Crisp and spicy, quick pickled jalapeno radishes pack a hot-dang punch to weeknight tacos, summer salads, brats, barbecue, and more.
These sweet, smoky, spicy pickles elevate any dish you layer them on, deserving a prime spot on the condiment shelf.
A quick pickle recipe is a fast, unfermented method of preserving fresh ingredients in the fridge. It’s a great way to extend the life of vegetables that may not be long for this world and ultimately a game of finding flavor combinations you love.
If you like pickled red onions, you’ll love pickled jalapenos and radishes. Raw radishes often sport a bit of a bite—peppery, earthy, refreshing spiciness that adds lively crunch and flavor.
Radishes are versatile pickling partners soaking up some of the jalapeno spice in the pickling process, but not all. It creates a nice mix of the spicer jalapeno and the spicy yet milder radishes in the same jar.
The result is a delicious jar of radish and jalapeno pickles with bright spice, tangy acidity, and addictive crunch.
Check out our pickled red onions post for more in-depth pickling information and methods.
How do I tell if a jalapeno is hot? How do I choose a good jalapeno?
Great question! I put together a complete guide (with photos) for how to tell if a jalapeno is spicy in my BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Jalapenos recipe.
I like the flavor of Jalapeno, but I don’t like spice. Can I make this less spicy?
Yes, however, all jalapenos have some degree of spicy heat. The spiciest part of the jalapeno is the pith. This is where the seeds are attached and where most of the capsaicin in the chili pepper fruit resides.
Removing the pith and all the seeds will reduce the level of spice.
Can I use other spicy peppers?
Indeed you can. Habanero, serrano, & Fresno peppers are all fine candidates for pickling, and they have a bigger, spicier punch than jalapenos. If you’re a spice chaser, I’d recommend substituting habanero for the most intense spice.
What kind of radishes do I use?
Any kind of radish works for pickling. Options include red table radish, watermelon radish, daikon radish, french breakfast radish, Easter radish, and more. Different radish types will appear at different times of the year, but the red table radish is the most common or familiar.
Keep in mind that any bright colors leach into the brine, so the radishes end up being a solid color. In this recipe example, they start with red outer rings and end up pink throughout.
How to make the brine:
Dissolve the salt, sugar, and paprika into the vinegar and water mixture over heat—it’s really that simple.
The hot brine encourages the radish and jalapeno pores to open up, steeps the peppercorns, and starts the infusion process.
Our basic quick pickle brine is an even split of apple cider vinegar and water with the addition of smoked sea salt, a touch of sugar, and smoked paprika.
Standard salt is perfectly fine to substitute if you don’t have or want smoked salt. I enjoy the smoky background that the smoked salt imparts, especially with the jalapeno.
TIP: Do not let the brine boil for an extended time as the water will begin to evaporate and may result in an overly acidic brine.
Prepping the Vegetables for Pickling
Consider the intended uses of the pickled jalapeno radishes and choose your slice style.
For straight-up snacking, you might want thicker radish slices and jalapeno spears, approximately a quarter of an inch to half an inch thick.
For garnish purposes, I recommend slicing the radishes, jalapenos, and garlic into thin coins (as shown). Include the jalapeno seeds, some or all, depending on how spicy you’re feeling.
TIP: Always wear food-safe gloves and avoid touching your face when handling hot peppers.
Jalapeno Radish Pickles STEP BY STEP
- Mix the brine ingredients in a saucepan over med-high heat for about 5 minutes to dissolve sugar and salt.
- Prep the jalapenos into ¼-inch slices and slice the radishes thinly.
- Layer the peppercorns, jalapenos, radishes, and garlic into the jars.
- Pour the hot brine over the contents in the jar to just below the rim (the brine should cover all the vegetables). TIP: If you use a pickle weight, leave room for it on top of the stacked radishes and jalapenos. Pickle weights are handy for keeping all ingredients submerged.
- Cool to room temperature, secure the lid, and refrigerate for up to 2 months.
For best results, allow your freshly made jalapeno radish pickles to infuse for 24 hours before consuming. However, these babies can be ready for action in as little as 2 hours. Enjoy!
NOTE: This quick pickling recipe is NOT for unrefrigerated shelf storage and does not include fermentation as some classic pickling recipes do.
Quick pickles are meant to be enjoyed:
a) …within a few weeks
b) …often and with great enthusiasm
c) … sprinkled lovingly on all the tasty things
d) … sitting next to someone you enjoy very much
More Condiment Recipes You’ll Love
- Smoky Pickled Red Onions
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Homemade Chili Sauce
- Creamy Miso-Yogurt Sauce
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- Smoky Honey-Mustard Sauce
Quick-Pickled Jalapeno Radishes
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 3 tablespoons sugar , or more, to taste
- 1 tablespoon smoked sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 large jalapeno chile peppers sliced into coins
- 1/2 pound radishes sliced into coins
- 6 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 tablespoons tri-color peppercorns
- Mix the brine ingredients in a saucepan over med-high heat for about 5 minutes to dissolve sugar and salt. (Remove from direct heat, so it doesn't continue to evaporate.)
- Slice the jalapenos into ¼-inch slices and slice the radishes thinly into coins. TIP: Always wear food-safe gloves and avoid touching your face when handling hot peppers.
- Divide the peppercorns in the bottom of each jar. Layer the jalapenos and radish with the garlic into the jars.
- Pour the hot brine over the contents in the jar to just below the rim (the brine should cover all the vegetables).
- Cool to room temperature, secure the lid and refrigerate for up to 2 months.