Christmas Hot Pepper Jelly

I’ve been planting peppers in my garden for years.  Every year I get bumper crops of all kinds of peppers from sweet bells to jalapenos and serranos to habaneros.  And every year I struggle to figure out ways to use them.

The pepper tsunami.  How many are too many?

Mostly, I cut the jalapenos and serranos into rings and pickle them.  We use them all winter on nachos and other tasty Mexican dishes.  As the peppers are bright green and red, I call them Christmas peppers and you can find the recipe to make them here.

Recently I’ve been looking at ways to expand their use.  I like hot pepper jelly on my bagel in the morning, and really can’t find a good source in the grocery stores.  So I decided to make my own using my jalapenos and serranos.

Christmas Hot Pepper Jelly

The idea is to take a bunch of the jalapenos and serranos and make them into tasty jelly that I will can and use and give away to impress my friends.

Jalapeno, serrano and sweet red confetti peppers ready to become jelly
Minced jalapeno and seranno pepeprs

It turns out that making jelly is not that hard to do, although you have to be careful on how long you cook it.  Too little and it’s runny, too much and it turns to rock when it cools.

I use powdered fruit pectin


Here’s my recipe:

  1. Clean and core equal amounts of jalapeno and serrano peppers.  Mince these in a food processor to get about 1 cup
  2. Clean and core red bell peppers and mince these also to get about 1 cup
  3. Pour 1-1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil
  4. Place six cups of sugar into a large bowl
  5. Add 4 tablespoons of powdered pectin to the sugar and mix it in
  6. Add the sugar and pectin to the vinegar and stir until dissolved
  7. Stir in the sweet and hot peppers and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 12 minutes  You can test the mixture using a spoon placed in the freezer.  If the cooled jelly acts like jelly, then you’re good to go
  8. Ladle the jelly into half-pint jars leaving about 1/4-inch air space at the top.  Place sterilized lids and bands and close tightly.  Makes six half-pint or 12 quarter-pint jars.
  9. Place the jars into a canning pot and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove the jars and allow to cool.
Christmas Pepper Jelly – Ready to eat

And there you have it.  Excellent hot pepper jelly for your morning bagel.  My wife likes to pour some over cream cheese and eat it on a cracker.


Not enough heat?

For a hotter variation on this recipe, use minced habanero peppers instead of the jalapeno and serranos.  I also use half a cup of the minced sweet pepper and half a cup of finely chopped carrots to add some texture

Not for the faint of heart!

Christmas Hot Pepper Jelly
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Delicious jalapeno and serrano pepper jelly. Sweet, tangy and HOT.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas pepper jelly, Habanero pepper jelly, hot pepper jelly
  • 8 Jalapeno peppers Cored, and minced
  • 8 Serrano peppers Cored and minced
  • 1 cup Red bell pepper Cored and minced
  • 1.5 cups Apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Powdered pectin folded into sugar
  1. Clean and core peppers removing seeds

  2. Mince peppers in food processor resulting in one cup of sweet bell and one cup of mixed jalapeno and serrano peppers

  3. Measure six cups of sugar into a large mixing bowl. Mix in pectin

  4. bring vinegar to boil in a large sauce pan

  5. Stir in sugar/pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to boil

  6. Add peppers and bring to boil for about one minute Then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes

  7. Remove from heat and ladle jelly into sterilized half-pint jars

  8. Place sterilized lids on jars and place into canning pot for five minute

  9. Remove jars from canning pot and allow to cool before eating

Day Tripping with Rick through the Pepper Patch

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