Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is one of these recipes you just have to try to understand. If you’re a fan of hot pepper jelly, this is for you ~ the tart and tangy cranberries marry up perfectly with the heat of the hot pepper for one memorable taste experience. 

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce, the perfect appetizer for the holidays!

Reader Rave ~

“I am addicted to this jelly! I made it last year and we were ready to fight over the last jar! As soon as the cranberries showed up in the store this year, I started stocking up to make batches of this maroon gold. Extra hot is our favorite!” ~ Robin

Don’t save fresh cranberries just for the holidays ~ buy extra to stash in the freezer for the rest of the year!

Cranberries are special. They’re one of only three fruits native to North America, (along with blueberries and Concord grapes) they’re loaded with antioxidants, they have an explosive flavor, and a brilliant color— they should really have a life beyond November. This sauce can mingle with roast beef, chicken, pork, and lamb all year long. It can be the star of your next cheese plate, and it would be killer on sandwiches, brats, and burgers. Get creative with this amazing berry!

Making Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Plain cranberry sauce is about the easiest recipe on the planet, and it’s a perfect thing to assign to one of the kids. My youngest daughter has claimed simple cranberry sauce as ‘her’ dish, and every Thanksgiving she makes it and gets raves.

Making Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam with Jalapeños

This is one for the adults though; it’s kicked up with fresh hot jalapeño pepper and a dash of vinegar. Hot pepper and cranberries are one of those unexpected pairings that just works, the zingy sweet tart flavor of the cranberries can stand up to the heat of the peppers and the two together make quite a party in the mouth. One word of caution — make sure you warn people before you plop this down on your Thanksgiving table!

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam in a Weck jar

TIP: You can’t always predict the level of heat you’re going to get because hot peppers can vary greatly, even within the same variety. One seeded pepper will usually give you a sauce with a kick, but on the tamer side. Use two peppers if you want a more pronounced heat. The high sugar content dampens the heat a bit.

hot pepper cranberry jam on a cracker

Psssssst: put some on a cracker on top of cream cheese or soft goat cheese. You won’t be able to stop stuffing them in your mouth. I swear.

TIP: I like to use smaller jars for hot pepper jelly ~ it works perfectly for adding to a cheese plate, and you can keep the rest fresh in the fridge for another day.

WECK JARS are favorites of mine, you see them over and over again on my blog. They’re glass jars from Germany, originally developed for canning, but they can be used for so much more. I have trouble keeping a supply in my kitchen because they have a tendency to ‘go missing’.
weck jarsThey come in lots of shapes and sizes, from the small tulip shaped ones, above, to giant 1 litre or larger bottles for juice, etc. They’re all glass, with rubber seals and cute little clamps to hold everything tight. If you’re making hot pepper jelly to serve to give away, these are the perfect jars.

Cranberry Hatch Hot Pepper Jam ~
3.18 from 102 votes

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce/Relish/Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is one of these recipes you just have to try to understand.  If you're a fan of hot pepper jelly, this is for you ~ the tart and tangy cranberries marry up perfectly with the heat of the hot pepper for one memorable taste experience.
Course Appetizer, Jam
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you like more heat)
  • 12 oz 1 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar


  • Rinse the berries and put in a pot. Add the water, sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. The berries will start to pop, so stand back a bit. Once the sauce has come to a boil, it will be foaming and the berries will no longer be popping, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the minced peppers. Let the sauce cool completely. Then transfer it to clean jars. Refrigerate until set. Cranberry sauce firms up as it cools, and eventually it will be of a spreadable consistency, perfect for sandwiches and cheese plates.


Serving: 1
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • You can use other types of hot pepper in this jam, for instance cayenne or habanero pepper will also work. You can even use red pepper flakes.



Don’t forget to pin this Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam!

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam pin.



You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 27, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    I see you can use fresh or frozen cranberries. Can you use caned ones? Cranberries are not in season and they do not carry the frozen ones here.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    I want to try this, but I have 4 questions:
    1. Can I chop the cranberries?
    2. Can I add more jalapeno peeppers?
    3. Will this set up firm enough without the pectin?
    4. Can I add the peppers with the cranberries to cook or must I add the peppers at the end
    Thanks SO much! I LOVE your blog!!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 23, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Christine ~ yes you can chop the berries. You can add as many peppers as you like. If you want to make without pectin you will have to cook it down long enough to thicken it by evaporation. And you can add the peppers at the beginning if you like.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Can you use a sugar substitute, I am diabetic and the sugar is to much.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 8, 2021 at 11:49 am

      Yes, that should work fine. Just use to taste.

  • Reply
    Rochelle Boyd
    February 9, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    5 stars
    hello was wondering about the use of other fruits such as strawberries or blueberries etc

  • Reply
    Barb Giudice
    January 5, 2021 at 7:35 am

    I have made this wonderful jam many times & have shared the recipe. It is a BIG hit, people love it & put it on many things. Thank you for sharing this delish jam, a favorite for sure, & so easy to make. Love it!!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Can this jam freeze?
    How long will it sit in the fridge?

    • Reply
      November 12, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, it will keep for up to 6 months in the freezer, and up to several weeks in the fridge.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Hallelujah and thank you! I love jams and jellies and this cranberry hot pepper recipe sounds like it will be a favorite of mine. This one will be the start. Thanks again.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2020 at 8:45 am

    hi first time trying this i preserve all kinds of jam but not this one yet can i hot bath this recipe and how much lemon juice would i use and what is the shelf life

  • Reply
    November 22, 2019 at 8:49 am

    I can’t wait to try this. We love in Texas and I love recipes with peppers. If you want peppers with a little more heat buy the ones that are more mature. These have what are called heat lines. White lines on the peppers and will have a highe heat level.

    • Reply
      November 22, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Nancy, I’ll keep that in mine, I love my peppers extra spicy!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    I would love to replace the jalopenos with crushed red peppers! I have a similar jam I love that only uses crushed red peppers that I am trying to copy. Could you recommend how much I should use?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2019 at 7:34 am

      That would be lovely, and I think you should go by taste, start with a half teaspoon and go from there.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Can i use dried cranberries in this recipe?

    • Reply
      November 12, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      I wouldn’t, but you can use frozen cranberries.

  • Reply
    Paula Rohrbacher
    October 21, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Can you process/can this recipe in a hot water bath?

  • Reply
    October 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Can you can this recipe?

    • Reply
      October 21, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Cranberries are quite acidic, so you should be able to can it safely. Don’t leave out the vinegar, which is also acidic.

  • Reply
    Robin Martin Scott
    December 23, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    I am addicted to this jelly! I made it last year and we were ready to fight over the last jar! As soon as the cranberries showed up in the store this year, I started stocking up to make batches of this maroon gold! Extra hot is our favorite!

    • Reply
      December 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      I’ve got to make some tomorrow, I guess I better make extra! Love how you call it ‘maroon gold’ 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Does it have to be stored in the fridge?
    Can you hot can it?

    • Reply
      December 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, since this is a small batch recipe that isn’t canned, you’ll need to keep it refrigerated.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Making this tonight , had frozen hot peppers in the freezer , will see if anyone likes it for thanksgiving

  • Reply
    November 11, 2018 at 6:05 am

    I love making jelly’s with a kick to them. I’m currently making Apricot Habanero. Omg so good!
    I am really eyeing all your fabulous looking recipes. For now I’d like to try
    Cranberry. How long can this be made ahead of time? And how long is it good for? I’m always using pectin and water bath to can them.
    I will make this for appetizer jelly for Thanksgiving. Will it last that long in fridge? Thank you

    • Reply
      November 11, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Apricot habanero sounds a-mazing. I would say it will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but you can freeze any of these jams for a longer shelf life, Sherese.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Looking for a pepper jam with peppers more prominent recipe.
    Using surejell or another pectin like surejell

  • Reply
    October 24, 2018 at 3:53 am

    Can you can this, like you would pepper jam?

    • Reply
      October 24, 2018 at 8:26 am

      I’m not sure since I made this as a small batch refrigerator jam. The question is whether the jalapeños would alter the ph of the final jam, it needs to have a ph of 4.6 or below to be safe for canning.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Can I substitute canned whole cranberry sause for the fresh cranberries?

    • Reply
      September 29, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      No in the case, sorry Roselie! What you could do is add some finely diced jalapeño to your canned sauce, that will give you a little heat.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Can this be doubled and water bathed??

    • Reply
      September 23, 2018 at 10:45 am

      You can double it for sure, but I haven’t tried canning it, Brenda, you’d have to make sure the ph was correct. Cranberries are high in acid, so it should be safe, but you might add some lemon juice to be sure.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    how long will the jam keep if refrigerated? i wanted to make this into a holiday gift

    • Reply
      December 4, 2017 at 6:50 am

      It will keep about a month, Mindy!

  • Reply
    September 28, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Can you please tell me , how many jars does the original recipe make? Would like to make enough for Christmas too, including a few gifts. Would like to do all at once. thank you. Liked this recipe better than any of the others I read.
    thanks again,

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      It makes about 2 1/4 cups, Beverly, so it will depend on the size of your jars.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Ok, I made this yesterday and it was soooo easy! I couldn’t find cayenne peppers so used one hot pepper removed the seeds and sliced it into the boiling mixture.
    It is very good, with a hint of ‘heat’ (I would have liked more), served with cream cheese and thin crackers. We all really like it, thanks!

    • Reply
      August 5, 2015 at 6:49 am

      Where did you find cranberries? I would love to make some! If you want more heat, be sure to leave the seeds in next time…

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      If you like things nice and hot, then definitely leave the seeds and veins in next time!

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    November 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Love this and bet it would be fabulous with goat cheese. I make new cranberry sauces and relishes each year. Can’t wait to try this one with hot peppers. Happy Thanksgiving Sue.

    • Reply
      November 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      I think you’ll love this, Sam, and yes, it is fabulous with goat cheese. Have a safe and happy weekend!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I know I’m completely out of season here, but I think this recipe sounds great! What are your thoughts on using the remaining bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer for this with some cayennes from the garden? Also, any thoughts on canning some of it to use as gifts?

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 12:04 am

    considering how much i adore pepper jelly, i’m pretty sure i’d be eating this stuff by the spoonful!

    • Reply
      November 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      That’s pretty much what I do 🙂

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    How bright and delicious! Serving it as a cracker topping looks wonderful.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    November 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    first of all the pictures are visually stunning! Just beautiful and the sauce/relish is fantastic. I love this idea

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    November 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

    We are addicted to chilli in my house so this is just perfect for my Christmas table. Rich red and luscious photos – love it.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    This sounds incredible. I love the heat you’ve added to the sauce. That makes me think that this is going to be tasty as well as beautiful. Your photos are spectacular. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    November 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    This relish sounds absolutely gorgeous. I love a nice topping for my cheese & crackers and this sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Oh my gosh! Sue, my husband should just thank you now and I haven’t even made this yet. Wow. Awesome idea.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I always loving making peanut butter and cranberry sauce sandwiches and I think this spiced up version would be ultra fabulous for such an endeavor.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Oh I put cayenne on everything so I’ll definitely make this for Christmas as I find the usual cranberry sauce a bit too sweet.

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    November 14, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Anon—ooops, I fixed that, thanks!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    The recipe says add cranberries & water, etc. to pot… how much water?

  • Reply
    November 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Love the idea of chillies in cranberry sauce. I’m going to make this for Christmas.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    yummmm…I made a cranberry conserve similar to this last winter. There were no hot peppers in it though! I think some heat would be a welcome addition to sweet-tart cranberries and, of course, goat cheese.

  • Reply
    Sabrina-eat.drink.and be merry.
    November 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    YES!!! I love this! cant wait to get my hands on my cranberries!

  • Reply
    Heather @
    November 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Mmmm..this is a good one. I love the versatility of Cranberry Sauce. And although I do have “the perfect” recipe I make year after year, I’m venturing out and trying something else this year. I may have to add this one to the mix, as well…it sounds awesome!

  • Reply
    the gardener's cottage
    November 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    you get my attention anytime you pair hot and sweet. it’s my favorite combo in foods. this looks delicious! sue, the photos are stunning!

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    November 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I am making this today!!! I love everything about this recipe. The photos are gorgeous and I wanted to reach in and grab a cracker.Yum!! Thanks for the shout out.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!

Grab my latest e-book

for free!

Subscribe to get first dibs on all my new recipes, plus extra subscriber only benefits!


You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

You have Successfully Subscribed!