Jalapeño Jelly (Pepper Jelly)

4.79 from 64 votes

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This homemade Jalapeño Jelly is so flavorful! It tastes like a fancy jelly you would find at Williams-Sonoma or Harry and David.

A jar of jalapeño jelly and a plate of crackers next to some small fresh peppers
Featured With This Recipe
  1. What is Jalapeño Jelly Made of?
  2. Health Benefits Of Jalapeño
  3. Jalapeño Pepper Jelly With Cream Cheese And Crackers
  4. More Uses for Jalapeño Pepper Jelly
  5. Tips for Making Jalapeño Jelly
  6. Steps For Canning Jalapeno Jelly
  7. Why is My Jelly Runny?
  8. Try These Other Jam and Jelly Recipes!
  9. FAQs
  10. More Jalapeño Recipes
  11. How to Make Jalapeño Jelly
  12. Jalapeño Jelly (Pepper Jelly) Recipe

I know this sounds strange, but hear me out, this Jalapeño Jelly is AMAZING! It tastes like a fancy jelly you would find at Williams-Sonoma, Harry and David, or Trader Joes. When you hear the word jalapeño, you probably imagine something super hot, but I promise it’s not. It is perfectly sweet with just a tiny little kick. My Mom loves this and she hates anything much spicier than ketchup.

My sister gave me this recipe and it has quickly become a favorite in our household, especially when we have it with cream cheese and Triscuits. We have made these as an appetizer many times and EVERYONE who has tried them has absolutely loved them! This jelly also makes for a great gift for friends and neighbors. You are going to love the flavor and versatility of this jalapeno jelly recipe!

What is Jalapeño Jelly Made of?

Most pepper jelly recipes, including this jalapeño jelly recipe, is made primarily from fresh peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin.

  • Peppers – We use jalapeños, green peppers, and red peppers for this recipe. The jalapeño peppers give the jelly its distinctive spicy flavor. You can also use serrano peppers or habaneros for this recipe but keep in mind it will drastically increase the heat.
  • Sugar- this adds sweetness to balance the heat
  • Vinegar – Vinegar provides acidity, which helps to preserve the jelly and enhances the overall taste
  • Pectin – Pectin is a natural thickening agent that gives the jelly its gel-like consistency.
A jar of hot pepper jelly made with jalapeños and a plate of crackers

Health Benefits Of Jalapeño

Spicing up foods with jalapeños can be really good for you. Did you know that jalapeño peppers can help prevent colds and headaches? Jalapeños contain a natural plant compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin helps boost metabolism, prevents bacteria growth, can help migraine headaches, and may even help fight cancer. Jalapeños also contain vitamin C and vitamin A.

Jalapeno jelly being spread over cream cheese to use as a cracker spread

Jalapeño Pepper Jelly With Cream Cheese And Crackers

We love pouring this jalapeño pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese and serving it as an appetizer. It is so simple and always a huge hit. The smooth, tangy cream cheese combined with the sweet pepper and salty crackers is a winning combination that everyone will love! It takes 30 seconds to throw together (if that) and it will be polished just as quickly! Once you start to dip, you won’t be able to stop!

A spoon taking a scoop out of a jar of jalapeño jelly on a plate with crackers

More Uses for Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

There are so many ways you can enjoy this delicious jalapeño jelly. Use it as a glaze over your favorite grilled meats or veggies, just brush it over chicken, steak, pork, fish, kabobs, or veggies as they are being grilled. You won’t be sorry! Here are some delicious uses for jalapeño jelly:

  1. Glaze for Meats or BBQ: Brush jalapeño jelly over grilled or roasted meats like chicken, pork, or salmon for a deliciously sticky glaze that adds a burst of flavor. You can also mix it with your favorite BBQ sauce to give it a new flavor twist.
  2. Appetizer Spread: Pair jalapeño jelly with cream cheese or goat cheese and serve it with crackers or toasted bread for a delectable and easy appetizer.
  3. Sweet and Spicy Dip: Use it as a dip for jalapeño poppers, chicken nuggets, or coconut shrimp (the latter being my VERY favorite).
  4. Cheese and/or Charcuterie Board: Include jalapeño jelly as part of a cheese and charcuterie board for a sweet and spicy element that complements various cheeses and cured meats.
  5. Sandwich and Wrap Spread: Add jalapeño jelly on sandwiches or wraps to add a unique and tasty twist to your favorite lunchtime meals.
  6. Condiment for Burgers and Tacos: Use jalapeño jelly as a condiment for burgers or tacos to elevate their flavor with a hint of heat and sweetness.
  7. Marinade for Vegetables: Toss roasted or grilled vegetables in a mixture of jalapeño jelly and olive oil for a tangy glaze that enhances their natural flavors.
  8. Topping for Baked Brie: Spread jalapeño jelly over a wheel of brie cheese before baking it for a mouthwatering and impressive appetizer.

These are just a few examples of the many uses for jalapeño jelly. Get creative and experiment with this versatile jelly to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy its sweet and spicy flavors.

Tips for Making Jalapeño Jelly

  • Wear rubber gloves when handling jalapeño peppers to avoid skin irritation from their natural oils.
  • Adjust the spiciness and sweetness levels according to your taste preferences. You can use more or fewer jalapeño peppers and sugar to achieve the desired balance.
  • To make your hot pepper jelly green (like the store-bought kind), just add a few drops of green food coloring to the mixture while boiling.
  • Experiment with different types of peppers for unique flavors. For instance, you can mix in other hot peppers or use bell peppers for a milder version.
  • Be cautious when handling pectin, as it can create lumps if not properly dissolved. Follow the package instructions for the best results.
  • Skim off any foam that forms during the simmering process to ensure a smooth texture in the finished jelly.

Steps For Canning Jalapeno Jelly

  1. Sterilize your jars and lids before filling them with the hot jelly to maintain freshness and extend the shelf life.
  2. Use a lightly damp paper towel to wipe the rims of the jars before canning. This will allow the lids to seal to the jars better.
  3. Water bath canners and steam canners are both great options to use when canning jelly. Follow the instructions on your water bath canner for the best canning times. You may need to adjust your canning time for your altitude.
  4. Allow the hot jars to cool before you screw the lids on tightly. Once the jars are cooled, the lids should pop down letting you know the jar has been safely sealed. Check all the jars and lids before storing.
  5. For a beautiful presentation, consider using small, decorative jars to gift or store your jalapeño jelly.
  6. Label the jars with the date of canning to keep track of their freshness and use within a reasonable timeframe.
  7. Store the canned jalapeño jelly in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard, for proper preservation.

Why is My Jelly Runny?

If your pepper jelly is runny, there are a few possible reasons for this consistency, and you can try these methods to fix it:

  1. Insufficient Pectin: Pectin is the natural thickening agent used in jelly-making. If you didn’t add enough pectin or used the wrong type, it may result in a runny jelly. To fix it, you can reheat the jelly and add additional pectin according to the package instructions. Be sure to dissolve the pectin properly in a small amount of liquid before adding it to the jelly.
  2. Undercooking: If you didn’t cook the jelly long enough, it might not have reached the proper gel point. To fix this, return the jelly to the heat and continue cooking until it thickens and reaches the gel stage. You can test for the gel point using the spoon or plate test, or by using a candy thermometer to reach the desired temperature (usually around 220°F).
  3. Incorrect Ratios: The ratio of sugar to liquid in the recipe plays a crucial role in jelly consistency. If you used too much liquid in proportion to sugar, the jelly might turn out runny. We have tested the ratios in the recipe below with great success. As long as you follow the recipe exactly you should be fine.
  4. Cooling Process: Sometimes, the jelly may appear runny while still hot, but it can thicken as it cools. Allow the jelly to cool completely at room temperature, or you can place it in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process. Check the consistency after it has fully cooled.
  5. Overripe or Underripe Peppers: The ripeness of the peppers can affect the pectin content, which impacts the jelly’s consistency. Make sure to use peppers at the proper level of ripeness for the best results.
  6. Time and Patience: If you’ve followed the recipe correctly and your jelly is still runny, it might need more time to set. Some jellies take a day or two to fully set, so be patient and give it some time.

By addressing these factors, you can usually fix a runny pepper jelly and achieve the desired gel-like consistency. If all else fails, you can use it as-is as a glaze or marinade instead of a spreadable jelly. You can also wait a few more days for it to set, or you can follow this super helpful guide we found online to fix it.

Try These Other Jam and Jelly Recipes!


How long does jalapeño jelly last?

If it is processed correctly, it can last up to two years in a cool, dry place. After opening, it can last two-three months in the refrigerator.

How do you thicken pepper jelly?

In this recipe, you use pectin for the thickener. If you like a thicker jelly, you can always add a little extra pectin. Use the pectin package instructions as a guide for thickening and re-thickening.

How fine should I chop the peppers?

We like to chop them pretty fine. It is helpful to use a food processor to get them chopped small.

I thought jalapeño jelly was green, mine turned out to be more of an amber color. What did I do wrong?

You did nothing wrong. The color you got is right, like the pictures above. The green colored jalapeño jellies that you find in the store are an unnatural color. Food dyes are added to get the green color.

Do I need to add lemon to the jelly or jars before processing?

No, the jelly should be acidic enough as it is.

More Jalapeño Recipes

How to Make Jalapeño Jelly

A spoon taking a scoop out of a jar of jalapeño jelly on a plate with crackers

Jalapeño Jelly (Pepper Jelly)

4.79 from 64 votes
This homemade Jalapeño Jelly is so flavorful! It tastes like a fancy jelly you would find at Williams-Sonoma or Harry and David.
*This recipe makes 6 half pint jars with approximately 16 (1 Tbsp) servings in each jar.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 21 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Course Canning
Cuisine American
Servings 96 servings




  • Rinse jalapeño peppers and remove stems and seeds (you can leave the seeds in if you like it spicy). In food processor or blender, finely chop peppers.  
    Peppers chopped up in a food processor
  • Place peppers in a large pot or heavy large saucepan with vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, stirring often. 
    Stirring together pepper jelly ingredients in a pot.
  • Add Certo pouch (liquid pectin), stir, and boil 1 more minute. 
    Adding pectin to pot of pepper jelly ingredients
  • Fill canning jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Add to a water bath for 10 minutes (adjust for high altitude, you may need to process longer). Wait a day or so before serving so the jelly has a chance to 'gel' or set.
    Pepper jelly jars in a water bath
  • Serve on crackers with cream cheese. This jelly is also delicious as a dipping sauce for steak or chicken nuggets.
    Serving pepper jelly on a cracker with cream cheese


  • UPDATE – We have had some people comment saying their jelly turned out hotter than they like it. Be sure to use milder jalapeños if you don’t like it hot. You may use hot jalapeños but remove most or all of the seeds depending on if you want your jelly spicy or not. How can you tell the hotness level of your jalapeños? Click HERE!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 50kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 8mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 60IUVitamin C: 4.3mgCalcium: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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  1. Okay so I’ve been making Cowboy Candy which is basically this but runny. This year I used pectin in a batch of Habanero Jelly and it setup perfectly. Then I tried it in my normal jalapeno recipe and it didn’t thicken up at all. After reading a lot of the comments, I’m thinking that 2 pouches of pectin were not enough for 4lbs of jalapenos. I’d like to try your recipe but with only jalapenos, do you think it would setup without the bell peppers?

    1. Since we haven’t tested the recipe that way, it is hard to say. But let us know how it turns out if you try it!

  2. This is more of a question. How many cups of peppers should it measure out to be? And the other thing is, do you drain the juice after chopping in the food processor? There is usually way more juice than chopping by hand. Would that affect the gelling. Mine came out runny.

    1. A bell pepper usually yields a cup of chopped pepper and a jalapeno usually yields 1/4 cup. And yes if there is a lot of extra moisture in the food processor we will pat or drain some of it off.

  3. This jelly is so good I have made it over and over again with so many peppers I get from the garden. I grow speciality peppers including purple and red jalapeños and scotch bonnet, it is soooo good and THANK YOU for including the 3x recipe, that was genius!

    1. Yes, some of our readers have said that if you double the recipe it doesn’t set up as well. I usually avoid doubling the batch when I am making jams.

  4. Way too much vinegar for the recipe. That’s all I can taste 😩
    I tripled the recipe and what a waste of good Jalepenos & peppers.

  5. 1 star
    The recipe does not work as followed. I doubled it and don’t ever do that when making jelly. Follow the recipe and MEASUREMENTS on the Certo website and the recipe will come out. When making jelly precise measurements are the key, not 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper 10 jalapeños etc. Mine did not gel. 1) because I doubled the recipe and 2) peppers, especially green/red have varying degrees of moisture which affects the “gelling” properties. Jalapeños also vary in size. Do yourself a favor and follow the Certo recipes to the “T” or your jelly won’t gel. I did redo following the instructions to fix the jelly and it worked. Took 2 more boxes of Certo.

  6. I’ve seen some talking about the jelly being too hot, even after removing seeds… To deter the heat of the pepper, removing the pithy (the area the seeds cling to) is most important. That area contains the capsaicin chemical that triggers heat receptors. 👍🏼

  7. I love jalapeño jelly and have made many batches using different recipes Including this one and those on the Certo and SureJell packages. I have only had one batch set up right away. One batch set up a year later. Most do not ever set up. I have drained the peppers after chopping them up as suggested by one of the bloggers. Every recipe has a different order for mixing and cooking the ingredients and every recipe has a different time for boiling. With that much variance, you would think it should set up regardless of the order or length of time in cooking. I need suggestions on how to get the jalapeño jelly to set up. I recently made cherry jelly/jam with cherries from my grandmothers cherry trees and it was awesome. I didn’t have any problems with it not setting up. Is there some enzyme in peppers that discourages setting up???

    1. It is so hard to know what factors might be affecting the pepper jelly. Heat is often a culprit, too high or too low and the pectin won’t gel. What recipe did you use for the cherry jam? That sounds delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    This was easy and very good. Passed it around, like in the article, on nice thin crackers, a dab of chive cream cheese and a dollop of jelly. It was a hit with everyone. Surprise at the low heat factor, but so good. I had folks asking if they can buy a jar. Wish I could post a photo.

  9. 5 stars
    I grew my peppers except the red bell pepper. I added barely a half pack of powder pectin (sure jell yellow) during boiling because of comments with not setting. Plus i like a little more gel like. Added 1 -3oz packet certo liquid at end. It made 7- 8oz jars. Set perfect, even with peppers throughout jar instead of on top. Taste great. Thank you.

  10. 5 stars
    I just tried this Jalapeno Jelly recipe and it is awesome! Easy to make and delicious on cream cheese and crackers. I followed the recipe exactly and used only one 3-oz package of Certo. It was the perfect consistency for jelly. But just a reminder – be sure the pot you use is big enough for the rolling boil. Mine boiled over and I had to switch to a bigger pot.

  11. 4 stars
    I think this is a wonderful recipe. Must try.
    But I added some haboneros and some sarantos for more FLAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t mean spicy. When you add haboneros and serantos. It gives it a kick of flavor.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Happy canning everyone. J.S please email with other good recipes. ♥️

  12. 5 stars
    I make canned goods for my shop. THIS is my go-to for Jalapeno jelly. I always sell out of this one first. Thanks for the recipe and all the information to help make the best jelly.

  13. 5 stars
    I only had 7 jalapenos, 5 1/2 cups of sugar and the liquid pectin i bought from major grocery store chain TODAY, expired 4 months ago.
    It still turned out AWESOME!!
    My 23 year old son wouldn’t stop dipping into it as it cooked.
    Eventhough its now almost 4am, my daughter and I are cooking some chicken just to throw this jelly on something else

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