Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly is a must in every cook’s arsenal.  This easy small batch refrigerator recipe makes use of both sweet and hot peppers for a colorful, confetti-like look and and an intense spicy kick.  It’s going to be your new favorite appetizer!

Hot pepper jelly in canning jars

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.

cloesup photo of colorful hot pepper jelly

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.

A jar of Hot Pepper Jelly with spoon

Tips for making super easy hot pepper jam:

  • 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
Rate this recipe
72 ratings

Yield: makes about 4 cups

Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly

Hot pepper jelly


  • 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.

Make it your own ~

  • Use any color sweet peppers you like, all red, all green, or all yellow make a pretty jam, too.
  • If you really like it hot, use Serrano or Habanero peppers in place of the jalapenos.


Don’t forget to pin this wonderfully Easy Hot Pepper Jelly!

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. #jelly #jam #hotpeppers #cheeseplate #recipe #jalapenorecipe #jalapeno #appetizer #cheeseandcrackers #FOODGIFT #THANKSGIVINGAPPETIZER #HOLIDAYAPPETIZER

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    May 24, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    This is not a jelly, it is a JAM – it has pieces in it. Jellies are made frontage juice and therefore are clear without pieces.

    • Reply
      May 27, 2018 at 4:38 am

      Your caption says Jelly
      Instead of Jams maybe that’s why they are confused

  • Reply
    May 15, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Love pepper jelly, and my grandkids eat it with chicken nuggets. I send it to my grandson in the army, but his has to be hotter then what the rest of us like, so I use whatever really hot peppers I can find at the market, along with the jalapeno and bells. I’m about to make some right now and will try your recipe. I’m pretty excited about trying this. Thank you.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe, it has made me quite popular amongst my pepper jelly loving friends, they all say it is the best pepper jelly they’ve ever had. It’s so pretty, so easy and so tasty, I cannot make it fast enough.

    • Reply
      March 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      This made my day Laura! We’re heading into hot pepper jam making season, so perfect timing.

  • Reply
    Wendy gauld
    January 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Sue. I just made your wonderful jelly. You so deserve such wonderful comments!,

    • Reply
      January 28, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      What a lovely way to end the day, thanks Wendy!

  • Reply
    John P
    December 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Thanks, Sue. I made this jelly and have so say I love it. I followed recipe to the “T” with the exception of the amount of jalapeno’s and it turned out perfect. I reduced it to four peppers and it was still pretty spicy. It could have just been the peppers. I believe next time, I will remove the seeds. This will be a future favorite.

    • Reply
      December 17, 2017 at 10:36 pm

      You’re so welcome, John, I’m glad it was a hit!

  • Reply
    Laura Wheat
    November 22, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I made 2 batches of this last night and can’t tell you how proud I am of the results!!! So very easy and I got 12 half pint jars. My husband is gone to the store now for more jalapenos and Sure Jell so that I can use up the rest of our late bell pepper harvest. I used a mixture of our bells and banana peppers along with the jalapenos. I put 1 jar in the refrigerator for us but I canned the rest and plan to use for Christmas gifts. Thanks again for such an easy, great tasting recipe!!!!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2017 at 7:53 am

      I’m so excited for you Laura, I think it makes it so much more special that you used your own peppers!

      • Reply
        Natasha Crow
        December 6, 2017 at 8:05 am

        Can you use diced frozen peppers?

        • Reply
          December 6, 2017 at 8:07 am

          Hmmmm, I’m not sure. I mean, I guess there’s no reason why not.

      • Reply
        December 7, 2017 at 8:50 am

        I’ve always loved pepper jellies and cream cheese. This recipe was my first attempt at making it. Very easy and turned out fantastic! Very pretty also. Thank you!

        • Reply
          December 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

          I’m so glad Dee, I am a fanatic about hot pepper jellies, I make them all the time, and can’t resist a new one when I see it at the store, either.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2017 at 6:41 am

    I have about 10+ lbs of jalepenos, and a few misc sweet/hot peppers I picked before last frost. If I make this it’s going to be so much it will need to be canned. Do you have any additional info on hot water bath canning this recipe in jelly jars?

  • Reply
    Joanne Kelly
    November 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I’d really like to try your recipe but I’m confused about the measurements. Can you give the amount of peppers required in cups?
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I just finished making a batch of this wonderful jelly! First time in all my years I have ever made pepper jelly. The recipe is perfect! I followed it exactly (other than I did add a pinch of kosher salt) and the jelly turned out perfect! I used 2 bell peppers, one red, one yellow. They were very big! And I did only use 4 large jalapenos since children would be eating this also. It thickened beautifully, and all the lovely pepper pieces are suspended in the jelly. I wish you could see it! The color is a beautiful deep orangish amber. I followed the advice of another commenter and after I processed my bell peppers I put them in a colander lined with paper towels and let them drain for a couple minutes and then squeezed a lot of the liquid out of them. I think this gave my jelly the beautiful color and the perfect jelly consistency. But who knows, could just be beginners luck! Either way, this is some delicious jelly that will grace a wheel of brie. BTW, I got exactly 5 cups from the recipe. One is in my fridge, and the other 4 went into the freezer. Love that I can freeze them. Thanks Sue for this wonderful, easy, delicious recipe!

    • Reply
      November 8, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Thank YOU Karen for your detailed feedback, it’s so helpful to everybody! I hope you’ve tried my newest hot pepper jelly, just out this week ~ my Rosé Wine Hot Pepper Jelly!

  • Reply
    October 10, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I made mine with equal parts jalapeño, hot cherry, and Hungarian hot peppers, and three ghost peppers thrown in for good measure :) Ended up having to add more pectin to get it to gel, but soooo happy with the result!

    • Reply
      October 10, 2017 at 8:20 am

      Oh gosh, I’d love to try that Mike!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I was wondering if you have a sweet hot pepper recipe

    • Reply
      October 7, 2017 at 8:01 am

      You can add more sugar to this one, to taste, James, is that what you mean?

  • Reply
    October 6, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I love the Simplicity of this recipe, I threw a screwball into this one though, because I used cayenne, poblano, and habanero peppers. A dear friend of mine wanted to try some really hot pepper jelly, the only other thing that I changed up which at the end I did a canning bath so that way my friend could have some jelly for a while down the road.

    • Reply
      October 6, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      I love my jelly really hot, too, Thomas, so I’m with you on this one!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Can you can this

  • Reply
    September 27, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Can I double the recipe

    • Reply
      September 27, 2017 at 7:43 am

      I would do two batches, Jan, jelly can be tricky.

  • Reply
    Judy Tucker
    August 12, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I’m glad to see a low sugar pectin recipe for this. I use a similar combination but use half vinegar and half apple juice and prefer it.

    • Reply
      August 12, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Sounds great I’ll have to try that Judy.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Mine turned green and I wanted the yellow color of the jelly

      • Reply
        September 20, 2017 at 7:17 pm

        The color will depend on the color of your peppers, Cindy. Next time try more red and yellow peppers ~ there are even red jalapeños!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2017 at 8:14 am

    This is my second time making this recipe with a variety of peppers from our farm share, it is absolutely delicious and so so easy to put together. It has been a huge hit anytime I’ve served it, usually over cream cheese with crackers! Definitely a staple in my house now, thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  • Reply
    August 7, 2017 at 10:01 am

    can’t wait to try this. I will also make some with my Carolina Reapers

    • Reply
      August 9, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Is this REALLY hot if you leave the seeds in? I like a little heat, but not too much.

      • Reply
        August 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

        Barbara leave the seeds out if you’re not into truly hot food.

  • Reply
    Margaret MacKenzie
    July 17, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    I love using pepper jelly in a goat cheese appetizer I serve quite frequently and have been unable to find any lately in the usual places I shop, World Market and Trader Joe’s among them. I can now make my own, as I’m becoming more familiar with canning. Thank you, Sue!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Can I substitute the sugar for Splenda?

  • Reply
    December 25, 2016 at 4:56 pm

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

  • 1 2 3 4 5