Jalapeños pack quite a punch in the health (full of vitamins A and C and potassium) and taste departments. Even better is that the jalapeño plant grows well and provides an abundance of peppers. Often, there are way too many to use at once.
So can you freeze jalapeños?
If frozen and stored correctly, you can freeze jalapeños for up to one year. Ensure you use good-quality freezer bags when you keep them in the freezer. Jalapeños can be frozen whole, sliced, or diced. The diced jalapeños can be added to an ice cube tray and frozen for individual servings.
If you have too many of these “fat chilies” and don’t know how to store them, this detailed guide will provide all the hot tips you need.
How Do I Freeze Fresh Jalapeños?
Freezing fresh jalapeños is simple, and you don’t need a lot of equipment or added ingredients to do it. This is the best way to save these spicy peppers for later use.
You can successfully freeze your fresh jalapeños for between 6 to 12 months, which means you’ll have jalapeños all year round.
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to freeze your fresh jalapeños:
- Fresh whole or sliced jalapeños
- A cutting board
- A sharp vegetable knife
- Good quality freezer bags (Ziploc bags work well and prevent freezer burn)
- Ice cube tray
- Baking sheet
- A pair of gloves (prevent your hands from burning)
Instructions to Freeze Whole jalapeños
Whichever way you decide to freeze your jalapeños (whole, sliced, or cubed), you must wash them (with cold water) and dry the jalapeños thoroughly.
If you come across any damaged or limp peppers, toss them out, as they won’t freeze well.
Follow these simple steps to freeze fresh whole peppers:
- Cut off the stems and place the jalapeños on a baking tray.
- Place the tray in the freezer to flash freeze (leave them uncovered for 20 minutes until the jalapeño skin goes hard).
- Put the frozen jalapeños into a freezer bag and press any air out before sealing it.
- Place the bag into the freezer until needed.
Instructions to Freeze Sliced or Diced Jalapeños
If you’d like to freeze pre-cut or diced jalapeños, you can follow these simple steps:
- Slice the jalapeño on one side and remove all the seeds.
- Slice the peppers into desired slices or dice them.
- Lay the slices onto the baking tray and flash-freeze them for 20 minutes.
- Place the slices into a freezer bag, remove any air, seal, and place in the freezer.
- Add the diced jalapeño to an ice cube tray and top up with water to make individual servings. Each ice cube makes around 2 tablespoons of jalapeños.
Good to know: If you freeze moldy jalapeños, the growth of the mold will only be suspended and not destroyed when frozen. This means the mold will grow once they’re defrosted. Throw any moldy jalapeños out before freezing them.
Other Ways to Store Jalapeños
Although freezing jalapeños is probably one of the easiest methods to store jalapeños, there are other successful methods, such as:
You can dehydrate your fresh jalapeños and store them as dried pepper flakes or powder.
You can keep the dehydrated jalapeños for about one year or more. Here’s a quick look at how it’s done:
- It’s best to use a dehydrator, but you can bake the jalapeños at a temperature of 125℉ (unfortunately, this can cause the jalapeños to cook slightly and lose some of their flavors).
- Once the jalapeños have shrunk and gone leathery, you can store them in an air-tight container. You can also grind the jalapeños down into a powder or flakes.
- Keep the container in a dark, dry, and cool place.
Another way to store your jalapeños is by pickling them.
Pickled jalapeños can be stored for up to 1 to 2 months. Here’s a quick look at how it’s done:
- Make a brine by mixing 50/50 water and vinegar, and then add garlic and herbs. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil.
- Slice the jalapeños into slices and place them in a sterilized jar.
- Pour the brine over the jalapeños and tightly seal the lid.
- Place in the refrigerator, and use within 2 months.
You can also can the jalapeños, which will allow you to store them for up to 2 years by following these steps:
- Cook the jalapeños for ± 3 minutes in boiling water.
- Place them in sterilized jars and leave some space at the top.
- Fill the jar with the water you cooked them in until the brim, and seal the jar.
- Place the jar in a pot of boiling water and boil (this is known as processing) for 30 minutes.
- Store the jars in a dark, cool place and leave them unopened. You can use it within 2 years.
Can You Freeze Jalapeños Without Blanching?
You can freeze jalapeños without blanching them first. However, blanching them beforehand will help preserve their flavor.
Did you know? Jalapeños were the first peppers taken to space by NASA in 1982.
What Can I Do If I Have Too Many Jalapeños?
If you have too many jalapeños and don’t know what to do with them, try out some of these ideas:
- Add them to soups
- Make a hot jalapeñosauce
- Make candied jalapeños
- Roast them
- Make a salsa
- Make a chili paste
- Bag them and sell them (or give them to friends, family, and colleagues)
Can You Stuff Jalapeños and Then Freeze Them?
You can stuff and freeze jalapeño poppers. These tasty treats are made by hollowing out jalapeños and stuffing them with cheese, ground meat, and different spices.
They can be rolled in bread crumbs or wrapped in bacon and deep-fried.
Once they cool down, place them on a baking tray and freeze them until solid. Place them into freezer bags and leave them in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Pro Tip: For a vegan-friendly option, give the meat a miss and stuff the chili pepper with vegan cheese and herbs. #Yum!
My Last Foodie Thoughts
The great thing about freezing jalapeños is that it’s quick, super easy to do, and provides numerous options to use them at a later stage.
If you were to pickle them, you could only really use them for sandwiches and pizza toppings.
But if you freeze them, you can decide what to do with them later. If you want to add them to a curry, simply defrost them, chop them up, and add them to your spicy dish.
Or if you want to make a dip, no problem. Defrost them, chop them up, and add them to your dip.