Cowboy Candy | Candied Jalapeño Peppers

jars of cowboy candy

This is my work in progress as I try differences in spices, with/without salt, and sugar/vinegar/water(if any) ratios to see what I like best. Once it’s no longer a work in progress, this page will no longer have the text you are reading.

The recipe below will give you an idea of what I’m trying but this is in no way finished. Once it is I’ll update here with results and remove this info.

I compared a lot of variations of the ingredients for Cowboy Candy and tried a number of variations to decided what I like best. I also wanted a recipe that will have extra jalapeno flavored juice that I can add to say a BBQ sauce or use for basting when grilling or whatever else I can come up with.

I tried with and without salt. I can’t tell any difference with or without salt so I’m not adding any salt.

This recipe should make about 2 pints (or 4 half pints).

Cowboy Candy | Candied Jalapeño Peppers

There's are good by themselves but I'm sure with some imagination you can find lots of uses for them beyond just putting them on a cracker with some cream cheese.
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cowboy candy, jalapeno poppers


  • 1 pound Jalapeño peppers (about 10 or 12 Jalapenos)
  • 3 cup sugar some use 2 cups
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


  • Wash jalapenos and cut the top/stem off. If you want you can core them and tap them on a cutting board a few times to remove some seeds to reduce the heat a little.
    Consider using food safe gloves when handling the jalapenos.
  • Cut jalapenos into rounds about 1/4" thick.
  • Put sugar, vinegar, and spices in a pot large enough to hold them AND the jalapenos and bring to a boil.
  • Put the jalapenos in the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes. The color of the jalapenos will change to a yellow green.

Not canning?

  • Fill your jars with jalapenos and enough liquid to cover them, let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

How to can cowboy candy

  • These directions assuming you have canned before and are general directions and not a how to can guide.
    If you are going to can cowboy candy you should have clean sterilized jars and lids ready in advance.
  • Ladle jalapenos and enough liquid to cover them into canning jars leaving a 1/4" headspace.
  • Clean rims of jars and put lids on.
  • Water bath for 10 minutes and you are done.