This hot pepper jelly is not only delicious it uses very few ingredients and is easy to make. A perfect first canning project that makes great gifts for friends and neighbors.

I also love to can and give strawberry jam and homemade apple pie filling to share with friends.

hot pepper jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly Ingredients

  • red bell peppers
  • fried hot pepper flakes
  • white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • sugar
  • less or no sugar pectin
  • canning jars

chopped red bell peppers and dried red pepper

Remove the core and seeds from 4 large red bell peppers. Chop into 1-inch pieces. Use a food processor to finely chop the peppers and red pepper flakes. You should have 2 1/2 cups finely chopped peppers.

finely chopped red peppers

Be sure you use a small box of Sure-Jell fruit pectin that says for use in less or no sugar needed recipes.

box of sure jell

Place water, sugar peppers and red peppers in a large pan and dissolve the sugar over low heat.

hot pepper jelly cooking in pot

Once the jelly is cooked skim off any foam. The butter in this recipe does keep the foam down.  Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.

fill jars with hot pepper jelly using canning funnel

Wipe the rims of the jars so they seal properly.

wipe rims of jars

hot pepper jelly in canning jars

Place lids and rings on jars and fingertip tighten. Can jelly in a water bath. Place jars in a large pot filled with water. Make sure water level is at least one inch above jar lids. Process jars for 15 minutes. Water should be a rolling boil.

hot pepper jelly in jars lids fingertip tight

Now you are ready to give delicious hot pepper jelly! This is a great recipe your friends will love!

homemade with love tag on top of hot pepper jelly

Hot Pepper Jelly Recipe

hot pepper jelly
4.34 from 3 votes

Hot Pepper Jelly

This sweet and spicy jelly is great to serve with cream cheese and crackers.
Prep Time 30 minutes
1 day
Total Time 1 day 30 minutes


  • 5 1/2-pint canning jars with bands and lids
  • instant-read or candy thermometer
  • canning tongs
  • food processor
  • large pot with a rack


  • 1 1/2 lb red bell peppers about 4 large, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Sure-Jell less or no sugar needed pectin from a 1 3/4-oz box
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar divided
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  • Sterilize jars and lids. I put them in the dishwasher and pull them out when still hot to use. You can also put Put empty jars on a rack in a boiling-water canner or a deep 8- to 10-quart pot. Keep jars and lids submerged in hot water (not boiling), covered, until ready to use.
  • Pulse bell peppers with red-pepper flakes in a food processor until finely chopped. Mixture will measure about 2 1/2 cups after being chopped.
  • Mix together pectin and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.
  • Stir together pepper mixture, vinegar, butter, salt, and remaining 3 cups sugar in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue to boil vigorously, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Gradually add pectin mixture, whisking constantly. Return jelly to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, mixture will thicken slightly. Remove from heat.
  • Carefully remove jars and lids with canning tongs, drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel and quickly dry lids. Invert jars and immediately ladle hot jelly into jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top. I keep a small jelly jar on hand in case I don't have enough to fill the 5th half-pint jar. If needed, run a skewer or plastic spatula between jelly and sides of jars to eliminate any air bubbles. Wipe off rims of filled jars with a damp towel, then screw on lids.
  • Put sealed jars on rack in canner or pot and add enough hot water to cover lids by at least 1 inch. Do not process the partially full jar if you had one. Cover it with a lid and keep in the refrigerator. Bring water to a full boil then boil jelly, covered, 15 minutes.
    Use canning tongs to carefully transfer jars with canning tongs onto a towel to cool and seal. When you hear a ping, that means that the jar has sealed. Jelly will thicken as it cools.
  • After jars have cooled, 12 to 24 hours, check center of each lid to see that it's concave. Put any jars that haven't sealed properly in the refrigerator and use them first along with jar that was only partially full.



  • Jelly keeps in sealed jars in a cool dark place 5 to 6 months.
  • Do not double the recipe. If you want to make more jelly, make another batch.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 606kcal | Carbohydrates: 147g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 136g | Vitamin A: 4568IU | Vitamin C: 174mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 5 half pints
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Cindy Hopper

This pepper jelly recipe is great served over a block of cream cheese with crackers. It is also a great condiment on top of warm brie cheese or as a condiment on a sandwich. YUM!

Have you tried hot pepper jelly? Let me know in the comments how you use it.

For more canning recipes try this is easy strawberry jam.

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