Fermented Italian Peppers

Recipe 15 minPreparation Time 0 minCooking Time
Fermented Italian Peppers

Fermented Italian Peppers

15 minPreparation Time 0 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

For many people, pickled hot peppers are a must-have accessory. They brighten almost any dish, particularly of the lunch-y variety, adding an indispensable combination of hot, sour, and crunchy. This recipe scales easily depending on your supply of peppers, and the method will work with any hot peppers.

The Benefits

Peppers are good sources of carotenoids, and capsaicin promotes endorphins that can boost your mood. But the real gift these peppers give is the result of fermentation, adding a ton of probiotics to your meal.

Note: For safe fermentation, the use of a metric scale is highly encouraged. It’s extremely easy to calculate the salt percentage using grams, not very easy at all using ounces, and impossible using cups and teaspoons. 

Equipment: 1 qt (1 L) Mason jar with a lid and a fermentation spring or weight that fits. 


1 quart
  • 14 oz (400 g) Hungarian wax or hot Italian cherry peppers, seeded and cut into rings (you should have 3 cups)
  • 2 cups (480 ml) 3% brine* at room temperature


  1. Step 1
    *For this recipe, to make a 3% brine, stir 15 g salt in 500 g (a little more than 2 cups / 480 ml) warm water until dissolved.
  2. Step 2
    Pack the peppers into the jar, add the weight, and pour in enough brine to cover the peppers by at least half an inch (1 cm). Put the lid on, but loosely so gases can escape. Leave the jar at room temperature for a day or so, then move it somewhere cool (55˚ to 60˚F) for a few weeks. They should start to taste pickled after about two weeks but will improve considerably over a month or longer. When you think they’re irresistible, remove the weight and have at them. Store in the refrigerator, where they’ll last for some time.

Try It With: Sandwiches, pasta salads, antipasto spreads, cheese plates, eating out of the jar with a fork while standing at the sink staring blissfully into the middle distance 

Level Up: Use whey (from straining yogurt or making cheese) instead of water for your brine 

Zero Waste: Once the peppers are gone, the spicy brine can enliven vinaigrettes and sauces and be used to make giardiniera or other pickles. (New batches of fermented pickles should generally not be started with brine from mature ferments.) For the pepper seeds: if you garden, save and plant them!