Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly is a must in every cook's arsenal. This easy recipe makes use of both sweet and hot peppers for a colorful, confetti-like look and and an intense spicy kick. ~

Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly is a must in every cook’s arsenal.  This easy recipe makes use of both sweet and hot peppers for a colorful, confetti-like look and and an intense spicy kick.

Quick and Easy Hot Pepper jelly

I’m excited about this recipe because it was so easy and it turned out so well.  And come on, you can’t start out the upcoming appetizer season without a good hot pepper jelly in your arsenal.  Paired with soft goat or cream cheese and crackers it’s an epic experience.  It draws people in like a flies, and causes normally discreet friends and family to shovel, gorge, and wolf.   All conversation stops until the plate is licked clean.   It’s not pretty, but it is delicious.

peppers at the farmer's market

If you already know and love hot pepper jellies and jams I think you’ll be excited about this one too.  I’ve kept the steps to an absolute minimum..  Maybe it’s just me, but the directions that come in those pectin boxes drive me crazy.  They are so convoluted and there are so many charts!  I bypassed all the charts, and I’m giving you a quick way to get hot pepper jelly into your belly asap. :)  And then you can customize it to whatever hot and sweet peppers you have on hand.  If you’re the canning type, can up a bunch of it, it will make fantastic holiday gifts.  I made enough to last in the fridge for a few weeks of gorging.

colorful peppers

I’ve blathered on about my love of peppers before, so I’ll keep it short.  I just think they are not only beautiful, but so versatile.  Mid to late summer is the best time to find them at farmer’s markets, but of course you can get them year round in the supermarket.  I go crazy picking out a rainbow of colors.  For this jelly I used a handful of jalapenos for the heat, and an assortment of bell peppers for sweetness and color.  All it takes is a few pulses of the food processor to get them finely minced.


But what I love most about this recipe is that there’s no long cooking of the peppers.  I just bring the pot to a boil, stir in the pectin, and let it cook for 1 minute.  That’s it.  All the recipes I researched cooked the peppers for a full 10 minutes before adding the pectin.  I took a chance and sidestepped all that.  It was perfect.  And this way the peppers stay fresh and bright.

hot pepper jam 2

Working with hot peppers is not an exact science.  Some jalapenos are hot, some are not so much.  There’s no real way to tell until you taste.  But since the whole point of hot pepper jelly is the heat, I suggest erring on the more is better side.  If you are really heat loving, you can substitute HABANERO peppers for the jalapenos.

Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly

Yield: makes about 4 cups


  • about 8 jalapeno peppers
  • 12 oz assorted colorful bell peppers (weighed after trimming)
  • 2 cups white (or cider) vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 box (1.75 oz) no sugar needed pectin


  1. Wash the jalapenos and trim the stem end off. Remove the seeds if you want a milder jelly. I recommend using the whole peppers, seeds and all. Give them a rough chop and then pulse them in the food processor until they are finely minced. Be careful, the fumes will be strong, and make sure to wash your hands well after working with hot peppers. Put the peppers into a heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Wash and trim the bell peppers, and remove the inner ribs and seeds. Give them a rough chop and pulse them in a food processor until finely minced. You may want to do this in batches, because I find you get a more even chop if you don't crowd the bowl. Add the bell peppers to the pot with the jalapenos.
  3. Add the vinegar and sugar to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the pot up to a boil, and then add the pectin. Boil, stirring, for one minute.
  4. Ladle the hot liquid into clean jars and set aside to cool before capping and refrigerating.
  5. If your pepper bits float to the top, you can give the jelly an occasional stir as it cools to distribute them more evenly.
  6. When the jelly is cool, cap and refrigerate the jars. They will thicken as they cool, and even more as they chill.
  7. Serve with plenty of creamy goat or cream cheese, and crackers or grilled slices of baguette.


  • IMPORTANT — Make sure you buy the right pectin for this, I used this one which is specifically for lower sugar jams and jellies.

sure jell pectin

  • Some people are very sensitive to hot peppers, be sure to wash your hands well after handling them.

Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly

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94 Responses to Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly

  1. Marxette says:

    Made this for Christmas and it was a big hit. Wonderful recipe.

  2. rosaline says:

    Does this jelly need to be refrigerated until it is served OR
    just until it is fully set?

  3. Adrien says:

    Hello! I’m excited to try this recipe, I have huge mixture of hot peppers from my garden this year. Just wondering how long it is good for in the refrigerator? I plan on giving with gifts this holiday season and want to make sure it stays good. Thanks!

    • Sue says:

      Conservatively it should be good for 2 weeks, or more, Adrien, but it does freeze well, and you can can it if you like.

      • Adrien says:

        Thanks! I’ve never really been a canning person either. Would you suggest I wait for the jelly to completely cool before capping and then seal by canning? Or cap and seal right away then allow to cool?

    • Melissa says:

      If you boil the filled jelly jars “a bath” once they are all filled and closed well, put them in a deep pot, fill water to about 1″ over the jars, boil 10 min. take them out and let them sit on counter if the center of the jars pop in and stay in then you can keep them in your pantry like regular jelly from the store.

  4. Michelle says:

    LOVE your recipe! I made a double batch today to use up the orange and green peppers we had in the garden. I am making a few more batches tomorrow it turned out so well and easy! I had seen recipes before for pepper jelly and thought it was intimidating and passed them all over. These are going to make cute holiday gifts for friends, family & my son’s teachers.

    • Sue says:

      Thank you SO much for coming back to let me (us!) know, Michelle. I felt the same way about all the intimidating instructions on some jelly recipes, and I’m really glad this one worked for you.

  5. Edith says:

    2 things…Can I use honey instead of sugar or the pectin? and Do I have to do a have to the hot water bath? I am an advisor to a childrens Garden Club at our school and we have an hour to get things done. After reading though the comments and seeing other recipes, if I made a peach hot pepper jam with honey and the fruit it might do well. Ive seen recipes that use apples instead of the pectin.
    What are your thoughts?

    • Sue says:

      I’m really not sure, Edith, I’ve never used honey in a jelly like this before. You definitely need the pectin in order for the whole thing to jell, and you will need the low sugar pectin, in the pink box. Not sure about the apples, I know they have natural pectin, but maybe not enough to create a jelly like this.

  6. Greg says:

    I tried this and the jelly never set….. It has been in the fridge nearly 24 hours. Any suggestions?

  7. chris says:

    This looks great and i’d love to make it! However I have very limited refrigerator room so I was wondering if any one tried canning this in a water bath. If so, how long in the bath and do you wait for the jelly to cool before putting in the bath or do you put it in the bath immediately after putting in the jars? Thanks!

  8. Catherine says:

    I’ve never made jelly/jam/preserves/anything of that sort, but I was looking for a way to use up lots of jalepenos in a hurry and found your recipe. I probably used more than 12 oz. of the other peppers, as I threw in a few banana peppers along with the red & orange, but it still turned out great! And I love the golden color (a nice change from the bright green pepper jelly of my Southern childhood). Now to try it out on my supper club tonight …

    • Sue says:

      Thanks for letting me know, Catherine, I love banana peppers, they’re delicious and pretty! Hope your supper club approves…

      • Bonnie says:

        I made one batch and went by the same recipe and it turned out very good. Sooo I made a second batch and it will nt jell. I don’t know what to do. Can someone help.

  9. Katina says:

    Can i freeze this jelly?

  10. Valerie says:

    Found this on Pinterest while roaming around looking for something to make and give my friends as gifts for Christmas and I am totally excited to try this!! After reading some of the comments I’m going to try one of those bags of little peppers and use 1/2&1/2 vinegar. I am totally excited to try this!! I will let you know how it turns out. Going shopping tomorrow!! Wheeeeeeeee :)

  11. Antoinette says:

    I put the pectin I the boiling mixture but it lumped up. Is there a certain technique? It still jelled well but there were a few lumps of pectin.

  12. melissa says:

    I have recently made two batches using your recipe. My second batch I tried something different and added red food coloring…. it turned out so pretty! I am planning on giving these for Christmas gifts! I also canned both batches of mine using a hot water bath.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Jackie says:

    Sue, I just made your pepper jelly! It was so easy and fast. I used a bag of mini peppers (red, yellow and orange) and a green pepper. It looks beautiful. Thanks so much .

    • Sue says:

      Yay, glad it was a success — I just had to buy some hot pepper jelly the other day because I haven’t made a batch in a while.

  14. Wayne says:

    Thank you Sue! Bingo, I’ve finally found somewhere on the net the best recipe for Hot Pepper Jelly. I’m a Hot Pepper Jelly freak, and have been making if for over 25 years. I’m in the habit of cutting sugar in half in virtually every recipe I make, and compensate for that with adding more pectin. But when the no or low sugar pectin came out a few years back, I was so happy about that….finally! I find that commercial jams and jellies taste more like flavored sugar then anything else.

    I make mine exactly the same as you do with great success, except I use Habenaros instead.

  15. Irene says:

    I’ve been looking at a lot of recipes for hot pepper jelly, and yours is the one I like best, but I have one big problem: I am so confused by what you mean by no-sugar pectin. Is that Pomona pectin? I’m thinking it’s not Sure jell. Is it possible for you to tell me which brand you used? Also, have you ever tried canning it, and what were the results? I would love to give some as presents. Thanks.

  16. venus says:

    I was wondering if it would be safe to add pineapple to this recipe ? thanks for any help

  17. Susan Yeoman says:

    I bought Pomona Pure Pectin (1.1 oz packges) w separate calcium packet included – please advise :) can’t wait to make this!!
    THANK YOU!!!

  18. Jamie says:

    Hey Sue We love hot pepper jelly. This recipe was really easy pretty and taste great. However it just is not jelling very well. It has been in the fridge over night. Any suggestions? There seem to be quite a bit of liquid in tbe bell peppers when i minced them. So i thought maybe that had something to do with it or my pectin i used did not say on the box no sugar needed. This is the only 2 things i could think of.

    • Sue says:

      The type of pectin is important, Jamie, and that was probably it. There are a bunch of different kinds, and each one works differently. If you decide to give it another try, be sure to find one that specifies no sugar.

  19. mary says:

    I was wondering if you can do a hot water bath on these jars like canning jam and you wouldn’t have to refridgerate.

  20. fatcat says:

    I am watching the type of sugar I consume and wanted to know if you can substitute agave syrup for part of the sugar content?

  21. Heather says:

    Planning to try making some different hot pepper jellies this summer… it will be the first time I attempt jelly. Is the pectin you used powder or liquid? I’ve heard others say it’s best to use exactly the type specified in a recipe for best results. Thanks!

  22. Staci says:

    This recipe is beautiful to eat and look at. I used 2 red bell peppers and one yellow bell pepper and that perfectly amounted to the 12 ounces. My jalapeños were pretty big but I stuck to the recipe exactly. I kept the seeds in because I love the heat. I also used 1/2 cider 1/2 white vinegar. My batch wielded 8 1/2 cups jelly. Thank you for a gorgeous recipe.

    • Sue says:

      So gladit worked out well for you Staci — how are you going to use yours?

      • Staci says:

        I mistyped. It was 6 1/2 cups. I’m giving it as gifts maybe. I promised one to my mother in law. I want to serve it over baked Brie. Right now I’m eating the leftover 1/2 cup with tostitos haha. Delicious!

    • Staci says:

      Well they are all rangers and men. They just want to buy it. Lazy! Lol. I to them $5 a jar and I want the jar back. Making another batch today! My husband loves grilled cheese sandwiches and dips them in the jelly. We went thru 6 jars in a week haha. Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. Pamela says:

    I made this and did all of these steps but i minced up my own red and orange peppers. I have a small chopper i used for the hot peppers. But the color of mine is nothing like this? Wonder if i did something wrong….

  24. Sharon says:

    Hi Sue. I have a question. This is my first time making a jelly and have no idea about pectin. If I use regular pectin how does that affect the recipe? From what I understand you add it at a different point in the process and do I need more sugar? Thanks, Sharon

    • Sue says:

      I’m not sure, Sharon. This was my first jelly, and I decided to try to streamline the process and it worked. I’m guessing, just guessing, that you could use regular pectin as well. I’ll have to give it a try.

  25. Ann says:

    with the pectin do you add it dry ~ add the recommended liquid to the dry and then to the pepper mix
    planning on making this week…

  26. Samantha says:

    This sounds great. How much jelly will this produce?

  27. My MIL used to make this for Xmas presents. Surely, I should do the same! Thanks Sue!

  28. Alpha says:

    How long can this be stored before it goes bad?

  29. Teri says:

    About how many peppers is 12 ounces?

  30. Eileen says:

    I have never had hot pepper jelly before, but I’m thinking that needs to change — especially since I have a log of goat cheese in the fridge right this second and a full jalapeno plant in the back garden. Yay!

  31. ahu says:

    Oh this is amazing!!! I always look for pepper jelly to pour over heated camembert/brie cheese but it’s so hard to find! Never thought of making it myself. Brilliant!

  32. Amanda says:

    This looks amazing!!

  33. OMG I love this, what a wonderful recipe and so easy! Pinning for later, for sure!

  34. Susan says:

    Wow and no canning! I love it! So colorful and I’m sure delicious.

  35. Joyce says:

    Am going on my Friday visit to our out door market tomorrow and have had my eyes on the hot peppers there that is now in abundance and at great prices. Have been wondering what to make with them and we do love HEAT, so this will be make along with our Jalapeno poppers we have planned to make. So I can load up and know that none will go to waste. Yum…..can’t wait.

  36. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, what a wonderful recipe, love the way this looks, now I can make my own. I’m always buying this at Trader Joes for appetizers.

    • Sue says:

      I haven’t seen it at TJs, but I do find that store bought versions are usually pretty wimpy in the heat department.

  37. wow..I wish I could taste this! Those peppers are so gorgeous, esp. the amazing purple one.

    • Sue says:

      The purple ones are my favorite but guess what? of all the peppers, the purple ones lose their color when heated. Bummer!

  38. savvy says:

    Love the ‘blast thru’ on cooking, and high-so-high color of the peppers in this jelly!! Thanks!!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Savvy, I really try to do away with useless steps in my recipes. This jelly came out perfectly, I hope you try it!

  39. Candace says:

    This looks great, Sue! I’ll make some up right away. A note on the jalpenos…I found out from our Mexican gardener just the other day that if the jalapeno has brown striations on it and not so smooth, the heat will be much higher. If it is completely smooth and a lighter green, it will be milder. I handed him a gallon bag of jalapenos that I had just picked and he noticed right away which ones would be hotter.

    • Sue says:

      I got mine from the farmer’s market and I found them to be a lot hotter than the supermarket variety, too. I think they may be breeding them for size, not heat. Not sure.

  40. You are so right Sue – everybody loves this wonderful appetizer. It is one of my personal favorites and I’ve always wanted to make hot pepper jelly – so this one goes on the list … again! Beautiful peppers, beautiful jelly, beautiful photos! Have a great holiday weekend :)

  41. Your jelly looks so flavorful with those gorgeous peppers, perfect to serve with a cheese plate!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Laura — I was envisioning a confetti jelly with a clear base and all the color visible, but the gold color is pretty nice, too!

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