Peppered Vinegar

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Keep a jar of peppered vinegar in your fridge to make a spicy vinaigrette salad dressing or add a boost of spicy heat to creamy side dishes like macaroni salad or chicken salad.

A mason jar filled with peppered vinegar.

There's a difference between "spicy food" and food that has been kicked up with just a notch of heat.

I have fallen in love with this easy peppered vinegar recipe because it adds a very tolerable dose of spice to many of the healthy dishes I like to serve my family.

My favorite use is to stir it into my crispy raw veggie salad, it pairs deliciously with the fresh juicy tomatoes and crispy cucumbers.

But once you have a jar of this in the fridge, I guarantee you'll find all kinds of ways to use it!

Why This is the Best Recipe

Over the last year, I've found myself adding a splash of vinegar to more and more recipes. It adds so much depth of flavor and a burst of freshness. This is the best peppered vinegar recipe because:

  1. Only 3 Ingredients: This budget-friendly recipe is perfect for keeping on hand for quick and easy salad dressings and flavor boosting.
  2. Delicious Spicy Kick: Rather than just using regular vinegar, this adds an awesome bit of heat to anything you drizzle it into.
  3. Just 5 Minutes: This recipe takes almost no time to prepare and doesn't require any cooking.


The ingredients to make homemade peppered vinegar are on the counter.

All you need to make this recipe is:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: This adds a bit of sweetness to the recipe. You could substitute white wine vinegar if you prefer.
  2. Fresh Jalapeño: This adds a bit of heat, if you like things really spicy feel free to use a spicier pepper if you have one.
  3. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

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Slice the Jalapeño

Slice the stem from the jalapeño and then cut it in half lengthwise.

I removed the ribs and seeds so the vinegar wouldn't be too spicy, but if you have a high tolerance go ahead and leave them in.

Slice the pepper into large strips like this:

The Jalapeño pepper is on a cutting board.

Mix the Peppered Vinegar

Pour the apple cider vinegar into a mason jar with a lid.

Add the jalapeño slices and spoon in the crushed red pepper flakes.

Place the lid on top and shake gently to combine.

The vinegar jar is on a cutting board with the crushed red pepper flakes floating on top.

Chill Time

Place the jar in your fridge and let the jalapeño pepper pickle over at least 3 days before you use the vinegar. You want enough time for the flavor of the pepper to really permeate the vinegar.

The peppered vinegar will keep in your fridge for up to 30 days so you can make it well in advance of using it.

How to Use Pickled Vinegar

The finished jar of peppered vinegar is ready for the fridge.

Now that you have this deliciously spicy condiment in your fridge, you'll find lots of ways to use it to add flavor to your dishes.

The most obvious use would be to make a simple homemade spicy vinaigrette salad dressing using 3 parts olive oil to 1 part peppered vinegar. For example, you could use 3 tablespoons olive oil to 1 tablespoon peppered vinegar for tonight's salad dressing for your family.

Pickle juice is one of my secret ingredients for creamy dishes like my deviled egg salad and southern macaroni salad. This peppered vinegar makes an amazing substitution for that and adds a little bit of heat.

I absolutely love adding a splash of the spicy vinegar to my raw veggie salad, too. It pairs so well with the juicy tomatoes and balances out the creamy feta cheese when I turn it into an entree.

📖 Recipe

A mason jar filled with peppered vinegar.

Peppered Vinegar

5 from 1 vote
Keep this jar of peppered vinegar ready in the fridge for easy homemade vinaigrette dressings for salads or for adding a spicy kick to your mayo-based salad recipes like chicken salad or macaroni salad.
TOTAL TIME 5 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
YIELD 1 cup


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


  • Pour the apple cider vinegar into a mason jar with a lid.
  • Slice the jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise. Remove the stem, seeds, and ribs with a spoon and discard. Slice the remaining pepper into thick slices and add to the vinegar.
  • Add the crushed red pepper flakes to the jar. Place the lid on top and gently shake to combine.
  • Chill the vinegar for at least 3 days before using the peppered vinegar in other recipes. The jar will keep in your fridge for up to 1 month.

Recipe Notes

How to Use the Peppered Vinegar:

You can use this to live up many of your creamy side dishes like macaroni salad or egg salad, but it makes an amazing homemade spicy vinaigrette, too.
Combine 3 parts olive oil to 1 part peppered vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzle over your favorite leafy salad.

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The finished jar of peppered vinegar is ready for the fridge.

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