These Hot Peppers in Oil are the easiest way to add a little bit of heat to just about any dish! They’re pickled in vinegar first so they’re not tooo spicy but boy, are they flavourful! PRO TIP: ALWAYS keep a jar in the fridge to make elevating meals as easy as it gets!
Hot Peppers in Oil? Sign. Me. Up. Especially when they’re easy and pretty effortless to make. Trust me when I say that this is the condiment you didn’t know you needed. All you need are a few hot peppers (I love using Jalapeños and Thai Red Chilies), some minced fresh garlic, a pinch of salt and some good quality extra virgin olive oil. Put ’em on crackers. Cook ’em with eggs. Put ’em on pasta, pizza, burgers, tacos or sandwiches. Eat ’em straight outta the jar by the spoonful. Ya know…You’ll wanna put these hot peppers in oil on absolutely EVERYTHING! YES, They’re THAT good!
I’m a hot sauce gal. A spicy gal. A whatever-you-wanna-call-it gal. I just neeeeed some sort of heat on my plate kinda gal. I’m the gal that literally travels with her own hot sauce in her bag, jussssst in case. I don’t discriminate – I love all different kinds of heat levels (although, let’s be honest, the hottttah, the bettttaah), all kinds of crazy different combos, pastes, oils, powders, flakes, actual peppers – the real deal, whatever ya got…no amount of heartburn can stop me 😉 And for all of those reasons and more, I just can’t get enough of these Hot Peppers in Oil.
Now, just hearing the words “Hot Peppers in Oil” might sound pretty vague and boring to you. But trust me when I say that this easy to make condiment is the furthest thing from it, if you ask me. These hot peppers have the ability to completely transform any dish they come in contact with and the good news is that they last a pretttty long time in the fridge so all of your future meals are already thanking you for whipping up a batch today! 😉
WHAT YOU’RE GONNA NEED TO MAKE THESE HOT PEPPERS IN OIL
A few simple ingredients is all it takes to make these Hot Peppers in Oil aka the condiment you will not be sorry for making! Let’s get into ’em down below.
- Jalapeños: Aka part one of the Hot Peppers in Oil. I’m assuming you stumbled upon this recipe because you like hot peppers, at least to some degree? We all know that Jalapeños are not exactly the spiciest pepper out there. However, they do pack a nice kick. IMHO they’re the perfect pepper for the bulk of this recipe because of exactly that. Anyone can enjoy these hot peppers in oil, even those who might not normally love spicy food. Pickling them in vinegar first makes them even more flavourful and takes away some of the bite or edge you’d normally get from a raw jalapeño.
- Thai Red Chilies: Aka part two of the Hot Peppers in Oil. Now, these ones definitely pack a punch and are much spicier than the typical jalapeño. There are not nearly as many Thai red chilies in this recipe for hot peppers in oil as there are jalapeños which I find the perfect balance as they can easily be picked out for those that don’t want them. RECIPE NOTE: While jalapeños and Thai red chilies are my peppers of choice for this recipe, you can use just one or the other, if you prefer. Alternatively, you can use a different kind of pepper altogether instead.
- Garlic: Adds flavour and freshness and balances out the heat from the hot peppers. Fresh garlic is definitely best in this recipe. However, if you don’t have it, just omit it, instead of using garlic powder.
- Olive Oil: For flavour and keeps the peppers fresh for a long time. As always, good quality, extra virgin is best for this recipe as you won’t be discarding any of it. Once the hot peppers are done, use the hot oil for anything from bread dipping to pasta drizzling!
- Vinegar: Adds acidity and tang to the recipe. The peppers soak in vinegar overnight to pickle them before submerging them in olive oil which helps preserve them a bit. This takes away some of the heat and gives them an incredible flavour. Therefore, white vinegar is best for this recipe. RECIPE NOTE: The peppers will slightly change colour after soaking in the vinegar overnight and go from deep, bright green to a lighter, mellower green. This is totally normal and just mean that they have pickled and will preserve nicely.
- Salt: Amplifies and balances the flavours of the rest of the ingredients.
HOW TO MAKE HOT PEPPERS IN OIL (KEY TIPS)
- Use gloves to slice the peppers. Seriously. There are too many of them to risk handling with your bare hands as the heat will literally seep through your skin and haunt you for days! You definitely don’t want to get any of that heat anywhere on your skin especially on your fingers where you’ll then forget and touch your eyes. And trust me, that ain’t the least bit of fun.
- Cut the peppers into good bite size slices. The jalapeños should be about 1/4-inch thick and the Thai chilies into smaller slices. You don’t want ’em too thick where they’ll overpower everything you put them on but you also don’t want them too thin where they’ll wither away as they soak up the vinegar or oil, either.
- Let the peppers sit in vinegar for at least 12 hours but up to 24 and make sure they’re all submerged. If you want these hot peppers in oil to be on the hotter side, pickle them for less time. If you want them to be more on the milder side, pickle them closer to the 24 hour mark. EXTRA TIP: Save the vinegar after you drain the hot peppers! You now have hot vinegar that is amazing for adding to things like salad greens (both raw and wilted), sauces, marinades or dressings. And don’t even get me started on how good it is on french fries.
- Use good quality extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil does more than just cover the peppers and keep them fresh. First of all, the peppers absorb the oil as they sit in it so you’ll actually be tasting it. And secondly, once the peppers are all done, you’ll be left with spicy oil you can use for so many things! A nice drizzle on some Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash, anyone? RECIPE NOTE: The oil will solidify and become cloudy as it sits in the fridge. Simply take the peppers out 15-20 minutes before you want to use them to get them back to their normal state.
- Always ensure the peppers are submerged in olive oil at all times as you store them in the fridge. This will maintain the maximum freshness, prolong their shelf life and ultimately ensure that the peppers never dry out. Keep topping the jar up with fresh extra virgin olive oil each time you take some peppers out.
- If you anticipate using these Hot Peppers in Oil often, it’s ok to store them on the counter or pantry (in a cool, dry place) instead of the fridge. That way, you can easily add them to anything without having to worry about thawing the solidified oil.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I store my hot peppers in an airtight mason jar and ensure the lid is completely fastened after each use. I keep it in the fridge and only take it out when needed. You may notice that the Extra Virgin Olive Oil hardens or stiffens up when cold and that’s okay! It’s completely normal! Just take the jar out 15-20 minutes before you want to use it to soften up the oil a bit, then, use normally.
Always remember to top up the jar with fresh olive oil and gently push the peppers down with a fork after each use to ensure that all the peppers are completely submerged in the oil at all times.
A lonnnnnng time (if you resist eating them all too quickly!). I can’t say for certain, but mine have been in the fridge for at least six months and they’re still great. However, I would advise using your own judgement (smell tests always work great). Just be warned: the longer they sit, the hotter they get!
Uh, stop right there and back it up, sista (or mista, we don’t discriminate!) the better question is WHAT CAN’T YOU DO WITH HOT PEPPERS IN OIL? I love adding it to pasta dishes like this Cauliflower and Bacon Pasta or this Italian style Pasta Sarde. Or throwing it a-top of a sandwich or burger like these Hidden Zucchini Turkey Burgers. Of course, they can replace the regular jalapeños in these Smoky Lentil Nachos or Nacho Dip. You can even start your day with them and throw ’em on your morning scrambled or hard boiled eggs. You see, anything is possible with these bad boys and I just love havin’ them on hand!
These Hot Peppers in Oil also make a great gift for that very important foodie in your life!
Thankful to a friend for sharing this game changing recipe with me because I will forever have a place for this glorious concoction in my fridge. Did I mention that said friend actually owns an Italian restaurant?! So like, you just KNOW these Hot Peppers in Oil are gonna be damn goooood. Oh, and I somehow have yet to mention that there is ZERO. COOKING. REQUIRED. So, really, it doesn’t get much better than this!
- 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil, good quality (or more, if needed)*
- 2 cups White Vinegar (or more, if needed)*
- 20 Jalapeños, sliced, with seeds*
- 20 Thai Chilies, sliced, with seeds*
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- Salt, to taste
- Slice all the jalapeños into 1/4 inch rounds and the Thai chilies into small slices, keeping the seeds. Add them to a bowl.
- Pour the vinegar in the bowl, ensuring all of the peppers are submerged/covered. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and set aside (no need to refrigerate) for 12-24 hours (see notes). They will change colour a bit after pickling which is completely normal!
- Drain the vinegar (now you have hot vinegar so strain and save for later!).
- Add the pickled peppers back into a bowl and add the garlic and salt. Give it a good stir. Alternatively, you can do what I did in the photos and video and immediately add the pickled peppers into the jars with the garlic and salt and stir right in the jar. It doesn't matter either way!
- Cover the peppers entirely with olive oil and seal the jar with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate between use and always ensure that the peppers remain submerged in the oil by gently pressing them down with a fork after each use and topping up the jar up with fresh olive oil, if necessary.
You need enough olive oil to cover the peppers in the jar so you might need more than 2 cups.
You need enough vinegar to submerge all the peppers in the bowl, so you might need more than 2 cups.
These are the types of peppers I enjoy using for this. You can use a different ratio and/or a completely different pepper or combination of peppers, it’s totally up to you!
Soak the hot peppers in the vinegar closer to the 12 hour mark for spicier peppers or closer to the 24 hours mark for milder peppers.
It's totally normal for the oil will solidify and become cloudy as it sits in the fridge. Simply take the peppers out 15-20 minutes before you want to use them to get them back to their normal state.
If you anticipate using these Hot Peppers in Oil often, it's ok to store them on the counter or pantry (in a cool, dry place) instead of the fridge. That way, you can easily add them to anything without having to worry about thawing the solidified oil.
These are the Mason Jars I like using for this Hot Peppers in Oil recipe which will yield about 3 full jars (they make great gifts!)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1343Total Fat: 144gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 120gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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