Indulge in a symphony of flavors with this easy homemade red pepper jelly recipe.

Using sweet red bell peppers, a spicy jalapeno pepper, sugar, and pectin, this jelly recipe becomes a tantalizing combination of sweetness and spice that will leave you wanting more.

This homemade delight will not only enhance your favorite dishes but also makes a thoughtful and flavorful gift for the holidays or any occasion.

red pepper jelly in a jar with a lid

The Perfect Condiment!

  • Bursting with the perfect balance between sweet and savory, this versatile condiment will elevate your appetizers or meals to a whole new level.
  • Try spreading it on crackers, add it to ham or chicken glaze, or pair it with your favorite cheese on a cheese board. Add it to meatballs for a little kick, and it’s amazing on roast beef sandwiches (actually, all sandwiches!). Why not add it to your baked brie. This red pepper jelly is truly a must-have in every kitchen.
  • Follow this easy recipe and create a jar of sweet and spicy perfection, perfect to give as a gift or simply enjoy at home!
ingredients to make red pepper jelly including sugar, red pepper, jalapeno, vinegar, lemon, salt, and pectin

Ingredients and Variations

Red Bell Peppers: Choose vibrant, ripe red bell peppers for their sweet and robust flavor. Use orange or yellow peppers too. Experiment a bit and add fruit elements like diced apples, pears, or even berries for a unique twist.

Jalapeno Peppers: Infuse your jelly with a tantalizing heat. It’s totally customizable to your taste.

Acid: Vinegar and lemon juice add a kick and contributes to the jelly’s ideal consistency. Replace some of the vinegar with balsamic vinegar for a more complex taste.

Lemon Zest: Grate in some lemon zest for a refreshing citrusy undertone. Orange zest is also a refreshing option.

Fruit Pectin: The secret thickening agent that gives your jelly that perfect, spreadable texture.

Granulated Sugar: Balances the heat with sweetness, creating a harmonious flavor profile.

Variations: Add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to elevate the flavor profile. For a smoky flavor, add some chipotle peppers or smoked paprika, and elevate the savory notes with a bit of minced garlic.

ingredients to make red pepper jelly in a pot

How To Prepare Jars For Jelly

  • Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse well with hot water.
  • Boil water and pour over the jars and lids.
  • Using tongs, turn jars upside down to empty the water.
  • Place jars on a clean dish towel or paper towel, and do the same for the lids.
red pepper jelly cooking in a pot

How To Make Pepper Jelly

  1. Remove the seeds from peppers, then chop into chunks and add to a large saucepan.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except pectin, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Use a hand blender and puree peppers until smooth.
  4. Stir in the pectin, and boil for 1 minute. Skim off foam.
  5. Pour hot jelly into clean jars and wipe the rims. Add lids.
  6. Process jars (per below) or cool jelly on the counter overnight. You will find the seal lid will ‘pop’ and create a nice seal.

If you choose to process the jars:

  1. Place filled jars in a large pot, preferably with a trivet on the bottom.
  2. Pour boiling water over the top until the water covers jars by at least 1 inch.
  3. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove jars, and cool on the counter overnight, or until cool. Check for a good seal by pushing on the lid, it should not bounce back. If not sealed properly, store in the refrigerator.
red pepper jelly in jars on a baking sheet

How To Store Pepper Jelly

Red pepper jelly that has not been processed needs to be refrigerated. It is recommended to use within 2 months, however I have stored it for up to 4 months with no issue.

Processed jars of hot pepper jelly can be stored in a dark cupboard or pantry for about 1 year.

Once the pepper jelly is opened, use within 2 months.

Ways to Use Pepper Jelly

Red pepper jelly is delicious served with cream cheese on crackers. Or just set out a block and pour it over the top and let everyone help themselves! Create a charcuterie board with tomato basil skewers, crackers, sliced meats, veggies and dip for the perfect party platter!

It makes a delicious condiment with pork or chicken, or it can be used as a glaze towards the end of cooking time on meat in the oven or on the grill. It’s the perfect dip for shrimp too!

red pepper jelly in jars

More Delish Condiments To Try!

Have you tried this Red Pepper Jelly recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!

red pepper jelly in a jar with a lid
5 from 4 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Red Pepper Jelly

Make this sweet and spicy red pepper jelly for a delicious appetizer, condiment or sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool 1 day
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 jars
Author Donnalea Ferguson

Equipment

12 small mason jars

Ingredients  

  • 4 red peppers (or red and orange), seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped, (or leave seeds for more heat)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces liquid pectin 2 envelopes

Instructions 

  • To a large saucepan, add chopped peppers and jalapeno, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and salt.
  • On medium high heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Using a hand blender, puree mixture until smooth.
  • Stir in pectin. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam from the top.
  • Pour hot jelly into clean mason jars, leaving headspace of about ¼ inch from the top. Using a moistened paper towel, clean the rims. Press down on each lid while screwing on the bands.
  • Allow jars to cool on the counter, then refrigerate.
    If you choose to process the jelly refer to the notes below.

Notes

  • To process jelly for extended storage: 
Using a large pot with a trivet on the bottom (if possible), place jars of jelly.
Pour boiling water over the jars until the water covers them by at least 1 inch.
Bring pot to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.
Turn heat off, and carefully remove jars from the water. Canning tongs work best for this.
Set jars on the counter overnight, or until cool. Check each jar for a proper seal by pushing on the lid – it should not bounce back. If not sealed properly, store in the refrigerator.
5 from 4 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1jar | Calories: 402 | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 102g | Vitamin A: 1255IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Dips
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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