Pickled Sweet Peppers are tart, sweet, and just a little spicy. These are so easy to make and there’s no canning experience needed at all! If you can boil water and slice sweet peppers into rings, you’ve got this!
In our home, there are times when one particular ingredient or food item tends to be present in abundance. Honestly, it’s very rarely any doing of mine. It’s John.e! (It’s so easy to blame him for everything! Ha!) But, once I tell you this story, you will totally be on my side. He is the reason these Pickled Sweet Peppers just had to be made!
A few weeks ago, John.e was at the grocery store by himself. Yes, Dear Reader, by himself! You see, pre-covid, I did most of the grocery shopping. Usually, I’d just pick up what we needed on my way home from work. If we were doing a big grocery shop, we’d both go. Very rarely does he go by himself without a list. This time, was a little different.
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This time, I was at our house, and he was back in Toronto with McKenna. As you know, we have been spending most of our time at our house during the covid lockdowns. But, after McKenna finished school at the end of June, she wanted to go back to Toronto so that she could find a summer job. Our house is located in a town with no options for a job. Nope – not even a post office or a corner store!
Well, the grocery situation in the apartment was pretty bad, so John.e and McKenna went grocery shopping together to re-stock the apartment for her. He happened upon bags of long sweet peppers. He bought them and brought them home. What was I supposed to do with two and a half pounds of peppers? After a couple of pepper and sausage pizzas, I decided to pickle them.
WHAT IS A PICKLED PEPPER?
A pickled pepper is in its most basic form, a bell pepper that has been preserved by pickling. Pickling usually involves submersion in a brine of vinegar and water with various herbs and spices, depending on the recipe and the desired results.
Just about any pepper under the sun can be pickled. The most common types of pickled peppers are banana peppers, sweet bell peppers, wax peppers and of course, jalapeno peppers. You can use the brine in this recipe to pickle any of those types. In this particular post, I am using the long sweet peppers. They tend to be sweeter than regular bell peppers, and they are the perfect shape for making pickled pepper rings!
I have a recipe here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen using jalapenos. They are candied jalapenos, which means the brine is sweet – almost syrupy-like – but they are still spicy because they are pickled with the seeds intact. Those types of jalapenos are used frequently for topping nachos and other Mexican dishes.
In contrast, Pickled Sweet Peppers are commonly found on sandwiches and subs. They are oftentimes used on pizza and in green salads. They can also be finely diced and stirred into tuna and chicken salad recipes.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Long Sweet Peppers – You can use any sweet pepper variety that has a circumference no larger than one and half to two inches.
- Vinegar – White vinegar is perfect for this recipe, but feel free to use flavoured vinegar if you want to change up the flavour.
- Water – This will dilute the vinegar just a bit, and ensure you have enough brine to fill the jar.
- Sugar – The peppers are already sweet, but you need just a bit of sugar to be sure that the vinegar does not overpower the sweetness.
- Salt – You must use sea salt, otherwise, your peppers will be cloudy.
- Dried Red Chili Flakes – These are optional, but I can’t imagine pickled peppers without a bit of heat. Use as much or as little as you like.
HOW TO MAKE PICKLED SWEET PEPPERS:
SLICING, DICING, AND CHOPPING CAN BE THERAPEUTIC!
This recipe really is easy! Remember, I said if you could boil water and slice the peppers, that’s pretty much all you need to do. Start by washing the peppers. I wash each pepper by hand under cold running water. Gently rub the skin by massaging the pepper in your hand to get a thorough clean. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start slicing!
You could use a mandolin for this, but I love to cut everything by hand. Any excuse I can find to practice my knife skills, I’ll find it. Lay the pepper flat and start cutting from the bottom end. The first slice is for the compost pile. I only start to save the slices that are actual rings. Cut the pepper into 1/4 inch slices. Once you reach the part with the seeds get in the way, toss what is left into the compost as well.
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NOW IT GETS EVEN EASIER!
When all of the peppers are sliced, you can set them aside and move on to the brine. This is so easy! Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and dried red chili flakes to a saucepan. Bring to a full boil. While the brine is boiling, wash your jars with hot soapy water and rinse them very well.
For the number of ingredients used in this recipe, you will get two 500mL (16 ounces / 1 pint) jars. Stuff the pepper rings into the jars. You will have to really push them in there! Once that’s done, and the brine has come to a boil, carefully pour the hot brine into the jars. Fill them all the way up, leaving about a 3/4 inch headspace. Screw on a lid and allow the jars to rest for a few hours to cool. Once cooled, keep refrigerated. Pickled Sweet Peppers will last two to three months.
MORE PICKLING RECIPES
I love to pickle things! There are basically two types of pickling recipes. One is a quick pickle, which is what you just read. The other requires that either a water bath or a pressure canning method is applied. In terms of a quick pickle, I have a Pickled Red Onion recipe that is wonderful.
In terms of canning and preserving, I have a few more options. Start with my Pickled Beets. I swear, Dear Reader, these are so easy and so delicious. It’s just like eating candy! My Newfoundland upbringing makes me proud to have a pantry stocked with these Mustard Pickles! Finally, I have two types of pickles. The first, this Sweet Sandwich Pickle, is great with just about anything. And there’s this Bread and Butter Pickle, which is made with zucchini. I could make a meal with those!
PUTTING YOUR PICKLED PEPPERS TO GOOD USE
These little rings of deliciousness can be used in so many ways! The first and most obvious way is on a charcuterie board. They taste wonderful on a piece of bread or on a cracker with a slice of deli meat and a sliver of cheese. So yummy! Another great option is to add them to your salads. The sweetness and tartness add so much flavour to a fresh green salad.
In terms of toppings, the possibilities are almost endless! You can add them to tacos and burritos. They are wonderful on pizza too! Don’t forget sandwiches, burgers, and even hot dogs!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Pickled Sweet Peppers
- 1 1/2 pounds long sweet peppers, cut into 1/4 inch rings
- 2 cups vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- Start by washing the peppers by hand under cold running water. Gently rub the skin by massaging the pepper in your hand to get a thorough clean.
- Lay the pepper flat and start cutting from the bottom end into 1/4 inch slices. Discard the heavily seeded part of the pepper. Once sliced, set the peppers aside.
- Next, add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and dried red chili flakes to a sauce pan. Bring to a full boil. While the brine is boiling, wash your jars with hot soapy water and rinse them very well. You will need two 500mL/16 ounce/1 pint jars.
- Stuff the pepper rings into the jars. You will have to really push them in there!
- Pour the hot brine into the jars. Fill them all the way up, leaving about a 3/4 inch headspace.
- Screw on a lid and allow the jars to rest for a few hours to cool. Once cooled, keep refrigerated. Pickled Sweet Peppers will last two to three months.
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