Get this delicious and simple recipe for jalapeno jelly (a.k.a. hot pepper jelly) plus a helpful step-by-step tutorial on water bath canning.

This jalapeno jelly is is incredible. Sweet and spicy (the heat level is totally in your control), it is heavenly on crackers with a little dab of cream cheese.

Heavenly, meaning: it’s kind of the best thing ever. (Or try softening a whole brick of cream cheese, spooning on the jalapeno jelly and going to town with crackers.)

Ritz crackers on a white platter topped with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly.

Home Canning Resources and Tips

Canning can seem intimidating but I promise, it’s not hard. I have a few helpful posts with tons of tips for canning at home.

I almost always can this jalapeno jelly in small batches using a steam canner (which is approved by the NCHFP). It’s so easy and the cleanup is a breeze!

A steam canner insert filled with jars of canned jalapeno jelly.

Spicy Heat Level

You can make the jalapeno jelly as spicy or mild as you want.

For a mildly spicy version, I keep the seeds in about half of the jalapeno peppers. For a spicier jelly, don’t remove the seeds.

Many of you have made this jelly and reported your results in the comments. There are a lot of variations below, including using habaneros and other peppers, so read through the comments for more input on heat level and peppers used.

A side view of a jar of canned jalapeno jelly.

How to Make Jalapeno Jelly

Make sure to check out the notes in the recipe about draining excess liquid from the peppers before using in order to help the jelly set up properly!

Step-by-step pictures and instructions showing how to chop up peppers for jalapeno jelly.

Canning Jalapeno Jelly

Below is a step-by-step guide for water bath canning this jalapeno jelly. More recently, I use a steam bath canner, but the basic principles are the same for the jars and timing.

Step-by-step pictures and instructions showing how to make jalapeno jelly.

Jalapeno Jelly

4.57 stars (355 ratings)


  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 10 jalapenos (see note)
  • 1 ½ cups white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups granulated sugar (see note)
  • 3- ounce pouch liquid fruit pectin, like Certo


  • Finely chop the bell peppers and jalapenos in a food processor fitted with a fine shredding blade (if you don’t have a food processor, no worries, grab a knife and get started chopping up those peppers into little tiny pieces). Update: to minimize jelly potentially not setting up, drain any extra liquid from the peppers before step #2. 
  • Add the peppers to a large pot (the jelly will foam when it first comes to a boil so use a pot at least 5-6 quarts for a single batch and larger if doubling the batch).
  • Stir in the vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the liquid pectin and boil for 1 more minute.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Pour the jelly to within 1/4-inch of the top of clean, warm canning jars. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp rag. Place a lid and ring on each jar and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (you may need to add additional time if you live above sea level; the pectin box/info should give details).
  • Once removed from the water bath canner, let the jelly rest for 1-2 days to let it fully set up.


Setting Up: if jelly isn’t setting up, it may be due to the size/type/variety of peppers used in the recipe. Mostly, it boils down to the extra water content if using large or different varieties of peppers (even homegrown vs. storebought may make a difference). So for a better chance at having jelly that sets every time, after the peppers are shredded in step #1, drain off any extra liquid before adding the peppers to the pot. 
Follow @MelsKitchenCafe on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #melskitchencafe. I love seeing all the goodness you are whipping up in your kitchens!

Recipe Source: from my Aunt Marilyn