Pickled Italian Vinegar Peppers

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Pickled Italian vinegar peppers recipe, in Italian we call them: peperoni sotto aceto, is a great way to preserve your summer produce. This is a recipe you will come back to every time of year when you wonder what to do with all the fresh summer produce!

If you like peppers try these recipes: Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula (video), Easy Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe (Skillet), and Best Italian Style Stuffed Peppers. If you are looking for a quick way to marinate peppers see: Roasted Peppers in oil with Garlic with Pasta!

Italian vinegar peppers in a jars with ingredients and serving spoon  with ingredients
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I’ll tell you a secret: I am not a person who cans or pickles vegetables. I love fresh and seasonal whenever possible, but this recipe is nostalgic for me and it is actually easy to do!

Enjoy these quick pickled peppers with No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread, Italian bread to make a sandwich and more! Try adding them to your homemade pizza!

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients are few and simple. When pickling bell peppers you can adjust to taste and make them your own depending on preference. See “variation” section below.

ingredient shot
Ingredients for Italian vinegar peppers
  • Bell peppers, any kind of peppers you prefer (yellow, red, green, or a mix)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Garlic cloves (peeled)
  • Bay leaves
  • Peppercorns
  • Coarse salt

See recipe card for quantities.

Making Italian pickled peppers requires a little effort, but you get to reap the rewards for months after you are done!

How to make Pickled Italian Vinegar Peppers Step by Step

1- First, prepare the jars for storing the peppers. There are many ways of sterilizing jars for canning foods. I boiled mine in water, but there are other ways. The Spruce Eats has an easy guide to sterilize jars, if you want to check it out. Set aside after cleaned.

2- Next, wash and cut the peppers (about 3 in. (7.5 cm) strips). Remove the seeds. I love using a colorful variety of bell peppers. I find that the yellow bell pepper and sweet red bell pepper are my favorite.

3- Precook: Place half of the vinegar in a large pot, add about 4-5 cups of cold water, garlic, and bay leaves. Set on medium-high heat and bring to a boil then add the salt. Stirring utensil I use.

How to make Italian vinega

4- Add the sliced peppers and stir for about a minute. I like to use this versatile spoon. Then, turn off the heat and cover the pot.

5- Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. The peppers will soften a little bit with still a nice crunch too. They will be “al dente”.

6- Place a large, clean, kitchen towel on a working surface, or baking sheet. Remove the peppers from the hot boiled pickling liquid by straining them in colander. Place on a single layer on the towel. Pat dry with clean paper towels.

How to make Italian vinegar peppers step by step. Boiling and jarring the peppers.

7- Fill the jars with the peppers, a few peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic. You can use 6 smalls jars or 4 medium jars. (see jars options in Equipment section of post)

8- Pour in the vinegar, to fill the top of the jars. Make sure the peppers are FULLY submerged in the liquid. MAKE SURE TO get out any AIR BUBBLES so the peppers don’t spoil.

9- Secure lids. Curing: refrigerate or leave in a dark, cool place for at least a week before consuming. 

Store jars of peppers in a dry, cool and dark place for 30 days before consuming. You can eat them 2 weeks after making, but the longer they sit the better they will taste. Refrigerate pickled peppers after you’ve opened a sealed jar.

Recipe Variations

  • Vinegar– instead of plain vinegar use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (this will change the taste a bit)
Italian vinegar peppers in a jar

You can always try these variations the next time you are pickling bell peppers.

  • Spicy – bump up the heat by adding a red pepper flakes, or even a touch of hot sauce. Add hot peppers in addition to the sweet pepper variety.
  • Spices– use a few sprigs of oregano, Italian seasoning, mustard seeds, or celery seed to add a different flavor.
  • Deluxe – add red onion or white onion to add another layer of flavor.
  • Veggies- Besides peppers, any vegetable will take to the sott’aceto technique. Zucchini, eggplant, carrots, onions, cucumbers, green beans, cauliflower, green tomatoes, and artichoke. PLEASE NOTE: precook each vegetable to the right degree of tenderness, which will vary from vegetable to vegetable. Do not use soft leafy greens or ripe tomatoes.
Italian vinegar peppers make great neighbor gifts

What To Serve With This Recipe

Italian pickled peppers are eaten in Italy as an antipasto (appetizer). See my post on How to Build a Charcuterie Board Easy Steps. Serve them on top of Neapolitan Pizza Recipe, or your favorite pasta dishes.

These peppers are so versatile. These vinegar peppers make a great addition to: pork chops, sweet Italian sausages, chicken cutlets, and Italian Sheet Pan Sausage, Potatoes, and Tomatoes! The possibilities are endless with this peppers recipe.

Equipment for Pickling Peppers

The main equipment needed for this recipe is a  large pot and canning jars that are able to seal properly. You can use medium mason jars, or smaller jars. You will also need a colander and kitchen towels.

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Italian vinegar peppers in a jar

Storing Pickled Vinegar Peppers

Place the jars in a dry, cool and dark place for 30 days before consuming. Store in fridge once open.

Once a jar is opened, keep it refrigerated and top with extra olive oil as needed to keep the peppers submerged. The oil acts as a natural sealer. I do this with my Authentic Italian Pesto Genovese (Basil Pesto).

FAQ’s

How to pickle Italian peppers

The process is broken down into 4 steps: clean and cut the peppers, par boil them in vinegar, water, and spices, dry them, add to sterile jars and cover with vinegar, seal jars and there you go! See post for exact details.

How long should pickled peppers sit?

Ideally, you want your pickled Italian peppers to sit for 3o days for maximum flavor. Can you eat them before? Absolutely! They might not be as flavorful. Store your pickled peppers in the pantry or in the refrigerator.

How long to pickled peppers last in the refrigerator?

Typically best consumed after 2 months. After pickled peppers are opened and stored in the refrigerator it is important to keep them full submerged in the liquid and sealed tightly. Always use a clean utensil to get the peppers out of the jar to avoid contamination.

How to pickle safely


When your pickled vegetables are placed in enough vinegar and the jar is properly sealed, they should be safe to eat. If any of the canning steps aren’t followed exactly, there is risk of harmful bacteria like botulism.

You will love these pickled peppers recipe! I hope they bring a little taste of Italy to you! They make the perfect gifts!

Italian vinegar peppers in a jars with ingredients and handwritten recipe card.

More Italian Recipes for you:

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Italian vinegar peppers in a jar

Pickled Italian Vinegar Peppers Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

Pickled Italian vinegar peppers recipe, in Italian we call them: peperoni sotto aceto, is a great way to preserve your summer produce. This is a recipe you will come back to every time of year when you wonder what to do with all the fresh summer produce!

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 jars 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 lb bell peppers, any color or a mix (cut into 3-inch strips)
  • 5 cups vinegar
  • 5 cups water
  • 8 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Sterilize your canning jars and have them ready to use. Cut peppers and set aside until ready to use. 
  2. Place half of the vinegar in a large pot, add cold water, garlic, and bay leaves. Set on medium-high heat and bring to a boil then add the salt.
  3. Add sliced peppers and stir for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and cover the pot.
  4. Allow to sit for about 10-12 minutes. The peppers will soften a little bit with still a nice crunch too. 
  5. Place a clean kitchen towel on a working surface. Remove the peppers from the water and place them on a single layer on the towel.
  6. Pat peppers dry as much as possible with clean paper towels.
  7. Fill  jars with the peppers, adding some peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic.
  8. Fill the jars with the remaining vinegar and press the peppers with a clean spoon so are covered by the vinegar. 
  9. Use a toothpick to burst the bubbles in the liquid and prevent the peppers from spoiling. Close the lids and place the jars in a dry, cool and dark place for 30 days before consuming. You can eat them 2 weeks after making, but the longer they sit the better they will taste.

Notes

Storage: Typically best consumed after 2 months. After pickled peppers are opened and stored in the refrigerator it is important to keep them full submerged in the liquid and sealed tightly. Always use a clean utensil to get the peppers out of the jar to avoid contamination.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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11 Comments

  1. A question about the vinegar. It says to fill the jars with the REMAINING vinegar. Does this mean the half (2.5 cups) that was not used for the boil? Is the vinegar and water that was used for the boil discarded and not used in the jars?

    I’ve never made these before, but I want to make sure to do it right.






      1. So both then? The remaining from the boil and the other 2.5 cups that was not used for the boil? If so, just pour the unused 2.5 cups into the used, mix it together, then use that to fill the jars over the peppers?

        Sorry, I just don’t want to make a mistake.

      2. Hi! Basically use what you have left to fill to the top of the jars. You may have some left over. I hope that makes sense.

    1. Yes, it can! You need to follow specific canning directions to keep it safe. I do not have a long shelf-life canning method on my website.

  2. Can the peppers be stored in the fridge instead of a cool dark place for 30days. They’re not vacuum sealed so I’m concerned about spoiling.

  3. This recipe is super easy and delicious. They are easy to store and we use them as a side for everything! Enjoy on sandwiches, pizza, and more!