Tired of Pickling? Try Candied Jalapenos!

candied jalapenosCandied Jalapeños?

I do a ton of canning. Everything from preserves to tomatoes to turkey vegetable soup. Food preservation is my drug. Every year, I tend to find new and exciting canning recipes to try out and add to our pantry. To be honest, I’m beginning to tire of “pickled” items: pickles, pickled beans, pickled peppers, pickled beets…one can only eat so.many pickled foods.

Last fall, my family and I trekked south to the Indy Food Swap. After meeting and chatting it up on Facebook, I finally got to meet Mary, organizer of the NE Indiana Food Swap. And there, it happened. She introduced me to candied jalapeños (also known as “Cowboy Candy.) We easily ate the whole jar. I couldn’t wait to make my own this season so I deliberately planted jalapeños with this project in mind.

I asked Mary for her recipe and she mentioned she used the one from Little Book of Home Preserving. It’s a super simple recipe with only three ingredients. Keep in mind it took roughly 40 averaged sized peppers for me to make 3 half pints of candied jalapeños. The final product ends up with a little sweet heat, full of jalapeño flavor. You can use them in various ways such as on burgers, hot dogs, tacos an nachos or you can pour them over a brick of cream cheese and eat as a spread on toasted bread or crackers. Since the syrup is just as tasty, you can even use it as a glaze for ham, chicken or pork chops! With my experience, the heat in jalapenos seems to lessen as time goes on. I enjoy this simple recipe but if you would like your peppers with a bit more “zing” you might want to try a similar recipe like this “Cowboy Candy” from Tasty Kitchen.


Candied Jalapenos
  • 2 c. Apple cider Vinegar
  • 6 c. Cane Sugar
  • 3 lbs. Firm Jalapeno Peppers, ⅛" thick slices (use a mandolin to save time...also, wear eye and hand protection against the peppers)
  • 3 lbs. is roughly 80 peppers and will make 6-7 half pint jars
  1. Simmer vinegar and sugar for 5 minutes.
  2. Add pepper slices.
  3. Turn up heat and boil.
  4. Reduce and simmer for 4 minutes.
  5. Fill jars with strained peppers.
  6. Boil the syrup for 6 minutes or until 220 degrees F.
  7. Fill jars to ¼" headspace. Remove any air bubbles and wipe jar rim clean.
  8. Seal and water bath for 15 minutes.


6 Responses to Tired of Pickling? Try Candied Jalapenos!
  1. JoEllen Grubbs
    July 17, 2014 | 8:02 AM

    I made some different then this recipe, and it came out good to. We really love them. I cut up some Onions, Cowboy Candy Jalapenos peppers and put them in some Jack Dannel’s Barbecue Sauce. Then we put them on our Rib’s and it is to die for. It was so good we want more.

    • Toni
      July 28, 2014 | 7:53 AM

      That sounds like a really good combination JoEllen! I can’t wait for jalapenos to fully come in so I can mix them with my apple bbq sauce 😀

  2. Kristina @ Cucina Kristina
    August 13, 2014 | 5:20 PM

    Ooooo! This sounds so delicious! I bought a sweet pepper plant at my local greenhouse, but it turned out to be some sort of hot pepper plant. I’m now swimming in hot peppers (jalapenos, habaneros, Thai chilis, and these mystery peppers). I still have a ton frozen and dehydrated from last summer so was looking for new ways to enjoy my peppers and this might just be it! Thank you for sharing!

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