Red Pepper Jelly

Recipes

This Red Pepper Jelly makes a delicious holiday appetizer served over cream cheese with crackers. It also makes a gift idea. Learn how to make it with this simple recipe.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

If you’re a long-time follower of Inspired by Charm, you may remember when I was running my B&B and Gift Shop, I used to make jams and jellies (including this Red Pepper Jelly) to sell in the shop and include in my gift baskets.

It’s been a while now, so I’ve forgotten the exact number, but I probably made a couple thousand jars of jam and jelly during those years. It’s crazy to think about. I made everything from blackberry to strawberry, and even unique concoctions like champagne ginger peach.

Of all the jams, one of my favorites was Red Pepper Jelly. I know it sounds different, but I love it.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

While you can use this jelly in a variety of ways, the way I love it best is served on a cracker with cream cheese. Yep, that’s right. Cracker, Cream Cheese, Red Pepper Jelly. Yum!

Is Red Pepper Jelly Sweet?

Yes, and I think that’s what makes it work so well with cream cheese and crackers. This is my favorite way to serve it!

The slight sweetness from the jelly is a perfect match with a salty cracker and smooth cream cheese.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Trust me on this. You need to try it.

Even better, this makes the most perfect appetizer. Just place a block of cream cheese on a plate, spoon over your homemade jelly, add a spreader, and serve with crackers. Done.

If you have last minute visitors, this is a lifesaver.

With the jelly already made, it can be on the table in minutes. Plus the red and green colors of the bell peppers are so appropriate for the season. What do you think?

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Is Red Pepper Jelly Spicy?

Now, before we get into the recipe, I want to point out one thing. As I mentioned above, you can add jalapeño pepper to this jelly. It gives it just a little kick that works nicely with the cream cheese.

For the recipe below, it’s a minimal amount of heat that most anyone can handle. Depending on your heat preference, feel free to decrease or increase the amount of jalapeños.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Also, the recipe I’m giving you takes you through the steps for preserving and sealing your jars. You can skip this part if you plan on storing the jelly in your fridge and eating it pretty quickly (in about a week or two).

I do like to seal the jars because this jelly makes a great holiday gift, and any extra jars can be stored in the pantry for up to a year.

How to Make Red Pepper Jelly:

Begin by sterilizing six 8-ounce canning jars and lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Begin heating your water in a hot water canner for processing. I’ve included a printable recipe card below for a full rundown of the recipe ingredients and instructions.

Place the red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers into a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and Sure-Jell pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Then, quickly stir in the sugar. Return to a rolling boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.

Then, quickly ladle the jelly into your prepared jars, filling each to 1/4 inch from the top. Cover with flat lids; then screw on the bands tightly.

Place the jars into the canning rack, and slowly lower the jars into the canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil and process for five minutes.

Remove the jars and allow them to cool completely.

 

Kitchen Tools I Recommend for This Recipe:

Whether you’re wondering what equipment you’ll need for this recipe, curious about my favorite utensils, or if you’re just looking to stock your own kitchen, these are the kitchen tools I recommend for this recipe:

Want more? You can find the list of My Ultimate Kitchen Essentials HERE.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

 

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Not too bad, right? Jelly making and canning are a bit of a process, but I think it’s a really fun pastime. Plus, having homemade treats on your shelf is the best.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

And, as I mentioned above, they make great gifts.

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

Definitely give this Red Pepper Jelly recipe a try and let me know what you think! Or, if you’ve had and love red pepper jelly as much as I do, let me know in the comments below. I’m curious.

Did you like this recipe? Here are a few more favorite holiday appetizers:

Red Pepper Jelly | inspiredbycharm.com #IBCholiday

 

Red Pepper Jelly Recipe:

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red pepper jelly, jelly, red pepper, appetizer
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
This Red Pepper Jelly makes a delicious holiday appetizer served over cream cheese with crackers. It also makes a gift idea. Learn how to make it with this simple recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 (1.75 ounce each) packages SURE-JELL powder pectin* - (This means one full package plus one half pacakge of pectin.)
  • 5 cups white sugar
Red Pepper Jelly Appetizer:

Instructions

  • Begin by sterilizing six 8-ounce canning jars and lids according to the manufacturer's instructions. Begin heating your water in a hot water canner for processing.
  • Place the red bell peppers, green bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers into a large saucepan over high heat. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and Sure-Jell pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Then, quickly stir in the sugar. Return to a rolling boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
  • Then, quickly ladle the jelly into your prepared jars, filling each to 1/4 inch from the top. Cover with flat lids; then screw on the bands tightly.
  • Place the jars into the canning rack, and slowly lower the jars into the canner. The water should cover the jars completely, and should be hot but not boiling. Bring water to a boil and process for five minutes.
  • Remove the jars and allow them to cool completely.
  • To serve the Red Pepper Jelly Appetizer Simply, place the block of Cream Cheese on a plate. Then, spoon the red pepper jelly on top of the cream cheese. Serve with crackers.

Notes

*Often times I will add the extra 1/2 pack of  pectin to ensure my jelly gets firm.
Traditionally, this recipe only requires one package. I've updated the recipe to include 1 1/2 packs for more foolproof results. 

Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you're cooking in the kitchen!

Red Pepper Jelly Appetizer Recipe #redpepper #jelly #appetizer #recipe #creamcheese #holidays #easy

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Comments

  • Judy at

    I was browsing your website (which is wonderful I might add) when I came upon the pepper jelly and cream cheese appetizer idea. I have had this before and thought it to be delicious. I thought it would be good to serve at our Super Bowl party. Alas, my guests did not have very adventerous palates, so this did not go over very well (oh pooh LOL). I was thinking “Oh what am I going to do with these leftovers (I had doubled the recipe!)?” I couldn’t scrap the jelly back into the jar, and couldn’t completely eradicate the jelly from the cream cheese. I stuck upon the idea to incorporate the pepper jelly INTO the cream cheese by whipping them both together. It made for a very tasty and palatable dip. It did not go to waste (I deplore wasting food). Thought I’d share.

    • Karen at

      So funny! My friends and family are the same way — they won’t place two (or more) items on a cracker. And that includes jam that’s already poured right on top of the cream cheese. One item only; none of that fancy stuff! 🙂 So now I too mix the jam and cream cheese together, then right before serving add chopped pistachios. So good! Seconding your dip method for anyone new reading this.

    • Craig at

      I made this recipe today and the flavor is incredible, the problem I’m having is my peppers are separating from the liquid in the jars is there anyway to stop this from happening

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        What do you mean by “they are separating”?

        xo Michael

      • Leah cornett at

        All the peppers stay on top of jar jelly in bottom is it supposed to be this way

      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Yes. You can gentle turn the jars as they set to disperse the peppers.

        xo Michael

  • Laura at

    Should jalapeño pepper seeds be removed?

    • Cheryl at

      Definitely. Also remove the white flesh on the inside, unless you like it very spicy.

      • Joyce h at

        Definitely not- it’s pointless to make pepper jelly if it has no zing and the sugar tones any heat way down- 1/2 cup of jalapeños amounts to almost nothing

  • Cassie Anthony at

    Hey I stumbled upon your blog via Pinterest. I’m an Emporium native so we’re practically neighbors! Love red pepper jelly. The Blackbird Distillery in Brookville has fantastic pepper jelly if you run low and want to take a break from DIYing. And of course you have to taste test the shine! http://blackbirddistillery.com/Blackbird_Distillery/Home.html

  • Shannon Johnson at

    Definitely need an extra 1/2 or full pack of pectin for the recipe, I used 1 pack on my first batch and it was very liquid still so i used 2 on my second batch and worked great to firm it up nicely!

  • Andrea at

    My sister-in-law first brought cream cheese and red pepper jelly to a family Christmas party years ago and it’s been a staple at all our holiday parties ever since! I can’t wait to make my own jelly!

  • Brenna@Domestic Charm at

    This is one of my fave quick and easy appetizers – cream cheese and pepper jelly. But I have never made my own pepper jelly. I think now I will start! Thanks for the recipe Michael!

  • Effie at

    I’ve been making Red Pepper Jelly for years!!! It is fab & so unique. Peoplw are always surprised at first…but so far, anyone who has tried it, has been really impressed by it!!!

  • Summer at

    Thanks for this recipe Michael! Pepper Jelly is my fave and I’m definitely going to give these as gifts!

  • Guerrina at

    I LOVE this appetizer! It’s addictive! Thank you for the recipe. Do you also have a recipe for sweet red pepper relish?

    • Nancy Packard at

      Have never canned anything but love the red pepper jelly. I’d like to try it. How to prepare the jalapeño? Chop like the peppers? Remove seeds? Thanks. Nancy P

  • Arthur in the Garden! at

    Ha! I don’t think many remember that song but the jelly does look good!

  • Gina at

    Yum! Love red pepper jelly but have never made my own. Will definitely try it. Another yummy recipe with red pepper jelly is to take those little phyllo cups, place a little bit of Brie in cup, top with hot pepper jelly and a few slivered almonds….warm in oven until Brie softens a bit….serve warm. BTW I made your wonton artichoke bites last week and everyone loved them!

  • Pat Schwab at

    Hi Michelle, Just wondering how spicy this is and if you could make it without the jalapeno? Thanks Pat S

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Pat – if you check the post above I talk about the spiciness. Yes, you can leave them out if you wish.

      xo Michael

  • Patty at

    I have to go to the store tomorrow and I will buying the ingredients for this. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pippa Griffin at

    Michael – Can’t wait to try this! What beautiful pictures and I’ve always wanted to try making red pepper jelly! One question: we try to eat naturally and when I make fruit preserves, instead of using boxed pectin, I’ve been grating in a granny smith apple which has tons of natural pectin. Do you think this would work with this jelly or should I forego my idea and just make it as you’ve so generously shared the recipe???

    LOVE the snowflake tags too – everything you do always that special touch of charm!
    Merry Christmas from the Rockies, Pippa

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Pippa, I wish I could advise you, but I have never tried to make jam / jelly with out pectin or with a substitute. Maybe a google search could give you some advice / answers. Hope that helps.

      xo Michael

  • Kristen at

    Yum! I love pepper jelly but have never tried to make it at home! You must try pepper jelly thumbprint cookies! I use a generic thumbprint dough (gluten free for me) then roll the balls in chopped pecans before making the indentation. I usually do half the batch with jalapeño jelly and the other with red pepper jelly for a really festive and unique holiday treat. They are so flippin delicious and a departure from all the overly sweet confections.

  • Asha at

    Oh, this looks simply stunning. The slight spice from the chillies, so so good.
    Perfect holiday appetizer.
    xx

    • Mel G at

      Any recommendation on jelly that set up too thick? I removed a lot of extra liquid from the chopped peppers and then I ended up using a different brand of pectin. Holy Hannah, you can cut the jelly into jello shots!
      Tastes great but I’ll probably have to heat up the jelly to get it spreadable.
      As an aside, I added about 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper flakes to this batch. Boy did that add another dimension

      • M G at

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to make this a reply. I’ll move it

  • Lesli at

    Michael, any recommendations for how to firm up jelly that is still thin? Would it work out to pour it back into a pan, reheat and add more liquid pectin? Or better to throw out and start over?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yeah – you can do that. Either more pectin or more sugar. Or a little of both.

      xo Michael

  • Kim at

    Thanks for the recipe. I will give this a try, as I typically have a difficult time finding jarred red pepper jelly at the stores this time of year. I have a great recipe for using it: 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, 1 cup chopped toasted pecans, 3 minced green onions, and 3.5 ounces or so of pepper jelly. Just mix it all together and serve with crackers. Can be prepared ahead, but don’t add the jelly until just before serving. Super delicious and everyone loves it.

  • Vanessa at

    Oh my goodness…I knew you were awesome! Pepper Jelly is one of my favorite holiday memories! My southern grandma always made it. And since I am fromMInnesota, all my friends thought that it was so weird-until they tried it!! I am so happy to see this on your blog-brings back memories! Merry Christmas!

  • katienearchicago at

    How much sugar? Did I miss it? Would love to make for food gifties!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      5 cups white sugar 🙂

      xo Michael

      • Scott S at

        Great recipe. Very detailed for someone like me who has never canned or made Jelly. You took a dainting task and made it less so.

        Flavor was great. It would be easy to alter heat to taste. My few issues are, this is two hours after I started to cool and I see no signs of setting. Kind of syrupish right now. Do I just need to be patient?

        Second, I hand diced the peppers. I am no chef, so I got some bigger and some smaller pieces. I noticed that regardless of the size of the piece,the pepper had a hard texture. Can I pre soften the peppers somehow or would a food processer be worth a try?

        Lastly, the peppers all float to the top. I know you can mix it when serving, but I was hoping to gift some. The color is a beautiful amber, whats the best way to make sure that the peppers stay suspended?

        Over all, thank you for putting this recipe out. Great work and I look forward to batch #2

      • Barbara at

        I love this recipe. You can flip the jars every hour or so so the chunks will be more distributed. Also I like putting my peppers in a cheese cloth and squeezing out extra moisture. Seems to get more solid this way

      • Karan Dixon at

        I made it with changing 1 cup green bell peppers with 1/2 green bell peppers and 1/2 cup jalapeño peppers plus the 1/4 cup of jalapeño peppers. Otherwise exact directions I am new to not only canning but to jellies as well. Is it normal for it to not be thick after you put in jars and water bath it? If so any idea how long it takes to set?

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