Lacto-fermented “Pickled” Jalapeño Pepper Slices *

Lacto-fermented, or cultured, vegetables and condiments are a great way to get plenty of beneficial “good” bacteria in your gut. You should have some form of lacto-fermented condiment or side with every meal. Proper gut health is so important to your overall health, as most diseases and health problems stem from poor health of your GI tract. Read more about fermented vegetables in our article “Lacto-fermented Vegetables & Fruits…Give Them a Try”.

My husband really loves “pickled” jalapeno pepper slices. I wanted to find a way to make them for him that was a healthier option…but one that he would still enjoy. Well he really loves these…especially on his pizza (sourdough of course 🙂 ) And they are so easy to make…..I know lacto-fermentation sounds hard, but it really is easy.

  • 1 pound fresh jalapenos, sliced into 1/4″ rings (shake out loose seeds if desired, the more you remove, the milder they will be)
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

Other Items you will Need:

1-quart sized wide-mouth jar (preferably with air-lock lid)

Add half of the sliced garlic to a clean quart-sized jar.

Add half of your pepper slices to the jar, try to get them laying as flat as possible.

Add the remaining garlic slices, followed by the remaining pepper slices. (Fill the jar to 1-inch from the top to leave space for expansion.) Gently press down on the pepper slices to pack them in the jar….though don’t press too hard or you will crush them.

In a bowl, or large glass measuring cup, mix together the water and salt to make a brine. Pour this mixture into your jar of peppers to cover them. If needed make up extra brine using the same ratio of water to salt (remember to leave at least 1-inch space from the top of the jar for expansion).

Place lid (preferably air-lock lid) on the jar tightly. If using air-lock fill with water according to instructions. Allow to ferment, at room temperature, for 2 to 3 days.

Remove air-lock lid, if using, and replace with storage lid — transfer to cold storage.

Makes 1-quart.

*Sugar-Free / Grain-Free

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


  1. I have a question about “filtered water”. I live on a well and there is nothing introduced into the water. Is “filtered water” necessary?

    • Filtered water is only used as city water usually contains chlorine which will inhibit the lacto-fermentation process. Well water should be okay.

  2. I tried these a few weeks ago and added carrots to them, they came out great! Three days ago I started a new batch, when I opened a bottle to taste them it fizzed for at least 30 second. They do smell great though. Are they safe to eat? Did I do something wrong? They are in the fridge now, but I will wait to hear from you because I’m a little scared that I might have made a mistake,

    • Mona, This is a normal action of closed fermenting. When you use a closed system the CO2 gets trapped in the liquid. When you open the jar it is allowed to escape, same type of action happens when you open a soda. If you use an airlock the gasses are allowed to escape during the process in stead of all at once. – Jeff

  3. Thanks for the instructions! My husband just finished polishing off our first quart in his lunch sandwiches, so I started our next batch with the last peppers of the season from a friend’s garden. The red and green slices are so attractive in their jar, such a nice reminder of summer colors and flavors!

  4. This was my FIRST fermented food I did – hopefully many more to come! They taste great! I can see my biggest problem is going to be refrigerator space. Does “cold storage” means refrigerate or put in the coolest room you have. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Bonny, that is super to hear. Today cold storage is the fridge usually. It was a root cellar in the past. Needs to be below 48 degrees, closer to 40 or lower. There are many different sizes of the jars, so switch them up. As you make more fermented foods you will loose the commercial ones opening space up. – Jeff

      • Thank you Jeff! Yes, I did some tossing of some of the processed foods to make more room for healthy foods! 🙂 I am sooo loving these jalapenos! I ate a quart myself last week!!! LOL They go with breakfast, lunch and dinner!

        • Bonny, Super to hear! I love them also, but I must admit it does take be longer to eat a quart. :). Glad you are loving them and thanks so much for the comment. – Jeff

  5. Nina Montgomery says

    Hey there
    I’m about to try this (with regular chilli’s, as I’ve never seen Jalapeño chillis in Australia). Would it matter if I used extra garlic?
    Thank you

    • Nina, regular chiles should work out fine. You can add extra garlic if you like. Garlic is anti-bacterial so depending on how much extra garlic you add it could take longer to ferment. Also keep in mind the garlic taste gets amplified (much stronger) after fermented. 🙂

  6. I’m just learning and tried sliced jalapeno peppers a couple of weeks ago (before I found your site). The directions I followed said to leave them for two weeks. I used an airlock system and a glass weight. When I checked the jars yesterday, one had a heavy white moldy looking film completely covering the top. Would this be yeast or really mold? The peppers were from our (organic) garden, but they had been on the counter for several days before trying this… Help please!

    • Barb, not knowing or trying the exact recipe you tried I cannot tell you a for sure answer. But with that said it sounds like they were left to ferment for far too long. After 2 weeks of fermenting a jalapeno pepper slice would most certainly be a mushy mess. The white stuff you spoke of could be mold or yeast. If it was me I would not take a chance and would just toss them. Glad you found us and hope you find the site and products we offer for lacto-fermenting helpful.

  7. Ben Griffith says

    Do you have a recipe for pickling whole Jalapenos? Would it be the same?
    I am just getting started with this Lacto pickling technique. Are you a good, kind, and generous recipe source?
    The sliced Jalapeno’s sounds like a fun project for tomorrow.
    I located a local Home Brew shop and picked up some air locks so I’m ready.

    Ben g

    • Yes, you can pickle, or should I say, lacto-ferment “whole” jalapenos. The ingredients and instructions would stay the same except for two things. 1) You would leave the peppers whole and cut a few slits through each one with a sharp knife. Pack the peppers in the jar tightly, covering with brine as instructed. 2) Ferment the jalapenos as directed, increasing the time as it will take much longer the soften them since they are whole. It may take 2 weeks or more, check them and see when they are done to your liking. 🙂

  8. I have lots of jalapeños from my parents’ garden, I will give these a try. Thanks!

  9. I am about to make my second jar of these; they are so delicious! My hubby said the first batch could have been hotter (what?), so this time I’m leaving all the seeds; yikes!

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