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Three jars of pickled peppers in a row, full of mostly yellow-green banana peppers and few hot red ember chilis
Preserve Your Harvest,  Recipes

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! See how we make chili powder in this easy tutorial.

Ready to get pickling? 


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. 

How do you like to use your pickled peppers? 

Three quart mason jars of finish pickled peppers in brine sit atop a dark barn wood table. There are various large, dark green house plants in the background.

Three jars of pickled peppers in a row, full of mostly yellow-green banana peppers and few hot red ember chilis
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4.42 from 93 votes

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Pepper Recipe

Enjoy this recipe for quick and easy refrigerator pickled peppers, using any type of pepper you want to pickle! No canning necessary! Though you could can this recipe if you desire. Reminiscent of classic pepperoncinis, these pickled peppers are delectably tangy, just a tad sweet, and as spicy as you'd like to make them.
Prep Time30 mins
Pickling Time (in the refrigerator)14 d
Servings: 1 quart jar


  • Peppers of choice
  • 1 cup Filtered water
  • 1 cup White vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt, kosher or pickling
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • Fresh dill, a few sprigs (small handful)
  • 2-3 cloves Fresh garlic, light crushed
  • Peppercorns, to taste (about a dozen per jar)
  • 1 pinch celery seed
  • 1 grape, horseradish, oak or black tea leaf (optional, to preserve maximum pepper crunch)


  • Add the fresh dill, cloves of crushed garlic, celery seed and peppercorns to the bottom of a jar (and an optional grape, horseradish, black tea or oak leaves for extra crunch).
  • Prepare the brine by adding the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan on the stovetop. Heat until the sugar and salt dissolve, but then allow the brine to cool slightly before adding to peppers.
  • Wash the peppers. Poke each pepper with a sharp knife in a couple places to allow the brine to penetrate the peppers.
  • Carefully pack the peppers into the jar, trying to fit as many as possible inside.
  • Pour the brine over the top of the peppers until they are completely submerged. Top off with more brine or vinegar if settling occurs.
  • Add a lid to the jar and refrigerate for 2 to 3 weeks before enjoying. Use within 6 months for best quality and flavor.


CANNING: If you intend to hot-bath or pressure 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 instead of 1:1.

I hope you enjoy these easy refrigerator pickled peppers as much as we do! Please feel free to ask questions or provide a review in the comments below, and spread the love by sharing this article. Pin it using the pin below!

If you know us, you might be surprised that we aren’t fermenting these peppers. Fermentation is our go-to preferred way to “pickle” most things, since it increases the nutritional value of the food! But through trial and error, we found that using a traditional vinegar pickling method is ideal for achieving that classic pepperoncini flavor we are after.

To learn more about making lacto-fermented pickles, check out these recipes:

DeannaCats signature - Keep on Growing


  • Rosie Tangorra

    5 stars
    I make vinegar pepper for our Holiday Antipastos. They are hard to find already made without tons of sugar here in Michigan, so I make my own. I use the vinegar, water, salt, garlic clove, peppercorns and just a tiny bit of the sugar. They came out great for Thanksgiving and I am making more jars for Christmas right now! Thanks!

  • NormL

    Good morning: I was given four bannana peppers from next door so I used your recipe – sort of. I used a dried dill seed head, a small amount of pickling spice ’cause we’re out of celery seed, about .5 tsp of dried chilli pepper, brown sugar ’cause we’re out of white and heaping 1.5 teaspoon each of the salt and sugar. My mantra has always been you can add but you can’t subtract, only dilute or start over! Another trick of mine is to heat only the water to disolve the salt and sugar. Once disolved, add the vinegar and the brine is ready to pour over the jared ingredients without waiting for it to cool. I like to use pickled bannana peppers in my pepper steak recipe along with some of the brine. This adds a great flavour to an already yummy dish.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Linda, the grape leaves that are only in water or vinegar could work although stay away from the ones that may come packed in oil. You can use fresh bay leaves which you can find in most produce departments or black tea leaves (either loose or a tea bag). Ball makes a product called pickle crisp which is linked in the article and can help the pickles stay more crisp. Hope that helps and good luck!

  • Chuck Powell powell

    5 stars
    Just finished my Refrigerator Pickled Pepets following this recipe. I harvested an assortment of peppers from my raised garden. Also added a few small lemon cucumber to fill the spaces to prevent floating. Can wait to enjoy!

      • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

        Hi Margaret, that should work just fine and is a great idea for many other people as it is likely more available than grapes leaves. We will amend our article to include that as well, thank you and enjoy!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      They will stay good for up to six months but we notice they lose some of their crunch as they get older. Enjoy!

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hi Melissa, regular table salt will work just fine for pickling. If you were to start fermenting you would want to avoid iodized table salt. Good luck and hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • MaryTheresa

    This will be my first attempt at following your recipe. If I cannot acquire fresh dill, does dill weed work as a substitute?

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello MaryTheresa, we’re you looking into using dried dill weed? If so, yes you can use it as a substitute though the amount you use will differ than when using fresh. Good luck!

  • ash

    Hi Deanna! I made this and it smells amazinggg, thanks for the recipe- but I have 2 Qs!

    1. I maybe didnt wait long enough to cool- and the jar lids sealed (sucked in) in the fridge, is that ok?
    2. I wasn’t great about leaving headspace, like, almost none. Thoughts?

    Thanks so much! They smell and look fine but I’m new to this and want to make sure its ok.

    • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

      Hello Ash, you will be just fine on both accounts! Headspace is more of an issue if you are hot bath canning or freezing. Thanks for reading and enjoy those peppers!

  • Terry and Kelly

    Amazing! We had no idea how easy it was to make such a great treat. I loved growing up in a family that canned every year especially dilly beans, but never had the time or skill to get the same results. Your recipe was so easy and we enjoyed taking local fresh produce and getting such great results.
    Green beans, pickles, peppers and cauliflower.
    We shared with our family and friends and they were so complimentary.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Liza Y

      5 stars
      Thank you for a wonderful and easy recipe to follow!
      Do you think it would be okay to use a clean Dill pickle jar and lid?

        • Laura

          Just put them in fridge! I used red bell peppers cut to fit the jars and bay leaves to keep crisp then followed recipe! my mom always pickled green peppers and I can’t remember the recipe, lol, always had it in my head! Thanks for this, hope they turn out (I also just made garlic sour pickles by fermenting)

          • Aaron (Mr. DeannaCat)

            Hi Sharon, just add a tea bag to your jar or a teaspoon or two of loose leaf black tea. You can also use bay, oak, or grape leaves. Hope that helps and good luck!

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