Preserving peppers in vinegar and salt is super easy. It takes minutes to put this dish together and it’s a great way to preserve peppers. It takes a few days to ferment and once it’s ready it’s a super healthy and tasty snack or an addition to salads or sandwiches. Even better, you can take this basic recipe and use it to preserve other vegetables (I’ll list them in the post). I have the Preserving Peppers in Vinegar and Salt printable for you at the end of the post.
My favorite kind of sweet peppers to grow are Lunchbox peppers. I get the seeds from Johny’s Selected Seeds. I start them indoors on my seed starting shelf and transfer them to the garden in the middle of May when the weather is warm and all danger of frost is gone.
There are many reasons that they are my favorite peppers. They are so beautiful! I love the many colors. I buy the mixed color seed pack so we get green, orange, and red peppers. I do find the red ones to be the sweetest but the other ones are amazing too.
They don’t attract any pests, they are fun for the kids to pick right in the garden and eat as a snack (discover more great varieties for a kid-friendly garden here), and each plant produces so many peppers. It’s really beautiful to see the plants so full with colorful little peppers.
But maybe the most important reason that I love them so much is that they are really easy to grow. If you’ve planted peppers in your garden before, you know that many times you have to deal with blossom end rot. It happens with tomatoes too…the bottom of the pepper will rot before it’s fully ripe for the picking.
In my post on how to plant tomatoes, I show you how you can prevent blossom end rot but I found that with the small varieties, like cherry tomatoes or those Lunchbox peppers, this is not an issue. Probably the reason is that they require less calcium from the soil in order to form the little peppers.
Preserving Peppers in Vinegar and Salt…
Since it’s relatively easy to grow, so beautiful, and produces so many peppers, it’s a regular in my garden.
I do grow the larger bell peppers as well so I can make my Mediterranean stuffed peppers dish and I also love roasting and canning some of my peppers. The smaller Lunchbox peppers are great to stuff with cream cheese, tuna salad, or egg salad, or whatever else you can come up with. Their flesh is thin and they don’t have many seeds in them.
I also use them sometimes to make my pepper paste but, to be honest, I prefer using the bell peppers for that and leave the Lunchbox peppers to eat fresh as a snack.
Since each plant produces so many peppers I’m often left with a ton of peppers that I have to somehow preserve. A couple of years ago, my mother came from Israel for a visit and showed me how she preserves vegetables in vinegar and salt.
It’s such an easy recipe and a great way to preserve those little peppers. She does the same thing with cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, kohlrabi, fennel, carrots, hot peppers, and radish. So if you like, make sure to save this recipe or print it out and remember to come back to it and try it with other vegetables.
Of course, you can also mix a few kinds of vegetables in one big jar. Ok, let’s do this!
How to Preserve Peppers in Vinegar and Salt…
My mother starts by washing the peppers and getting rid of the stem…
Next, she makes a little slit in the bottom half of the pepper. If you are doing this with bell peppers, you’ll cut them into large pieces and remove the seeds. The little lunchbox peppers have hardly any seeds in them, so she just made a little cut so the vinegar and salt can get inside.
Just like that…
We used a half-gallon Ball jar. She just went on until the jar was full…
Making sure to leave about an inch of headroom.
Next, she took one garlic clove…
And crushed it. I always do this with a knife laid on its side on top of the garlic clove, but she likes doing it with her hands. She leaves the peel on and just crushes the clove a bit to release all those glorious garlic juices.
Then, she places the garlic on top of the peppers. Now, if you have some dill, you can add it in, it gives a great taste too. You can also add more garlic if you like the taste, or you can add mustard seeds, or you can use mixed pickling spice if you like. I am giving you the basic recipe, but once you have the basics down you can try different seasonings.
You can see how I add different seasonings to my fermented cucumbers and my fermented tomatoes. You can use the same or different seasonings but it will give you a better idea of what are the options.
Once the jar is packed with the peppers and the seasonings, she adds between one half to one cup of vinegar to the jar (remember we used half a gallon jar). If you like the taste of vinegar, add a cup. If you are not a very big vinegar fan, add half a cup.
Next, she boils some water and to every cup of boiling water, she adds one teaspoon of salt.
She adds this right on top of the peppers and keeps on adding cups of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt in each cup until the jar is full.
Once the jar is full of liquid, she uses a tablespoon to push the peppers under the liquid. You have to make sure not to use your fingers so you don’t introduce bacteria. Also, try to not touch the rim of the jar with your hands.
If you have fermentation weights place one weight on the top of the peppers to keep them under the liquid. You can also do this with an apple or cabbage core like I show in my fermented beets and fermented radish posts.
The last step is to close the jar and turn it over a few times so the vinegar and the brine solution mix.
Ok, one more photo…
Keep the jar at room temperature for five to seven days to ferment. The peppers will change their color a bit, the liquid will become foggy and then clear again. Once the liquid is clear the peppers are ready to eat.
Once you open the jar, make sure to keep it refrigerated.
If you are not going to enjoy them right when they are ready and you want to keep your jar for later, you’ll have to place the jar in a cool place, a root cellar is ideal. If the peppers are under the vinegar/salt brine and are stored in a cool place, they should last a few months.
That’s it! It’s really a simple recipe that I think every homesteader should have on hand to handle a large harvest in minutes.
Here is the handy printable card…
- Enough Lunchbox peppers to fill a 1/2 gallon jar
- 1 garlic clove, crushed, peel on
- 1 cup vinegar
- Wash your peppers and remove the stem (not the top of the pepper, just some of the stem).
- Make a slit at the bottom of each pepper.
- Pack a 1/2 gallon jar with the peppers, leaving one-inch headspace.
- Add the garlic clove on top of the peppers and add additional seasonings if you like (you can add more garlic, mustard seeds, dill, mixed pickling spice...).
- Add 1 cup of vinegar to the jar (you can add anywhere between 1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on how much you like the taste of vinegar).
- Boil water. Fill a cup with boiling water, add a teaspoon of salt, mix until the salt dissolves and add the solution to the jar. Keep adding cups of water and salt until the jar is full and the peppers are covered.
- Place a fermentation weight on top of the peppers and close the jar.
- Place it at room temperature to ferment for 5 to 7 days. The peppers will change their color and the liquid will become foggy and then clear again. The peppers are ready once the liquid clear.
- You can enjoy the peppers right away or you can store the jar in a cool place (like a root cellar) for a few months. Once you open the jar, make sure to store it in the fridge.
You can use the same recipe to preserve cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, kohlrabi, fennel, carrots, beets, hot peppers, and radish.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 20Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g