peppers on a cutting board

Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey


Pepper Jelly with Sugar or Honey is a low-sugar or low-honey cooked hot pepper jelly made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona's Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.


Options: It is fine to vary the ratio of finely chopped bell peppers and jalapeno peppers as long as you don’t exceed a total of 1 1/3 cups of finely chopped peppers.
It is fine to use peppers other than jalapenos for the hot peppers.
Use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or wine vinegar, as long as it is standardized to 5% acidity.
Servings 4 cups


  • 1 cup bell peppers seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup jalapeno peppers seeded, finely chopped (leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 1/3 cups vinegar standardized to 5% acidity
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
  • cups honey or 2 1/3 cups sugar divided
  • teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin mixed with sweetener


  • Before you begin, prepare calcium water.
    To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.
    Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
  • Wash jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and keep jars in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan; cover and heat to a low boil. Turn off heat and keep lids in hot water until ready to use.
  • Wash, seed, and finely chop bell peppers. Then measure into sauce pan.
  • Wash, seed (if desired), and finely chop jalapeno peppers. Then measure and add to sauce pan.
  • Measure vinegar into sauce pan.
  • Bring peppers and vinegar to a boil and simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off heat, add calcium water, and mix well.
  • Measure ½ cup of the sugar or ½ cup of the room temperature honey into a bowl. Thoroughly mix pectin powder into the ½ cup of sweetener. Set aside.
  • Return pepper mixture to the heat and bring to a full boil. Add pectin-sweetener, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.
  • Add remaining sugar or honey once pectin is dissolved. Stir well and return to a full boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Fill hot jars to ¼” of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals; lids should be sucked down. Eat within 1 year. Lasts 3 weeks once opened.

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35 Responses

  1. Pam
    | Reply

    I followed this recipe and my only problem was that I only got two full one cup jars and one almost full one cup jar; so less than 3 cups total. Did I do something wrong? I used a total of 1 1/3 cups of diced peppers. Should the peppers be pressed down to measure?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      It sounds like you could have cooked down the peppers and vinegar a bit long, resulting in a reduced amount. How much sweetener did you use?

  2. Darlene Hummer
    | Reply

    I am really struggling with your pectin and making jams and jelly’s. In June I made freezer strawberry jam. It is more of a pinkish red color not bright and clear like Sure Jell and the taste is nothing like my normal freezer jam. I made peach jam yesterday, that was better, but a little thicker than I would have liked. Yesterday I made pepper jelly, seemed fine, looked fine, opened a jar today to use over cream cheese, stirred it and it has now turned white and has crystallized. Yuck! I use monk fruit sugar and followed your recipes. Thank goodness I only did one batch of the pepper jelly, because it is trash. What is happening??

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Darlene,

      Thanks so much for reaching out!

      1. For the freezer jam, the bright color you get from using Sure Jell is due to the high sugar content, dextrose and citric acid that are in the product you use to make that jam. When those ingredients are removed (ie. Pomona’s Pectin is simply citrus pectin) or lessened, natural color loss comes into play.

      The process of color loss does not mean the jam or jelly is going bad. The browning starts at the top of the jar and slowly works its way down. If your jars were properly sealed and the seal is still intact, the jam or jelly, although not as pretty as it once was, is safe to eat.

      Using citric acid powder instead of lemon juice can be more effective at preventing color loss/color change. One-quarter teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. 1 teaspoon powdered Citric Acid is equivalent to ¼ cup lemon juice (4 Tablespoons). Citric Acid lowers pH (makes the mixture more acid as does lemon juice) and imparts tartness to the fruit mixture (as does lemon juice), but it doesn’t add a particular flavor.

      2. You are welcome to decrease the amount of pectin in any of our recipes to loosen the texture of the set. We would recommend decreasing it by 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per batch until you find the consistency you prefer 😊

      3. What you are describing with your Pepper Jelly is a chemical reaction with trying to preserve with monk fruit, it has nothing to do with the pectin. Because monk fruit is still so new to the market and the preserving world, there hasn’t been much research done on why it happens or how to fix it when crystalizing occurs. Our best suggestion when jamming with monk fruit is to make small batches and use them as quickly as possible.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions, we are here and happy to help!

  3. Lindsey
    | Reply

    So just to be clean you can use just hot peppers and omit the bell peppers all together by using 1-1/3c jalapeños peppers correct?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      You sure can!

  4. Jeanne
    | Reply

    Can I use a sugar sub like lakanto classic or allulose in this recipe? will this work without any actual sugar?

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Jeanne,

      Yes, you sure can! It will jell without any actual sugar.

  5. Doug Loken
    | Reply

    I very carefully followed the recipe and the results were excellent. Great consistency and wonderful flavour. Although I chopped the peppers very finely, next time I will pulse them to ensure better distribution and less sinking to the bottom. As I prefer a slightly hotter jelly, I will also increase the hot and reduce the sweet pepper balance.

    I do have a question though…why can’t I increase the ratio of peppers to liquid? Love Pomona’s and making with honey was brilliant…thanks!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      WONDERFUL DOUG! The ratios need to stay the same to insure the pH is safe for canning.

  6. Sandy
    | Reply

    I made this yesterday and it turned out well. Next time I would make it with more jalapeños since it was more sweet than heat. It only made 3 cups though, so I canned it in the 1/4 pint jars. I have a photo if you want.

  7. Joan Maslin
    | Reply

    Hi…. I would love to make this but am not into canning. My small NYC kitchen is out of room for a drop more equipment!!! Will this pectin work without canning? I realize that it would have to be consumed fairly quickly if just refrigerated. I have done other jams and jellies with no problems. It doesn’t make a super large amount so it would have no problems being consumed within a few days. Thanks

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Joan,

      Thanks so much for reaching out! Yes, you can certainly make this jelly, and any of our recipes, without canning. It will just need to be consumed within about 7 days. You can also freeze them, and consume within a week once defrosted.

      Happy jamming and enjoy!

  8. Susan Skene
    | Reply

    I’m assembling my ingredients before beginning my pepper jelly & noted that the vinegar I have says “Acid reduced to 4%”. Will this still work? Also, I didn’t notice a conversion from Sure-Jell/Liquid pectin to Pomona’s for pepper jelly, only fruit conversions. Is there a recommendation for pepper jelly?
    Thanks so much! Our first attempt using Pomona’s was Pear-Vanilla Jam. It set beautifully and tastes so much like pears & not sugar!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Susan,

      Good catch! Yes, you will need to use a vinegar that is 5% or higher for your Pepper Jelly. If you have a recipe that you would like help converting, please feel free to email it over to us at and we can help you out with that!

      Happy jamming!

  9. Candace
    | Reply

    I’m trying to find a recipe for blackberry pepper jam using Pomona’s. Not finding a one and I’m not confident enough to try to come up with one myself. Any ideas on a recipe? Blackberry season is around the corner!

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Candace,
      Thanks so much for choosing Pomona’s Pectin! We would love to help you find a recipe for Blackberry-Pepper Jam.

      Depending on which style of pepper jam you’d like, we have two recommendations… you can substitute blackberries for the strawberries in our Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam or for the raspberries in our Raspberry-Habanero Jam. Both sound delicious, and both would be a direct substitute for the berries.

      Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam
      Raspberry-Habanero Jam

      If you decide to give this a go, we would love to hear how it turns out!

      Happy jamming!

    • Kay
      | Reply

      I’m having a hard time with it firming. It tastes great but isn’t jell. I’m trying to trouble shoot what I did wrong. I followed the directions. I did use maple syrup instead of honey. Also, how much calcium do you put in in the ingredients it lists 2t but then says mix 1/2 t with 1/2 c water? Maybe I got that wrong?

  10. Diane Van Oostdam
    | Reply

    I just made the Hot Pepper jelly, thought I followed the recipe but it didn’t set??? I did use coconut sugar, could that be the problem? The flavour is good but it didn’t gel.

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Diane,

      Did you jelly have any clumps in it when you were in the process of making it? How long did you boil it before canning it? How long was it in the water-bath?

  11. Maureen B
    | Reply

    if using 3 ghost peppers, 3 red peppers and 2 cups vinegar, how much sugar, Pamona’s pectin and calcium should be used??

    • Shelby Collings
      | Reply

      Hello Maureen,
      You would just need to make sure that your chopped pepper measurement is 1 1/3 cup total for all your peppers. The vinegar, sugar and calcium water would remain the same as the recipe states.

      Thanks for choosing Pomona’s!


  12. Truth in Love Mama
    | Reply

    I have made this recipe 3 years in a row now, and it has turned out wonderfully every time. If you’d like to use any of my pictures, let me know and I can send them to you. I posted some on my (brand new!) blog and Pinterest. Thank you for making pectin that I don’t feel bad about eating! It is the only pectin I use in my house 🙂

  13. angela
    | Reply

    Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

  14. Leah
    | Reply

    I noticed in another recipe I read for Pepper Jelly, the pepper pulp/mash was strained through cheesecloth to create more of a liquid. It appears that is not the case with this —- so there will be fine pieces of pepper in the final product?

    P.S. I used the recipe for Lavender Jelly I found on this site and (most) people love it! I used buds from our lavender plant here at home.

    • Mary Lou Sumberg
      | Reply

      Dear Leah,
      Yes, you are correct that this recipe has the finely chopped bits of pepper in it. They are not blended and don’t disintegrate.

      Our recipe with blended peppers we call Pepper Jam and you can see that recipe by clicking on the link.

      I hope this helps. Congratulations on your successful Lavender Jelly — and happy jamming!

  15. Michael T Williams
    | Reply

    Mary Lou, I am fond of organic maple syrup. How would this work instead of honey or sugar?

    • Mary Lou Sumberg
      | Reply

      Hi Michael,
      You can always substitute maple syrup for honey in any of our recipes. There shouldn’t be any problem with the jelling or anything else if you follow the recipe.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and happy jamming!

  16. Jenny
    | Reply

    Can i add garlic to this recipe? I have a red pepper garlic jelly recipe I love but just wonder what garlic would do to ratios. Other recipe uses liquid pectin. Thanks

    • Mary Lou Sumberg
      | Reply

      Hi Jenny,
      You can add garlic to this recipe by substituting the garlic for some of the peppers. You don’t want to go over the total of 1 1/3 cups of low-acid additives.

      If you want to use fruit juice as your base for the jelly and a little less vinegar, take a look at the recipe for Peach-Jalapeno Jelly.

      In this recipe also, you could substitute the garlic for some of the peppers, as long as you don’t go over the overall quantity of low-acid foods.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin, and happy jamming!

  17. Patricia Naujunas
    | Reply

    I have made this hot pepper jelly using this recipe (which is the same as the one in the Pomona Pectin package) and it is delicious. However, I do not use only green peppers in mine; I use red cherry peppers that I grow in my garden with jalapenos that I also grow myself. The jam is beautiful with the specs of green and red. It is very festive to give at Christmastime.

    • Mary Lou Sumberg
      | Reply

      Dear Patricia,
      Thanks very much for sharing your experience with this recipe for Hot Pepper Jelly. You are correct that using a combination of red and green peppers in the recipe makes a beautiful jelly with the specs of red and green.

      If, by any chance, you have a picture of your jelly that you’d like to share, I could post it on this recipe, crediting you of course. If so, please just send the photo to my email:

      Again, thanks for writing — thanks for using Pomona’s — and happy jamming!

  18. Danni
    | Reply

    Can you use Habenero peppers instead of Jalepeno peppers in this recipe?

    • Mary Lou Sumberg
      | Reply

      Hi Danni,
      You are free to use whatever combination of peppers you’d like as long as you don’t exceed the 1 1/3 cups of finely chopped peppers called for in the recipe.

      Thanks for using Pomona’s Pectin — and Happy Jamming!

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