Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe (for canning)

By Amanda Paa – Last updated: April 23, 2023
4.62 from 36 votes
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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, right next to the Best Apple Butter and Roasted Salsa.

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.

You can also watch a tutorial video of how to can hot pepper jelly!

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

Using the water bath canning method, make your own hot pepper jelly that's just the right amount of sweet and spicy! A classic way to serve hot pepper jelly is on top of cream cheese.
4.62 from 36 votes
Prep Time :25 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Additional Time :10 minutes
Total Time :45 minutes
Yield: 5 to 6 half pint jars
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 4 cups finely chopped green, red, or yellow bell peppers. I like to use a combination.
  • 1 cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin*
  • 2 cups organic sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil HARD for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in salt. Skim foam off top if necessary. 
  • 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.        
  • Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove canner lid and let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. 


*You must use the pectin brand and type called for, Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin, or this will not set properly.
*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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August 24, 2020


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  1. 5 stars
    I cannot keep this in the pantry. Everyone who tries it wants a jar and the recipe! I have made 8
    times, and will continue until peppers are gone.

  2. 5 stars
    I had a garden for the first time in years , my table runneth over with cucumbers and peppers. Before this week I’ve never made pickles or jelly, I watched my grandmother in the past. Followed the directions I got 5 1/2 pints. Some of the peppers raised towards the top, I’d say the bottom 1/3 of The jars are a little void of peppers. Took a sample of the 1/2 jar tasted pretty good. It’s in the fridge it will be going on toast and other items 👌

  3. Can I make this confetti pepper jelly with all jalapeno peppers? If so what adjustments would I have to make?

    • Hi Erin! I’m not sure what adjustments you’d need to make for it to be just jalapenos, since it would be much spicier. I’d google jalapeno jelly and see what you find!

  4. In Step 5, it states to adjust for altitude, but I did not see a chart. How long do I process for an altitude of 3650? Thanks

  5. Hello….I have a question more than a comment for those of you who have made this recipe. That is, what is the approximate length of time that the peppers are cooked in the vinegar and pectin, before adding the other ingredients. My end result seems a little chunky, as the peppers kinda floated to the top. Thnkyou!

    • If the peppers floated to the top it might be something called “fruit float” which has a couple different reasons why it might happen

  6. 5 stars
    This pepper jelly was easy to make and truly delicious! The honey addition made it really special and it was exactly the right amount of jalapenos for the perfect heat.

  7. 5 stars
    Just put these in to process and super excited! I noticed that the peppers all floated to the top in my jars when I was putting them in the water bath, do you know what caused this? Sure it will still be delicious but want to make sure I know what to fix next time.

    • Hi Kaitlyn! The jelly will still be delicious, and sometimes the peppers do rise to the top – same thing if you are making something like strawberry jam. Float can simply happen because of the difference in density between the liquid phase and the pieces of vegetable, which contain entrained air and liquid which may also differ in density.

      Just stir it all together when you open the jar. The jars are absolutely safe to store and eat!

  8. Well I made this this morning. It was lovely, I couldn’t wait to try it. I had a little left over soooo, I ate some. It was fantastic. I will be giving some out today. This is a winner recipe!!!!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

    • 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.

  11. 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?