Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot Pickled Peppers) Recipe

By Emma :

Everyday Culinary Delights👩‍🍳

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Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot Pickled Jalapeños) Recipe

Hello, wonderful food enthusiasts! Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to share a recipe that has become a fiery favorite in my kitchen – the incredible Cowboy Candy! If you haven’t heard about this before, you’re in for a real treat. Cowboy Candy, also known as sweet and hot pickled jalapeños, is a delightful mix of sweetness and heat that transforms ordinary jalapeños into something extraordinarily addictive.

From the moment I discovered this gem, I was hooked, and I’m sure you will be too! It’s one of those magical concoctions that brings joy to any dish it graces, be it a simple burger or your morning eggs.


To make this mouthwatering treat, you’ll need:

  • 1 pound fresh jalapeños, sliced
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for extra kick!)

How to Make Cowboy Candy

  1. Prepare the Jalapeños: Start by slicing your jalapeños into uniform rings. Remember, wearing gloves is a good idea unless you enjoy the surprise of spicy fingers hours later!
  2. Make the Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Cook the Jalapeños: Once the syrup is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add your sliced jalapeños to the syrup and simmer for another 4 minutes.
  4. Jar It Up: Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños into sterile jars. Then, pour the remaining boiling syrup over the peppers, filling to within 0.5 inches of the rim.
  5. Seal and Store: Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth, place the lids on, and tighten the bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

Helpful Tips

  • Sterilization is Key: Make sure your jars and lids are properly sterilized to prevent any bacteria from spoiling your Cowboy Candy.
  • Adjust the Heat: Not a fan of super spicy? Remove the seeds from your jalapeños for a milder version.


  • Try Different Peppers: While jalapeños are traditional, feel free to experiment with other types of peppers like serranos for more heat or even sweet mini bells for a milder concoction.
  • Sweeteners: If you prefer, you can substitute granulated sugar with honey or brown sugar for a deeper flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does Cowboy Candy last?
    • If processed and sealed properly, Cowboy Candy can last up to a year in your pantry. Once opened, refrigerate and try to use within 2 months.
  2. Can I use Cowboy Candy in recipes?
    • Absolutely! Chop it up and toss it into cornbread, sprinkle over tacos, or stir into cream cheese for a spicy dip.

Storage Instructions

Keep your sealed jars of Cowboy Candy in a cool, dark place like a pantry. Once opened, refrigerate and use within two months for best quality.

More Relevant Recipes

If you loved this zesty treat, here are a few more recipes to spice up your meals:

Cowboy Candy is an exciting way to preserve the vibrant flavor of jalapeños while adding a sweet twist that will surprise and delight. Give this recipe a try, and let your meals shine with a touch of sweet heat! Thank you for stopping by, and happy canning!

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Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot Pickled Jalapeños) Recipe

Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot Pickled Jalapeños) Recipe

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  • Author: Emma
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 jars


Dive into the vibrant world of pickling with this irresistible Cowboy Candy recipe! These sweet and spicy pickled jalapeños will jazz up any meal, adding a perfect balance of heat and sweetness that tantalizes the taste buds. Whether you’re a canning novice or a seasoned pro, this recipe promises to be a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire.


  • Fresh jalapeños, 1 pound, sliced
  • Granulated sugar, 2 cups
  • Apple cider vinegar, 1 cup
  • Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon (optional for an extra kick!)


  1. Prep the Peppers: Don your gloves and slice the jalapeños into even rings to ensure they pickle uniformly.
  2. Create the Syrup: In a saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Simmer the Slices: Add jalapeños to the syrup and let them simmer for about 4 minutes, softening slightly but still retaining some crunch.
  4. Jar and Process: Transfer the peppers into sterilized jars, pour over the hot syrup, and seal. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.



  • Glove Up: Handling jalapeños without gloves can lead to hours of stinging fingers!
  • Flavor Twist: Feel free to substitute apple cider vinegar with white vinegar for a sharper taste.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Preserves
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
  • Calories: 25
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 10 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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