Jalapeño Jelly


Jalapeño Jelly by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

I’m pretty excited to be bringing you today a recipe that I’ve been meaning to share with you for some time now.


Now, if you’re ready to stop reading because you steer clear of jalapeños or anything hot, don’t stop! This isn’t hot. On the other hand, if that made you want to stop reading because you’re all about spicy food, fear not! You can make it hot. 🙂 You can make it as hot as you want.

Jalapeño Jelly by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

The level of heat (or lack thereof) in this recipe all depends on what type of pepper you use and how much of that pepper you use. There are too many different types of peppers to list them all and their heat levels, so you can search “hot peppers” or “mild peppers” if you’re in question. This chart is a pretty good pepper reference, too. Next, using the whole pepper will increase the heat level noticeably. A pepper’s heat lives primarily in its ribs and seeds, so removing these will take the heat down.

I have pretty much zero tolerance for heat, so when I make this, I use jalapeño peppers (which rate 4 out of 10 on the heat “Scoville” scale) and remove most (probably about 80 to 90%) of the ribs and seeds.

Jalapeño Jelly by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

You can also use whichever kind of bell peppers you like in this recipe. Most people probably think of jalapeño jelly as that bright green stuff you see at the grocery store, but I like to use yellow and orange bell peppers. Any color will do the trick though.

My love of jalapeño jelly was sparked last year when Rob and I went to a restaurant we had never tried, and I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich with smoked cheddar and jalapeño jelly. Ohmygosh, it was so good. As soon as we got home, I hit the Internet, searching recipes to make it myself. I then called Rob’s mom, who gave me her no-fail jalapeño jelly recipe. When I got around to making it, I was so excited to taste this amazing sandwich again, but there was just one problem: The recipe didn’t specify to use liquid pectin. So I used the powder kind I was familiar with and was left with runny jalapeño syrup. 😦 Not cool.

After some troubleshooting with Mom, I figured out the problem, went and bought some liquid pectin, and was able to save my jelly. Hurray! So when you make this, be sure to use liquid pectin, and be sure you’re using 6 oz, (two packets with the brand I used).

As long as you’ve got those small factors right, this recipe is super easy to make!


  • 3 jalapeño peppers (or your preferred pepper)
  • 3/4 c. bell peppers chopped (Any color is fine.)
  • 1 1/4 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 5 c. sugar
  • 6 oz. liquid pectin


  • First, sanitize your jars. You can wash them by hand or run them through the dishwasher.
  • Chop the bell peppers and jalapeño peppers. *Handling jalapeños causes skin irritation, so wearing gloves is a good idea while chopping them; if you don’t wear gloves, avoid touching your eyes or sensitive skin for 24 hours.* For mild jelly, discard the ribs and seeds of the jalapeños.
  • Pour the sugar, vinegar, and water into a large pot, and add the chopped peppers. Cook over medium high heat and dissolve the sugar for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • During this time, I like to get my jars ready. Instead of a water bath, I bring water to a boil in a tea kettle and then pour it into the sanitized jars. If you prefer using a water bath, feel free to omit this step.
  • After 20 minutes, add the pectin to the jelly, mix well, return it to the heat, and bring it to a full boil.
  • Remove the jelly from the heat, pour the hot water out of the jars, and pour the hot jelly into the jars. Using a funnel is very helpful! Screw on the lids, and the heat from the jelly will be enough to seal the jars. Sometimes I pour a bit of water from the tea kettle over the lids just to be certain they seal fully.
  • That’s it! Store unopened jelly at room temperature, and store opened jelly in the refrigerator. Recipe yields three pints.

Jalapeño Jelly by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

As I mentioned above, jalapeño jelly is phenomenal on a grilled cheese sandwich (especially with smoked cheddar), but we put it on pretty much any kind of sandwich– fried egg bagel sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, turkey sandwich, you name it. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the traditional jalapeño jelly and cream cheese topped crackers either.

Jalapeño Jelly by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

You may remember from my last post, but this stuff is also great on a burger, specifically a Black Bean Quinoa Burger!

Quinoa Black Bean Burgers by {milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com}

Honestly though, jalapeño jelly really is amazing on so many foods.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy jalapeño jelly?

© Milk & Cereal. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


11 thoughts on “Jalapeño Jelly

  1. Megan

    My uncle attempted jalapeno jelly last year but it didn’t turn out hot at all. We are a heat lovin’ family – hot sauce is a staple around here. Turns out he took out the seeds. I’ve been wanting to make some ever since. Do you know if when you used the powder pectin the first time, if you would have kept cooking it – you think it would have thickened up?

    1. milkandcerealblog Post author

      No, I don’t think so… It was extremely runny, and it didn’t seem like cooking it longer would have helped. I would recommend sticking to the liquid pectin if possible. Unless you want jalapeño syrup, haha. I guess it would taste the same. Good luck with whichever you try!

  2. Mollie

    Hi Ali, I’m excited to make this recipe! I’m actually making it right now, and I can’t find where you say how much sugar to add to the vinegar, water, and chopped peppers. Could you let me know how much you used? Thanks!

    1. milkandcerealblog Post author

      Oh goodness, I can’t believe I forgot to include the sugar in the ingredient list!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, but sorry if it messed up your jelly-making. 😦

      Anyway, it’s 5 cups sugar. Hope this reply isn’t too late!

  3. Yolanda

    Hello! I just found your site through cooking with quinoa and am very excited to try some of your recipes 😊
    Do you think I can substitute chia for the pectin? I’ve been doing my own chia jams and it thickens very nicely, just thought i can maybe include some more nutrition in there haha (and also I don’t have pectin 😁) how hot would you say the jam is? Were Mexican so we like things HOT

    1. milkandcerealblog Post author

      Hi Yolanda! Thanks for stopping by! I’ve heard of jams with chia seeds as the thickening agent, but I can’t say whether it would work in this recipe or not. There have been times that I used powder pectin instead of liquid and accidentally used half the amount of pectin in this recipe, and both times the jelly was very syrupy. So my guess is that the liquid pectin causes a chemical reaction that chia seeds may not. However, the chia gel may be enough to thicken the jelly. I’m just not sure without having done it before. Let me know if you try it!!

      As far as heat level goes, like I said in the post, it all depends on what kind of pepper you use. I use jalapeños because I can’t handle heat, haha. If you like heat, you probably know better than I do which peppers you like, but you could try Serrano or habanero for more intense heat. 🙂

      Best of luck and let me know how it goes it you try it!!

  4. Yolanda

    Hi Ali! Is there any way to substitute sugar for stevia or other sweetener? My husband is a diabetic and all jams have loads of sugar, also do you think you could use chia as a thickener for this? I make strawberry chia jam. Thanks!

    1. milkandcerealblog Post author

      Hi there! I don’t have much personal experience with using sugar substitutes, but here’s what I found online at http://www.pickyourown.org/pepper_jelly.htm

      – Nutrasweet (aspartame) will NOT work – it breaks down during heating).
      – Stevia substitutes 1 to 3 with sugar and if you prefer, Splenda (sucralose) substitutes exactly with sugar. BUT even the manufacturers of Splenda will tell you that you get best results if you just use a 50-50 mix; half regular sugar and half Stevia or Splenda.
      – Sugar not only affects the sweetness, but also the color and flavor. It does not affect the preserving or spoilage properties – that has to do with acid and the processing method.
      you can use “no sugar” pectin in place of “low sugar” pectin – you can still add sugar or other sweeteners.
      – Honey or agave may be used – 75% of the sugar amount (use 3/4 cup for each 1 cup of sugar)

      So it looks like Stevia should work. Hope that helps!
      As for the chia question, see my previous comment. 🙂


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