Spice up your snacks with homemade Candied Jalapenos! These sweet and spicy slices are perfect for canning or adding to crackers, dips, and salads.

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Side view of a sealed jar of prepared candied jalapenos.

About Candied Jalapenos

Candied Jalapenos are a Southern treat with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. These tasty little treats pack a big punch of flavor and are incredibly versatile – you can use them as a topping for burgers and sandwiches, mix them into dips and spreads, or just enjoy them straight out of the jar. Plus, with their bold, eye-catching appearance and delicious taste, they’re sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering.

If you’re looking to add a little kick to your next meal or appetizer, then this recipe for homemade candied jalapenos is a must-try. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a jar of these deliciously addictive jalapenos that will keep you coming back for more.

What are Candied Jalapenos?

Candied jalapenos are a type of pickle made by simmering sliced jalapeno peppers in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices until they become tender and sweet. The resulting peppers are then stored in the sweet and spicy pickling liquid, which gives them their signature flavor and texture.

They’re great for eating on their own or serving with (or on!) your favorite meal.

Will candied jalapenos be spicy?

In short, the answer is yes, they are spicy – although how spicy they seem will depend on your palate.

The sugar and apple cider vinegar go a long way in giving more depth to the flavor of the jalapenos, but the trademark heat doesn’t really go away. It changes a little, sure, but it’s still very much there. So you will feel some heat if you eat one of these.

You can reduce the heat by removing the seeds of the jalapenos before cooking. This should make them more “mild” than “hot ++.”

Also, you can help curb the heat by pairing the candied jalapenos with “cooling” foods (such as cream cheese, dips, etc).

What’s in candied jalapenos?

To make your own batch of these sweetly spicy pickles, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Close up side view of a jar of candied jalapenos, showing off the different shapes and seeds.

Can you use a sugar substitute?

Any candied recipe is bound to have a sweetener, and this one uses classic white granulated sugar.

I’ve had a few readers ask whether they can use a sugar substitute, and unfortunately, I haven’t found a good alternative for the sugar yet. There’s a chance that a portion or equal measurement of honey could be used, but I have not personally tried it. I’ll be sure to update this post as soon as I find a substitute that’s confirmed to work!

What can you add to candied jalapenos?

While this candied jalapeno recipe is delicious as-is, you can also customize the recipe by adding additional spices or flavors to the pickling liquid. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cumin: Sprinkle in some cumin for a smoky flavor.
  • Lime: Squeeze in some fresh lime juice for a tangy kick.
  • Ginger: Grate in some fresh ginger for a zesty twist.

Can you make candied jalapenos ahead of time?

Yes, you can definitely make candied jalapenos ahead of time! In fact, I highly recommend it, as these pickles get better with time. Once you’ve finished simmering the peppers in the pickling liquid, simply transfer them to a jar and pour the liquid over them. They’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 months, and their flavor will continue to develop and deepen over time.

How to store candied jalapenos

As mentioned, candied jalapenos can last in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

However, it’s important to note that the texture of the peppers may change over time, becoming softer or more mushy as they soak in the pickling liquid. If you prefer firmer, crunchier pickles, it’s best to eat them within the first few weeks.

Can you freeze candied jalapenos?

Technically, you can freeze candied jalapenos, but it’s not recommended. The freezing and thawing process can cause the peppers to become mushy and lose their texture, and the pickling liquid may separate or become watery. It’s best to store candied jalapenos in the fridge and enjoy them within their shelf life.

However, if you simply must freeze these spicy pickles, they can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.

Top down view of a jar full of candied jalapenos.

Do you have to can these candied jalapenos?

For those out there who have not ventured into the world of canning, I have great news for you:

Canning this recipe is not required. You can skip this part and store the candied jalapenos in your fridge for up to three months.

More details for both canning (and not canning) are included in the recipe details below.

“I want to can this recipe, but I don’t know how!”

Canning is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, and there are plenty of great resources out there to get you on the right path.

My absolute favorite guide to canning is this one: Home Canning Basics. It will tell you everything you need to know to make your first canning experience a success.

What to serve with candied jalapenos

Candied jalapenos are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • On Ritz crackers with a tab of whipped cream cheese
  • Top burgers or sliders for a sweet and spicy twist.
  • Mix them into a cheese dip or spread for a sweet and spicy appetizer, such as bagel dip7 layer dip, or mango salsa.
  • Add them to tacos or nachos for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Layer them on a grilled cheese sandwich for a delicious upgrade.
  • Use them as a drink garnish, like in a spicy paloma or a bloody mary.
  • As a garnish for soups or salads.
  • A post-baking topping for pizza.
  • Use them as a garnish for a spicy Bloody Mary or Margarita.
  • Use them in places of pickles in sandwiches.

Notes & tips for candied jalapenos

  • When preparing jalapenos, be sure to wear food safety gloves while handling them and avoid any contact with your eyes while you work. Also, you have a crucial choice to include the jalapeno seeds or remove them. The seeds are where this pepper gets its trademark fire, so only include them if you want the extra kick. For a full tutorial on cutting jalapeno peppers, check out How to Cut a Jalapeno Pepper the Right Way.
  • Due to the long shelf life of these pickles, they’re great for gifting!
  • If you’ve stored the jalapenos and they’ve become too soft for your liking, try blending them (with the juice!) to create a liquid salsa to drizzle on food.
Close up view of the top of a jar of candied jalapenos with a golden fork lifting up a single pickled pepper slice.

More great spicy recipes

How to make candied jalapenos

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large, deep pot (like a Dutch oven) add sugar, apple cider vinegar, granulated garlic, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring it to a steady boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let it cook for about five minutes.

Step 2 – Add the sliced jalapenos to the pot, then give it a quick stir to coat the jalapenos. Bring to another rapid boil, then reduce heat. Let the peppers simmer for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry if the jalapenos don’t all “look” cooked; this is normal.

Step 3 – Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the jalapenos, leaving as much as the juice in the pot as possible. Transfer the peppers to a clean bowl for now.

Step 4 – Once the jalapenos are removed, bring the sauce back up to a rapid boil. Let it boil hard for about 4-5 minutes.

Step 5 – Depending on what you’d like to do, you’ll either can the Candied Jalapenos or store them in the fridge. See the Recipe Details for full instructions for both.

Step 6 – Allow the jalapenos to chill and rest.

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Side view of a sealed jar of prepared candied jalapenos.
4.51 from 105 votes

Candied Jalapenos

10 minutes prep + 30 minutes cook
108 kcal
Yields: 16 servings (1/4 cup per)
Spice up your snacks with homemade Candied Jalapenos! These sweet and spicy slices are perfect for canning or adding to crackers, dips, and salads.



  • In a Dutch oven, add sugar, apple cider vinegar, granulated garlic, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2 cups granulated sugar, 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Add sliced jalapeno to pot, stirring to thoroughly coat the peppers. Bring mixture to a boil again, then reduce heat. Let jalapeno simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’s okay if not all the peppers are not all cooked evenly.
    1 pound jalapeno peppers
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove jalapeno to a clean bowl, taking care to shake off any excess juice into the pot. Once peppers are removed, turn up heat and allow remaining sauce to hard boil for 5 additional minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.
If canning Candied Jalapenos
  • Note: these instructions assume you're familiar with the canning process. If this is your first time, have a canning resource available for reference.
  • This recipe makes about 2 pints of Candied Jalapenos, so prepare whatever combination of canning jars you prefer for this amount.
  • Scoop cooked jalapeno into your chosen canning jars, filling to near the top. Pour in cooked liquid from saucepan, leaving at least 1/4 inch head space in each jar. Secure jars with air-tight lids.
  • Place a large, deep pot on an oven burner. Arrange jars inside the pot, then fill with hot water, covering the lids of the jars by at least two inches.
  • Setting burner heat to high, bring water to a boil. Allow canning jars to sit in the bath for about 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove canning jars from water. Set jars on the counter to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill completely. Let chill overnight.
  • For best results, allow canned Candied Jalapenos to “rest” for 4 weeks after canning. However, you can enjoy them immediately if you’d like. Once canned, Candied Jalapenos should stay fresh for up to one year.
If not canning Candied Jalapenos
  • Allow cooked sauce to cool for 20 minutes, then transfer cooked jalapeno and the cooked liquid from saucepan to a sealable container (you can still use canning jars if you’d like).
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to three months. For best results, allow Candied Jalapenos to chill overnight before eating.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Debbie

    Can you use truvia instead of sugar? Can’t wait to try.

    • Karyn

    Dixie, you can soak your pepper slices in pickling lime overnight, then rinse and use in this recipe. I make just canned jalapenos and my first ones always turned slimy. Once I soaked the slices overnight they started turning out perfectly. I’m sure this would work for this recipe also.

      • Kristy
      • 5 stars

      Karyn, could you please elaborate on the pickling lime process? Thank you!

    • Dixie
    • 5 stars

    Can you put raw jalapeno in the jar, cover with the cooked syrup then process in a hot water bath? I am looking for a firmer pickled pepper.

    • Dixie Mack
    • 5 stars

    Do you have to cook the jalapenos in the syrup or can you put the raw peppers in the jar add the cooked syrup and process in a hot water bath? I am looking for a firmer jalapeno slice.

    • R

    I can’t stand the smell (much less taste) of apple cider vinegar.. can I use white vinegar instead with good results?

    • Rain Grant
    • 5 stars

    JUST made this for my guy with serranos instead of jalapenos. I added in a few Thai chilis and a scorpion tail too. Im kicking my arse because I forgot the garlic. Oh well I did add in ginger. Hopefully he likes it. If it isnt hot enough Ill go habenaro or ghosts. Me? I dont like anything hotter than garlic. Its actually very easy to make. You DO have to watch the temp or you will make glass candy instead.

    • Rick
    • 5 stars

    I made this and am enjoying a little snack at night with saltines and cream cheese. Good with sharp cheddar also. Didn’t use jalapeños though, hot banana peppers is all I could get at farmers’ market.

    • Mary
    • 5 stars

    Mine is cooking right now. One more minute to go then I will take off cooking surface(electric stove). Can’t wait to taste. Thanks for recipie

    • brandon levy

    Going to start off as stating that, I am a pepper fan and love growing my own peppers. Personally, I like adding 1-3 VERY spicy peppers to my batch of Candied Jalapenos (something easily identified as NOT being a jalapeno) for two reasons. One, I like adding them to various dishes (the actual pepper) but two is, the “left over sauce” after cooking makes a fantastic additive to almost anything. Want some zing in your pasta? Want to sweeten/spice your chili and/or beans? Want a sweet/spicy rub for grilled pork/poultry? Want to add something to spice up your salad? Want too make a party favor by adding vodka (I’m sure gin works but not a big fan of gin)? Pretty much all cowboy recipes are similar (mine is to the author’s). Feel free to mix it up. One big difference is, I like to use pickled mustard seeds but everything else fresh. This is a very versatile recipe and have fun with it. The author is correct. it goes with anything.

    • Heather

    Your recipe calls for granulated garlic yet the video shows granulated ginger. Which is correct?

      • brandon levy

      You can use both (in fact we do). Word of advice….don’t use granulated garlic (the pre chopped crap). Far less taste than dice 1-4 cloves of garlic. Ginger adds a great taste. a little sweet and zing and helps add a flavor to the sugar.

        • Rose

        Prechopped garlic is typically called minced garlic, no? Granulated is the texture of table salt and not as fine as garlic powder.

    • Brandy

    Im bummed because my syrup completely carmalized and was burnt …had to open windows and we thought our lungs were burning! so now all i have are the jalepenos cooked, windows open with the ac on and a pot of solid hard syrup sitting outside lol!

    • Susan

    What can I do when I can’t find granulated garlic

      • brandon levy

      Dice a garlic clove or three.

      • Rose

      Granulated garlic is super common in the spice aisle at a grocery store.

        • Stacie
        • 5 stars

        So good! This turned out perfectly!! I tried to give it five stars but only had the option to choose four!

    • Beth

    It is easier if you use pickled jalapenos

      • Jeffrey
      • 4 stars

      It is easier to use pickled jalapeño, but you completely change the flavor and texture of the dish. And not for the better either IMO.

    • Cherye Elliott
    • 4 stars

    I make this using a mixture of scorpion, ghost/bhut, 7pot and habernaros. I love hot peppers. It is not as hot as you would think. The sugar cools it down. I do not use tumeric. ( I call it Biker’s Candy because bikers are sexy hot.

    The left over liquid I use to make jalapeno relish so it will be spicy. Yum. The liquid is also a good base for making your hot sauce.

      • brandon levy

      not sure, I would use bhut/ghost peppers (because of the taste) but, I love where your head is at. if you have not tried it, find yourself some scotch bonnets. They already have a “sweet” taste and are spicy (almost as much as a, Belizean Habanero). Really good peppers but unless you live in a VERY warm climate or have a green house they can be difficult to find. Not a pepper they sell in stores (wouldn’t buy them there anyway as they would be bred to be less spicy). Also something a little less warm than the bonnets is a serrano pepper. I love them but the only down side is, sliced up, they look like jalapenos, so digging through a mixed jar is like….Russian roulette….. However the “left over sauce” (with any pepper combination) is fantastic for A LOT of dishes. My wife uses it in salads and pasta, and, I use it in chili, beans and for a pork rub (my wife likes it as a poultry rub). Also as a side not…the “sauce” goes absurdly well with vodka.

    • Tammy King
    • 5 stars

    Great recipe will be my go too recipe, can’t wait to taste them.

    • Brenda
    • 5 stars

    If you dont want too hot of peppers. when you pick out your peppers look for smooth peppers not ones with stretch marks ( they havent been watered properly and will be hot) also avoid ones with a definate bend to them. Take out the seeds and the white ribs too.

    • Jereka

    Maybe i cooked the syrup too long because it is completely caramelized. And brown. And hard after cooling.

      • jodie

      Mine too.

      • brandon levy

      Yeah, you cooked it too long. The left over “juice” makes a great topping for pastas, chili, beans of a freaking fantastic pork/chicken rub. The cooking times in the article were fairly accurate but one thing to account for is if you are using an electric or gas stove. If using an electric stove “ABOUT” five minutes is accurate but remove the pot after finished. Do not let it sit on the burner. if a gas stove…..well, I would suggest trying less cook time or turn down the heat. The syrup should not be caramelized. Really, go for it again. Jalapeno season is just about over but if you have a plant or two, they are still producing and try again. Really is worth it. Personally, I like spicy and, I do not use the ones in stores (they are genetically modified to be A LOT less spicy) but, I also do this with scotch bonnets and serrano peppers (warning these are much hotter and the scotch bonnet is almost as hot as a habanero but it is a pepper that already has a sweet taste). I mix a single scotch bonnet (sliced) with the jar of jalapenos (easy to pick out) and while eating them plane is fine if you like food, just like the jalapenos they are good for any dish. HOWEVER the reason for doing this is, is to make the “left over” juice spicier and an added flavor of the scotch bonnets or serrano. Currently growing reapers and have no clue what to do with them but while, I love spicy, I do not have a death wish……Three Carolina Reaper plants were a bad idea…they produce a lot….

        • brandon levy


    • Colleen Lawrence
    • 5 stars

    Love the website…

    • Sharon Deason

    I’d like to know why you put cayenne pepper in this receipe when it is already spicey hot?

    • Brian

    Im curious as to how your liquid is almost clear?
    the turmeric and cayenne ensure the liquid has a yellowish orange tint. Also, after chilling the liquid it is going to be syrupy due to all the sugar.
    whats your secret?