Pepper Jelly


Are you new to canning? Do you love the beautiful bounty of brightly colored bell peppers that fill your garden (or become VERY affordable this time of year)? Are you tired of panicking about the perfect hostess gift as you run out the door to a get-together? Well, I have the perfect project for you: Homemade Pepper Jelly.

Seriously, this project can easily be accomplished in one afternoon with equipment you (most likely) have in your home. You’ll need: 7 (4oz) canning jars with screw bands and lids, tongs, a saucepan, a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot AND a pot deep enough to cover each jar by 2 inches with water (referred to as a “canner” in the recipe).

It’s so easy, and pretty, I thought I’d document the recipe for you in pictures…

“Set the stage” ahead of time.

Red, orange and yellow peppers make a pretty jelly.

Core, seed and cut peppers into 1-inch pieces.










Put peppers into food processor or small-dice by hand. Be sure to leave the seeds in the jalapeño for a slight spicy kick.







Pulse to create 2-1/2 cups of small-diced peppers.











Cook peppers with vinegar, sugar and salt; then add pectin.









Fill the hot jar and top with hot lid.







Boil for 15 minutes.







Remove and cool.







Lids will “ping” when lids go concave signaling a secure seal.

Pepper Jelly
Recipe Type: Canning
Author: A Passionate Plate
Serves: 7 (4oz) jars
Following the steps in order, as outlined below, will make for a fairly quick and easy canning process. This recipe can NOT be doubled; just make another batch.
  • 4 bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem-end removed (leave seeds in for a spicy kick)
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered pectin (no-sugar-needed variety)
  • 3 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional, to reduce foaming)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Run the jars through a hot rinse cycle so they are hot when you start canning.
  2. Place the jar lids in a saucepan filled with water. Bring to a simmer (do not boil) until ready to place the lids on the filled jars.
  3. Fill the canning pot with water to cover each jar by 2 inches, cover and bring water to a boil.
  4. Prepare the peppers (core, seed, rough chop and process to small-dice).
  5. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar and pectin in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Place peppers, vinegar, 3 cups sugar, salt and butter into a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot and bring to a vigorous boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Slowly whisk in the pectin mixture, return to a vigorous boil, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Take hot jars from the dishwasher and place on a clean kitchen towel to drain.
  10. One at a time, carefully ladle the hot pepper mixture into the jars leaving 1/4-inch of space at the top.
  11. Using a damp paper towel, clean the tops and sides of each jar.
  12. Remove lids from boiling water with tongs and place one lid onto each jar. Firmly screw lids onto jars with screw bands.
  13. Place the jars into the canner pot, cover and process (boil) for 15 minutes.
  14. Using tongs, carefully remove the jars from the canner and transfer them to a towel-lined jelly roll pan or counter top to cool. Set aside.
  15. As the jars cool (12-24 hours), the jelly will thicken. You’ll hear them “ping” and the lids will go concave. This means you’ve achieved a secure seal. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
  16. If you have any lids that did not seal securely (go concave), those should be stored in the refrigerator and used first.


Put some cute labels on your jars so that they are ready to go when you need a hostess gift or a quick appetizer (cracker + goat cheese + pepper jelly).  This is also a wonderful glaze for salmon, chicken or carrots!  EnJOY!

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  1. Kaylyn says:

    I made six batches of this pepper jelly to give as Christmas gifts to my co workers as well as a few family members last year and everyone LOVED it. So much so that I intend to make twice as much this year because family members that didn’t get a jar complained! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Fran says:

    Found your site looking for info on pineapple and peach jelly I see someone was tempted to try peach. If you have recipes for peach and pineapple please send it along.

  3. Danielle says:

    Question: I have canned 3 batches of pepperjelly. I used another recipe that called for 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. The first batch tasted a lot like vinegar so I decreased the vinegar for the 2nd and 3rd batch to 1/4 cups. Should I be concerned that I did not use enough vinegar and bacteria growth ? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!:)

  4. Karen says:

    In response to your reply Joy, I too am cautious about adding heat to recipes. I grew up in a household where the spices were salt, pepper. As a kid, I remember vividly the day we brought chili powder into the pantry because we were going to make Chili. The recipe called for 1 tbsp. We put in only 1/2 tsp and thought we were going to die! I had never cooked with a jalapeno when I made your Pepper Jelly so I was nervous about how hot it was going to be. I guess I have progress pretty well in food “hotness” journey since I made a second batch with 2 jalapenos! Who would have thought!

  5. Karen says:

    This Pepper Jelly recipe is wonderful. The instructions are easy to follow, ingredients easy to find and the results lovely. After the first batch, which is fantastic by the way, my husband and I decided we would like another batch that has even more kick. So the second time round, I used two jalepenos. I would rate the first batch as “MILD” and the second batch “MEDIUM”. I love them both! Thanks for this recipe. I have already used one jar as a hostess gift!

    • JoyAldrich says:

      Wow! Thanks, Karen! I agree re: the hotness quotient, but that’s one thing I’m overly cautious about since Toby used to order 5-stars when we had Thai food. In other words, we like in hot, too. Cheers!

  6. bernice says:

    Such a yummy light jelly. Cream cheese, smoked salmon, crackers and Joy’s pepper jelly was the best little appetizer before dinner. I also tried it with my rack of lamb. Delicious!!

  7. Katie says:

    Pepper jelly is on my list of to-make jams this summer and fall, though I think I’m going to go with habaneros instead of jalapenos. I’m toying with the idea of peach-habanero jam too.

  8. Helen says:

    I’m with Marilyn—pepper jelly and cream cheese on any kind of cracker or mini bagel makes a perfect snack or appetizer! This is a great recipe and a most appreciated gift!

    • JoyAldrich says:

      Helen~ I’m making another batch today since we’ve already eaten THREE jars that’ve been on the shelf for less than a week! I’ll have to tuck these away so I have some left for the holidays…

  9. Marilyn Gordon says:

    Pepper jelly on top on top of a chunk of creamcheese and crackers! A favorite of ours here in Ohio. Always a staple at a carry in at the hospital.

    • JoyAldrich says:

      Marilyn~ I just served mine on a mild goat cheese (Kirkland brand if you have a Costco nearby) and it was delicious! A little more tangy than cream cheese. Stay away from those hospitals 😉

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