Pickled jalapeños are among the most versatile of all foods preserved in brine. Not only can they provide a briny flavor like that of pickled cucumbers, they deliver that deliciously eatable spiciness as well. Because they bring both heat and acidity, you can use them to complement numerous different dishes. To get you started, below are some of the top pickled jalapeño uses, whether you choose jarred or homemade. You’ll find that the batch that’s been sitting in your refrigerator for weeks (or months) is soon gone!
As a sandwich topping
You can use pickled jalapeños to bring a little heat to what might otherwise be a bland sandwich. Jalapeños can be used along with black olives and onions in a hoagie or in place of conventional pickles on a burger. You can even use them to give your grilled cheese sandwich a little heat.
As a topping for Mexican and Mexican-style dishes
One of the more traditional ways to use pickled jalapeños is as a topping for nachos and other favorites from the American Southwest and Mexico. Heap them onto your tacos and roll them into your burritos for a little heat. Chopped pickled jalapeños can add a spark and an extra acidic note to your carnitas, salsas, and to your quesadillas.
They are great in guacamole, too, especially if you do not have any limes on hand. They will provide acidity that helps to cut through the fattiness of avocado. When making a salsa, you can use pickled jalapeños in addition to jalapeños that you have roasted and peeled or in place of them.
In green salads
Pickled jalapeños can add a burst of heat and acidity to a salad. Use pickled red jalapeños if you want to add a burst of color or if the heat from the green jalapeños is not enough for you. Chop them finely and use them in place of capers or alongside them. You can use the brine in a vinegar-based salad dressing where it will provide some peppery heat in addition to acidity.
In mayonnaise-based salads
Use pickled jalapeños to add something different to the traditional bland and predictable potato salad. The acidity can work as an alternative or a complement to the sweet relish that you see in many popular potato salad recipes.
Pickled jalapeños will also work well in a variety of other similar preparations like egg, chicken, and tuna salad. Add it to coleslaw for a spicy twist on a familiar flavor profile. Or use it in ranch dressing for a touch of tang. Pickled jalapeños also add a delicious twist to deviled eggs.
To top pizza
One of the less conventional uses for pickled jalapeños is alongside options like black olives and mushrooms. The jalapeños are a great alternative to the standard crushed red pepper flakes if you want a little sizzle with your pizza. The heat and acidity help to cut through the fat from the cheese and pepperoni or sausage toppings.
Acidity and spice work well in both Bloody Marys and martinis. These cocktails will benefit from pickled jalapeño garnishes. In addition, you can further improve each by adding a splash or two of the tart and spicy brine.