Candied Jalapenos

Candied Jalapeno are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy!  Perfect on burgers, sandwiches, nachos, or just by themselves!

This candied jalapenos recipe has rapidly become a true family favorite!  Perfect on sandwiches and so much more.  We also love easy condiment recipes like my Creamy Beer Cheese, and Refrigerator Dill Pickles

close up of candied jalapenos in glass jar


I don’t know about you, but this time of year I go condiment crazy.  Give me all the pickles, all the bbq sauces, and all the candied jalapenos!!

If you’ve never had a candied jalapeno, boy oh boy are you in for a treat my friend.  They’re truly the perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness.  The sugar tames the sharp heat from the jalapeno, turning it into this mouthwatering little gem.

They’re great on so many things… I’d be hard pressed to list them all!  Nachos, pulled pork/chicken, burgers, sandwiches, chopped up on hot dogs, in potato/macaroni salads, in egg salad, on a cracker or bagel with some cream cheese, or just with a fork.

I found a similar recipe in an old church cookbook I’d had for a long while, and did some tweaking to our tastes a couple years back… and ever since then, it’s been a staple in our refrigerator!

And don’t worry if you’re nervous about canning or worried you don’t have the necessary supplies to can, as there’s actually no canning going on here!  Just like my Refrigerator Dill Pickles, these babies just hang out in the refrigerator.  No water baths necessary!

Of course, you can actually can them if you’d like.  They’ll have a much longer shelf life that way, but I wanted to share the shortcut way here today 🙂

holding an open jar of cowboy candy


  1. Slice peppers.  You’re looking for slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Set them aside for now.
  2. Bring syrup mixture to a boil.  Add vinegar, sugar, and spices to a large pot and heat until boiling.  Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  If you notice your mixture starts to foam up a lot, like the picture on the right, decrease your heat and stir it a bit to get it to calm down.boiling the syrup for candied jalapenos
  3. Bring back to boil, then add peppers.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture back up to a boil.  Once boiling, add your sliced peppers, and allow to come back to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about 4 minutes.  boiling peppers for candied jalapenos
  4. Transfer peppers to jars.  I like to use a slotted spoon to leave as much of the liquid in the pot as possible.  Fill the jars to within about 1/4-1/2″ of the top of the jar.
  5. Boil the syrup and add to jars.  Increase the heat again and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil.  Boil for about 6 minutes.  Either ladle, or transfer syrup to a pitcher to pour into the glass jars with the peppers.  Fill the jars to within about 1/4-1/2″ of the top of the jar.  making candied jalapenos - pouring syrup into jars with jalapeno slices
  6. Wipe rims, seal and refrigerateWipe the rims of jars with a damp paper towel and screw on canning jar lids.  Refrigerate for at least 1-2 weeks (3-4 weeks for optimal flavor and texture).


  • FRESH IS BEST – The best candied jalapenos are made with the freshest jalapenos.  The pepper skin should be firm, with no deep blemishes.  Try to find consistently sized peppers, so your slices will be uniform in size.
  • SLICING – since you’ll be slicing 1.5 lbs of peppers, you’ll want a sharp knife and steady hand, a food processor with the slicing blade attached, or a mandoline.
  • GLOVES – jalapenos are notorious for varying in heat level, so to error on the side of caution, I like to wear disposable gloves when working with them.  The oils from cutting peppers can get onto your skin and cause burning and skin irritation.  And god forbid you do something like rub your nose or eye before you’ve THOROUGHLY washed your hands.  Don’t ask me me how I know just how bad it’ll hurt… So trust me, glove up.

forkful of candied jalapenos


  • DOUBLE – as crazy as it may sounds, once you try this cowboy candy, you might want to make a double batch the next time.  This recipe is easily doubled… just make sure to double ALL the ingredients, but keep the cooking process and times the same.
    • If you hover over the serving size number in the recipe card down below, a slider bar will pop up.  Just slide the bar in either direction, until the number of servings you want shows, and it’ll automatically calculate the correct amount of each ingredient!

  • PEPPERS – technically you can “candy” any pepper, so if you’re up for it, you can try using hotter peppers, like serranos or habaneros!  Keep the process the same.
  • MILDER – while candying tames the heat of the jalapenos quite a bit, if you’re really worried about the heat, you can core the peppers before slicing.

candied jalapeno on fork


This is a natural make-ahead recipe, as the jalapenos need a good couple of weeks to plump back up and for the flavors to mellow out and mesh together.

If I’m patient enough, I like to wait for 3-4 weeks before opening a jar, but let’s face it… sometimes I just want the sweet-heat goodness before then.  1-2 weeks is a good middle ground.


Candied jalapenos should be sealed in an airtight container and refrigerated.  They should last about 2-3 months when kept refrigerated and the lids are sealed after each use.

I like to take a permanent marker and write down the date I made the pickles on the lid, so I’ll know when it’s been 2-3 months.  Honestly, our’s never last that long before we devour them!

If you wanted to can them via a traditional water bath, they can last a good year in the pantry.  But again, that’s only if you’ve canned them.

opened jar of candied jalapenos on wooden cutting board


  • Pint-sized Jars – I prefer these wide-mouth jars, as they’re easier to fill.
  • Large pot – you can use any large pot, but I like to bust out my trusty dutch oven for this.
  • Disposable gloves – your grocery store will likely have a much better price on these, but I wanted to show you the kind I like to use.



opened jar of candied jalapenos on wooden cutting board

Candied Jalapenos

Candied Jalapenos are the perfect combination of sweet and spicy!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 30 servings
Calories 86


  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh jalapenos - (about 30 peppers)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed


  • Remove and discard stems from peppers, then slice into 1/4" slices. Set pepper slices aside.
  • To a large pot, add cider vinegar, white sugar, garlic powder, turmeric, and celery seed and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to about MED LOW and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to about MED HIGH to bring mixture back to a boil. Once boiling, add the pepper slices. Allow to return to a boil, then reduce the heat again (to about MED LOW) and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Transfer the peppers using a slotted spoon to clean glass canning jars, filling jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar.
  • Only the syrup should remain in the pot at this point. Increase the heat to bring to a full rolling boil. Boil like that for approximately 6 minutes.
  • Ladle the syrup into the jars with the jalapeno slices. If you notice any air pockets, take a clean spoon and insert it into the jar to get rid of the trapped air. Fill jars to within 1/4-1/2" from the upper rim of the jar.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel, then screw on canning jar lids. Label if desired and refrigerate for at least 1-2 weeks (3-4 weeks for optimal flavor). Candied jalapenos are good for up to 3 months if kept properly refrigerated.


  1. Recipe makes enough to fill approximately 2 pint sized jars.
  2. This recipe has not been tested with sugar substitutes or with reducing the amount of sugar - make changes at your own discretion and using your best judgement.
  3. Leftover syrup can be stored in glass jars as well.  I love to add it to my macaroni/potato salad.  It's also amazing brushed on bacon!
Author The Chunky Chef
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Recipe Rating

41 comments on “Candied Jalapenos”

  1. I accidentally put 1/2 tablespoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon… is there anything I can do to fix it or did I ruin it/ the taste of it?

  2. can you make it without celery seed?

  3. fantastic recipe so easy to do

  4. This was a fun recipe to try! I had some leftover syrup at the end, and some bell and marconi peppers. I diced them up and tossed them in the reheated syrup, and put them in a jar too! We will see how they turn out, highly experimental, those ones. Do you think they will be good?

  5. Made this for the first time this year. I’m so glad I did. These are fantastic. I’ve made 10 half pints, and I don’t think this will be enough to last the entire year.

  6. I used Truvia which is a blend of erythritol, sugar and stevia to decrease the amount of sugar. It is awesome! I only used half the amount of Truvia as it is twice as sweet as sugar.

  7. Just made my 2nd batch of these. Haven’t even gotten to try the first batch yet as I just made them last week. For today’s batch I actually thinly slice 1 1/2 cloves of garlic and added at the same time as the peppers. Can’t wait to see how they turn out. Even though I haven’t eaten them yet the syrup was so tasty I knew I had to make more while I had peppers. 

  8. Nom, nom, nom. Made these for the first time this year and they are fantatic.

    I always plant 2 or 3 jalapeno pepper plants. I usually make poppers. But those are so much work that I decided to try cowboy candy. I’m so happy I did. I still cored them since I’m a wimp and can’t take the heat. But Triscuit thins, cream cheese and cowboy candy make a fantastic snack.

  9. I assuming I would be able to substitute a KETO sweetener for the sugar…I will have to try it!

  10. I made this recipe twice. I absolutely love it. The second time I used less jalapeños and added bell peppers. I used some of the leftover juice as a glaze for some sautéed brussel sprouts…awesome!!

  11. I have made these twice now and they are incredible. I threw in some fresh mango from my tree in addition to the recipe and wow the flavor is Fantabulous.

  12. I want to make these and can them. How long should they go in the water bath for to ensure that they seal and can properly?

    • I’ve honestly never canned things, so I couldn’t say with any degree of certainty. I would estimate a 10 minute processing time once the water has come to rolling boil.

    • This isn’t the same as my recipe so I can’t say for certain about it. With my recipe I process my half pints in BWB for 10 minutes once it comes to a full, rolling boil, and 15 minutes for pints. Make sure after you put peppers in jar you bring the syrup up to a full rolling boil for 6 minutes and put boiling syrup in jars over the jalapeno slices. Release all air pockets before you seal, wipe rims and put lids on. Let them sit in canner for 5 minutes after you are done processing, then remove to counter and don’t disturb for 24hrs. Allow to mellow for 2 weeks or preferably at least a month before eating.

  13. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe, and it is the BEST!! I put these candied jalapeños in everything, and I’ve been gifting them to friends and neighbors who absolutely love them! 

  14. Can these go in something other than jars?? Sealed contain ok? Running out of jars! Thanks

  15. Cowboy Candied Jalapeños are amazing!!

  16. Do they have to be stored in the fridge?

  17. Can I freeze them. 

    • I haven’t frozen them personally, so I can’t say for certain. I think in theory they’d be okay to freeze, although the may have a slightly different texture once thawed.

    • Freezing will change the texture. Best to process in boiling water bath canner.
      Use leftover syrup to brush on venison, grilled meats & add to potatoe salad.

  18. Love this recipe. I do have one question though; can you reuse the leftover syrup (that I canned as well) with my next batch of jalapeños to can?

    • So glad you love it! I don’t know that I would reuse it to make another batch, as it’s already been reduced down and continuing to cook it more might make it too reduced. I usually freeze mine, or use the syrup as a marinade, used in cocktails, brushing on grilled foods, etc.

  19. I doubled this recipe and had two pints of syrup left after I canned the jalapeños. I have it stored in the fridge but wondered if I could reuse it to make more jalapeños. 

    • I’ve not tested it, so I can’t say for sure if it would work as well as the original recipe. I usually end up freezing mine.

    • I always have syrup left over. I put it in the fridge until I get some sweet banana peppers, or other sweet peppers and use it to make CowGIRL peppers for my grandkids who don’t care for heat. I just bring it back up to a boil, drop in the sliced peppers and continue as with first batch. I’ve also done it with more jalapenos when I got more.

    • This isn’t the same as my recipe so I can’t say for certain about it. With my recipe I process my half pints in BWB for 10 minutes once it comes to a full, rolling boil, and 15 minutes for pints. Make sure after you put peppers in jar you bring the syrup up to a full rolling boil for 6 minutes and put boiling syrup in jars over the jalapeno slices. Release all air pockets before you seal, wipe rims and put lids on. Let them sit in canner for 5 minutes after you are done processing, then remove to counter and don’t disturb for 24hrs. Allow to mellow for 2 weeks or preferably at least a month before eating.

  20. Oh my!  These are delicious!!  Doubling my batch next time. 

  21. These were very good but I wonder how much less sugar you can use and still have a good outcome.

  22. Can you tell me what the turmeric adds to this recipe? I have all ingredients & jars etc except for turmeric. Wondering if the recipe will still work if I leave it out. Thanks!

  23. Can’t wait to give these a try! We love a good jalapeno and are growing them in our garden this year! Perfect recipe!

  24. This is so amazing! My kids really loved it!

  25. This candied jalapenos couldn’t look any more perfect!

  26. This recipe is so delicious! I love the flavors it has. I will definitely be making this again!