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

  • Whenever you are preparing jalapenos, be sure that you are wearing food safety gloves while handling them and avoid any contact with your eyes while you work. Also, you have a crucial choice to make: 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 this 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.
4.52 from 101 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 jalapenos
  • 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


    • Lisa Henderson

    Do you think this would be a good recipe for Hot Bell Peppers? I have so many!! Lol

      • Marla

      I have made this with different peppers, sweet and hot. When I used sweet bell peppers I also added chopped red hot peppers.

      It was still DELICIOUS!

    • Ellen McCarthy

    This recipe is also great on pork and chicken. If you have the sauce leftover, can it, too. Use for marinades. Absolutely delicious.

      • Marla

      I always make extra sauce. I can several jars of the sauce for marinades. Depending on mood, I’ll double or triple the sauce recipe.

    • Laura
    • 5 stars

    I just made 2 batches of these. They are so good. This is going to be my keeper recipe. Thanks for posting.

    • Anita
    • 5 stars

    My syrup burned during the 5 minute hard boil. The jalapeños are delicious though. Anyone have any tips to eliminate that?

      • Daniel Cold

      I hope someone will see this. I just put my electric stove burner on 5…basically half power…you just want to cook off the water portion and it will leave the concentrated juices..you basically do this with a lot of stuff you cook down.
      They probably shouldn’t have said hard boil.

    • Helena

    Hi, sounds great, will try this. One question: can I use fresh garlic, if yes, how much? Thanks in advance.

    • Paula
    • 5 stars

    I made these and canned them in 4oz jars as wedding favors for my daughters wedding. I got about a forth of the jalapeños in red and it was beautiful looking and tasted fantastic! We had 120 guests…lol, my tip…wear gloves!

      • Shannon

      Wow….I can’t imagine making enough for 120 guest, in 4oz jars that was some work…I hope they (the guest) appreciated it. I know I would’ve. Great job mom!

    • Jeannine Grey

    Great recipe, turned out perfect.

    • Chris

    Are you sure that you don’t add any water? The liquid is like syrup! Doesn’t look like anything I’ve pickled before, is the recipe right? Might have been a waste of time and money.

      • Sherry

      I make it a lot and yes syrup consistency is what you want. 😉

    • Linda

    I tasted candied jalapeños recently and loved them. This recipe sounds easy, but can I use a substitute for granulated garlic? Also, has anyone made this using less sugar?

    • Diane

    Im making now! Accidentally added garlic salt. Liquid taste good.
    Will the salt ruin the recipe? I can start over.

    • Barrie

    Wow! These are amazing! Love the sweet/spicy combo. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    • Jacque

    Has anyone tried this with monk fruit in place of sugar? If so, results?

    • annapolislady
    • 5 stars

    Turned out perfect!

    • Kim
    • 5 stars

    This is a good straight forward recipe. I think the people who thought it was dark should try using white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. I don’t mind it dark. I used a little yellow hot peppers and light orange ones along with the jalapeño so I have more color.

    I made this recipe last year and it was a little too hot for my taste so this time I removed the seeds and added some regular not hot green peppers along with the hot peppers.

    I canned mine and had a lot of extra juice (I didn’t reboil the liquid-I am an experienced canner and for me it made sense not to reboil it.) However, I had a lot of liquid left and I am going to freeze it and when more peppers are ready in the garden I can just boil it up and add the sliced peppers.

    I recommend covering your mouth and nose with a mask or handkerchief because that pepper juice can really get to you. The next thing you know you are coughing and gagging!

      • annapolislady

      The reason for the reboil is to remove the water put off by the peppers. It serves two purposes – one for safety, the other for quality. Peppers are low acid and since these are being water bathed instead of PC you need to reduce the water activity– the amount of vinegar (2/3 cup for 1 pd veg) isn’t enough to give you a safe liquid if it is diluted by the pepper water. The second purpose is to thicken the liquid into a syrup instead of a watery liquid. The higher concentration of sugar in syrup makes for a firmer and better pepper in storage instead of one that is waterlogged. Happy Canning!

    • Biff

    This recipe blows. If you follow it exactly you end up with dark candy syrup instead of sauce. Wasted a good batch of garden jalapeños on it.

      • Travis Lakey

      Mine turn to a hard candy after last boil

    • Cindy Robinson

    Followed recepie to a t. After peppers were removed, 5min boil turned into candy. What happened?

    • Cindy Robinson

    Followed recepie to a t. The five min boil after peppers were removed left nothing but candy. No juice. What happened?

    • karen
    • 5 stars

    these are amazing

      • Sue

      If canning them do they need to remain in the refridge or can they be taken out and put on a shelf. Want to make this for our fall bazaar so was wandering if they need to be kept cold. Thank you

        • Linda

        “Canning” by definition means they are shelf stable. like the Mayo in your pantry once opened it is no longer shelve stable and must be refrigerated.

        Canning is not hard to do correctly but does take some education. Best place to learn how is USDA.gov
        Each state also supplements the feds education program.
        Canning is fun but if done improperly can lead to death. Which is why the government stepped in to stop the confusion.

        That said there are 410 million Americans and we had 23 cases of illness and only one death.

        You can learn how to can. And must before attempting to feed your loved ones home canned food.

    • Richard Diehl

    Awesome recipe will try torromow

    • Sara

    I use candied jalapeños for my deviled eggs – they are a favorite!