Heartbeet Kitchen
Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe (for canning)
August 24, 2020 (last updated February 6, 2021) in Appetizers · Canning & Preserving · Dairy-Free · Fall · Gluten-Free · Nut-Free · Recipes · Summer · 6 Comments

Learn how to make homemade hot pepper jelly, with this water bath canning recipe. Made with a combination of bell peppers and jalapeños, the sweet and spicy flavors pair perfectly together. Serve this colorful jelly over cream cheese or goat cheese for a holiday appetizer, or any time of year!

hot pepper jelly in a small glass canning jar with spoon to its right, both on a round plate
hot pepper jelly on a silver spoon

This hot pepper jelly recipe is part of a sponsored partnership with Ball® Canning. You can find more of my canning and preserving recipes, here.

You’re scrambling, engrossed in a last minute grocery run for an easy appetizer that everyone will love. You grab the fancy jar of hot pepper jelly, and a block of Philadelphia cream cheese. A pretty ceramic platter is in the back seat.

All you need to do is arrive at the party and spoon the jelly over the cream cheese. And in an instant, “the oooohhh, this is so good!” start echoing.

Some classics never disappoint. Am I right?

hot pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese with crackers surrounding it, knife to the right, on two stacked plates

And guess what? You can make one batch of this crowd pleasing Hot Pepper Jelly, and have jars stocked in your pantry year-round.

Not only is it absolutely beautiful with its confetti of colors shimmering in the light, but it’s the perfect mix of sweet and spicy. Exactly why it’s such a good match when paired with cool and creamy accompaniments!

clear jar with hot pepper jelly inside of it, stainless steel lid

How To Can Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

  • Sterilize jars and bands by washing in warm, soapy water.
  • Chop all of your peppers, and measure out your other ingredients so they are ready to use.
  • Bring your Ball® Canning half pint jars to a simmer in your water bath canner, and have the lids in warm water in a small saucepan.
  • Add chopped peppers and vinegar to a pot. Gradually stir in liquid pectin.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil (this activates the pectin), and add honey and sugar. Boil.
  • Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ headspace. Screw band on until fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.        
  • Process jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
three types of bell peppers chopped and on plate. with jar of honey and bowl of sugar to its right. linen towards the bottom of photo.
a opened container of Ball Fruit Pectin with a set of measuring spoons peeking out of it. bottle of olive oil in the backround.

What is real fruit pectin?

Pectin is a naturally occurring liquid that comes from fruit, such as apples or citrus fruits. It is in the cells of the fruit, which is boiled are water and an acid, such as lemon juice, and then extracted. Added to a jam or jelly recipe, it becomes the natural thickening agent when mixed with sugar.

Every brand of pectin is a bit different, so, use only what is recommended per your recipe. I’ve used Ball® RealFruit™; Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin in this Hot Pepper Jelly. 

5 jars of hot pepper jelly in a ball water batch canner

Helpful tips for making jelly:

  • Always use undamaged vegetables/fruits. Too much damage will spoil the result and the jelly is likely to deteriorate quickly.
  • Hard boil’ means it’s boiling so hard you can’t stir it down. Keep stirring. If the boil goes away, it’s not boiling hard enough. When it boils even with you stirring, it’s a hard boil.
  • Add the sugar only after the Ball® pectin has been activated by the 1 minute hard boil.
  • Skim any foam that rises to the surface, only when setting point is reached.


Keep your finished jars of jelly in a cool, dark spot.

Unopened, they will last for up to 16 months if stored properly.
Opened, they will last in the refrigerator for 3 months.

More Ways to Use Hot Pepper Jelly:

confetti pepper jelly in a clear canning jar
hot pepper jelly swirled into cream cheese, surrounded by crackers on a plate with the jar of pepper jelly in backround
clear jar with hot pepper jelly inside of it, stainless steel lid

Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

Yield: 5 to 6 half pint jars
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Using the water bath canning method, make your own hot pepper jelly that's just the right amount of sweet and spicy.



    1. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat half pint jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside. 
    2. Combine bell peppers, jalapeño peppers and vinegar in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly, for at least 1 minutes. 
    3. Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in salt. Skim foam off top if necessary. 
    4. Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼ headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band on until fingertip-tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.        
    5. Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. 


When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

This recipe was originally created by Ball®.

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6 thoughts on “Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe (for canning)

  1. Mary Secor

    I’m excited to make this jelly, it will make cute gifts. I love the name confetti pepper jelly. With a name like that who would not want to try it?

  2. Jennie P.

    I don’t enjoy the taste of honey. So, if I omit the honey, how much extra sugar should I substitute for it? Or do I need to at all? Thanks!

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Jennie! You won’t taste the honey – the flavor will be cooked off in the boiling process. Honey is needed in this recipe to create the proper texture, in combination with the pectin.

  3. Chad

    How would I add a flavoring juice to this? I would like to make this into a Satsuma Pepper Jelly, just not sure on the quantity or when the juice would go in, or if the ratios of other ingredients would need to be altered.


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