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Cranberry Jalapeño & Sweet Red Pepper Jelly

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cranberry pepper jelly


I can’t believe I forgot to post this! I made this ages ago, and I’m on my last jar!! WHOOPS!! 😀

I made a killer good dish with this, which I’ll share next, and it reminded me that I totally spaced sharing this recipe! But this jelly is wonderful as an appetizer, too!

Unlike most pepper jellies, this one actually starts with cranberry juice cocktail! It’s super easy to make and would make for some very nice Christmas gifts, too!

It also has a nice bit of heat from fresh jalapeños, and extra sweet pepper flavor from red cubanelles. I grew my own, so if you can’t find any, you can easily sub red (or any color) bell pepper no problem.



cranberry pepper jelly 2



If you want to use this as an appetizer, it’s wonderful spooned over toasted baguette slices spread with cream cheese!

Or, you can simply place a brick of cream cheese, mascarpone, or even goat cheese onto a plate, and spoon the jelly over the top.

Surround the jelly-topped brick (or wedge) of cheese with assorted crackers and a small appetizer knife and you’re all set!

I very much prefer a sweet buttery cracker with this such as Ritz or even club crackers.



cranberry pepper jelly 3



One of the quickest, easiest appetizers there is! GREAT for unexpected company and can be whipped up in a matter of seconds!

This jelly turns out a little bit “soft-set”, and the chopped sweet peppers stay at the top until you open the jar and stir them in. (*It does firm up quite a bit in the fridge.)

And it is soooooo good! VERY addictive, I’ll warn ya!



cranberry pepper jelly 4



The photos don’t do this pretty jelly justice, but in person, it almost looks bejeweled! And it’s a gorgeous color! *I didn’t add any red food coloring, but feel free to do so. The jelly part is actually quite pale, so a little would make it look even prettier! 😀



cranberry pepper jelly



So, if you’re looking for a unique food item to enjoy for the holidays, give as gifts, or use in recipes, you’ll want to make sure that you save this one! It’s a classic, easy, and just so very pretty! Hope you all enjoy!! 😀



*Recipe has been updated to a firm, more fully-set jelly.

Cranberry Jalapeño & Sweet Red Pepper Jelly
Yield: 5 half pints

Cranberry Jalapeño & Sweet Red Pepper Jelly


  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and deseeded
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 cup regular vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 (3 oz. each) foil pouches liquid pectin
  • 4 sweet red cubanelle peppers, membranes and seeds removed, chopped very small
  • red food coloring, optional (as much as you like to get it to the color that you want) *I don't add any, but some prefer it to be red


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, combine jalapeño peppers, cranberry juice, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Strain liquid through a wire mesh strainer into a large glass measuring pitcher. Press peppers with the back of a spoon to get all of the juice. Measure 2 cups of liquid and discard pepper pulp.
  • In a large, 4-quart dutch oven combine the 2 cups of strained liquid and the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin and chopped sweet red peppers.
  • Return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. stir in red food coloring if using.
  • Immediately ladle jelly into hot, sterilized jars leaving just a 1/4" headspace. Divide red peppers evenly amongst the jars. Wipe off jar rims, and place on lids and rings.
  • Process in a 5 minute water bath, or use the canning system shown in post above for jelly.
  • Cool on wire racks. Jelly may take 2-3 days to set up. (Mine took 3.)
  • Jelly will be a little "soft-set", but VERY good! Especially on toasted baguette slices or crackers with cream cheese!


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    Monday 28th of October 2019

    Could you add chopped dried cranberries to this. Chopped very very small?


    Tuesday 29th of October 2019

    I wouldn't see why not! :) Sounds like a wonderful addition to me! :D


    Tuesday 26th of February 2019

    Sounds yumful! And is gorgeous.


    Saturday 18th of November 2017

    I made this tonight and it turned out great. I used real cranberries cooked in water and vinegar with the jalapeños, then strained them. Delicious!


    Wednesday 27th of September 2017

    Jeannette My jelly didn't set. A lot of work for a recipe that doesn't work. I recooked my jelly adding two tbsp of lemon juice. Let it come up to a full rolling boil and added another 3 ounce pack of pectin. Brought it boil for 15 min. Now it's set.


    Thursday 28th of September 2017

    I used to make this every year for Christmas gifts and never had trouble with it. I'm wondering if companies are adding something into their cranberry juice now, that is preventing it from setting up like it used to? I thank you for your patience and glad everything worked out for you in the end, and that you're now happy with the consistency that you desired. I'm just going to edit my recipe, as it might be outdated for today's products that are continuously being changed, adding more and more "preservatives" and chemicals. I wish they would just make things like they used to.

    Jessica Stone

    Wednesday 27th of September 2017

    This jelly didn't turn out at all how it looks in your pictures. I didn't have enough peppers to fill up the jars by half; it just ended up looking like peachy pink jell with some red stuff floating at the top. I hope the flavor is better than the appearance; it looked like such a good recipe.


    Wednesday 27th of September 2017

    Ok, had to come right back because I just stuck my finger in the cooled pot and this tastes AMAZING, despite not being the prettiest jelly I've ever made.

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