Preserving Your Jalapeno Harvest: Cowboy Candy

Preserving Your Jalapeno Harvest: Cowboy Candy

What do you do with too many jalapenos?

Has your garden exploded with summer vegetables?  Sometimes we can't eat our fresh harvest fast enough!  It's always a good idea to take the time to preserve your extras so you will have plenty in the winter.  And what a great way to keep the flavors of summer going even through those cold, barren months!

Out here, we try to preserve as much as possible.  I hate wasting food, so we eat what we can, sell the excess, store enough for the winter, and if anything is truly "bad", we throw it out to the chickens or the compost pile.

Jalapenos are typically something you use to "add" to your recipe to give it a kick of flavor and that spicy taste.  We like to keep a supply of dried or canned peppers, but our absolute favorite way to use jalapenos is by making Cowboy Candy.

We love that combination of sweet and hot flavor!

Our family adds these candied jalapenos, or cowboy candy, to hot dogs, sausage dishes, on top of beans, added to nachos, chili, or throw them on a salad or baked potato! 

Seriously, the ideas can go on and on...


Want to know how to make your own?

With this recipe, you can stick your jar of cowboy candy in the fridge, or you can water bath can them for your pantry shelf.

If you do decided to refrigerate them, I recommend storing them for up to a month, but no more than that.

To get the best flavor our of your Cowboy Candy, try to leave your canned and sealed jars alone for at least two weeks, but they'll be even better if you can let them sit for at least 2 months!  And sealed jars can be keep up to a year in your cool, dry, dark pantry shelf.

Cowboy Candy
or Candied Jalapenos


2 - 3 lbs Fresh Jalapenos
2 Cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Cups of Organic Sugar
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Celery Seed
4 tsp Powdered Garlic


Wash your Jalapenos in cool water and let them drain.

Cut off and discard the stems, and slice into 1/4" slices.  You want to make sure you discard any parts that are bad, scarred, or mushy.

Put the ACV, sugar, and spices into a pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  

While the syrup is heating, go ahead and fill your CLEAN jars with the sliced jalapenos, and pack down, without crushing your peppers.

Ladle syrup into jars, leaving a 1/2" head space.

Wipe the edges of your jars and then place a CLEAN lid and ring on jars, and finger tighten.

Place the jars into a boiling water bath canner, process (boil) half pints for 10 minutes and pints for 15 minutes.

Turn off the burner, let the canner sit for about 5 minutes and then remover your jars from the canner.  Let the jars sit on the counter for about 24 hours.

Before you put them on your cool, dry, dark pantry shelf, make sure all the lids have sealed.  Any that haven't sealed, store in your refrigerator.

*** This recipe should make approximately 7 pints ***


Let me know what you think!  Enjoy!


  • Mary Sue Butler

    They sound delicious, for people
    That can eat spicy food. I’m sure this is one dish they would love.

  • Sandra Collier

    I think I missed the recipe for the refrigerated Cowboy Candy..

    Do you seed the jalapenos? Can the recipe be reduced by half?

    Thanks, it sounds delicious!

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