This pickled peppers stuffed with sauerkraut recipe is a great way to use banana peppers from your garden. The peppers and sauerkraut compliment each other well and the pickling brine is full of flavor. Plus a jar of these stuffed peppers looks great on the shelf and make a good homemade gift.
Banana peppers or Hungarian Wax peppers are prolific and versatile. You can stuff them with sausage, cut them in to rings and pickle them, or just use them in a recipe for a little heat.
Still you can have bushels of the things, and this is a good way to use them.
Channeling Aunt Marge.
Every big Italian family has an Aunt Marge, the matriarch who holds everything together. My mom is the ninth of ten kids. Aunt Marge was up around number 2 or 3. She was always old when I was growing up.
She was married to my Uncle Woody who worked about 50 years in the coal mines of southwestern Pennsylvania. His biggest gripe was that the sportscaster on the news never gave the studio wrestling results, which he was certain were “just as real as the Pirates and the Steelers”.
Aunt Marge’s main mission in life was to keep Uncle Woody alive, and to try to feed anyone who’s path she might cross.
She could whip up a Thanksgiving feast on a whim, and always told you “how skinny you look”. At any given time, she had several vats of wine fermenting made out of everything but grapes, along with sausage, tomato sauce, and tons of garlic.
Oh, and she pickled anything she could get her hands on. I’m sure this is where I get my love for pickling.
Why Peppers Stuffed with Sauerkraut?
I went to her house about a year before she died, and she pulled out this quart jar of pickled banana peppers which she had stuffed with sauerkraut. Sounds terrible, but tasted great. I asked her for some, but she said it was her last jar.
A buddy of mine had this huge garden with about 70 pepper plants. I brought her about a half-bushel of peppers, and she put up her last batch.
I haven’t had them since about 1980, but as the fall weather started to turn the banana peppers bright yellow and red, I decided to channel Aunt Marge and make her pickled peppers stuffed with sauerkraut.
How to make pickled banana peppers stuffed with sauerkraut.
Peppers are easy to stuff. You just cut off the top and clean out the seeds. I put regular canned sauerkraut into the yellow peppers, and some red sauerkraut that Denise had in the cupboard into the red ones. I cut up some cayenne and jalapeno peppers for a little spice and some color contrast. I then used my cold pickle recipe and put them into quart canning jars. Here is how I make them.
- First cut the tops off the banana peppers and clean out the ribs and seeds.
- Get a large pot of water boiling and then blanch the peppers for 2 minutes.
- Take them out and place in a big bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking and to cool off. By the way this recipe is a cold pickle recipe but if you want to can them you can skip this step.
- Stuff the peppers with sauerkraut and place into a quart jar standing up.
- Now make the pickling brine by adding all the ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Pour the brine over the stuffed peppers and place a lid on the jar. If you want to add cayenne peppers for color just cut them into pieces and fit them in among the peppers.
- When they have cooled down store them in the refrigerator. (Please scroll down to view and print the recipe card.)
Adds a Little Color to the Pickle Shelf
The results are pretty striking, but the best is eating them. The spicy-sweet-sour combination is great for a snack, or as a side dish for dinner.
And, my Aunt Marge would be proud.
Bonus Aunt Marge Story
When I was about 12 years old, I used to spend a week or two each summer at my Grandpap’s house. I’d work in the yard, we’d have supper, then listen to the Pirate game on the radio while playing bizarre Italian card games.
He was dedicated to his garden which could feed a medium-sized third world country. He gave away tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic to anybody who asked him. Aunt Marge was too proud to ask.
One day I was in the yard trimming hedges when Uncle Woody drove up. He came to the garden and told my Grandpap, “Pete, let’s go to the Legion for a beer.” So off they went while I kept at it. Not five minutes later, Aunt Marge drives up with three big brown paper shopping bags.
She quickly goes from plant to plant gathering all manner of produce, but being very careful to take them evenly, so at a glance it wouldn’t be obvious. Quick as a flash, she packed up her booty in the car and drove off.
Sure enough, five minutes after that Uncle Woody dropped off the old man. He walked into his garden looking intently. I’m sure he had a sense of where every vegetable was, and came away shaking his head.
Well, I did it. I ratted out my aunt. He went into a unprintable string of Italian swear words ending with, “Margot! I knew it!! I knew she was taking them!!!” Apparently this scam was going on for quite some time.
Aunt Marge and I never spoke of it.
Picked Banana Peppers Stuffed with Sauerkraut
- 14 banana peppers
- 1 can sauerkraut
- a few cayenne peppers (optional and for color)
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups white distilled vinegar
- 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Core the banana peppers. Remove seeds and ribs and set aside.
Bring a pot full of water to a boil. Blanch the peppers for 2 minutes to soften. Then take out and place in a bowl full of ice water until cooled.
Drain peppers and then stuff with sauerkraut.
Place into a quart jar standing up.
Now make the brine by adding all the pickling ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour over the peppers in the jars. Place lid on and set aside to cool. Note: If you want to add cayenne peppers for color just cut them into pieces and fit them in among the peppers.
These are considered refrigerator pickles and they are not canned pickled peppers. If you decide to can them I would suggest not blanching the peppers.