Place the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, celery seed, bay leaf and peeled quartered garlic cloves in a pot and bring to a boil (see the recipe below for the exact quantities).
  • Pour in the jar and wait until it cools (about 1 hour). You can eat immediately, or store in the refrigerator.
Pickled Peppers

Storage info

Once you’ve got them in the jar, how long do pickled peppers last? You can store homemade quick pickled peppers refrigerated for up to 1 month. Again remember, they are not shelf stable! So don’t attempt to store them in your pantry. If you’re anything like us, 1 month is more than enough time to eat through a jar.

Pickled Bell Peppers

Pickled Bell Peppers

Prep:15 mins

Cook:3 mins

Curing time:30 mins

Total:48 mins

Servings:3 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When it’s summer and the offerings at the market bear the bright, beautiful colors of the season, it’s time to take advantage of flavors that might be difficult to come by once the colder months come. Our quick pickling recipe highlights the flavors of sweet peppers, letting the veggie flavor speak for itself without covering it up with additional herbs or strong spices.

There’s no need for boiling pots and sterilized mason jars, or many hours in the kitchen heating up and cooling down your preserves. This quick recipe for picked bell peppers is easy to make and meant to heighten the sweetness of the peppers while giving them a tang that pairs great with salads, burgers, hot dogs, sausages, or sandwiches.


  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pickling salt, or sea salt
  • 3 large bell peppers, green, red, yellow

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a sauce pot and place on medium heat. Stir, using a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from heat. Let cool completely.
  4. Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds and stems.
  5. Slice the peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.
  6. Add sliced peppers to a bowl, pour on 1/3 cup of the dressing, and toss thoroughly to coat the peppers with the pickling liquid.
  7. Set aside for half an hour before serving. Toss intermittently.

Creamy Spread With Pickled Peppers

  • To make a tangy, creamy sauce, mix 1/2 cup of finely chopped pickled peppers with a cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of mustard, and the juice of one lime. Use it in potato or pasta salad, as a dip for crudités, or as a spread on sandwiches for a nice addition to a summer picnic.


  • This is not a canning recipe. These peppers are meant to be prepared and eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a week or two.
  • Use a nice pickling or sea salt. Kosher salt can be used, too, but make sure the salt is pure and has no additives such as iodine which can change the appearance and flavor of the peppers.
  • Store peppers in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure the peppers are covered with the pickling liquid.

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