Try this Easy Fermented Banana Pepper Recipe

This fermented banana pepper sauce makes a spicy condiment packed full of flavor and probiotics. Better yet? This banana pepper recipe is a snap to make!

New to fermenting foods? Be sure to read this compilation of frequently asked questions before you get started!


Contributed by Shannon Stonger

fermented banana peppers in a glass jar, hot sauce in a glass jar

I have had two jars filled with good food sitting on my counter for eleven months now and neither of them has gone bad. These jars were filled last September with some organic hot banana peppers I had purchased in season and wanted to preserve.

With very little effort and zero heating or freezing of the food, they practically preserved themselves with this easy fermented banana pepper sauce.

And now that I am getting ready to fill more jars with vegetables, salt, and water, it’s time for them to reach their final destination – fermented hot sauce!

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Easy fermentation

Fermentation, as I go on and on about in my book, is probably the easiest, safest, healthiest way to put up your harvest. Not to mention the fact that fermentation makes the best, most nuanced hot sauce, in my opinion.

fermented banana peppers in a glass jar

The aging of the banana peppers, the melding of the flavors, the lactic tang of the brine all come together in wonderful harmony.

Municipal tap water contains chlorine, which can inhibit fermentation, so be sure to use filtered or distilled water instead. A Berkey water filter provides clean water that’s free of toxins. Great for making your drinking water free of chemicals, but perfect for fermentation, too.

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A fermented banana pepper recipe for preserving the heat

It’s almost too good to be true. But it’s not. It’s real and it’s easy, and it’s filled with enzymes and probiotics to boot. And don’t just toss the brine when you are done blending your hot sauce. There are plenty of uses for that too!

yellow pepper puree in measuring cup
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Storing this banana pepper sauce

One the sauce is ready, store it in a flip top bottle in the refrigerator. Use this banana pepper hot sauce liberally to flavor your favorite dishes.

And make note to plant some of these beauties in your garden next year so you can make this fermented banana pepper recipe again!

 yellow hot sauce in flip top bottle

More recipes for fermentation: 

If you loved this recipe (and the idea of adding more probiotics to your diet!) there’s so much more exploring to do! 

These spicy fermented snap peas are a delicious addition to a salad, chop them in small bits and add to your deviled eggs, or serve them alongside a cold beer.

Try these fermented carrots with garam masala seasoning for something different. 

Turn the heat up even more with this hot pepper relish.

Try fermenting cauliflower to serve with your favorite sandwich.

★ Did you make this banana pepper sauce? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

fermented banana peppers in a glass jar, hot sauce in a glass jar

Banana Pepper Recipe: Fermented Hot Sauce

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Make this spicy hot sauce from your garden fresh peppers for some probiotic -- spicy -- goodness in your diet!


  • scant quart of hot banana peppers, stems removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2.5 tablespoons sea salt
  • chlorine-free water as needed


  1. Pack the peppers and garlic into a quart jar until 80% full. Add the salt to the peppers and then pour over the water to completely submerge the vegetables. Use a fermentation weight or homemade alternative to weigh the peppers down to below the level of the brine.
  2. Seal the jar with a canning lid and ring or an airlock and leave to ferment at room temperature for at least four weeks. During this time if you haven't used an airlock, you will need to "burp" your jar daily for the first two weeks in order to release the carbon dioxide produced by the fermentation process.
  3. After four weeks the peppers should be tangy and fully aged and fermented. They will keep for months in cold storage - a cellar or refrigerator - or even at room temperature.
  4. When you are ready to prepare the hot sauce, simply place the peppers, garlic, and 1/3 of the brine from the jar into a blender. Blend, adding more brine as needed to achieve the proper consistency. You can also blend it in a wide-mouth canning jar if you have an immersion blender. Taste and add salt or apple cider vinegar if you feel it needs some extra kick.
  5. The hot sauce should then keep for weeks refrigerated or on the table.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 22Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

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Originally published in August 2107; this post has been updated.

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About the author: Shannon Stonger is the founder of the blog Nourishing Days, where she shares her family’s journey towards sustainability. She is the author of The Doable Off-Grid Homestead, Traditionally Fermented Foods, and the sourdough baking book 100% Rye. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and lives with her husband, five children, and various farm animals on their five-acre homestead in Texas.

32 comments… add one
  • Alicia Sep 12, 2022 @ 9:35

    So I tried this recipe and when I opened the jar there was mold on the top. What did I do wrong?

    • AttainableSustainable Sep 13, 2022 @ 3:02

      Usually, mold happens when vegetables are not fully submerged in the brine during fermentation.

  • Anne Sep 11, 2022 @ 9:53

    These look fantastic! Any reason why I couldn’t use a jalapeno pepper in place of the banana pepper?

    • AttainableSustainable Sep 13, 2022 @ 3:11

      I haven’t tried it, but you could use jalapenos. It will have a different flavor and be much spicier.

  • Enjoli Aug 27, 2021 @ 6:36

    What does airlock mean?

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 12, 2021 @ 8:45

      It’s a contraption that you put on the jar that allows air bubbles out but no air IN.

  • James Nov 2, 2020 @ 6:31

    Is it okay to cut the banana peppers in half in order to get more peppers in the jar?

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 2, 2020 @ 10:34

      Yes, of course!

  • James M Green Oct 31, 2020 @ 7:26

    Is that 2.5 tablespoons of sea salt or teaspoons?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 31, 2020 @ 7:40

      Tablespoons. Thanks; I’ll spell that out right no.

      • James Nov 2, 2020 @ 6:28


  • s w burk Oct 29, 2020 @ 13:15

    do you dry your banana pepper seed for replanting? How?

  • Violette Jolicoeur Oct 19, 2020 @ 12:49

    Do you burp at all for the last 2 weeks?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 26, 2020 @ 12:22

      If you’re not using a lid with an airlock or similar, it’s a good idea to burp, yes.

  • Ashleigh Geiger Jun 29, 2020 @ 15:39

    When you say to remove the stem, does this also mean removing all of the seeds? Or do you leave those? Excited to try this! Just started growing our own banana peppers, and wanted to make hot sauce with them.

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 1, 2020 @ 8:20

      You can remove or keep the seeds, as you like. The seeds/membranes are where the heat is, so this is a good way to “moderate” the spiciness.

  • Jessie Oct 18, 2019 @ 6:08

    What does it mean to “burp” the jar?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 18, 2019 @ 14:44

      Just to open it up and allow any built up gasses to release. Easy, peasy.

  • Margaret Sep 24, 2018 @ 4:59

    My end of harvest garden yielded banana peppers and peppadews. I have a fermenting crock and was thinking of fermenting both together and then making a hot sauce. Your thougthts?

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 17, 2018 @ 9:39

      My thoughts: What are peppadews??

      • Farm Girl Oct 8, 2020 @ 14:50

        (Peppadew: a small, sweet pepper with a little heat. I think someone branded the name, as they are found in glass jars at stores).

  • Chris Bjorn Aug 31, 2018 @ 6:09

    Where are the bananas? The recipe says bananas, but I don’t see them used in the steps.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 4, 2018 @ 17:56

      I can see the confusion, but this recipe calls for a variety of pepper called a BANANA PEPPER. No bananas. 🙂

  • Barb Aug 21, 2018 @ 2:45

    After the fermenting why can’t you blend all and bottle

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 22, 2018 @ 18:06

      You mean to make it shelf stable? I’m not comfortable saying that would be safe. Peppers are a low-acid food and not safe to water bath can. You’d need someone to check this recipe for the safety of that.

  • Shannon Aug 1, 2018 @ 15:10

    Can you give some examples of where you would use this sauce? We like spicy food but don’t often use hot sauce.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 5, 2018 @ 16:37

      On tacos, stirred into chili, used as a seasoning when cooking things that need a little extra flavor.

  • Megan Apr 9, 2018 @ 20:12

    Good flavor, but a bit spicy!

  • Alena Sep 3, 2017 @ 10:55

    Just wondering if this would work with a salt alternative? I have someone who can not have the salt.

    • Kris Bordessa Sep 5, 2017 @ 7:01

      Fermenting may not be for you, then. Salt is key in the preservation process. Try pickling?

    • s w burk Oct 29, 2020 @ 13:19

      I was surprised to read on the label of the apple cider vinegar that it contained no salt. So my pepper sauce was sodium free. I had always thought vinegar contained a lot of salt.

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