Pickled jalapeños are an incredibly underrated condiment that can be paired with a wide variety of foods. They can add heat and flavor without taking over the flavors of any dish and they can also add an irresistible crunch too!
But with so many pickled jalapeño brands in the market today, it’s easy for one to get confused. Don’t worry though! This guide is designed to help you pick the right brand as per your preferences.
What are the 5 best-pickled jalapeño brands of 2023? If you want to go with classics, then we highly recommend La Costeña Pickled Jalapeño Peppers. If you like diced jalapenos, then you can also go for Ortega Peppers diced jalapeños. Other brands like San Marcos, Old El Paso, and Embasa are great too!
All About Pickled Jalapeños
When people hear about pickled jalapeños, they usually think that it’s a very spicy condiment that can only be enjoyed on its own by enthusiasts. But that is far from the case!
Pickled jalapeños are considered an excellent side dish because of their ability to add tons of flavor but just a fraction of the heat. The truth is these delicacies, although simple, provide a very complex flavor owing to how they are prepared.
Not only can you expect them to be hot, but they also provide tangy, umami, and even sweet undertones. Their complex flavor is one of the reasons why they go well with so many different types of food.
For example, they can be served with a simple rice dish, or they can also be served as a side with steak or even burgers. Of course, they are also widely used in Mexican cuisine!
Mexico is the birthplace of jalapenos and the country’s cuisine has played an important role in the dissemination of this pepper worldwide. It is believed that pickled jalapenos landed in the USA around the 20th century.
Their recognition as a versatile condiment coincided with the popularity of Mexican food which was on the rise at the time. Today, countless brands prepare their own versions of pickled jalapenos – which is great, but with this many competitors, it can be easy to get option fatigue.
Characteristics of Pickled Jalapeños
Before we dive into the best-pickled jalapeno brands, let’s first talk about what makes them so great!
Here is what you can expect from every pickled jalapeno, regardless of the brand:
At their core, pickled jalapenos provide a highly balanced flavor that ranges from hot, tangy, and even sweet. This diversity makes them a not-too-hot condiment that can also be enjoyed on its own.
Pickled jalapenos also play an important role in harmonizing the flavors in any dish. For example, they are usually paired with several meat-based recipes. The umami flavor from the meat goes extremely well with the hot and slightly sweet flavor of the peppers.
These pickled peppers can also be used with bland food. If you are on a diet and are only allowed to have specific but bland food, then there is no better way to improve the overall flavor of your meals than with pickled jalapenos!
The texture of pickled jalapenos is a big reason why they are such a hit! These peppers provide a very satisfying mouthfeel that is a mix of crunchy and tender textures. It’s hard to describe the exact texture of pickled jalapenos but you can expect them to have the same bite as other crunchy pickled vegetables.
Their texture is one of the reasons why they are ubiquitous in Mexican cuisine. From tacos to rice dishes and more, these pickles add a new dimension of texture to any dish and can elevate the mouthfeel of sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and even salads or dips.
To get the most out of their texture, we recommend eating fresh pickled jalapenos – the fresher they are, the more texture they will provide!
Just like any other pickled food, pickled jalapenos can be used in infinite ways. If it’s something savory, then there is a good chance that pickled jalapenos will make them better.
Whether it’s gravies, steaks, tacos, burgers, or even fried eggs. You can add this delicious condiment to any type of food to elevate its texture and flavor. Since pickled jalapenos are sold in diced or whole varieties, you can use each type of product in different ways.
Some brands also sell thick slices of pickled jalapenos which can be used in burgers or topped in salads for presentation and flavor.
Picking the Right Brand
Here is what you need to look out for when picking a pickled jalapeño brand:
Not all pickled jalapenos are made the same! While you can expect spicy and tangy flavors from every pickled jalapeno brand, some brands might play around with the ratio of these flavors to appeal to different customers.
If you like a spicy flavor, then you should pick a brand that provides more spice and a balanced tangy flavor. If you are new to spicy condiments or don’t enjoy spicy peppers, then you should opt for a brand that provides a balance between hot, tangy, and sweet.
Keep in mind that sugar is a common ingredient in pickled jalapenos. Not only does it help with the pickling process, but it also mellows the overall heat of the peppers.
Texture and Type of Jalapeños
Just like in the case of flavors, every brand has a different approach when it comes to the texture of pickled jalapenos. Most brands provide a crunchy texture, but some can also offer a delicate texture that works well with already crunchy food like tacos.
You should also pay close attention to the cut of pickled jalapenos. While it is common for most jalapenos to be sold whole, some brands offer chopped (sliced) or diced jalapenos that can be “sprinkled” over food.
5 Best Pickled Jalapeño Brands of 2023
Here are our top picks for the best-pickled jalapenos brands of 2023. We picked these brands according to our guide above so make sure you pick one that best speaks to your needs:
1. La Costeña
If you love Mexican food, then you might have already heard about this brand. Founded in the 1920s, La Costeña has been a big name when it comes to condiments. They provide a wide variety of pickled vegetables, and of course, pickled jalapenos!
Unlike other brands, La Costeña uses premium-grade and faulty-free jalapenos that not just taste great, but they look perfect too. La Costeña’s pickled jalapenos are known for providing a very good balance between hot and tangy flavors – with just a bit of sweetness sprinkled in between.
These jalapenos are sold whole and can be used in any of the ways described in our guide above. They are so good that you can even enjoy them on their own, straight from the tin!
2. San Marcos
San Marcos is another big name in the Mexican food industry. They are one of the oldest and most reputed brands in the world. San Marcos is known for its unwavering promise of quality and hygiene. Their products are top-notch and are widely used by many foodies across the globe.
If you want an option that you can return to then we highly recommend going with San Marco’s pickled jalapenos. They are naturally hot and mildly pickled which makes them an excellent choice for people who love to turn up the heat.
These jalapenos are sold whole and can be enjoyed as a side for steaks, or used in recipes like tacos, salads, and more.
3. Ortega Peppers
The reason why we put Ortega Peppers on this list is because this brand never disappoints. Ortega Peppers are one of the few brands that think ahead and keep the customer’s needs in mind.
For example, instead of selling its peppers in tall and cumbersome tins, the brand packages its pickled jalapenos in low-profile tins that can easily be stored in the fridge without taking up much space.
The best thing about Ortega Pepper’s pickled jalapenos is that they are diced! This makes them a prime candidate for people who want to use jalapenos for dinner recipes like chile rellenos. These peppers are more on the sweet and tangy side but can also provide a decent kick of heat.
4. Old El Paso
Just as the name suggests, Old El Paso has been in the pickling race for a very long time. This means that they also have expertise in making perfect pickled jalapenos!
How do we know this brand will meet or exceed your expectations? Well, Old El Paso is an all-American brand that makes Mexican-style food which means that this brand understands the flavor palette of the USA more than any other brand!
You can expect a delicious flavor and a crispy texture from these whole and mildly spicy jalapenos!
Just because this brand is last on our list doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it! Embassa is a well-known brand that has been producing Mexican-style food since 1947. They are known for their highly balanced pickled jalapenos that provide both a tangy and spicy flavor without being too sweet.
Embassa is also known for its focus on health so you can expect their pickled jalapenos to be free of preservatives or unnecessary ingredients too!
Pickled jalapenos can truly turn up the heat and add a twist of flavor! Now that you know the best brands for this condiment, here are some related questions:
How Long Do Pickled Jalapenos Last?
Canned pickled jalapenos are incredibly shelf stable and can last up to many years as long as they are not opened and stored properly. Once open, you will have to store the jalapenos according to the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the can.