Canned sweet red pepper jelly is made with fresh red bell peppers, apple cider vinegar, sugar, spices, and Sure-Jell pectin. Cooked on the stove, this Southern appetizer is best served over a block of cream cheese with crackers. Store it in mason jars and share it with friends and family!
Dips are my love language. I don't even know how many dip recipes are on FSS at this point....but there is a lot... and for good reason! Who doesn't love something that is easy to make, served hot or cold, cheesy or not, and perfect for any occasion? PS - I don't know of anyone. 😉
Everyone loves a little something to nibble on before a meal. Southern style pimento cheese dip, spicy cranberry dip, whipped feta and honey dip, 3-ingredient chili cheese dip, and fruit dip are some of my go-to dips to serve - but the first thing I reach for if I need an app to serve is cream cheese and pepper jelly dip. We always have the ingredients on hand and it comes together in 60 seconds.
Let me show you how to make a homemade version of red pepper jelly, step by step, so you can always have it on stock for an easy app!
As I have made this recipe in my own home and helped my mom make this growing up many times, I have found a couple of pieces of kitchen equipment you will need to make everything just a bit easier for you.
- 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).
*All links above are Amazon affiliate links*
- Red Bell Peppers
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Sure Jell Pectin
This sweet pepper jelly fills 4 half-pint jars, but I prefer storing it in 8-ounce 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 perfect to share with loved ones!
PRO TIP - if you have an abundance of red bell peppers at the end of the summer from your garden that need to be used up - this is a great recipe for that!
Before beginning the recipe you need to 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 red 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 in the pepper and apple cider vinegar liquid, 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. Once thick, remove from the heat.
STEP THREE: 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. If you do, gently wipe with a wet cloth to clean and let dry completely. Place on the new seals and lid and close tightly. Let cool completely on the counter.
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 and Serve Pepper Jelly
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 green 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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