Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is is a step up from your favorite hot pepper jelly. 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!

4 ingredients for hot pepper cranberry jam

  • cranberries ~ either fresh or frozen
  • jalapeño peppers ~ 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
  • sugar
  • apple cider vinegar

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
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’.
They 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.

“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!”

Cranberry Hatch Hot Pepper Jam ~
3.53 from 126 votes

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam

Hot Pepper Cranberry Jam is is a step up from your favorite hot pepper jelly. 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
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 2.25 cups
Calories 26kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you like more heat)
  • 12 ounces 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.
  • Jam will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Freeze for longer storage.


Serving: 1Tbsp | Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • 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

    5 stars
    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

    5 stars
    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
      Sue Moran
      February 28, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      This recipe isn’t formulated for canning, plan to refrigerate or freeze.

  • 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.

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