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Cranberry Jalapeño Hot Pepper Jelly over vegan cream cheese

Cranberry Jalapeno Hot Pepper Jelly

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Cups 1x
  • Category: Sauces, Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American


Holiday happiness right here that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! Sweet and tangy with a POW of heat this Cranberry Jalapeño Hot Pepper Jelly is the perfect holiday appetizer, sandwich spread, or tasty glaze. Quick and easy, full of flavor, this twist on an old school classic is the perfect beginning for your holiday entertainment table. Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.


  • 2 ½ cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, small dice * (see notes)
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, small dice
  • ½ cup yellow bell peppers, small dice
  • ½ cup red bell peppers, small dice
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons organic maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • pinch sea salt 

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake *

Other Ingredients:


  1. Place all the ingredients (excluding the crushed red pepper flake) into a medium sized sauce pan and boil for 6 minutes on medium high heat stirring constantly until all the cranberries have popped, and the sauce has thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then place the mixture into a high-speed blender and blend on high for one minute until the mixture is smooth. Place a dish towel over the top of the blender when unscrewing the lid as steam pressure builds and can scald you when the pressure releases. Then return the mixture to the sauce pot, add the crushed red pepper flake, stir well, and cook over medium high heat for another 6 minutes (stirring occasionally).  Taste test the sauce/jelly, add more maple syrup and/or crushed red pepper flake until the desire flavor has been reached.  If adding more of any ingredients, cook for several more minutes.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Serve as a beautiful appetizer on top of hummus or vegan cream cheese with crackers, veggies, or breads.


*Color Variations: We have made this jelly 5 times, each time the color is slightly different, ranging from deep red to plum, to pink-red.  The color variation in cranberries determines the final color.  All are beautiful shades, we just want you to be aware that the shade of red varies. We have found that using a yellow pepper creates a truer red color.

*Jalapeño Heat: The heat from jalapeños vary greatly. You can check how hot it is by trying a small piece. Based on how hot it is, you can make the decision of how much (if any) crushed red pepper flake you want to use. If your jalapeños aren’t really hot or are generally not hot enough, you can look into kicking up the heat with a habanero pepper, serrano pepper or your other favorite hot pepper instead. Please be warned these peppers are hot! Pro-Tip: Wearing gloves is recommended.

*Jelly/Sauce/Jam: The texture and thickness of this jelly is more like a thick sauce rather than a true jelly.  The cranberries have natural pectin which causes the mixture to thicken naturally.

*Crushed Red Pepper Flake: This is an optional ingredient, but it packs a nice little kick on the backend.  Make sure you add it at the end and not in the high-speed blender as crushed red pepper flake can get bitter if crushed further in a high-speed blender.

*Servings:  Makes approx. 3 cups.

*Storage: Refrigerate and use within 7 days.