Candied Jalapeno
Adding candied jalapenos to a simple snack – making it unbelievably delicious!

At the beginning of each summer, it seems like a great idea to plant several jalapeno plants in our garden.  And by the end of the summer I seem to ask my self the same question every year….”What am I going to do with all these jalapenos?”.

We love to use them fresh to make spicy jalapeno popper appetizers. And of course, we always keep a few on hand for the impromptu “I bet you can’t eat that hot pepper” contests that seem to arise at every family gathering.

We also use them in our canned salsa, picante, pasta sauce and ketchup recipes – and can a few jars sliced to spice up recipes over the winter months.  We even let a few turn red and smoke them to make our own Chipotle Peppers.

But we are always left with more…and always looking for a new way to use them.

Well, last October we were introduced to a ‘new’ take on jalapenos – The Candied Jalapeno. Our friends Scott and Amy invited us out to their Fall party – and before I knew it, Jim was raving about Scott’s candied jalapenos!

So faced with a bumper crop of jalapenos in the garden this year – my mind wandered back to that Fall party – and I reached out to Scott and Amy for the recipe.

Keep in mind that these are “Candied” – and that of course entails a lot of sugar. Fortunately, you eat them in small portions or as a relish – so not huge amounts for one setting. Although – as good as these are, you might find yourself eating a whole jar in no time – they are that addicting! Maybe one of next year’s goals will to be to try to use alternative sweeteners in this recipe – but ‘Cowboy Candy” has made its way into the canning pantry.  Probably not for long – Jim has discovered them!

Candied Jalapenos

*Makes approximately 6 half pint jars


3 pounds fresh jalapenos, washed (about 8 cups sliced)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


1. *Hint – Wear gloves during this step to prevent your hands from burning the rest of the day.   Remove stems from all of the jalapenos and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers into clean sterile canning jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar.

5. Turn the heat and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup over the jalapeno peppers in the jars but still leaving ¼ inch from the top. Make sure there are no air pockets by sliding a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place lids on the jars.

Candied Jalapeno
Jars filled and ready to water bathed….Do not eat for 2 weeks for best flavor!

6. To complete the canning process place the jars in a large pot of hot water, covered by 2 inches. Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints. When the time is up transfer jars onto a thick towel to let cool. Leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.  Check to make sure that all lids have sealed by pressing on the center of the lid.  If the lid moves, place the jar in the refrigerator.  All sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to a year.

7. **Hardest part** – Wait 2 weeks before you eat them — the flavors need time to meld.  I know, but they are worth the wait!!!

Ideas for use:  Once you start eating these, you’ll find all sorts of places to sneak in this sweet, spicy, and tangy treat—sandwiches, potato salad, grilled meat, and pasta, and my favorite – as a topping to crackers and cheese, just to name a few.

Thanks Scott and Amy for the recipe!

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Mary and Jim

51 thoughts on “Candied Jalapeno Recipe – A Great Use For All Of Those Jalapenos!

  • September 18, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Once a jar is opened how long can it be kept in the refrigerator?

  • March 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Okay I have an important question. I have this same recipe and canned all I could. I had a good size pot of brine left over. I know I could have canned the brine itself but I wasn’t interested in doing so. I would love some input, could I have stored the leftover brine in the refrigerator to can more candied jalapenos later and if so how long does it keep?

    • March 7, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      The brine would stay good for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.

  • February 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Just opened a jar of your candied jalapenos. Absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Can not wait to make some more.

  • November 5, 2015 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for the apple pie filling recipe and the cowboy candy recipe to create goodies in Montana…

    • November 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      You are more than welcome! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

  • September 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I added 3 whole cloves and 1 tsp cinnamon

  • September 8, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Uh, I meant I try TO reduce my sugar usage!!

  • September 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Has anyone tried making this with honey instead of sugar? My husband keeps bees so we have lots of honey and I try not to reduce my sugar usage.

  • August 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    can u substitute brown sugar for the white sugar?

    • August 2, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      We have never tried that – but maybe one of our readers can respond

  • July 6, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I have made it several times now and they’ve turned out great! I like the flavor of jalapenos but not the heat. These aren’t too hot for me and have a wonderful flavor.

  • February 16, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    If you like spicy food, you HAVE to make these. They are so wonderful, this year I’m only planting jalapeno hot peppers so I can make LOTS more. Last year’s will be long gone by the time I have enough peppers to make more!

  • November 16, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Really super good! I love spicy food and especially jalapenos. My garden always produces more than I can eat. Thanks so much for posting!

  • October 6, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I’m looking forward to recipe each Friday. Thank you

  • September 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I am so excited to make these! my family loves hot peppers of all types 🙂 thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • September 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Mary or Jim do you know if I can substitute Stevia (a natural sweetener or honey for the sugar) as I’m diabetic, but love jalapenos!

    • September 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I am not sure from a canning standpoint- but maybe one of our readers would know and can answer.

      • October 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Hi Karen. To answer your question, yes, you can use stevia instead of sugar for this recipe. I’m a T1 diabetic and made these a few weeks ago using stevia. The texture is a little different than you would get using sugar, but the taste is great. I just got finished canning six more pounds. Thanks to OWGF for this awesome recipe.

  • September 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! We ended up with a free sack of Hungarian Wax peppers on our last trip to the local u-pick farms here, and had no idea what to do with them. 4.5 pounds total, and these ones where MUCH hotter than jalapenos. Might be crazy for trying this with them, but the brine was delicious and they look lovely in the jars, light green rings with some orange and reds in the mix. Because our peppers were so hot, I added an extra cup of sugar (to 1.5 batches) and fresh squeezed lime and lemon to try and cut the heat. Next year I will make these with jalapenos, but these sweet and fiery bad boys are going to be a huge hit with some of our spicy food loving friends.

  • August 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Wow! This looks yummy! I’m going to have to try it. I make hot pepper relish and hot pepper jam with my chili peppers, so I’m looking forward to adding this canned goody to my pantry.

  • August 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Your canning pantry is incredibly impressive and I love the recipe – thank you. I am a hot food addict and was trying to find yet another way to get my love of chiles in.

    • August 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

      Thank you! We love hot food too – but this recipe adds the sweetness with the heat. We love to eat it on sandwiches, but also as a snack with crackers! Enjoy!

  • July 29, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Could you make a smaller batch and put in fridge for two weeks? Do they have to go through the canning process?

  • June 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    We love making Cowboy Candy. Everybody else loves it so much we can’t keep it in stock. I did change the recipe a bit by adding the small red, yellow & orange sweet peppers and sweet onion to the mix. Adds a nice bit of color and some great flavor. Don’t forget to can the leftover syrup. It makes a great addition to barbeque sauce or use as a marinade.

  • May 16, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This was one of my favorite recipes I tried last year – will do them for sure again this year !! Loved them !!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes.

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

    I have made a recipe similar to this before and absolutely love the combination of hot & sweet! My peppers were a little tough after cooking though. Did I cook them too long? Or maybe not long enough?

  • February 27, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I don”t want to “can”.. cant I just make enough for 1 meal? could someone please tell me recipe for just “some” candied Jalapenios without canning tons of them!

  • November 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I like to add different colored peppers and onion into the mix for both taste and looks. Nice green jalapenos, some red, yellow and orange sweet peppers and onion. We can’t keep this stuff in the house!!

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Made this and I’m hooked. Love it.

  • November 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I love this recipe, but wish I could do something with the gobs of left over syrup. I don’t have much experience with making jelly, but could the syrup be made into jelly somehow?

    • November 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      I mix some of the leftover syrup into BBQ sauce or just use it as a meat marinade.

    • November 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Instead of packing the 6 jars tight with peppers, I stretch the peppers into about 8 jars which leaves room for more syrup.

    • June 16, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      I can the syrup at the same time I’m canning the peppers. It can be added to barbeque sauce, used as a marinade (both meat and vegetable) and you can then use it when you make your next batch of Cowboy Candy.

  • November 4, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Love this recipe!!! I have also tried it mixing jalapenos and banana peppers, waiting to see those results….

  • October 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    We have over 15 Jalapeno plants in our garden, and I’ve made bread and butter jalapenos and a mixed bread and butter recipe with jalapenos and banana peppers and I will be trying this Cowboy Candy recipe tomorrow!

  • September 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I planted 2 “little” jalepeno plants this year for the first time hoping that I would get enough for a batch or 2 of pepper jelly. Holy Cow! We are now up to about 150 peppers picked. I have been begging people to take some. This seems like a great way to use up some more!

    • October 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Sounds about like ours! When they grow well…they really grow well! 🙂

  • September 29, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I love this idea. I prefer sweet pickles to dills and I’ve been reusing the leftover vinegar (when the pickles are gone) for pickled onion rings. Last week I got the idea to boil it & pour it over fresh jalapeno slices. But this recipe is even better.

  • September 29, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Sounds good

  • September 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Have a batch of these processing now. Gave my husband a taste of the syrup, he loved it! So I put the left over syrup in another halfpint jar and processing it too. We couldn’t let it go to waste!

    • October 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      Me, too. I doubled my amounts and somehow ended up with a lot leftover and didn’t get as many pints/ half-pints as I think I should have. :/

  • September 5, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Made these tonight. was really fun and easy to do, can’t wait for the two weeks so I can try them!

  • August 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    But what do they taste like?!?!! Hot and sweet or just sweet? I really, really want to try one now.

  • August 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Sounds really good. Last year I had 8 abundant Jalapeno plants. I made my own “chili paste”. Just place about 5 cloves of garlic with about 1 1/2 cups jalapenos in food processor and add about 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Process until finely chopped. Put in 1/4 or 1/2 pint jars. A little of this goes a long way, but it’s great to add to soups, chili beans, casseroles – anything that needs a kick. I canned mine in a water bath and gave it away as Christmas gifts. I’ve also made this with Habanero and Tabasco chilies.

  • August 23, 2013 at 11:18 am

    These sound good but probably too warm for me. Have you ever tried Pepper Jelly? It is delicious with cream cheese and crackers or “scooper” Fritos!!

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