Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey

Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked hot pepper jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener. See below for where to buy.

Yield: 3 to 4 cups

Before You Begin:
Prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well. Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey Ingredients

1 cup seeded, finely chopped bell peppers
1/3 cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeno peppers (leave seeds in for more heat)
1 1/3 cups vinegar standardized to 5% acidity
2 teaspoons calcium water
1½ cups honey or 2 1/3 cups sugar, divided
1½ teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey Directions

1. Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.

2. Wash, seed, and finely chop bell peppers. Then measure into sauce pan.

3. Wash, seed (if desired), and finely chop jalapeno peppers. Then measure and add to sauce pan.

4. Measure vinegar into sauce pan.

5. Bring peppers and vinegar to a boil and simmer covered for 5 minutes.

6. Turn off heat, add calcium water, and mix well.

7. Measure ½ cup of the sugar or ½ cup of the room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the ½ cup of sweetener. Set aside.

8. Return pepper mixture to the heat and bring to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

9. Add remaining sugar or honey once pectin is dissolved. Stir well and return to a full boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.

10. Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

Options: It is fine to vary the ratio of finely chopped bell peppers and jalapeno peppers as long as you don’t exceed a total of 1 1/3 cups of finely chopped peppers.

It is fine to use peppers other than jalapenos for the hot peppers.

Use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or wine vinegar, as long as it is standardized to 5% acidity.

Pepper Jelly with Agave and Stevia is here.

You may also like: Peach-Jalapeno Jelly, Cranberry-Habanero Jelly, Pepper Jam — Hot as You Like!, or Peach-Jalapeno Jam.

For more inspiring recipe ideas, see Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin: The Revolutionary Low-Sugar, High-Flavor Method for Crafting and Canning Jams, Jellies, Conserves, and More by Allison Carroll Duffy and the Pomona’s Partners, published by Fair Winds Press, June 2013, and available in paper or ebook everywhere books are sold.

Pomona’s Pectin is available at your local natural food store, food co-op, and many farm stands. Find it also at Sur La Table and a growing number of more conventional grocery stores with natural food sections (Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Rosauers, Nugget Markets, Coborns, Fairway, and others). If you can’t find a store near you on our store locator, you can order from our website or many other online sellers.

Print Return To Recipes

23 thoughts on “Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey

  1. Hi…. I would love to make this but am not into canning. My small NYC kitchen is out of room for a drop more equipment!!! Will this pectin work without canning? I realize that it would have to be consumed fairly quickly if just refrigerated. I have done other jams and jellies with no problems. It doesn’t make a super large amount so it would have no problems being consumed within a few days. Thanks

    • Hello Joan,

      Thanks so much for reaching out! Yes, you can certainly make this jelly, and any of our recipes, without canning. It will just need to be consumed within about 7 days. You can also freeze them, and consume within a week once defrosted.

      Happy jamming and enjoy!

  2. I’m assembling my ingredients before beginning my pepper jelly & noted that the vinegar I have says “Acid reduced to 4%”. Will this still work? Also, I didn’t notice a conversion from Sure-Jell/Liquid pectin to Pomona’s for pepper jelly, only fruit conversions. Is there a recommendation for pepper jelly?
    Thanks so much! Our first attempt using Pomona’s was Pear-Vanilla Jam. It set beautifully and tastes so much like pears & not sugar!

    • Hello Susan,

      Good catch! Yes, you will need to use a vinegar that is 5% or higher for your Pepper Jelly. If you have a recipe that you would like help converting, please feel free to email it over to us at and we can help you out with that!

      Happy jamming!

  3. I’m trying to find a recipe for blackberry pepper jam using Pomona’s. Not finding a one and I’m not confident enough to try to come up with one myself. Any ideas on a recipe? Blackberry season is around the corner!

    • Hello Candace,
      Thanks so much for choosing Pomona’s Pectin! We would love to help you find a recipe for Blackberry-Pepper Jam.

      Depending on which style of pepper jam you’d like, we have two recommendations… you can substitute blackberries for the strawberries in our Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam or for the raspberries in our Raspberry-Habanero Jam. Both sound delicious, and both would be a direct substitute for the berries.

      Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam
      Raspberry-Habanero Jam

      If you decide to give this a go, we would love to hear how it turns out!

      Happy jamming!

  4. I just made the Hot Pepper jelly, thought I followed the recipe but it didn’t set??? I did use coconut sugar, could that be the problem? The flavour is good but it didn’t gel.

    • Hello Diane,

      Did you jelly have any clumps in it when you were in the process of making it? How long did you boil it before canning it? How long was it in the water-bath?

    • Hello Maureen,
      You would just need to make sure that your chopped pepper measurement is 1 1/3 cup total for all your peppers. The vinegar, sugar and calcium water would remain the same as the recipe states.

      Thanks for choosing Pomona’s!


  5. I have made this recipe 3 years in a row now, and it has turned out wonderfully every time. If you’d like to use any of my pictures, let me know and I can send them to you. I posted some on my (brand new!) blog and Pinterest. Thank you for making pectin that I don’t feel bad about eating! It is the only pectin I use in my house 🙂

  6. I noticed in another recipe I read for Pepper Jelly, the pepper pulp/mash was strained through cheesecloth to create more of a liquid. It appears that is not the case with this —- so there will be fine pieces of pepper in the final product?

    P.S. I used the recipe for Lavender Jelly I found on this site and (most) people love it! I used buds from our lavender plant here at home.

    • Dear Leah,
      Yes, you are correct that this recipe has the finely chopped bits of pepper in it. They are not blended and don’t disintegrate.

      Our recipe with blended peppers we call Pepper Jam and you can see that recipe by clicking on the link.

      I hope this helps. Congratulations on your successful Lavender Jelly — and happy jamming!

    • Hi Michael,
      You can always substitute maple syrup for honey in any of our recipes. There shouldn’t be any problem with the jelling or anything else if you follow the recipe.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming!

  7. Can i add garlic to this recipe? I have a red pepper garlic jelly recipe I love but just wonder what garlic would do to ratios. Other recipe uses liquid pectin. Thanks

    • Hi Jenny,
      You can add garlic to this recipe by substituting the garlic for some of the peppers. You don’t want to go over the total of 1 1/3 cups of low-acid additives.

      If you want to use fruit juice as your base for the jelly and a little less vinegar, take a look at the recipe for Peach-Jalapeno Jelly.

      In this recipe also, you could substitute the garlic for some of the peppers, as long as you don’t go over the overall quantity of low-acid foods.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin, and happy jamming!

  8. I have made this hot pepper jelly using this recipe (which is the same as the one in the Pomona Pectin package) and it is delicious. However, I do not use only green peppers in mine; I use red cherry peppers that I grow in my garden with jalapenos that I also grow myself. The jam is beautiful with the specs of green and red. It is very festive to give at Christmastime.

    • Dear Patricia,
      Thanks very much for sharing your experience with this recipe for Hot Pepper Jelly. You are correct that using a combination of red and green peppers in the recipe makes a beautiful jelly with the specs of red and green.

      If, by any chance, you have a picture of your jelly that you’d like to share, I could post it on this recipe, crediting you of course. If so, please just send the photo to my email:

      Again, thanks for writing — thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

    • Hi Danni,
      You are free to use whatever combination of peppers you’d like as long as you don’t exceed the 1 1/3 cups of finely chopped peppers called for in the recipe.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and Happy Jamming!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Content © 2019 Workstead Industries LLC. Website by Jeremy Jones Design.