5 Ingredients or Fewer

Hot Pepper Jelly

October  2, 2009
5 Ratings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4 pints
Author Notes

I know these aren't bell peppers, but the key to this recipe is to make it with red jalapenos - I love their flavor, and I set out trying to make a jelly that captured that flavor, with just the right amount of spice that wouldn’t overwhelm it. Not too sweet, not too spicy, SO much peppery goodness. - apartmentcooker —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Having never made jelly of any kind before, this was a new challenge for us. The big surprise was not only how easy it was, but how tasty the results were! After some searching we finally located some red jalapeno peppers (it was a bit early in the season in upstate New York), and found them leaning heavily toward the sweet side, with only a hint of heat. As the difference in the heat of peppers can vary from batch to batch, plant to plant and even pepper to pepper from the same plant, when I do this again I will gather an assortment of red peppers (jalapeno, habanero, red bell) and mix and match, tasting as I go to get just the right amount of kick. The jelly did take overnight to set, rather than right away, and it was a bit liquidy, but that was no doubt due to my inexperience with jellies. To sum it up: Delicious, and it will definitely be made again and again! —wssmom

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 pound red jalapenos (227 g)
  • 2 cups cider vinegar, divided (253 g)
  • 6 cups sugar (1,200 g)
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 1 pouch Certo liquid pectin (3 fl oz)
  1. Halve the jalapenos. Seed the jalapenos based on how spicy you want the jelly. (Since red jalapenos are sweeter than green jalapenos, I seeded half of the jalapenos, but left the seeds with the other half. It made for an only slightly spicy jelly. Final spice can also be adjusted with red pepper flakes at the end of cooking.)
  2. Transfer the peppers to a food processor or blender, with half of the vinegar. Transfer the mixture to a large pot. Add the remaining vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in liquid pectin. Boil for 1 minute, until jelly begins to thicken. Remove from heat, and ladle into sterilized jars. If keeping in the fridge, close the jars and refrigerate. If planning to keep on the shelves, process, covered, in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, or until sealed.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • trampledbygeese
  • jakestavis
  • Emilia Rosa
    Emilia Rosa
  • Rhonda35
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

14 Reviews

trampledbygeese October 2, 2016
Made three batches of this so far this year! Love it!
trampledbygeese November 1, 2015

I used a mix of Big Jim Chiles and Thai chili peppers, and only 5 cups of sugar. It was perfect. Set in no time. I left a lot of the seeds in because I wanted it extra spicy. While it was cooking I was afraid I went a bit too far with the spice. Burn your tongue spicy. But once the jelly set, it was a perfect balance of spice and sweet.

Thanks for such a great recipe. I'll be making this again.
jakestavis October 10, 2015
how much is in a pouch of liquid pectin?
Emilia R. October 3, 2014
OK, I used red peppers--not jalapeño, not sure, just hot ones. I strained, since I wanted a clear jelly. I cut the sugar to 4 cups. And that may be the reason why it didn't thicken. It is quite soft, although it's been in the fridge three days. I wonder if less sugar was really the factor for not jellying? But it is quite sweet and I can't imagine 2 more cups of sugar... Overall it's a pleasant flavor, not too hot, but it's the peppers' fault. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Emilia R. September 4, 2014
I have several Mexican friends (who are good cooks and come from different areas in Mexico) and I asked them about red jalapeño peppers. They had never heard of it... I'm going to try with a mix of red bell peppers and red hot peppers. Thanks for sharing the recipe, erinmcdowell!
Rhonda35 September 30, 2012
Yesterday, I made 4 batches of this jelly (it's actually a jam since you don't strain out the bits of pepper). Delicious! I had about 3 lbs. of a variety of hot peppers: Scotch bonnets, habaneros, jalapenos, serranos, bird chilies, etc. Wearing rubber gloves, I seeded all of the peppers, then used a mixture of them in each batch. I changed one thing: instead of commercially produced pectin, I added two large navel oranges to the mixture (rind and all). That produced enough natural pectin to thicken the jam and the oranges also offset some of the spiciness of the jelly.
Alison L. September 27, 2012
I've been lurking for years, and this is my first comment, to say thanks! I made the jelly today, and it was perfect: sweet, very hot with the seeds of only 4 peppers (my batch must have been firey), with a strong pepper flavor. I also answered the question about using powdered pectin: I used it today, with HardLikeArmour's conversion recipe for turning powdered into liquid (http://www.food52.com/hotline/2359-is-it-possible-to-substitute-powdered-pectin-for-liquid-pectin-can-you-interchange-them-if-you-add-t), and it set up beautifully: clear, not too loose, and not too pasty/firm, either. We are going to eat it with goat cheese or labneh on corn muffins.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 5, 2011
This looks so wonderful. I've been wanting to make hot pepper jelly for the longest time - and now I can!!!
Sagegreen July 23, 2011
Thanks for this recipe! It looks great. Now I don't have to experiment for one.
Gmarkb September 8, 2010
I made this using 1/2 pound of red jalapenos and 1/4 pound of red serranos from my garden. I removed the seeds and pith from only the serranos. It turned out wonderful. We're currently eating it on bagels with cream cheese. Thanks for the recipe.
Erin J. August 27, 2010
Thanks, everyone! I love this recipe - and I'm excited I can now submit it to a contest: red peppers!!
Sagegreen August 12, 2010
I just wanted you to know that I referenced your wonderful pepper jelly on my last recipe for meatballs. Although I haven't made this yet, I look forward to it. Meanwhile, I was pleased to find a lovely cranberry pepper jelly commercially that is made in small batches.
Kitchen B. August 11, 2010
I brought back some pepper jelly from Barbados and we LOVED it. Perfect with pancakes.....I like the idea of green pepper jelly, with a touch of lime juice!
thirschfeld August 11, 2010
I have always wanted to make hot pepper jelly ever since a crazy Irishman gave me a cracker with cream cheese and habanero jelly on it. Love it and I really do need to make it. Thanks for posting this.