Our favorite Pepper Jelly recipe is sweet and spicy (adjust heat to your preference) and delicious spooned over cream cheese, served with crackers for dipping. I’ve also included instructions for canning and freezing.

Looking for homemade jam recipes? Try our Blackberry, Strawberry or Raspberry Jam!

Three jars filled with Pepper Jelly.

My husband is the one who first got me hooked on hot Pepper Jelly, and it is always the most popular addition to our charcuterie boards. If you’ve never made jalapeño jelly you will be shocked how EASY it is to make! It makes a great gift, and you can store it long term in the freezer, or in your pantry if you process it in a water bath canner.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Bell Peppers: Use a combination of colors, like red and green.
  • Jalapeños (about 10): remove seeds and veins from half for mild jelly, or leave them all in, for hot jelly.
  • Sugar: I use significantly less sugar than most recipes do, and I find the jelly perfectly sweet. This has worked for me using Certo brand of fruit pectin. Other brands of pectin may require more sugar to help them set up, or you can use a no-sugar added pectin and follow the recipe inside the box. Do not use sugar substitutes (like Splenda) or it wont set up properly.
  • Pectin: I use liquid fruit pectin. Here is a recipe that uses powdered fruit pectin.
  • Vinegar: is used to help the jelly set and the acid in the vinegar helps make it safe for canning and long term storing. White or apple cider are my favorite varieties for jalapeño jelly.
  • Lime
  • Salt
A tray with the ingredients needed for jalapeño jelly.

How to make Pepper Jelly:

Chop peppers: Finely chop bell peppers then use paper towels to squeeze out excess liquid. Measure out 1 ½ cups of diced bell pepper. Dice jalapeños and squeeze liquid out (make sure to wear gloves).

Finely diced red and green bell pepper next to a food process with diced jalapeños.

Combine diced peppers, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, and salt in a large, deep pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, but maintain boil for 10 minutes.

The ingredients needed for pepper jelly added to a large pot.

Stir in liquid pectin and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Give a good stir and pour jelly into containers. Apply lids securely.

Liquid pectin being poured into a boiling pot of jalapeño jelly.

Cool at room temperature for 24 hours, then store in refrigerator for up to 10 days. Read on for canning and freezing instructions.

Hot pepper jelly being ladled into half pint jars.

Canning and Freezing Instructions:

To Can: Pour jelly into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and secure with rings and new lids that have been washed in warm soapy water. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (or longer for high altitude—see notes below). Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then store in a cool dry place for 6-10 months.

To Freeze: Pour jelly into containers and apply lids securely. Store in refrigerator for 10 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.

Recipe Variations:

  • Fruit Pepper Jelly: Replace bell peppers with chopped cranberries, strawberries, or raspberries (blot out excess moisture). Or, add a little lemon zest to the jelly for a lemon flavor.
  • Steam Canner: would work in place of a water bath canner. Processing time should be the same (double check to account for elevation). 
  • No Sugar Jalapeño Jelly: Try the Sure Jell recipe, using their special no sugar pectin.
A plate with a block of cream cheese with jalapeno jelly poured on top, and crackers around it.

Uses for Pepper Jelly:

  • Appetizer with cream cheese and crackers (our favorite way to enjoy it!).
  • Slathered on turkey burgers, pork, grilled chicken.
  • Glaze on hot wings.
  • Spread on sandwiches, for an extra flavor kick!

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Recipe

Three jars filled with Pepper Jelly.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 40 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 ½ cups finely diced bell pepper , I use a combination of colors
  • 1 lb jalapeños (about 10) , remove seeds and veins from half for mild jelly, or leave them all, for hot jelly
  • 5 cups granulated sugar*
  • 1 ¼ cups white or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces Certo liquid fruit pectin

Instructions
 

  • Use a knife or a food processor to very finely chop the bell pepper. Scoop the diced peppers into paper towels and squeeze out excess liquid (this will help ensure the jelly sets up properly). Measure out 1 ½ cups of diced bell pepper (loose, not packed in the measuring cup).
  • Dice the jalapeños and squeeze the liquid out, in the same manner (I highly suggest wearing gloves when handling this many).
  • Add all of the diced peppers to a large, deep pot. Add sugar, vinegar, lime juice, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat, but maintain a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the liquid pectin and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then give a good stir (to evenly distribute the pepper pieces) and pour jelly into containers. Apply lids securely.
  • Optional: flip the containers upside down and allow to cool like this for 30 minutes or so (this will help keep the pepper pieces from floating to the top of the jar. Flip right side up and allow to cool at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • Refrigerate jalapeño jelly and enjoy within 10 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.
  • To Can Pepper Jelly: Pour jelly into sterilized jars. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and secure with rings and new lids that have been washed in warm soapy water. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (or longer for high altitude—see notes above). Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then store in a cool dry place for 6-10 months.

Notes

Troubleshooting: If Jelly didn’t thicken properly, pour it back into saucepan, bring to a gentle boil, and add another package (or half a package) of pectin. 
To Can: Pour jelly into sterilized, canning-safe Steam Canner. Wipe the rims of the jars clean and secure with rings and new lids that have been washed in warm soapy water. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (or longer for high altitude—see notes below). Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then store in a cool dry place for 6-10 months.
High Altitude Processing Times: 
  • 1,001 to 3,000 feet – increase processing time by 5 min.
  • 3,001 to 6,000 feet – increase processing time by 10 min.
  • 6,001 to 8,000 feet – increase processing time by 15 min.
  • 8,001 to 10,000 feet – increase processing time by 20 min.
Steam Canner: Would work in place of a water bath canner. Processing time should be the same (double check to account for elevation). 
To Freeze: Pour jelly into containers and apply lids securely. Store in refrigerator for 10 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.
Fruit Pepper Jelly: Replace bell peppers with chopped cranberries, strawberries, or raspberries (blot out excess moisture). Or, add a little lemon zest to the jelly for a lemon flavor.
No Sugar Jalapeño Jelly: Try the Sure Jell recipe, using their special no sugar pectin.
Doubling or halving the recipe:I don’t recommend doubling the recipe, as it won’t set up the same. Make it in two separate pots instead. You can half the recipe with no problems. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 689kcalCarbohydrates: 175gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 395mgPotassium: 304mgFiber: 3gSugar: 171gVitamin A: 958IUVitamin C: 123mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

    1. You would need to use a low sugar pectin, and the follow the recipe on the package. The sugar is necessary as the recipe is, in order for the jelly to set up.

  1. 5 stars
    This is a really good recipe! I didn’t have liquid pectin so I used two packages of the dry. I really wondered if it would even turn out but it actually turned out great. So good with crackers and cream cheese. I also used it on pork chops and was delish.

  2. 5 stars
    First of all, thanks for providing the information that 10 jalapenos should be 1 lb. Most other recipes I found just said “10 jalapenos” with no indication of how large these jalapenos should be. (I hate that!) And, WOW–those 10 jalapenos must be pretty large, if 10 make a pound. The largest jalapenos from my plants were 23 jalapenos per pound.
    However, for this recipe I used my smallest “seconds” to save my best for other things, and I used 50 jalapenos=1 lb.
    It would have been nice to know whether the 1 lb jalapenos should be weighed before or after removing the stems & seeds, or how much yield to expect after dicing. My yield came to 10.4 oz, which was about 2 1/2 cups. Since the liquid pectin is a set amount, I wanted to be sure this amount would be right. I found a few other online recipes that used 4 cups peppers with one pkg. dry pectin, so I guessed that my 4 cups (1 1/2 bell, 2 1/2 jalepenos) would work.
    The jelly I made yesterday was just a little runnier than I would expect, but wonderful and delicious. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    My first time making and canning pepper jelly was a huge success Wirth this recipe! I found that the trick to the consistency is wringing out the peppers in cheesecloth to remove as much moisture as possible before cooking. Can’t wait to give as gifts! Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. But why squeeze the liquid from the peppers? It carries so much taste! Better add some more agar agar to include it all

  5. I made this jelly last year and it turned out perfect…this year I made two batches and they were both runny…am going to attempt to reprocess…Also your jam looks loaded with peppers, mine is not so much…

  6. 5 stars
    I was a little hesitant to make this, as I’d purchased a half pint of jalapeño jelly a couple years ago from a specialty store and loved it so much (especially on vegan sausages!) and was afraid this recipe wouldn’t come close to that. Boy was I wrong! This was delicious and the whole house smelled wonderful after making it. The recipe made lots more than the 12 half-cup Ball jars I used, but thats okay. Maybe it was because I chose to freeze the jars and allowed a bit of space for the expansion of the jelly on the top. Next time I’ll probably use 2 cups of well-squeezed bell peppers (firmly packed, not loosely packed), and a couple more jalapeños. Other than that the recipe was perfect! Thank you, Lauren, for posting this!

  7. A friend of mine gave me a small jar of this pepper jelly so I am planning to make it as soon as I have time . I am looking forward to making it .

  8. 5 stars
    My first time canning was a success! I used one red pepper, chopped everything in the food processor, and ended up with 11 4oz jars. Fun Christmas gifts. Serve over cream cheese.

  9. Hi Lauren,
    I have three more hours until my 24 hrss are up. I think I am going to have to add more pectin and reboil. Do I do the entire process over. I.e. 5 min. Cooling and 24 hrs.at room temperature. It looks great–I cant wait to try it,
    Peggy

  10. 5 stars
    Made this w/ backyard garden peppers of different colors. Gave a jar to neighbors. Her visiting mother liked it so much she took the jar home.

  11. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I like it spicy so I decided to do 21% hot to 79% mild peppers, instead of the 12.5% (0.5 cup hot out of 4 cup total) you recommended. Kept everything else the same. It’s AMAZING! Sweet, tart, and HOT. Yum!!

  12. Directions were straightforward and easy to follow. I made mine on the milder side using sweet peppers, green bell peppers, one serrano and a sprinkling of cayenne. The flavor is a perfect blend of heat and sweet. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    This is on a whole new level! I saw this on your Instagram page just in time for the weekend and made it for a family get together. This was devoured!! I couldn’t plate it fast enough. Next time, I will be doubling the recipe. Soo good!