cooking · Plant Based Diet · Preserving

Hot Pepper Jelly

While I was canning my two batches of rhubarb jam last weekend I decided to make a small batch of hot pepper jelly. Leaving my usual method, I used sugar in this recipe, instead of honey. It is a Pomonas Universal Pectin recipe, slightly adapted. This is spicy jelly, it’ll punch your taste buds (if you don’t like a lot of heat use only 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes).

My idea is to use in stir fries, peanut sauce, added to ketchup and so on. A way to get off sweet chili sauce which has ingredients I am not so happy with. I’d have to say it would taste phenomenal mixed in with cream cheese and spread on crackers.

Hot Pepper Jelly


  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp calcium water
  • 1½ pectin


Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add the lids and rings, let sit until you are ready to use. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

For the jelly –

Add the bell pepper, red pepper flakes and vinegar to a large saucepan. Bring to boil, turn to medium-low and cover, simmer for 5 minutes.

To make the calcium water, mix ½ tsp calcium (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ½ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 2 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 2 teaspoons of the calcium water to the vinegar blend, stir well.

For the sugar & pectin –

Measure the sugar into a separate bowl, take a ½ cup out and set in a small bowl. Add the 1½ tsp pectin to the smaller bowl, blend in with a fork.

To Cook –

Pour the sugar-pectin mix mixture into the boiling vinegar, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously till dissolved. Add the remaining sugar and for 2 minutes while stirring, until it comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jelly looks loose while still hot.

To preserve –

Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¼” of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.

Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the “popping sound” and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn’t sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.

Made 3 8-ounce jars and 1 4-ounce jar.


14 thoughts on “Hot Pepper Jelly

  1. My friend Heidi at Lightly Crunchy recently made a hot pepper jam too, I thought, that would be an amazing replacement for sweet chili sauce! Looks like we’re on the same page. Cutest little jars!!! Love them!

  2. I made a batch of this recently (also based on the Pomona’s recipe) and I wish I’d thought to use apple cider vinegar–is the flavor of your batch super vinegar-y? I used white vinegar and I think the flavor is too strong. But I can confirm that it’s just fine with cream cheese and crackers! 🙂

    1. It was definitely mellow-er with the apple cider vinegar. Methinks I need to whip up some spicy cream cheese tonight, it’ll go well with our rain!

  3. I’ve tried similar recipes .. one thing I would like to able to do is get the ‘bits’ evenly distibuted throughout the jelly rather than clustered at the top or the bottom. Can’t figure out how though 🙁

    1. I had considered straining the vinegar before I added the sugar and having a clear jelly. That might be an alternative. Although Pomona jams/jellies are usually very stiff so I find there is less floating upwards of the solids 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I am soaking cashews right now to make a plant-based ‘cream cheese’ in the morning – it will be snacking time come lunch time!

  4. LOVE hot pepper jelly! Something I never thought I would – and then I tried it – amazing!
    I love just dipping carrots in & eating it like a dip – or a nice warm bread – yummo!

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