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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Table of Contents
- About Candied Jalapenos
- What are Candied Jalapenos?
- Will candied jalapenos be spicy?
- What’s in candied jalapenos?
- Can you use a sugar substitute?
- What can you add to candied jalapenos?
- Can you make candied jalapenos ahead of time?
- How to store candied jalapenos
- Can you freeze candied jalapenos?
- Do you have to can these candied jalapenos?
- “I want to can this recipe, but I don’t know how!”
- What to serve with candied jalapenos
- Notes & tips for candied jalapenos
- More great spicy recipes
- How to make candied jalapenos
- Recipe Details
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:
- Granulated sugar and apple cider vinegar – This forms the base for the sweet pickled taste.
- Granulated garlic, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper – For adding some delicious flavor to this semi-crunchy condiment. Feel free to add or remove ingredients as you see fit.
- Jalapenos – The star of the show! Feel free to use the whole sliced jalapeno or remove the seeds for a milder heat.
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.
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 dip, 7 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.
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!
- 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.
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.