Jalapeño Pepper Jelly is a delicious sweet and spicy spread. This is a great way to preserve all those summer jalapeños and peppers. Enjoy on cheese and crackers, toast, sandwiches, or grilled meats. (I first shared this recipe on Lil Luna where I was a contributor.)
It’s harvest time which means it’s canning season and you definitely need to put this Jalapeño Pepper Jelly on the list! This spread is sweet but has a spicy kick that’s like a party in your mouth. For more delicious sweet spreads, try my Raspberry Peach Freezer Jam, Strawberry Freezer Jam, Raspberry Freezer Jam, or 5-Ingredient Blackberry Freezer Jam.
Jalapeño Pepper Jelly
If you’re looking for a sweet and spicy kick, this Jalapeño Jelly is for you! This jelly is great for using as an appetizer over cream cheese and dipping crackers in or you can use it as a glaze or topping on meats. It’s also a great gift to give to your friends and neighbors for holidays.
What is Jalapeño Jelly?
Jalapeno Jelly is really more of a jam since you are using the entire pepper. It is made up of 6 simple ingredients- jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, granulated sugar, vinegar, salt, and pectin. This jelly is sweet and spicy and is great for spreading on cheese and crackers, basting grilled meats, or adding to meat sandwiches or burgers.
Can I reduce the sugar in jam or jelly?
If you want the recipe to turn out as pictured and described, do NOT try to alter the sugar amount or type. This is jelly and is meant to be sweet and particularly in this type of jam, it perfectly balances out the heat from the jalapenos.
How to control the heat of jalapenos:
As a general rule, jalapeños that have a more white lines and flecks (stretch marks) are typically hotter. To know for sure though, try a little piece when chopping up your peppers.
In this recipe, I use 10 jalapeños and took the seeds and veins out of half of them. This yielded a medium heat jelly.
Hot– Use entire peppers. Leave in the seeds and veins.
Medium– Remove seeds and veins from half of the jalapenos.
Mild– Remove all seeds and veins.
How to Make Jalapeño Pepper Jelly?
- PREP YOUR EQUIPMENT- Get all your jars and lids sterilized and warm and ready to fill. This can be done with hot and soapy water or in the dishwasher. To keep them warm (so they won’t crack when adding the hot jelly), leave them in the dishwasher or keep them sitting on a rack in a pot of boiling water.
- PREP THE JALAPENOS- (I recommend using rubber gloves when handling) Cut off the top of the jalapenos and remove the veins and seeds from half of the jalapenos. The veins and seeds are where more of the heat comes from and I have found that the perfect balance of heat and sweet in the jam comes from leaving the seeds and veins in half of them.
- PREP THE BELL PEPPERS- You can really use whatever color of bell peppers you have on hand but I like the color and taste that one orange and one red gives to the jam. Remove the stems and center. You can leave the veins but I like to cut mine out. Then roughly chop into large chunks since you’ll be pulsing them in the food processor.
- FINELY CHOP PEPPERS- You can do this by hand but it will take a while. I recommend pulsing the jalapenos and peppers together in a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
- DRAIN- Pour the peppers into a mesh strainer to take off excess liquid so that your jam isn’t runny.
- COOK- Add the drained peppers to a large 4 quart pot along with the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring it to a boil and boil for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
- ADD PECTIN- Stir in the liquid pectin and boil for 1 more minute. Remove pan from heat.
How to Can the Pepper Jelly:
- When the jam is done cooking, remove the jars from the water using tongs. Draining off water and place on a towel.
- Place a wide mouth funnel on the jar and ladle jelly into the jars. Be sure to leave 1/4 inch space from the top of the jar so there is room for expansion.
- After filling the jars, wipe the rims with a paper towel and then top with the lids. Screw on the lids using just your thumb and index finger. This will ensure that they are on but not too tight. (the air needs to be able to escape when boiling the jars.)
- Place the jars back into the pot of hot water on the rack and bring it to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 more minute for each 1000 ft elevation above 1000 ft.) Remove and place on a towel about 1 inch apart. After a few minutes you should start to hear the cans seal with a pop. Leave the jars untouched on the counter for 12 hours.
Check the seal of the Pepper Jelly:
You can see if your can is sealed by touching the middle of the lid. If the lid springs back up when you remove your finger you do NOT have a seal.
To ensure you have a proper seal, remove the the ring of the lid and lift the can up off the counter 1-2 inches while holding the edges of the lid. If the lid stays attached then you have a good seal (the lid should have a concave center) and it can be store for 12 months in the pantry. If your can is not sealed then you need to place it in the fridge.
How to Store Canned Jelly:
- Remove the screw bands and wash off any food residue. Rinse and dry.
- Label the jars with the date that you made them.
- Stored in a cool, clean, out of direct sunlight, dry place in temperature between 50-85 degrees.
- Use within 1 year.
Signs of Spoilage:
If your lid is bulging, leaking, or the jelly has a foul odor it has spoiled. If in doubt, throw it out!
What equipment do I need for Canning?
- Jars– Glass jars are needed for canning. You can use any size but I prefer using 8-ounce jars for this recipe.
- Canner– A canner is just a lot pot that is deep enough for the jars to sit in on a rack. This one linked comes with the rack. (DIY version: If you have a stock pot that is large enough you can use that instead.)
- Jar Rack– You must have the jars on a rack to allow the boiling water to circulate around the jars and to prevent the glass from being indirect contact from the bottom of the pot that is a strong heat source. This rack makes jar removal easier since it lets you raise and support the jars on the edge of the canner. DIY version: build one with foil by rolling up pieces of foil and connecting them together to resemble a rack.)
- Jar Lifter– This makes taking the hot jars in and out of the boiling water a lot easier and safer. (DIY version: Wrap each side of tongs with a rubber band to give it grip.)
- Wide Mouth Funnel– This allows you to transfer the hot contents into a jar with out spilling over the edges. (DIY version: Make one using a foam, paper, or plastic cup and cutting out the bottom.)
- Food Processor– This makes chopping fruits, vegetables, nuts… a breeze.
You can purchase a canning kit (below) or if you don’t plan on canning that often you can get away with some DIY tricks described above.
- Full Canning Set– This set includes a large pot, jar rack, jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, a large mouth funnel, and a few other gadgets.
- Partial Canning Set– This set has the essential funnel and jar lifter but does NOT include the pot and rack. This is a great option if you already have a large stockpot and rack.
LOOKING FOR MORE JALAPENO RECIPES? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Jalapeno Popper Dip is cheesy, creamy, and always a hit at any party.
- The BEST Homemade Salsa is way better than any salsa you buy at the store. You’ll be hooked with your first dipped chip.
- Hawaiian Beef Tacos are mare in the slow cooker. The whole family is sure to love these!
- Cheddar Jalapeno Chicken Burgers are a great addition to your next cook out!
- For those bacon lovers, try Grilled Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken
Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
- 10 jalapeno peppers, half seeded
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper (or orange), chopped
- 5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3 ounce pouch liquid pectin
- Place all peppers in a food processor and pulse until peppers are finely chopped. Empty into a mesh strainer and drain off excess liquid.
- Place the chopped vegetables in a large stock pot and add in the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 10 minutes. Add the pectin and boil 1 more minute. Remove from heat
- Ladle jam into hot sterile jars using a wide mouth funnel. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Top the jars with the lids, screwing them on with just your thumb and index finger (this is to ensure that it is on but not too tight that the air can't escape).
- Place jars back on the rack and lower into the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. (Add 1 more minute for each 1000 ft elevation above 1000 ft.)
- Remove and place on a towel about 1 inch apart. After a few minutes you should start to hear the cans seal with a pop. Leave the jars untouched on the counter for 12 hours.
- To check for a proper seal, remove the the ring of the lid and lift the can up off the counter 1-2 inches while holding the edges of the lid. If the lid stays attached the jelly is sealed properly and can be stored on the shelf (screw bands removed).
- If a seal did not form or if you opened the lid and broke the seal, jelly can be stored in the fridge.
- Let jelly rest 1 day before opening to allow it to fully set up and be thick.