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How To: Freeze Jalapenos

Learn how to freeze jalapenos to preserve your harvest at the height of freshness! This easy preserving method takes the guesswork out of freezing your hot peppers.

We call her the plant tickler. Nearly every time we chat in the evening during the summer months she's in her greenhouse cross-pollinating her peppers.

And my mom's got peppers, man. An entire greenhouse filled with hundreds of pepper plants. Bell, jalapeno, Thai, banana, there's something in there for everyone.

Then when it's harvest time we all get piles of peppers and never know what to with them all. I had to get creative!

This how to freeze jalapenos guide is dedicated to the plant tickler!

Two stacked jars filled with frozen jalapeno peppers.

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Tips + tricks

No. 1 --> If you're processing a lot of peppers, wear gloves! This is a lesson I learned the hard way one time while canning salsa. I had to sleep with my hand in milk because the capsaicin burned so bad!

No. 2 --> I've included steps for blanching the peppers - while this step is not exactly required, it will improve the texture of the thawed peppers by neutralizing an enzyme that encourages the breaking down of the peppers.

No. 3 --> While I recommend a vacuum sealer to any home cook, if you don't have one, you can use the ziplock and straw trick! Put the frozen peppers into a freezer quality ziplock bag, then place a straw through the zipper and seal the bag around the straw. Suck as much of the air out of the bag as possible, then as you pull the straw out, zip the bag shut!

Frozen whole pepper in a mason jar.

Key ingredients

Jalapenos: Choose fresh, firm, ripe jalapenos without blemishes, holes, or mold. Any jalapenos with wrinkled or dark spots should be either discarded or have those bits cut out.

While this recipe is written for jalapenos, it will work for any hot pepper; poblano, serrano, habanero, etc.

5 ripe jalapenos in a row.

How to freeze jalapenos

  1. Optional: Blanche the jalapenos in a pot of rapidly boiling water for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the jalapenos from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool for 5 or so minutes before blotting off excess water.
  2. To freeze whole jalapenos:
    Slice the top stem off the pepper.
    Use the handle of a spoon to scoop out the membranes and seeds.
    To freeze sliced or diced jalapenos:
    Slice the top off the top stem.
    Use the handle of a spoon to scoop our membranes and seeds.
    Slice the jalapenos in rounds, slice in halves, or dice the jalapenos as desired.
  3. Lay the jalapenos on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer until completely frozen, I like to wait 2 or so hours. Individually freezing the peppers makes for a batter frozen product as it won't clump together in the freezer bag.
  4. Once the peppers are completely frozen, transfer them to a vacuum seal bag or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible. Return the packaged peppers to the freezer for later use!

How to thaw peppers

Thawing frozen peppers is easier than freezing them!

Remove desired jalapenos from the freezer bag and either place on a paper towel or mesh rack to thaw. This will reduce moisture and condensation on the peppers to reduce the likelihood of soggy jalapenos.

More preserving recipes:

How to use frozen jalapenos:

These jalapenos can be used similarly to fresh jalapenos. The texture won't be quite the same, but the flavor and heat are there. I recommend using them in a cooked dish or a recipe that doesn't rely on the crunch of fresh pepper.

Use the frozen peppers for:

Batch and storage information

Batch: There is no limit to how many peppers you can freeze using this method, aside from your available freezer space! That said, diced, sliced, or halved jalapenos take up less space than whole ones!

Storage: Keep your frozen jalapenos in for up to a year, although they'll likely be best within 6 months, especially if you're using ziplock bags.

Frozen diced jalapenos in a small mason jar for storage.

Veggie cleaver: Anytime I'm chopping a ton of veggies, I reach for my veggie cleaver, it's large, sharp and heavy. It makes quick work of whatever fibrous vegetable meets my cutting board!

Vacuum sealer: I'm a HUGE vacuum sealer advocate. Yes, it takes a bit more time and effort than a ziplock bag but the results are far superior.

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📖 Printable Recipe

Frozen whole jalapenos in a mason jar.
Yield: 2 cups

How To: Freeze Jalapenos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Preserve your jalapeno harvest with this easy how-to freeze jalapenos guide!

Ingredients

  • Jalapeno peppers, as desired

Instructions

  1. Optional: Blanche the jalapenos in a pot of rapidly boiling water for approximately 2 minutes. Remove the jalapenos from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool for 5 or so minutes before blotting off excess water.
  2. To freeze whole jalapenos:Slice the top stem off the pepper. Use the handle of a spoon to scoop out the membranes and seeds.
    To freeze sliced or diced jalapenos:Slice the top off the top stem.Use the handle of a spoon to scoop our membranes and seeds. Slice the jalapenos in rounds, slice in halves, or dice the jalapenos as desired.
  3. Lay the jalapenos on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer until completely frozen, I like to wait 2 or so hours. Individually freezing the peppers makes for a batter frozen product as it won't clump together in the freezer bag.
  4. Once the peppers are completely frozen, transfer them to a vacuum seal bag or a freezer bag. If using a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible. Return the packaged peppers to the freezer for later use

Notes

how to thaw peppers:

Remove desired jalapenos from the freezer bag and either place on a paper towel or mesh rack to thaw before using - if required. Not all recipes will require thawing.

Storage:

Keep your frozen jalapenos in the freezer for 6 - 12 months.

More tips

- Step # 1 above for blanching the peppers is not strictly required but it will improve the texture of your thawed jalapenos.

- If you're processing a lot of peppers, wear gloves!

- Use the straw trick to remove air from a ziplock bag if not using a vacuum sealer. Fill the bag with frozen peppers, then place a straw through the zipper and close the zipper on except where the straw is. Suck out as much air as possible then zip the bag shut as you remove the straw.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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Al

Tuesday 17th of August 2021

Can you use frozen jalapeños to make batches of pepper jelly?

Ally

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

That's a great question! I LOVE pepper jelly. I would definitely use them, but I'd thaw then drain before using as the cells will release more water having been frozen

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