Canned Green Pepper Jelly is made from fresh green bell peppers that are cooked on the stove with sugar, apple cider vinegar, spices, and Sure-Jell pectin. Stored in mason jars, this sweet and spicy jelly comes together in less than an hour from start to finish. It is perfect to serve over cream cheese with crackers for an appetizer.
There are some things in life that I have no self-control with. You know what I am talking about...we all have those foods that if they are sitting in front of us we can't help ourselves but get seconds or thirds, or just keep nibbling. Homemade caramel corn, pimento cheese dip, buffalo chicken sliders, spicy cranberry dip, strawberry pretzel jello salad.....ok, I can keep going, but you get the idea.
I will admit, I have been known to have a dinner of just pepper jelly served over cream cheese with Carr's crackers (it MUST BE Carr's brand water crackers!) on more than one occasion. I am a salty-sweet kinda girl and a big cheese fan, so this hits all the notes for me.
This particular recipe is from my mom's Ball canning cookbook from 1972 that has been slightly adapted. I always loved it when she made it growing up. She would make a big batch and we would eat on it forever (and give it away as gifts). While store-bought pepper jelly is good, everything homemade is so much better!
If you open up my own fridge at home and look at the shelves inside the door, you will always find some sort of sweet and spicy pepper jelly. We usually always have cream cheese on hand, and water crackers are my weakness so they are always stocked in the party too. Having this in the fridge always makes for a quick and easy appetizer to put together when friends come over, for a little snack, or again for dinner (don't judge). Let me show you how to make it in your own home!
This green pepper jelly recipe is not a complicated canning recipe - aka - no pressure cooker required. It is pretty straightforward. You will need a couple of kitchen equipment items that I have found to help make this recipe easier.
- Large Pot - this will be used to sanitize the mason jars before the recipe.
- Canning Funnel - this will be wildly helpful in spooning the jelly into the jars after cooking. You want to ensure not to get anything on the rims of the clean jars otherwise they will not seal properly. Using a funnel will help this not happen.
- Tongs - you will need these to raise the hot jars out of the boiling water after sanitizing. You can use regular kitchen tongs or canning ones.
- Half Pint Wide Mouth Mason Jars - this recipe makes 4 half pints full of pepper jelly - you can also use 8-ounce wide mason jars or even 4 ounces jars - both of these smaller sizes would make great gift-giving sizes (and what I prefer to store them in personally).
- New Seals and Lids - if you have Mason jars already grab some new lids and seals. Do not use old, dirty, or rusted seals and lids as the jelly will not seal properly causing it to spoil.
- Blender - needed to blend up the peppers and vinegar into a liquid form.
- Medium Sauce Pan - this will be used actually to cook the jelly.
For simplicity - this canning set on Amazon has many of the items listed above in one package for a great price (and less than you would pay for each one individually).
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- Green Bell Peppers
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Sure Jell Pectin
- Green Food Coloring
This fills 4 half-pint jars, but I prefer storing in 8 or even small 4-ounce jars. These smaller sizes are the perfect amount for 1 serving of pepper jelly dip with cream cheese but also make great little gifts. This recipe makes quite a bit, so it is ideal to share with loved ones!
PRO TIP - This is a great recipe to use at the end of the summer when you have lots of garden fresh bell peppers that need to be used!
Before beginning the recipe, sterilize your mason jars. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Place in the jars and boil for 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and let cool upright on a tea towel until dry. Use brand-new lids and seals.
STEP ONE: Dice the green bell peppers. Add to a blender along with the apple cider vinegar. Blend on high for 30 seconds to chop up and make a liquid pepper mixture.
STEP TWO: Place a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and apple cider vinegar mixture, sugar, red pepper, and salt - stir together. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the box of sure jell and stir. Let boil and cook until thickened, stirring often. This will take roughly 20 minutes.
STEP THREE: Once thick, remove from the heat and add in the smallest amount of green food coloring. I like to take a butter knife, stick just the very top of the tip in the food coloring, and then run it through the jelly. It is the smallest amount just to give a deeper and more vibrant green color.
STEP FOUR: Place a canning funnel over the sterilized jars and gently spoon the pepper jelly evenly into each jar. Leave about ¼" from the top for room to seal. Be sure not to touch the rim of the seal or lid or get any jelly on them. Place on the new seals and lids and close tightly. Let cool completely on the counter. Once cooled, store in the fridge. Enjoy spooned over cream cheese with crackers.
Let these jars cool completely on the counter. You will know they are properly sealed and canned by touching the top of the sealed jar. If you cannot press down on them, they are good to go for storage. If you can press down on the top and it gives and "pops", then the seal has been compromised and it needs to be consumed quickly. Store these in a cool dark place for up to 7 years (not that it will take you like long to consume - but they will last that long). Check about once. month to make sure still sealed correctly. Once opened, then store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to Use Pepper Jelly
This is best served cold over a block of cream cheese with water crackers (Carr's is my preferred brand). There have been many a night where this has just been my dinner because I just can't quit eating it and it is one of my favorite things in the world.
This makes a great addition to a charcuterie board or gifts to friends and family around the holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
A properly sealed pepper jelly jar can be stored in a cool dark place (like a pantry or basement) for up to 7 years. Check every month or so to make sure they are still sealed correctly. If you can press down on the top of the lid and there is a give and "pop", the seal has been broken and it will need to. be eaten quickly. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Yes! I make a spicy red pepper jelly that is similar to this recipe too! It uses red bell peppers instead of green. Bonus, dice up a jalapeno pepper if you want a little extra kick of spice!
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