How to Use Jalapeño Peppers – Excellent Uses Whether You Have a Few or a Lot

4 min

How to Use Jalapeño Peppers - Excellent Uses Whether You Have a Few or a Lot

If you enjoy a little heat in your food, jalapeños are a fantastic addition to any of your favorite dishes. You can put them in casseroles, on tacos, in omelets, and in a lot of other dishes.

If you find yourself with a surplus of jalapeño peppers this year, or even just a few, here are some fantastic ideas for how to put them to good use.

Consume them fresh

The first option, of course, is to take advantage of the freshly picked jalapeños and eat them fresh. Although some people can handle eating a whole pepper, you can always add them to dishes after they’ve been sliced or diced.

Start your day off with a punch by incorporating them into your breakfast omelet or breakfast potatoes in the morning. Or how about dicing a pepper and incorporating it into your favorite mac and cheese recipe?

How to Store Fresh Jalapeños

To keep fresh picked jalapeno peppers nice and crisp, place whole peppers in a paper bag. Then place them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

If you want to keep sliced or diced jalapeños in the fridge, place them in an airtight container with a paper towel on top. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture, preventing the diced peppers from becoming soggy.

Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers make for a great appetizer

Pickle the Jalapeños

If you have a surplus of jalapeno peppers and don’t know what to do with them, make pickled jalapeños.

This is the standard topping for pizzas. You can also make a Firecracker Burger with them, or use them in other dishes, such as Jalapeno Popper Dip.

Cowboy Candy
Cowboy Candy

Canning Jalapeños

If you have an abundance of jalapeños, you may want to consider canning them in jars so that they can be kept for months in a cool, dark place.

We like to use a method known as Cowboy Candy when preserving jalapeños. Jalapeños are canned after being processed in a hot water bath canner and cooked in sugar syrup.

Cowboy Candy can be used as a condiment on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and other foods. Combine a spoonful with softened cream cheese for a quick appetizer whenever you need it.

If you want to can jalapeños in a more traditional way, try making Pickled Pepper Rings. It is the same process as canning banana pepper rings and can also be done in a hot water bath canner.


Freezing Jalapeno Peppers

If you have freezer space, freezing the peppers may be the simplest option. Unlike freezing green beans or sweet corn, freezing jalapeno peppers does not require blanching.

To remove any dirt, simply wash and dry the peppers. Then seal them in a resealable freezer bag, remove any excess air, and store them in your freezer.

Washing peppers in colander

If you don’t want the heat, cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds before freezing.

When you want to have fresh peppers on hand all year, this is a great way to store them. Please keep in mind that freezing peppers results in peppers that aren’t as crisp as freshly picked peppers.

However, you can still slice them and use them in recipes all year. To take the freezing process a step further, make jalapeno poppers and freeze them so that you always have a ready-to-cook appetizer on hand!

You can freeze peppers whole or you can cut them and half and remove the seeds if you don’t want all the heat.

Pepper Dehydration

If you have a dehydrator and are looking for ways to use a bunch of Jalapeno peppers, you’re in luck! Dehydrating peppers allows you to use them in a variety of ways.

To begin, dehydrate the peppers at 135-145°F until they become crisp. Then put them in a mason jar, a vacuum-sealed jar, or a freezer container.

Simply soak them in boiling water until they are nice and pliable again before using them in recipes.

You can also dehydrate and grind jalapeno peppers in a coffee bean grinder. This makes an excellent homemade hot pepper powder that you can use to spice up your recipes.

If you don’t have a dehydrating appliance, you can dehydrate the peppers in your oven or a smoker.

Dehydrating in the Oven

For dehydrating in the oven, set the temperature to the lowest heat.

This should be between 125°F and 150°F. Place the peppers on an oven rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 6-10 hours, or until completely dry.

Smoked chipotle peppers

To make Chipotle peppers, dehydrate them in a smoker.

And if you have an abundance of red jalapeño peppers, you can use your smoker to create your own Chipotle Peppers.

While the peppers dehydrate, the smoke will penetrate the skin, imparting the chipotle peppers’ signature smoky flavor.


Smoked chipotle peppers
Smoked chipotle peppers

Like it? Share with your friends!