Do Jalapenos Go Bad? How Long Do Jalapenos Last?

You have decided to have a Cinco de Mayo party but before you go to the grocery store you’re wondering how long jalapenos, which you will need for several of your recipes, will stay fresh.  Let’s find out.

Quick Answer

Whole fresh jalapenos will last for a day or two on the counter or three to five days in the pantry.  If you refrigerate your jalapenos they should last a week or two.  If you want to chop them ahead, they will only last a few hours at room temperature, but if you freeze them they should be fine for three to four days.


Fresh, whole jalapenos have a short shelf life, but how long they will be good depends on when they were harvested.

Do Jalapenos Go Bad? How Long Do Jalapenos Last?

Jalapenos prefer a cool, dry environment best, but if you’re going to use them within a day or two it doesn’t matter where you store them.

How Long Do Jalapenos Last Outside?

Whole, fresh jalapenos stored on the counter will be good for a day or two.  If you slice or chop them, they will only be good for a few hours at room temperature.

To keep them fresher longer, store your whole, fresh jalapenos in the pantry.  They should be fine for three to five days.  Keep those jalapenos away from temperature fluctuations, like those found in your kitchen, and they will last longer.

Be sure to store the jalapenos so that air can circulate around the peppers and they aren’t overcrowded.  They are fine loose on the shelf or in a mesh bag.

How Long Do Jalapenos Last in the Fridge?

Fresh, whole jalapenos will last anywhere from one to two weeks in the refrigerator.  The amount of time will depend on the freshness of the jalapeno at the time of storage.

Fresh jalapenos should be stored in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator and they can be stored loose.  The vegetable drawer will help to keep moisture away from the peppers.  Moisture will help the peppers go bad more quickly.

If you cut your peppers and refrigerate them be sure to store them in an air-tight container or food storage bag and remove as much air as possible before storage.

How Long Do Jalapenos Last in the Freezer?

Jalapenos can be frozen whole, sliced, or chopped.  The biggest concern with freezing jalapenos is moisture as it will change the texture of the peppers a bit and they won’t be as crisp once thawed.

For best results, store the jalapenos in a vacuum-sealed freezer-friendly food storage bag.  This will remove as much moisture as possible, keeping the jalapenos fresher longer.

Jalapenos can be frozen for up to a year, but they will be softer once thawed so you should think about storing them in usable quantities as they will be best for dishes that will be cooked, like enchiladas, rather than things not cooked, like guacamole.

Fresh, whole jalapenos will be good for a day or two on the counter, three to five days in the pantry, or one to two weeks in the refrigerator so think through when you plan to use yours and decide how best to store them.

How To Tell If Jalapenos Have Gone Bad / How To Know if Jalapenos are Fresh 200+ words

Whole, fresh jalapenos are like most fresh, perishable vegetables, they don’t stay fresh for long.  How long they will last depends upon when they were harvested and how long they have stayed in cooler constant temperatures.  Regardless it’s good to know what to look for when evaluating freshness.

Smooth skin:  Fresh jalapenos have smooth skin.  Once it wrinkles or appears dried up, then the pepper is no longer fresh and may well have gone bad.

Spots are a sign of age:  You may notice grey or brown spots on your peppers.  That is a sign of age.  They are still safe to eat if they otherwise seem fine, but they don’t have long before they go bad.

Look for mold:  If you see signs of mold either on the outside or the inside of the pepper, you should go ahead and throw it away.  This is a sign the pepper has gone bad.

Smell it:  A jalapeno that has gone bad won’t smell as fresh and will likely smell rotten or off.  If your jalapeno doesn’t smell right then you should throw it away.

One bad jalapeno spoils the bunch:  Once one of your jalapenos goes bad you should carefully check the others as one bad one will likely cause the others to go bad too.

How to Store Jalapenos?

Fresh, whole jalapenos can be left on the counter, stored in the pantry, or stored in the refrigerator.  Which you choose depends on how long it will be before you use them.

A day or two:  For a day or two you can store your fresh, whole jalapenos on the counter and they will be fine.

Three to five days:  If you will use your jalapenos before five days, a cool, dry pantry is a great place to store your peppers.

A week or two:  To keep your peppers around for a week or two you will want to store your jalapenos in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Jalapenos? How?

You can freeze either whole, sliced, or diced jalapenos, but your thawed jalapenos won’t be as crunchy as they were when they were fresh.

Freezer-friendly bag:  You will want to store your jalapenos in a freezer-friendly food storage bag with as much air removed as possible.  Don’t overcrowd the bag to ensure your peppers don’t have too much freezer burn.

Vacuum-sealed:  You may want to consider vacuum-sealed storage to remove even more air.  This will prevent freezer burn from finding its way to your frozen jalapenos.

Serving size:  Think storage of your peppers in terms of how you will use them once thawed.  Thawed peppers are better cooked in a dish, like spaghetti sauce, rather than raw, like in a salad, so you will want to freeze peppers in recipe quantity amounts.

Store in the middle of the freezer:  You will want to store your frozen jalapenos in the middle of your freezer to avoid any temperature fluctuations that could bring on freezer burn. Keeping them in the coldest part of your freezer will help to keep them frozen.

How to Thaw Jalapenos?

Frozen jalapenos should be transferred to the refrigerator to slowly defrost overnight.  This will allow the peppers to come up to temperature over time.

Thawed jalapenos will be wetter than fresh jalapenos due to the water content of the peppers.  Thawed jalapenos are best used in recipes that will be cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jalapeno’s Shelf Life

If my jalapeno has a brown spot or two on it is it bad?  No.  Spots are a sign of aging, but your jalapeno has likely not gone bad yet.  You should cut the pepper in half, however; to be sure it is fine on the inside.  You will also want to smell it to be sure it smells fresh.

Is a jalapeno that is going bad less spicy?  Yes.  Jalapenos that are going bad lose their spiciness.  You will notice other signs too, such as the outside is wrinkled, or the pepper smells bad, or there is obvious mold on the pepper, but if you taste a pepper that is going bad it will be less spicy than a fresh pepper would be.

Wrap Up

Now you know you can store your jalapenos either on the counter, in the pantry, or the refrigerator depending on how long you intend to have them on hand.  Tell us in the comments below if you refrigerate your jalapenos.

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