Pepper Jelly Recipe

Jars of Pepper Jelly

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This Pepper Jelly recipe is extremely easy to make and it’s great to have in the pantry.

Jars of Pepper Jelly

What Kind of Peppers Should you Use for Pepper Jelly?

For this Pepper Jelly recipe, I used a hodgepodge of sweet peppers harvested from my garden. There are red and green shishito peppers, yellow banana peppers, and cute little red and orange mad hatters.

The result of all the colours are very pretty, confetti-like jelly. It looks sparkly and festive, perfect for holiday gift-giving.

A close up of a jar of jelly on a counter

What’s the Difference Between Jelly and Jam?

Jelly and Jam are both made with fruit. However, they are different products. Jelly is made with the juice of the fruit, while jam is made with the whole fruit. Although jams are thick, they aren’t as firm as jellies. Some examples of jelly recipes: Pear Jelly or Homemade Grape Jelly. And some jam recipes: Spiced Plum Jam With Cardamom and Cinnamon or Rhubarb Jam 

This pepper jelly is a little different from other fruit jellies because it does contain little pieces of the peppers.

Jars of Pepper Jelly, one with lid off.


Pectin: Liquid or Powdered?

I used liquid pectin in this jelly recipe. Simply because it’s how I learned to make it and it’s a very easy way to make jams & jellies. But if you are following a recipe for jam or jelly, always use the form of pectin that the recipe specifies.

The cooking methods used are different for the two different forms of pectin, so they are not interchangeable. Here’s more info on that: Liquid Pectin vs Powdered Pectin

A jar of pepper jelly with a spoon in it, with peppers

Can You Reduce the Amount of Sugar in this Jelly?

I don’t recommend reducing the amount of sugar in this recipe. For jellies and jams, sugar is more than just a sweetener. The sugar works with the pectin and fruit acids to form the gel, and it also acts as a preservative.

If you reduce the amount of sugar, you take the risk of your jelly not setting up. And there is nothing worse than putting in the effort, only to have un-jelled jelly. And besides, aren’t jams and jellies supposed to be sweet?

A wooden table topped with jars of jelly

Do You Like It Hot?

I often make hot pepper jelly, too. If you would like your jelly to pack some heat, simply replace some of the peppers with jalapeno or other hot peppers, depending on your desired heat level. And if you don’t have hot peppers, you can add a pinch or two of dried red pepper flakes in the cooking process.

I like to make this sweet pepper jelly for gift giving because not everyone likes spice, but everyone does love this jelly.

jar of pepper jelly with a spoon in it

How to Use Your Pepper Jelly

As I mentioned, these pretty jars make excellent homemade gifts, for holiday gifts or hostess gifts. This jelly is delicious on crackers with creamy cheese, such as brie, and a perfect addition to a charcuterie board. It’s great to have on hand for impromptu entertaining. Cheese and crackers get an instant upgrade when you add some pepper jelly.

Some other ways to use Pepper Jelly:

  • Glaze for grilling salmon, pork, or chicken
  • Glaze for baked ham
  • Topping for baked brie
  • Sauce for chicken wings or meatballs (toss the hot wings or meatballs in jelly for a restaurant-style appetizer)
  • Spread on a turkey sandwich (so good!)
  • Dip for egg rolls or spring rolls (Just heat in the microwave)
  • Spread on toast or biscuits
  • Topping for pancakes or waffles
  • Shake with a little vinegar for a delicious, tangy salad dressing

An open jar of pepper jelly with a spoon


Jars of Pepper Jelly

Pepper Jelly Recipe

Pepper Jelly is easy to make, versatile, and makes a perfect and pretty home crafted gift.
4.3 from 31 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Jams, Jellies, & Preserves
Cuisine Canning & Preserving
Servings 55 2 tbsp servings
Calories 44 kcal


  • Jars, lids, & screw bands


  • 1.5 cups sweet peppers preferably three colours, finely diced
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin 85 ml


  • In a large stainless steel or enamel pot, combine diced peppers, sugar and vinegar
  • Over high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for one full minute
  • Stir in liquid pectin, bring back to a boil, and boil hard for one full minute.
  • Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars.
  • Put on lids and twist screw bands just finger tight
  • Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes
  • Allow to cool, in which time you should hear the pop of the sealing jars, and your jelly will thicken


This recipe will make about a dozen 4 oz, or six 8 oz, (or 1/2 pint)  jars
It's important to sterilize your jars: Wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse well, and then boil for 10 minutes.
Keep the water that you sterilized your jars in boiling so that you can process your filled jars in it.
The diced peppers in your jelly will float to the top of the jars. To keep this from happening and suspend them throughout the jelly, turn the jars upside down and then upright a few times during the cooling time. As the jelly cools and gels, the particles will stay suspended.
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Serving: 1gCalories: 44kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 11mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 127IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword homemade jelly, jelly, pectin, peppers
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!

23 thoughts on “Pepper Jelly Recipe

  1. We JUST made our first 16 jars and they are cooling. The process was SUPER easy and fun, and they look BEAUTIFUL.

    Thank you for the great share

    Eric and Colleen
    Santa Cruz, CA

  2. The recipe says 1 liquid pectin. How much is that? A box of liquid pectin contains 2 pouches for a total of 6 oz. Do you use the whole box (6oz)?

    1. Hi Kylee. I’m sorry to hear that your jelly didn’t set. There are so many variables, and sometimes it just happens. However, the most common problem I have found is the pectin used. Pectin has an expiry date and if used past that date will often not work. Other reasons for jelly not setting: overripe peppers, overcooking, undercooking, or not following the recipe exactly. You can try to reprocess: (here are some instructions you can use it as a syrup. Thanks for checking back with me, and better luck next time!

  3. I made this and added 4 jalapeno peppers. The sweetness plus a little heat was a hit. I’d prefer even more jalapenos but want to please everyone. It was thicker than I prefer but was great on a block of cream cheese.

    1. Hi Cindy. Thanks so much for this question because it points out missing info in the recipe. You will need a dozen 4 oz jars or six 8 oz jars. I have now added this info in the recipe notes. Wishing you pepper jelly success! This is a delicious recipe, enjoy!

  4. I’ve never made pepper jelly but I’ve enjoyed it with brie and crackers and it is so good. Love the endless options to use it. Hello turkey sandwich! And the gifting option is great too!

  5. This is such a pretty jelly, Colleen and a wonderful hostess gift, too! I love the look of it and the small jars are perfect 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing. (I could not get your star system to work for me but your Pepper Jelly Recipe is a five-star winner to me!)

  6. I always enjoy pepper jelly with charcuterie, but usually just buy it! Next time, I have to make your recipe! It looks great 🙂 Perfect for holiday gift giving too!! Pinned!

  7. Thanks for the info about pectin, and the difference between jam and jelly! I love adding pepper jelly to my snack boards, can’t wait to make some for the upcoming holidays!

  8. A great little guide to pepper jelly. I love pepper jelly, especially with some good cheddar and oat biscuits, or as a glaze on chicken!

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