Table of Contents
  1. These stuffed sweet bell peppers are a work of art.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. Make sure to try these other canning recipes as well.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. How to Can Stuffed Pickled Peppers Recipe

These beautiful, vibrant stuffed pickled peppers are a labor of love. Small, miniature sweet peppers are stuffed with shredded cabbage and then packed in brine and canned. They’re super delicious and the perfect small bite or appetizer!

These stuffed sweet bell peppers are a work of art.

Canning and preserving tell a story. The craft is passed down through families, with each generation adding its own unique spin.

I learned to can sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and grandma. And one of the recipes they taught me was this stuffed pickled pepper, which tells its own story. The recipe is most likely eastern European, passed down to my family from great grandparents who immigrated decades ago. In fact, these exact miniature red bell pepper seeds have been saved for over 80 years.

Each year, we sit down to remove the caps and seeds from the peppers, leaving a small opening. After stuffing the cavity with shredded cabbage, they’re packed in pint jars. Once packed, we pour a simple brine over and process them in a quick water bath.

These are time-consuming, tedious, and… work. But the result is a memory that tastes delicious: a simple pepper stuffed with pickled cabbage. One taste and you’ll see why these are worth the effort.

Glass canning jar filled with red colored miniature stuffed peppers with jar open showing inner contents including the brine.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

The best part about these stuffed peppers is how few ingredients there are. In fact, the peppers themselves only have two: peppers and cabbage. And the brine is a super simple, clean brine. Here are some of the ingredients:

  • Canning salt provides a clear brine. It has the finest salt granules and no additives. But note that canning salt measures differently from other salts with larger granules.
  • Sugar works in two ways in this recipe. First, it will temper out the acidity of the brine. Without any sugar, the brine would be too “sharp.” Second, the sugar helps to bring out the sweetness of the peppers.
  • Miniature sweet bell peppers are the key to this recipe. Some call them “door knob” peppers. There’s no spice but simply a delicious pepper flavor.
Marble surface showing all the ingredients needed to make stuffed pickled peppers including red peppers, cabbage, water, vinegar, sugar, and canning salt.

Food safety tip: This recipe may not be approved by the USDA. To prevent the risk of botulism, always check with the USDA Canning Guide.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

The process of preparing these sweet stuffed pickled peppers is definitely a labor of love. Removing the seeds and inner pith from each pepper is a time commitment, and that’s why my family only prepares one batch of these per summer. But each time we have the finished canned jars, we’re so glad that we did it. Here are the steps to prepare these stuffed peppers:

  1. Remove the stems from the peppers. Using the tip of a knife, insert the tip under the “cap” of the pepper. Working around the entire stem, use the knife to loosen the cap. Once loose, remove it and discard it.
  1. Remove the seeds from the center of the pepper. Using a knife or a skewer, use the tip of a tool to move around the inside of the pepper. This will remove the seeds and any of the interior pith. Turn the pepper upside down and gently tap it against a solid surface. This will also aid in getting some of the seeds out of the interior.
  1. Wash and dry the peppers. Gently rinse the peppers to ensure there are no remaining seeds inside. Then set them on a towel to dry thoroughly before stuffing them.
  1. Stuff the peppers with cabbage. Use a mandolin or other tool to shred the cabbage. Take the shredded cabbage and stuff each pepper. My grandma always found a large piece of cabbage to place over the opening to prevent the small pieces of cabbage from escaping while in the brine. Brush off the sides of the peppers to ensure there are no stray pieces of cabbage.
  1. Pack the jars with peppers. To clean and sterilized glass jars, place the peppers into the jars, making sure to adjust the spacing to fit as many as possible into the jar. Since the peppers are round, there will be some dead space, which the brine will fill in. Fill each jar with the peppers, reserving ½-inch of “headspace” at the top.

What is headspace?

Headspace is the unoccupied area at the top of a jar. This space allows the contents of the jar to shift and expand during the canning process without impeding the seal created by the lid and ring. It also allows for the creation of a vacuum seal.

  1. Prepare the brine and pour it over the peppers. To a kettle, add the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Place this on the stove and allow it to come to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once dissolved, using a funnel, slowly pour in the brine over the peppers, again preserving the necessary headspace. Wipe off the top of each jar with a paper towel wetted with hot water. Then place on the lid the ring, and tighten until fingertip tightness.

When it comes to pickling, most kitchen-use vinegars will be 5% vinegar. Make sure to check the label on your vinegar to ensure you use a version that is at least this percentage.

  1. Process the jars in the water bath. On a stovetop, heat water in a heavy-bottom kettle fitted with a rack. Using a jar lifter, place each glass jar filled with the stuffed peppers into the water, one at a time. Make sure that once all of the jars are in the canner that the tops of the jars are covered with water. If they are not, simply add some hot water to the pot.
  1. Remove the jars from the water bath. After 10 minutes of boiling, remove the jars from the canner, tipping them slightly while still over the kettle to remove any water from the tops of the jars. Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours before removing the rings. This ensures that the seal is not hindered. After 24 hours, you can remove the ring (or leave it on).

Each altitude can require a different processing time. I’m located between 0 and 1,000 feet above sea level. If you are at a different elevation, make sure to check the USDA Canning Guide (see page 6-19) for your processing time:

Elevation0 to 1,000 ft1,001 to 6,000 ft6,000 ft +
Time10 minutes15 minutes20 minutes

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • When removing the seeds from the center of the peppers, use a wooden skewer. This will give you an easy, small tool to work with that will not puncture the side of the pepper. The tip of a knife can also be used, but it can easily pierce the side of the pepper, creating a hole that could leak cabbage.
  • Make sure to keep the seeds that are removed from the center of the peppers. These seeds can be used to grow more seeds next year! Simply keep them on the pantry shelf until next year’s growing season. (See the FAQs later for where to buy the seeds.)
  • When choosing jars in which to can, either a regular-mouth or wide-mouth jar will work. That said, a regular-mouth jar will help to contain the peppers in the brine because of the shoulder that’s built into the jar’s more narrow opening. The wide-mouth jars, on the other hand, will allow those with larger hands to place the stuffed peppers in the jar more accurately, but the peppers will tend to float up after they’re canned.
Glass canning jar filled with stuffed pickled peppers with more canning jars also filled in background all on marble surface.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Are there other types of peppers that can be used in this recipe?

Any small sweet pepper will work. The reason these specific miniature peppers work best is that they provide a good pepper-to-cabbage ratio. Larger-sized peppers will need more cabbage and will vary in texture and flavor.

Where do you find the seeds for these peppers?

Seeds for these miniature sweet bell peppers are available on several websites: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Eden Brothers, and Pepper Joe’s.

How long will these last before they need to be opened?

Home-preserved foods are best used within 12 to 18 months after canning.

Do these peppers have to sit for a certain amount before opening them?

These can be enjoyed right after canning. Personally, I believe they have better flavor if they sit in the brine for at least two weeks before opening.

Do these have to be kept in the refrigerator once opened?

Yes, once opened, store them in the refrigerator with an airtight lid.

Watch how to make this recipe

More preserving recipes to try

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your dessert table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they too can make, enjoy, and love!

How to Can Stuffed Pickled Peppers

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These beautiful, vibrant stuffed pickled peppers are a labor of love. Small, miniature sweet peppers are stuffed with shredded cabbage and then packed in brine and canned. They're super delicious and the perfect small bite or appetizer!
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Process Time 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings 6 pint jars

Ingredients

  • 3 lb miniature sweet bell peppers
  • 1 lb shredded cabbage
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
  • 1 ½ tsp canning salt
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Have six pint jars sterilized and ready. Prepare the water bath canner, lids, and rings.
  • Remove the stems, leaving a small hole in the top of the peppers. Using a small paring knife remove the seeds and core, being careful not to tear or make a larger hole. Once the peppers are prepared rinse again making sure all seeds are removed. Then wash the peppers.
    3 lb miniature sweet bell peppers
  • Stuff the prepared cabbage into the peppers until they are full, being careful not to overstuff and split the peppers. For jars without floating pieces of cabbage, place a larger piece of cabbage over the pepper opening.
    1 lb shredded cabbage
  • Once the peppers are stuffed, pack them into the prepared jars. Adjust the peppers as needed to fit them into the jars, almost like puzzle pieces, leaving ½-inch headspace.
  • In a 4-quart saucepan combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Whisk and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, continue to cook until the bring is boiling and the sugar is dissolved.
    3 cups water, 3 cups white distilled vinegar (5%), 1 ½ tsp canning salt, ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • Immediately pour the brine over the peppers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Place on the lids and rings and tighten to fingertip tightness. Place the jars in the boiling water bath, making sure the jars are covered by at least one inch of water. Once the jars are in the canner, return the water to a boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes.
  • Once boiled, remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool for 24 hours before storing.

Notes

  • When removing the seeds from the center of the peppers, use a wooden skewer. This will give you an easy, small tool to work with that will not puncture the side of the pepper. The tip of a knife can also be used, but it can easily pierce the side of the pepper, creating a hole that could leak cabbage.
  • Make sure to keep the seeds that are removed from the center of the peppers. These seeds can be used to grow more seeds next year! Simply keep them on the pantry shelf until next year’s growing season.
  • When choosing jars in which to can, either a regular-mouth or wide-mouth jar will work. That said, a regular-mouth jar will help to contain the peppers in the brine because of the shoulder that’s built into the jar’s more narrow opening. The wide-mouth jars, on the other hand, will allow those with larger hands to place the stuffed peppers in the jar more accurately, but the peppers will tend to float up after they’re canned.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 26kcal
Course Preserving
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Canning

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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1 Comments

  1. Kaleb I watch your video of you and your mom making stuffed pickle peppers. When I was a child my mom made stuffed pickle peppers. She used regular size green bell peppers. Stuffed them with cabbage and put them in a gallon glass jar. She used the same solution minus the sugar. She did not can them. She put a piece of wax paper over the top then the lid. After a few weeks they were pickled and read to eat. You are the only person I know that’s ever done this. Thanks for the memory.