Canning Red Pepper Jelly (No Pectin)

Sweet, spicy, hot pepper jelly + cream cheese + Ritz crackers = YUM!  This quick and easy, addictive appetizer is ready in minutes!

I had an abundance of peppers on hand so I doubled the following recipe and ended up with 11 jelly jars of jelly.

  • 1 1/2 lb red bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Cut peppers into 1 inch pieces.


Add peppers and pepper flakes in a food processor or blender.


Pulse until finely chopped.  Depending on if you prefer a chunky jam or a not so chunky jelly will determine how much you chop your peppers.


Stir together pepper mixture, sugar, vinegar, butter and salt in a heavy pot.  Bring to a vigorous boil and boil for 20+ minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken.  The longer it cooks, the thicker it will be.  Once I start the cooking process, I put my jars in the oven on 200°, I start my water bath canner with water for water bathing and another pot of water for my lids.


Once the desired thickness is achieved, you are ready to begin filling jars.


Fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Using a plastic spatula to get the air bubbles out by running the spatula down the inside edges of the jars.   Wipe the rims with a sterile cloth. Place the lid and ring in place and tighten.

Place the hot jars into the boiling water in the canner.  Make sure the jars are covered with water.  Water bath for 15 minutes.  Once done, place the jars on a towel and cover to let cool.


11 thoughts on “Canning Red Pepper Jelly (No Pectin)

  1. Tess August 26, 2018 at 12:31 am Reply

    I have a few questions if you don’t mind to help me please!!! First off, the recipe looks amazing and I am excited to try it! I see the recipe calls for red bell peppers, but your pictures have a mix of red and green, so would it be okay to mix? does the taste come out vastly different using different peppers? Also, you said you filled 11 jelly jars, are they they 250 ml jars or the 500 ml jars? Lastly, is the water bath necessary?


    • Preserving the Good Life August 26, 2018 at 8:21 am Reply

      I’ve used red, yellow, orange and even a mixture to include green peppers and I haven’t seen any change in the taste. I have friends who have even used jalapenos, but those make it a little too hot for me. The “jelly jars” are 8 oz, 1/2 pint jars. I’ve always waterbathed my jams and jellies.


      • Tess August 26, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        Thank you so much for responding so quickly. It is truly appreciated as I’m anxious to get started but I didn’t want to head in “willy-nilly” A friend of mine had let me try her jam from this recipe and it was phenomenal. You said you have friends who have added jalapenos, do you happen to know about how much they would add? I really liked this spread with chicken and wouldn’t mind a bit more heat for myself


  2. Susan September 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm Reply

    I’ve found that “heat” likes or dislikes different from one person to another. What I find to be a mild warm heat may be way too hot for some others. I used one average sized jalapeño with seeds and found my pepper jelly to have a nice bit of heat!


  3. Kathy February 13, 2019 at 6:09 pm Reply

    I’d like to cut down on the sugar as I find this recipe delicious but too sweet…would using less affect how the jelly sets?


  4. Kathy February 13, 2019 at 6:09 pm Reply

    I’d like to cut down on the sugar as I find this recipe delicious but too sweet…would using less affect how the jelly sets?


    • Preserving the Good Life February 13, 2019 at 9:21 pm Reply

      It can affect how the jelly sets if you don’t increase your cooking time. When I cut down on the sugar in my jelly recipes, I increase my cooking time and the end results will be about the same.


  5. Madeleine Leger September 2, 2019 at 10:58 am Reply

    I cut the sugar by half,it is sweet and sour…..délicieux!


  6. Phyllis Altieri September 28, 2019 at 9:44 am Reply

    What does the 1.5 lbs equate to by cup measurement? I am using my garden’s Poblanos, Jalapenos, Habaneros, and Hot greens, no Bell peppers. Without seeds it should be a good hot batch, but I’m a novice…any tips? Thanks!


  7. Preserving the Good Life November 18, 2019 at 5:17 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Preserving the Good Life.


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