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1 November 2019

Craving a sweet jelly? This easy-to-make jelly cranberry pepper jelly recipe  is made with jalapeno peppers and fresh cranberries. It is both delicious and sweet. Great for a quick spread or even as a glaze.

When I was growing up, the only jelly I would eat was grape. I would turn up my nose at even the suggestion of anything other than grape. And if you suggested I try something new with my peanut butter, look out! Dang, was I picky.

Fast forward and here I am, making my own jellies and jams at home, and seriously mixing up the flavors. Thankfully, my taste buds have come a long way.

Chili peppers are PERFECT for jellies and jams. Check out our Pepper Jelly Recipes. So good! So many combinations. With this recipe, I didn’t realize I still had a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer from the holidays.

Oh boy. What to do? Yep. Jelly.

Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly in jars an on a spoon

Lucky for us, we ALWAYS have a lot of chili peppers around. Um, yeah. OBVI. But truly, there is something special about the combination of jalapeno peppers and cranberries.

So good!

Let’s talk about how we make the recipe, shall we?

 

Ingredients Needed

  • 2 cups ripe cranberries
  • 6 jalapeno peppers, chopped (about 6-8 averaged sized jalapeno peppers)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups sugar You can get away with 4
  • 6 ounces liquid pectin

How to Make Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly – the Recipe Method

  1. First, add the  cranberries, jalapenos, vinegar and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Lightly boil 10 minutes, until the berries begin to pop and soften.
  2. Squash the berries in the pot to squeeze out their juices. Strain into a large bowl. I used a food mill to get extra juices out, but a potato masher works great, too. You should have about 2.5 cups of liquid at this point.
  3. Toss away the solids and add the liquid back into the pot.
  4. Add sugar and swirl to incorporate.
  5. Add pectin and boil for 2 minutes.
  6. Cool and ladle into jars. Should fill about eight 8-ounce jars.
  7. Cover and refrigerate, then let the jam set overnight.

BOOM! That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your cranberry-pepper jelly!

Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly in jars

RECIPE Tips & NOTES

  • Chili Pepper Burn. Wear rubber gloves if you’re concerned with feeling the burning sensation peppers can cause. If you do feel the skin burn, see How to Stop the Chili Pepper Burn.
  • Food Processor. You can also use a food processor to more finely chop the peppers. Just don’t over process them, or you’ll get a mush.
  • Sugar. You can make this recipe without so much sugar. Just be sure to use a low-sugar pectin and follow the instructions on the product label.

Recipe Notes and FAQ

Here are answers to some questions I get on making jellies and jams.

Sealing Jellies and Jams – The Water Bath Method

  • Properly sealing jellies and jams is important for longer keeping. To do this, use jars that have been cleaned with soap and water, then held in hot water until you’re ready for jarring.
  • Or, you can sterilize the jars by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes. Add 1 minute of boiling time for every 1000 feet of altitude. Set them into hot water while you prepare your jelly or jam.
  • Wash and rinse the bands and lids.
  • Next, prepare the boiling water canner or pot with enough clean water to cover the jars by at least an inch or 2. Bring the water to 180 degrees F. Just under a boil.
  • Pour the hot jelly or jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe the jar rims and screw on the cleaned rings bands and lids. Place them onto the canning rack, ensuring the jars are 1-2 inches below the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, or 10 minutes if you’re not using sterilized jars. Add an extra minute per 1000 feet elevation over 1000 feet.
  • Remove the jars and set them onto a protected surface.

See the National Center for Home Food Preservation site for more information on proper canning.

Benefits of the Water Bath

Water bath processing super heats the air at the top of the jar, effectively killing any spores or yeast from the air, as you don’t want to seal those in with lower sugar jams.

The method also makes for a stronger seal than simply letting the jelly or jam cool and pop.

Storing Jellies and Jams

Don’t move the jellies or jams for at least 12 hours after you’ve made them, or you risk breaking the gel. After proper cooling, check the seals and store in a cool, dry place.

Your jellies and jams should last a year this way, but the flavor is still best if used within a few months.

Recommended Products

Here is a link to the jam/jelly 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

Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly in jars and spread onto a cracker

Serving Ideas for Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly

  • I like to spread a bit of jelly on toast or an English muffin in the morning, but honestly, there is so much more you can do with a good jelly.
  • Think of it as a sauce. Pop it over freshly cooked fish or chicken for something quick and simple, or use it as the base for a glaze. Having a good jelly around can help you make any meal in a hurry.

Enjoy!

Close up of the sweet and spicy Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly

Here is a link to the jam/jelly 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.

Try Some of My Other Popular Jelly and Jam Recipes

Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly, ready to serve

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

5 from 9 votes
Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly Recipe
Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

Easy-to-make spicy cranberry jelly recipe made with jalapeno peppers and cranberries. Delicious and sweet.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberry, jalapeno, jam, jelly
Servings: 30
Calories: 164 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 2 cups ripe cranberries
  • 2 cups jalapeno peppers chopped (about 6-8 average size jalapeno peppers)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups sugar You can get away with 4 cups
  • 6 ounces liquid pectin (2 pouches)
Instructions
  1. Add cranberries, jalapenos, vinegar and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Lightly boil 10 minutes, until the berries begin to pop and soften.

  2. Squash the berries in the pot to squeeze out their juices. Strain into a large bowl. I used a food mill to get extra juices out. You should have about 2.5 cups of liquid at this point.
  3. Toss away the solids and add the liquid back into the pot.
  4. Add sugar and swirl to incorporate.
  5. Add pectin and boil for 2 minutes.
  6. Cool and ladle into jars. Should fill about eight 8-ounce jars.

  7. Cover and refrigerate, then let the jam set overnight.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 164 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 32mg1%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/1/19 to include new information, photos and video. It was originally published on 2/1/16.

Cranberry-Jalapeno Jelly - Craving a sweet jelly? This easy-to-make jelly cranberry pepper jelly recipe  is made with jalapeno peppers and fresh cranberries. It is both delicious and sweet. Great for a quick spread or even as a glaze. #pepperjelly #jalapenojelly #cranberryjelly #spicyjelly

33 comments

  1. I am going to try this! I love cranberries! We don’t like things to be very spicy (crazy I am on your website right? ;-)) I love hot pepper jelly, I just don’t want to make it too hot. Should I stick with 6 Jalapeno’s and seed them? What do you think? Thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I hear you, Betsy. I have many recipes that aren’t overly spicy. You can definitely tone it down by coring out the jalapenos, or use some jalapenos and some bell pepper for an even milder jelly. Let me know how it turns out for you! I’d love to hear.

  2. This recipe sounds fabulous, but makes way more than I could ever eat by myself. Would it be okay to just halve all the ingredients?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Peg, yes, you can cut everything in half. Let me know how it turns out for you. Enjoy.

  3. SUSAN TRACY

    Hi Mike – I can a lot of jams throughout the yr, However, I’m not a fan of liquid pectin & never use it. Can this (or any of your jelly) recipe be made with the powder pectin?
    Thanks

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hi, Susan. Absolutely. Just be sure to check the ratios recommended on your powdered pectin product. The typical ratio is two tablespoons of powdered pectin for every packet of liquid pectin. Usually you should stir the powdered pectin into the sugar before using, rather than adding the liquid pectin at the end, but again, check the directions with the product you are using. Let me know how it turns out for you! I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Hi! I see in your habanero pepper jam recipe you call for 1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. I saw in the comments on your jalapeño cranberry jelly you said you don’t use vinegar in any of your jam or jelly products. Would I want to leave the vinegar part of the habanero jam out? thank you!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Laura, I do use vinegar in some of my jelly/jam recipes. The vinegar is a preservative and will lower the pH of the jelly/jam to help it keep longer. If you plan on processing your jelly/jam in a water bath for preservation, you’ll need to use vinegar.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe with cranberries sounds absolutely divine.

    I make what I loosely call Cranberry Salsa for my Thanksgiving/Christmas turkey each year. It’s a sweet, a little sour & a nice and spicy cranberry sauce…….
    12 oz lightly boiled (drained) cranberries to which I add 1 clove minced garlic, 2-3 minced jalapenos, 3 minced scallions, juice of 3 limes & 1/2 cup sugar. Combine all ingredients over medium heat to dissolve sugar; cool and refrigerate.

    I know what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s jelly making day. Your posted cranberry/jalapeno jelly recipe has me excited.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Awesome! Thanks, Laura! Let me know how it turns out for you. Your salsa sounds amazing, actually!

  6. I’m going to give this a try, but will be using Serrano’s as I have a lot. Question is do I have to drain. I would like to keep it as a jam and not strain it. Is this possible?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Carol, you can keep in the serranos to make a jam, no problem. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  7. Hi Mike,

    After visiting many jelly recipes I see that about 3/4’s of them use vinegar, I am wondering why you do not use vinegar in any of your Jams and Jellies?

    I have many boxes of sweet and hot peppers, from my garden, that I need to use. I have two dehydrators going now and plan to make jams, jellies, hot powders and hot sauces.

    Jim

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Jim, the sugar acts as a preservative well enough, though if you’re using a low sugar version, vinegar is fine to use.

  8. Hi,
    I want to use Sure Jell low-sugar dry pectin as I want to can this, but don’t know how much to reduce the sugar. Also, I want to make jam and don’t know when to add the pectin? I have frozen cranberries I want to use as well. I appreciate any help you can give me.
    Thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Susan, with low-sugar pectin, it usually asks for 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar. Check out this recipe for a low-sugar jam that uses low-sugar pectin. You usually stir it in at the beginning. Peach-Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jam.

    2. 5 stars
      Thank you! I made your peach bonnet jalapeño jam and we love it!
      I also made your kiwi jalapeño jam but haven’t opened one yet.

      Thank you for your advice.

    3. 5 stars
      I had success using Sure-Jell reduced /no sugar pectin (pink box).
      Cooked Jam example: 10 cups blueberries, chopped or mashed =6 1/2 cups chopped. Add 4 1/2 cups sugar, divided. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 package Sure-Jell low sugar together in a small bowl, stir into fruit. Bring to a full rolling boil, on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute. Ladle immediately into prepared jars and process as directed in water bath canner.
      These directions are included in each packet of Sure-Jell.

  9. Marcy spangler

    5 stars
    I used your recipe but used habanero’s. It’s is great. I think it will go great with pork or goose. Thanks for the recipe

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Sylvia, absolutely. I’ve made this recipe with strawberries and blackberries as well. Works great! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  10. Mary Harnish

    5 stars
    Can you process this in the canner?

    REPLY: Mary, yes, you can. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  11. Jayjayjettplane

    Ive tried this twice now and it never tightens up i even used 2 packs of certo… what am i doing wrong?

    REPLY: JayJay, sorry to hear. How strange? Do you think something might be wrong with that particular gelatin? Perhaps try a different brand? — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  12. 5 stars
    I notice that there is no vinegar in this recipe although all the other pepper jelly recipes I found use vinegar. It’s not needed?

    REPLY: Judy, I do not always use vinegar in my jellies or jams, but it does help as a preservative. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  13. Hi Mike, this looks delicious. am going to give it a try today, but have a couple questions. can you double or even triple this recipe? will it jell? Also you said to use 6 jalapenos, but if using habaneros to use 12? is that correct? Also do you seed your peppers?

    thanks
    Patti

    REPLY: Patti, yes, this recipe will scale nicely. I’vedone big batches before. I don’t always seed, but you can if you’d like. And yes on the amount of peppers, though you can probably even fit more. Let me know how it turns out for you! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  14. Could you use cranberry juice instead of fresh cranberries?

    REPLY: SJ, yes you can. Absolutely. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  15. Crystal Peters

    Can you use frozen cranberries with this if you don’t have fresh?

    REPLY: Hi, Crystal. YES, you can use frozen cranberries. Let me know how it turns out! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  16. I was curious if you’ve ever made it as a jam and left some of the berries/peppers in the finished product?

    REPLY: Robin, yes, you can leave in the bits and serve this as a jam. No problem at all! — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  17. do i need to finish canning process with water bath for this recipe?

    REPLY: Rachel, you can process these if you’d like, or just seal and refrigerate and use within a month or so. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  18. Don’t you need some kind of acid such as lemon juice or vinegar before canning this jelly or do you only need acid when canning jam?

    REPLY: Jim, it all depends on the ph level. FDA recommends 4.6 or below, though it’s better to target 4.0 or lower just in case for boiling water bath canning. Cranberries are quite acidic, but it is always best to measure with a ph meter or strips. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  19. how many habanero peppers instead of jalapeno

    REPLY: Marty, you can use 10-12 habanero peppers for this. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

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