Chili Pepper Madness

June 17, 2015

Habanero Pepper Jam

Habanero Pepper Jam Habanero Pepper Jam

Habanero pepper jam coming your way! I used to shy away from making jams and jellies. I'm not sure why. Growing up, I was pretty boring, actually. All I ever ate was grape jelly. Peanut butter and jelly was a daily thing, and if you served me grape jelly with seeds in it, forget about it! And don't even get me started on strawberry jam. Fast forward a few years - fine, MANY years - and here I am, making habanero jam. I mean, just look at it! Isn't it beautiful? I'm so happy my tastebuds have evolved.

Habanero peppers are some of the best to work with. They are nice and spicy and have an inherent fruitiness and sweetness that lends them to spreads like jams or jellies. A note about that - the biggest difference between a jelly and a jam is that a jam has the fruit bits in it. A jelly typically uses only the juice or essence of your flavoring ingredient, like grape juice or strawberry juice. I prefer the actual habanero pepper inside the spread, so it is technically a jam. 

What is habanero jam good for? Use it as you would use any other jelly or jam, by spreading it over cream cheese on toast, over bread for sweeter sandwiches, but it is also great over fish. I like to serve it over salmon or white fish. Spoon it when the fish is hot and it will melt over a bit. No need for a sauce. It also makes for a good gift! Lastly, a quick note about the sugar content. Some recipes call for almost double the amount of sugar I've included here. You can add more sugar, but really, you don't need that much. This is plenty, plenty sweet with the amount I've included.

Patty's Perspective: What is habanero jam good for, Mike asks? My answer - what ISN'T it good for? Well, maybe 8-year-old PB&J Mike would answer differently, but really, don't just think of it as a sweet jam. If you think of it more as a sauce, it becomes very versatile. Instead of reaching for that bottle of sweet hot sauce, try this instead. I want to try this on hot wings. Can't wait for that!

Habanero Pepper Jam - So Pretty, So Sweet, a Bit Spicy

Here is a link to the jam jars that I personally use and prefer. Highly recommended. Affiliate link - FYI: Ball Mason 8oz Quilted Jelly Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12

Habanero Pepper Jam - the Recipe


  • 1/2 pound habanero peppers, chopped
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces liquid fruit pectin
  • 4 drops food coloring, if preferred

Cooking Directions

  1. Add the habanero peppers to a food processor and pulse them until they are very finely chopped. Do not overdo it or you’ll wind up with a puree.
  2. Scoop out the peppers and add to a large pan.
  3. Add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Return heat to high and bring mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in pectin and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  6. If using food coloring, add it now and stir.
  7. Ladle jam into sterilized jars and cover.
  8. Process jars in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove and let cool overnight.

Habanero Pepper Jam


Habanero Pepper Jam - Recipe

Don't Stop Here! How About Some More Chili Pepper Recipes and Info?


  • Comment Link Patricia Pines August 17, 2017 posted by Patricia Pines

    Hi - I have a couple pounds of jalapenos and habaneros ready to use. I'm planning to make jelly and dry some. I've been looking at some Ball recipes for pepper jellys and I also came across yours. What does the lemon juice do?


    REPLY: Patricia, it is mostly in order to bring the PH level down to help with preserving. I hope you enjoy it! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Louise August 07, 2017 posted by Louise

    Hi, If I decide to use the food coloring, what color did you use? It's such a beautiful color!

    REPLY: Louise, I didn't use any coloring, but orange would be a nice addition. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Andrea Smith July 31, 2017 posted by Andrea Smith

    would it be okay to use other kinds of peppers with the habaneros? Such as jalapenos or cayenne?

    REPLY: Andrea, yes, you can use other peppers with this recipe. No problem at all. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Jeanette May 01, 2017 posted by Jeanette

    Have made this a couple of times with great results! Do I have to do the water bath at the end? Is that what makes it set up?

    REPLY: Jeanette, the water bath is only if you want to preserve it on the shelf for a while. Otherwise, it will set overnight and you can just enjoy it over the next month or so. Just keep it in the fridge. Enjoy! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link jenn March 22, 2017 posted by jenn

    so excited to find this recipe. i have some spicy red peppers growing in my garden (i forgot what kind we planted) and my plant is currently exploding with fruit - yes in march! will be cooking up a batch of this tomorrow. thank you so much!

  • Comment Link  Mark March 08, 2017 posted by Mark

    Is it okay to use dry pectin instead? Would you elaborate on the difference in using if you understand it? Thanks. i am looking forward to trying your recipe today

    REPLY: Mark, yes, you can use dry pectin, but be sure to follow the instructions and ratios on the label over these recipe directions. I've used both kinds of pectin and they both work nicely. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Jeff January 17, 2017 posted by Jeff

    Thank you so much Mike and Patty for this recipe. I made a double batch of this last night, and it came out perfect. Nice sweet, fruity taste, with a little kick to it. Some how mine made a dozen pints. LOL. I used Red Savina Halapeno Peppers due to the fact that they are a little bit hotter. I can't wait to try out the same recipe with other peppers as well. Thanks again for the extremely easy to follow recipe.

  • Comment Link Shelley November 19, 2016 posted by Shelley

    Hi Mike-I will be making this and wanted to know what will happen if I do not add the food coloring? I have never done any jellies and don't know much about the pectin coloring.

    REPLY: Shelley, you don't need the food coloring. It only affects color, nothing else, so feel free to skip it. Let me know how it turns out! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link mark Daigneault October 27, 2016 posted by mark Daigneault

    I only have a couple of questions, how many jars does this recipe make? would the ratio of dry pectin be the same as the liquid? i can't wait to make it and my friends are drooling on the pics I've sent them. I need to make probably 12 half pint jars.

    REPLY: Mark, this makes about 4-5 smaller jars, so upscale accordingly. If you're using dry pectin, be sure to follow the labeled instructions for the ratios. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link V. L. October 21, 2016 posted by V. L.

    I have made Habanero Pepper Jam for years with a slightly different recipe, I always take out the seeds and most of the vein, but you did not mention this, I looked closely at your pictures and I did not see the tale tale pepper seeds in your jam, in my jam I have a few floating seeds that I may miss and I have particles of opaque seeds that get broken up by the blender, did you remove the seeds? I also add a seeded red bell pepper for intensifying the color so I do not have to add food coloring. We like our jam served with cream cheese on crackers.

    REPLY: Hi, V.L. I didn't remove the seeds, though habaneros usually aren't super seedy. I've made plenty of jams where there were a lot of seeds. If desired, it's easy to remove them before using. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Sharon Rossy October 05, 2016 posted by Sharon Rossy

    Just made this for the second time. I used a bit more habanero's and half of a sweet red pepper. I confess I did add 5 1/2 cups of sugar. The only recommendation I would give is to give the head space for jams for preserving which is 1/4". I love the addition of the lemon juice. It's addictive.

  • Comment Link Wesley Marshall September 29, 2016 posted by Wesley Marshall

    Just made my first batch of Jam. I used Orange JalapeƱos for mine as they have a great flavor plus I think they will go great in a jam. Followed recipe although I used jam sugar instead of separate sugar and pectin. Cant wait to taste it (it's still hot but starting to set)

    REPLY: That sounds great, Wesley. Let me know how it turns out! -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Lumeena September 10, 2016 posted by Lumeena

    How many habanero peppers are in 1/2 lbs exactly????

    REPLY: Lumeena, depends on the size of them, but you'll probably get a good 20+ or so? -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link RayB August 19, 2016 posted by RayB

    I use my non-jelled jelly as a chip dip/spread. Pour it over a softened pack of cream cheese.

  • Comment Link Barbara August 17, 2016 posted by Barbara

    I messed up mine did not turn out like jam. Everything sealed fine and I tasted it wow mine was hot but good. So I have these jars it tastes good but what do I call it? How can I use them?

    REPLY: Sorry to hear, Barbara. You can still use it as a marinade, or even as a glaze over grilled foods, particularly chicken or fish. -- Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Bill Savage June 21, 2016 posted by Bill Savage

    You can use frozen chillies the same way you use fresh ones,thaw them out and then use as normal.I have had frozen scotch bonnets in the freezer for a year and when thawed they were just as hot as the fresh ones ,I made chillie jam with them ,awesome!

  • Comment Link kiran kumar janalila March 08, 2016 posted by kiran kumar janalila

    Hats off ,thank you for making a wonderful combination of chilli peppers . I love Mexican stuff, thank you mike

  • Comment Link Kim October 30, 2015 posted by Kim

    I'm thinking about making this do I take the seeds out of the peppers?

    REPLY: Kim, no, you don't have to, though you can remove the seeds and innards for a milder jam. The seeds, also, will start to float around. Another reason to remove them if you'd like. REPLY: Mine were fairly mild, though either will do. - Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  • Comment Link Susan September 06, 2015 posted by Susan

    We made the jelly - we had about 15 peppers and it filled 5 small jam/jelly jars. Love the jelly!

  • Comment Link Susan September 05, 2015 posted by Susan

    About how many pepper make 1/2 lb?

  • Comment Link michael August 24, 2015 posted by michael

    How many jars does this jelly make? And can you add some fruit? Strawberry, blueberry etc etc?

  • Comment Link Mike | Chili Pepper Madness August 23, 2015 posted by Mike | Chili Pepper Madness

    LMS, it's actually not super spicy, but if you'd like, you can seed and remove the innards of the habanero peppers before making this recipe. That will reduce the heat quite a bit for you.

  • Comment Link LMS August 22, 2015 posted by LMS

    The habaneros from my garden this year are crazy hot - how hot/spicey does this recipe end up? I can't imagine putting in a 1/2 a pound of these peppers in anything.

  • Comment Link Mike | Chili Pepper Madness August 21, 2015 posted by Mike | Chili Pepper Madness

    Regina, thanks! Wendy, this made 4 small jars for us. Good luck!

  • Comment Link Wendy August 20, 2015 posted by Wendy

    About how many jars of jelly does this recipe make. These look like they would make great gifts

  • Comment Link regina July 14, 2015 posted by regina

    Hi Mike, I LOVE your recipes! Already made many of them, just recently Habanero Pepper Jam, and yesterday the Beer Honey Mustard. Love them! Thanks for the awesome websites, and the super fine photography! I love anything spicy but am a vegetarian, so maybe more veggie recipes? Thanks also for answering my question about frozen chilies. Still haven't found anything to use them for. Take care, keep up the good work, Regina

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Mike Hultquist of Chili Pepper Madness

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Hi, Everyone! It is nice to meet you. Welcome to Chili Pepper Madness, the food blog run by Mike and Patty Hultquist, a couple of spicy food lovers. Chili Pepper Madness is a special tribute to all things chili peppers, including chili pepper recipes... LEARN MORE ABOUT US


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