Versatile, delicious and perfectly crisp pickled banana peppers add a whole new level of flavor to your kitchen with this easy recipe! Don’t you just love the crunchy, sweet, vinegary, slightly spicy kick they pack in their tiny little pepper bodies?!
They are so vibrant and so colorful, and so easy to make. You’ll never buy store bought again once you make your first batch!
We like to grow our own banana peppers in the garden. With 3-4 plants every season, we’re able to grow an abundance of peppers, enough to last us through the rest of the year. Usually, we even have enough to give away!
If you’re not able to grow your own, you can buy them at your local grocery store or farmers market. It’s worth the little extra effort for the amazing crunch and freshness over store-bought. I promise!
Are Banana Peppers Hot or Sweet?
Neither, actually. They are very mild in flavor and register extremely low on the heat index (nearly 0!).
If you do enjoy a banana pepper that seems spicy, that is because of the pickling recipe used to make it. Not because the pepper itself is inherently spicy.
You can eat them raw without panicking for a cold glass of water!
Ways to Eat Pickled Banana Peppers
Banana peppers are good for all types of meals. I’m obsessed and put them on practically everything I eat. My favorite ways to serve them are:
- On top of a hot fried Chicken Cutlet sandwich (with lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar)
- As a pizza topping
- Mixed into any type of salad, including chicken salad and tuna salad
- As an element in an Italian style Antipasti
- Chopped up and mixed into pasta sauce
- Stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, spices and breadcrumbs
What are some creative ways you use your peppers?
How to Pickle Banana Peppers
So, how do you can banana peppers, especially if you’re growing enough for an entire year?! You can make them last with proper canning techniques and storage.
Always defer to the guidance of the USDA and/or FDA on proper food handling and canning.
You ALWAYS want to use clean and sanitized food-safe jars for long term food storage like these Ball Mason Jars:
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After sanitizing, be sure to cover the jars with their proper lids and rings to lock in freshness and discourage bacterial growth. They are specially designed to be air tight!
Let cool and check to make sure they seal.
I personally like to use 8oz Ball canning jars that allow smaller batches so I can try new flavors and get creative with my mixes. The recipe I use below is always the standard base for one 8oz jar.
How to Make Pickled Banana Peppers
When preparing to make your pickled peppers, be sure you are using ripe veggies. We like to allow some peppers to ripen more maturely which turns them into the gorgeous orange and red colors.
The different colors just represent the advanced stages of ripeness. We think they are pretty!
First, cut off the top of the peppers that was attached to the stem and discard. Then, detach the ribs of the seed pod from the inside. Usually there are three connected ribs on the inside of the pepper that meet in the middle where the seeds live.
If you detach the layer between the seeds and the wall of the pepper, you can remove all the seeds at once. (Pro Tip: Save the seeds and plant them in your garden for the next season!).
Once you’ve removed the seeds, slice the peppers across to make 1/4 inch pepper rings. Distribute the pepper rings into each canning jar until you reach the brim of the jar.
Carefully add pickling brine from the sauce pan on top of the pepper rings, place lid and ring on top of the jar, seal tightly and shake vigorously.
Place in the refrigerator to cool. I like to wait a day or two and then shake them up again from time to time until they are ready to be eaten.
Wait no less than 3 days to enjoy – give them time to soak up all that delicious flavor you just created!
You can refrigerate if you prefer to eat them cold or keep in your pantry. Check with USDA regulations on shelf life.
What Ingredients should you use?
It’s important to use quality ingredients when canning or preserving foods.
The best salt to use for pickled pepper is Morton Canning and Pickling Salt. It has no added preservatives or free-flowing agents. This is important because we don’t want to use a variety that clumps or adds unwanted chemicals.
If you can’t find or order canning or pickling salt. You can also use kosher salt or sea salt. I’ve alternated and tested with all three varieties of salt and have been happy with all of them and can’t tell a difference.
When choosing the vinegar, you want Natural Distilled White Vinegar, like Lucy’s Family Owned with 5% Acidity.
Can you pickle whole peppers?
You sure can!
To pickle a whole banana pepper, you will want to clean the pepper and add to a pot with water. Bring the water to a low boil for two minutes and remove from heat, then drain. This will slightly soften the flesh and skin of the pepper and allow the brine better absorb into the pepper.
Don’t over boil or keep on the heat for too long. The longer it stays on the heat, the softer they will be.
After you’ve strained the water away from the peppers, carefully place them in the canning jars, and reuse the pot and follow the recipe below.
Easy Pickled Banana Peppers Recipe
Recipe’s You’ll Love:
Pickled Banana Peppers
- 5-7 banana peppers seeded and sliced into rings
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- 3 parts white vinegar 1 part water
- 2 tablespoons kosher or pure sea salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- In a saucepan, add all ingredients, except the banana peppers, together and bring to a low boil for 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool while slicing and seeding the peppers.
- Slice the banana peppers into 1/4 inch thick rings, removing the seeds as you go.
- In your sanitized jars, add your banana peppers so they fill the jar approximately 3/4 of the way full, then add the pickling brine over the peppers.