Sweet, spicy, and colorful, this jalapeño jelly recipe adds a little kick to biscuits, bread, chips, and more! A favorite here in Texas, I’ll show you how to can your own hot pepper jelly using a water bath. I’ve also included a customizable template to make cute farmhouse style jar labels using the Cricut Joy. Sponsored by Cricut.
Homemade Jalapeño Jelly
After moving onto a small 5 acre hobby farm a couple years ago, I’ve been working hard to grow our own garden. This year my project has been learning to make jelly and jams — my first was tomato jam using my homegrown tomatoes.
I love growing and canning my own food, incorporating a bit of self-sufficiency in our everyday lives. Once you learn the canning process, it’s fun to try different recipes!
Jalapeno pepper jelly is one of my mother in law’s favorites and a must here in Texas. It was the obvious choice for my next go at jelly making!
This sweet and spicy jalapeño jelly has just the right amount of kick! A tantalizing combination of jalapeño and bell peppers, this easy canning recipe can last up to two years in the pantry.
To keep my pantry organized now that I’m accumulating a stash of canned and jarred foods, I created a label template on Cricut Design Space that is super easy to cut using the Cricut Joy. I’ve saved the template to Cricut Design Space so you’re welcome to use if you like for your next canning project!
Jalapeño Jelly Ingredients
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- Fresh jalapeños — Stem removed, de-seeded
- Red bell pepper — Deveined, de-seeded
- Apple cider vinegar — I used filtered vinegar
- Granulated sugar — You’ll need quite a bit (I’ll explain more about the sugar content later in the recipe post)
- Liquid pectin — I used one 3-ounce pouch
Full ingredient amounts are available in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Canning Supplies Used
Jar Label Making Supply List
- Label Template (on Cricut Design Space)
- Cricut Joy
- Cricut Joy Fine Point Pen (Black)
- Cricut Joy Fine Point Pens (Red, Green, Violet)
- Cricut Joy Smart Label Writable Vinyl
- Portable Trimmer
How to Make Jalapeño Jelly
Canning takes a little time, especially when you’re new to the process. When you’ve got the hang of it, making jelly takes about an hour. However, I always give myself a couple hours so I’m not rushed and I can make sure that I do things correctly.
1. Prep Your Supplies
First you’ll want to get your canning supplies ready. Fill a stockpot with water so that when your jars are inside they will have about an inch of water covering them. Bring the water to a boil. I do this step first because it takes a while to get that much water to temperature.
Wash your jars, lids, and canning rings and set aside. Place a thick dishtowel on your workspace where you can set the hot jars as needed. You never want to set hot glass jars on a cold counter!
While you work on the jelly recipe, fill the clean jars with hot (but not boiling) water and set on your dishtowel. This keeps them warm so they shouldn’t crack when you add hot jelly later.
2. Make the Jelly Mixture
Wash, devein, and de-seed both your jalapeño peppers and red bell pepper. I recommend wearing disposable gloves when working with the jalapeño peppers, as they can cause skin irritation. Be sure to discard the gloves afterwards and wash hands thoroughly just in case.
Place the peppers into a food processor with half of your apple cider vinegar and fine chop.
Add this pepper puree to a large pot with the rest of the vinegar and all of the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Be sure to keep a watchful eye and stir often so it doesn’t scorch or boil over. As it cooks, use a ladle to skim away any foam.
After 10 minutes, add liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat immediately.
3. It’s Canning Time!
Empty the hot water out of your jars. Pour the jelly mixture into the now-empty jars, leaving about 1/4″ headspace at the top. Wipe the rim of the jars clean, then place the lids on top. Screw on the jar rings — just tight enough to keep the lids in place, but not as tight as you could make them.
Use canning tongs to lower the jars into the pot of boiling water. Make sure that there is about an inch of water covering the tops of the jars. Allow them to process for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, use canning tongs to remove the jars from the boiling water and gently place on the towel you prepared at your workspace. Again, never place hot jars on a cold counter or hard surface.
You’ll hear popping noises as the lids seal. Any lid that does not seal quickly on its own can be encouraged with a gentle tap.
Now the important part…
Leave the jars alone for a full 24 hours. This gives them plenty of time to gel and set.
After 24 hours, tighten the jar rings the rest of the way, label, and place in your pantry for storage.
Any jars that did not seal must be kept refrigerated and used within a month or two.
How to Make Jar Labels with Your Cricut Joy
I love making labels with my Cricut Joy because it’s so easy and you don’t need a whole bunch of supplies.
In fact, with Cricut Joy Smart Label Writable Vinyl, you don’t even need a cutting mat! You can load the material straight into your machine!
Even better, the Cricut Joy is the smallest Cricut cutting machine and takes barely any space on my counter. That way I can work on my canning and make labels at the same time.
I created this customizable template for my jar labels, so they’ll fit perfectly on small 8oz jelly jars. The Cricut Joy will draw the label text and cute pepper graphic (with a compatible pen), then it will cut out the labels. All you have to do is peel and stick!
I created the template so that the Joy will draw red and green on the pepper, but if you only have a black pen, you can use one color for everything. Whatever works for you!
I also left a blank space on the label so you can note the date when you made the batch of jelly. Knowing expiration dates is important for canning and food preservation.
The Cricut Joy is so handy! If you’re a labeler like me, then this is a must-have!
Now on to some FAQs regarding jelly making and canning!
How Long Does Homemade Jelly Stay Good?
Jelly that is processed with sugar and a water bath (like this recipe), can last for up to two years if kept in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat. Your pantry should be perfect.
Once opened, jelly or jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Any jars that show signs of mold, fermenting, leakage, etc. should be discarded.
Can You Reduce Sugar When Making Jelly?
This recipe uses 6 cups of sugar, which might sound like a lot. You might be wondering if you can use less sugar when making jam, but here’s why you shouldn’t alter the recipe:
- Sugar helps jelly and jam “gel.” Using less sugar means that your jelly might not set up and it could be runny.
- The sugar in this recipe helps balance the spiciness of the peppers. It’s just the right amount to get that perfect flavor.
- Sugar is a preservative. Cutting back on sugar can reduce the shelf life of your finished jelly.
Keep in mind that this recipe makes six 8-ounce jars of jam and a serving is about a Tablespoon, so it’s a fairly small amount of sugar at that point.
Can I Use Powdered Pectin Instead?
This recipe specifically calls for liquid pectin, so I recommend sticking with that.
However, if all you have is powdered pectin on hand, you should be able to use it with a couple modifications to the recipe:
- Use 2 Tablespoons of powdered pectin for every packet of liquid pectin. So for this recipe you would need 2 Tablespoons of powdered pectin.
- Instead of adding the pectin at the very end of the cooking process, powdered pectin must be added at the beginning and cooked with the jelly. Whisk the pectin into your sugar, then add this mixture to your pepper puree and cook.
Again, I recommend using liquid pectin if at all possible, to be sure that your jelly turns out as pictured here.
Why is My Jelly Runny?
Before you panic, did you allow your jelly jars to sit undisturbed for 24 hours? If not, then your jelly simply may not be ready yet.
Jelly and jam can take up to 48 hours to fully set. Give it time and check again later.
If your jelly is still runny after a day or so, try placing the jar in the fridge to chill. This can help speed up the process.
Learn More About Cricut:
- What is a Cricut Maker? (And 5 Reasons I Love Mine)
- What is Cricut Access & Do I Need It?
- Which Cricut Machine Should I Buy?
Jalapeño Jelly Recipe (Printable Copy)
Tried this recipe and liked it? Please rate it! We’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Jalapeño Jelly Recipe for Canning
- 12 Fresh jalapeños Stem removed & de-seeded
- 1 Red bell pepper Deveined & de-seeded
- 2 cups Apple cider vinegar divided
- 6 cups Granulated sugar
- 3 ounces Liquid pectin 1 typical pouch
- Wash jars, lids, and rings.
- Bring a large stock pot of water to boil for canning. When water is hot, but not quite boiling, fill your jars with the warm water and set on a dish towel on the counter. This keeps the jars warm while you prepare your jelly.
- Add de-seeded and deveined peppers to food processor with 1 cup vinegar and fine chop.
- Pour pepper puree into a large pot with remaining cup of vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the liquid does not boil over. Skim off excess foam.
- After cooking 10 minutes, stir in the liquid pectin and boil hard for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
- Pour jelly mixture into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim of jars clean with a damp cloth. Place the lid on top and twist the ring on so that it is tight enough to keep the lid secure, but not super tight.
- Use canning tongs to lower the filled jars into the pot of boiling water. Process for 10 minutes.
- Use canning tongs to remove the jars from boiling water. Carefully place on a wooden cutting board or countertop that is covered with a dish towel (never a hard, cold surface).
- As the jars seal, you'll hear the lids pop. If there are any that do not quickly seal on their own, you can gently press to encourage them to pop. If any lids do not seal, those jars must be kept refrigerated.
- Allow jars to sit undisturbed for at least 24 hours. This gives the jelly ample time to set up.
- After 24 hours, twist rings as needed to secure firmly. Be sure to label so you know what is in your jars and when the batch was made!
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