7 Biggest Jalapeno Varieties to Grow (& How to Get Seeds)

Jalapenos are a versatile hot pepper; they’re great for pickling, stuffing, fermenting, grilling, adding to salads, and even making hot sauces. There’s a reason why they’re one of the most popular pepper varieties to grow. 

There is also a surprising variety of jalapenos to grow. While most start green and ripen to a deep red, there are yellow, orange, and even brown varieties. There are smooth jalapeno types and ones specifically bred for more corking (small cracks). 

And then there are some jalapeno varieties grown specifically for fruit size. Gardeners who want to grow large jalapenos have a lot of choices, and below are some of the biggest jumbo jalapeno varieties you can grow.

Jalapeno Variety Fruit Size
Craig’s Grande (OP) Up to 4” long
Big Guy (F1) Up to 5” long, 1” thick
Goliath (F1) Up to 4” long, 1.5” thick
Jedi (F1) Up to 4.5” long
Mammoth (F1) Up to 4.75” long, 1.75” thick
Mucho Nacho (F1) Up to 4” long
Emerald Fire (F1) Up to 4” long, 1.25” thick

Note to international readers: Many of the US-based seed companies mentioned in this article also ship internationally.

Craig’s Grande

Thick, flavorful jalapeno variety; one of the largest open-pollinated jalapenos

Days to Maturity: 70 days (green)
Fruit Size: Thick jalapenos up to 4 inches long, weighing 3 oz
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Baker Creek (US), Totally Tomatoes (US), Trade Winds Fruit (US), 86Peppers (US), Atlantic Pepper Seeds (Canada), Fatalii Seeds (Finland-EU)

One of the best open-pollinated jalapeno varieties for stuffing and pickling, Craig’s Grande is renowned for its extra fat, long fruits with classic jalapeno flavor. This variety is also ideal for pickling, roasting, drying, or eating raw (for those who don’t mind the heat). The heat is around mid-range for jalapenos, varying on growing conditions, but like all jalapenos they will get hotter as they ripen.

Craig’s Grande plants are sturdy and will start yielding harvestable peppers in as little as 70 days from transplanting. Home gardeners and market growers alike also enjoy the productivity of this variety, which can yield dozens of peppers throughout the season. As with all jalapeno varieties, the more you pick, the more they’ll produce. Highly recommended.


Big Guy

Huge jalapeno variety with up to 5-inch long fruits

Days to Maturity: 69 days
Fruit Size: Up to 5 inches long and 1 inch thick
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Burpee (US), Dutch Garden Nursery (US)

Bred to be one of the largest jalapeno varieties on the market, Big Guy is a hybrid jalapeno that can get up to 5 inches long and 1 inch thick, without sacrificing flavor or productivity. This is a favorite among gardeners for a reason. 



Big Guy plants also appear to be larger than average; most jalapeno varieties can get up to 3 feet in height, but Big Guy can reach 3.5 feet, with home growers sometimes getting plants to grow even taller. This is an extremely productive variety and recommended for market growers as well.

The only downside to this variety is the limited supply, currently mostly available at Burpee. But if you can get your hands on seeds, it’s worth it for those extra large jalapenos. Highly recommended.



Another gigantic jalapeno variety with plump, 4-inch fruits and general disease resistance

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75 days
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches long and 1.5 inches thick
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Totally Tomatoes (US), Reimer Seeds (US), Seeds ‘n Such (US), Fatalii Seeds (Finland-EU)

Another contender for thickest jalapeno, Goliath is an extra thick, crisp jalapeno that’s perfect for slicing, grilling, and stuffing. This is also a very productive variety, producing loads of peppers all season long. Goliath is also more disease-resistant than other jalapeno varieties. 

Compared to Big Guy, Goliath jalapeno fruits are even fatter (1.5 inches thick) but slightly shorter (up to 4 inches long). It’s also easier to find seeds, as a variety of vendors usually have it in stock. Highly recommended.



Very high-yielding, disease-resistant, jumbo jalapeno with smooth skin and thick walls

Days to Maturity: 72 days
Fruit Size: Up to 4.5 inches long and relatively thick
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Johnny’s Selected Seeds (US), Osborne Quality Seeds (US), Mountain Harvest Organics (US), Seedway [bulk seed only] (US)

Jedi is a prolific jalapeno variety that produces large fruits with thick walls, while boasting excellent flavor. This is one of the preferred varieties for market growers for its dependable high yields, sturdy plants, and large fruit size. But that also makes it a great variety for home growers as well. In addition, Jedi has high resistance to bacterial leaf spot (BLS), making it an excellent choice for growers who have problems with BLS in their pepper beds.

The fruits are dark green with thick, crisp, juicy walls, and reaching up to 4.5 inches long. This variety also has less of those characteristic small cracks in the skin that jalapenos are known for, so the fruits are generally smoother than other varieties. Highly recommended.



A girthy jalapeno packed with flavor, perfect for stuffing

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75 days
Fruit Size: Up to 4.75 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Osborne Quality Seeds (US), Reimer Seeds (US), Seedway [bulk seed only], Stokes Seeds (Canada), PepperSeeds.eu (EU)

The aptly named Mammoth jalapeno is a beast of a pepper. This is a very productive variety that can get almost 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. The peppers themselves are medium-hot as far as jalapenos go, but have that rich jalapeno flavor. They are some of the thickest jalapeno varieties, making them great for jalapeno poppers. 

Mammoth jalapeno plants also have resistance to viral diseases like Potato Virus Y (PVY) and Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV).

[Editor’s note: While growing Mammoth jalapenos, I’ve occasionally seen a few oddly shaped fruits that were more round in shape but still large in size and still good for stuffing. Otherwise, the jalapenos are consistently shaped.]


Mucho Nacho

A jalapeno hybrid with heavy yields of heavier fruits

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75 days
Fruit Size: Thick fruits that get up to 4 inches long
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Totally Tomatoes (US), Harris Seeds (US), T&T Seeds (Canada), PepperSeeds.eu (EU)

Another jumbo jalapeno variety, Mucho Nacho is a prolific producer of heavy, thick-walled jalapenos. This variety is also hotter than your average jalapeno. Dozens of pods hang off sturdy, disease-resistant plants–Mucho Nacho has intermediate resistance to Potato Virus Y (PVY) and Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV).

Overall, this is a great variety to try if you want a slightly hotter, heavy-yielding jalapeno variety.


Emerald Fire

Award-winning jalapeno variety with fat, uniform fruits, mild heat, and superb flavor

Days to Maturity: 70 to 75  days
Fruit Size: Typically range from 3.5 to 4 inches long, and 1.25 inches thick
Open Pollinated? No (Hybrid)
Get seeds: Totally Tomato (US), Seeds ‘n Such (US), Park Seed (US), William Dam Seeds (Canada)

Photo credit: All-America Selections

Emerald Fire, also sold as Emerald Fire X3R, is a productive hybrid with large, uniform pods. These peppers are not the largest on this list, but they are bigger than average and thick-fleshed, making them perfect for pickling and grilling as well as stuffing. The heat level is around 2,500 SHU, which is on the low end of jalapenos, but still hot.

Emerald Fire is the only All-America Selections winner on this list, winning the award in 2015 for its excellent flavor, large size, and its prolific yields. Perfect for pickled jalapeno rings and stuffed jalapeno poppers.

The plants are compact and vigorous, and boast better overall disease resistance than most other jalapeno varieties. Highly recommended.


Honorable Mention: Nadapeno Pepper

An average-sized jalapeno, but HEATLESS

Days to Maturity: 60 days 
Fruit Size: About 3 inches long
Open Pollinated? Yes
Get seeds: Totally Tomatoes (US), Baker Creek (US), Seed Savers Exchange (US)

No jalapeno variety list is complete without the Nadapeno. Is it a large variety? No. But it’s the only jalapeno variety available that has zero heat, so it has to be given an honorable mention here for those who love jalapeno flavor but don’t love the heat. Heatless jalapeno poppers, anyone?

Nadapeno peppers are medium to medium-large, around 3 inches long. This variety is also fairly productive and makes a great addition to any garden, just make sure to label it property so you don’t mix up the spicy jalapenos with the Nadapenos!