Cowboy candy | open jar of candied jalapenos

The Best Homemade Cowboy Candy Recipe

Cowboy candy is one of our favorite recipes. Sweet, spicy, and yummy candied jalapeno ring is way too simple to enjoy on almost anything.

We were not so sure when our Facebook friends told us that we had to try cowboy candy, but we had an overabundance of jalapenos and decided to give it a try. Cowboy candy is candied jalapenos for those that do not know. This particular recipe makes two pints or four half-pints so we decided to just do that and that would probably be enough for us. Well once they were done we decided to have pizza one night.  I thought about those candied jalapenos in the pantry and grab them and hand them to Cheyenne who was making the pizza. She shrugged and started to put them here and there.  When the pizza came out of the oven and we had our first bite, we just looked at one another stunned. Sweet and spicy this delicious cowboy candy made the pizza just magic!

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Cowboy Candy | Mason jar with candied jalapenos in it

What do you do with cowboy candy?

You can use cowboy candy anywhere you would put a pickled jalapeno really. In your favorite bean dish. Use it in cornbread. Us them on nachos. Put them on pizza. Serve them on crackers. Eat them with a fork. 

Can you use frozen jalapenos for cowboy candy?

I wouldn’t. I would use fresh so they won’t be too mushy.

How long do jarred candied jalapenos last in the refrigerator?

They will last about three or four months in the refrigerator.

What you will need for Cowboy Candy

Makes 2 pints of Cowboy Candy

Cowboy Candy Recipe For Canning

Directions for making cowboy candy

  • In a stockpot place your pint jars and fill with water and then fill the pot around them. Turn on and the heat and let the jars temper. This way they will not be shocked by going from cold to hot when you put them in the canner.
  • In a small pan place your canning jar flat list and turn on to heat. Do not boil, just heat. They say you don’t have to do this anymore but I like to still do it and find it makes a greater success for my canning (the jars seal better I think).
  • In your water bath canner place water that will cover your jars by one to two inches.  Start heating it.
  • Grab a couple of old towels and fold them and set them on the counter. This will protect the surface of your counter from the heat from your jars. The jar liquid will be boiling when you remove it from the water bath canner so this is necessary for protection for that and for your jars so they won’t be shocked from the cooler surface and break.
  • Grab a clean lint-free cloth for wiping the rim of your filled jars.
  • Grab a clean washcloth and fold it into quarters and put it where you plan to pack your jars with jalapenos. You will set your hot jar on it.
  • Grab your debubbler and sit it by the washcloth
  • Grab your ladle and set it near the washcloth.
  • Bring the trivet also in this area so your syrup will be easy to ladle into your hot jars.
  • Using a cutting board and wearing a pair of rubber gloves cut off the stem end of your jalapenos.
  • Cut the jalapenos into 1/4 inch slices and set them aside. 
  • In a medium-sized pot add the apple cider vinegar, raw sugar (or your choice of sugar), garlic, turmeric, and celery seed.
  • Bring the syrup to a boil
  • Reduce the heat of your syrup to medium. Simmer for five minutes.
  • Raise the heat of the syrup back up to medium/high 
  • Once the syrup is boiling, add your jalapeno peppers to the syrup and stir.
  • Return the syrup to a boil stirring constantly
  • Reduce the heat to medium/low
  • Simmer the jalapeno peppers for four minutes
  • Grab the mouth a hot jar out of the simmering water with your jar grabber tongs. Carefully lift the jar up and tilt being careful not to be burned by the steam or to pour the hot water on your hand and arm.  Pour all of the water out of the jar and carry it with the tongs to your folded washcloth.
  • Take your canning jar funnel and place it in the mouth of your jar
  • Move your pan with jalapenos and syrup over to your trivet on the counter. 
  • Using a large spoon with holes in it remove the jalapenos from the syrup and place them in the hot jar. 
  • Use a ladle and ladle the syrup over the jalapeno peppers. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace between the jalapenos and syrup and the top of the jar
  • Using a lint-free cloth or damp clean paper towel, wipe the rims of the jars off
  • Place a clean new lid on the jar and put a canning jar ring on top and tighten until just finger tight.
  • Do not overtighten because it will make the jars hard to seal, too loose and the jar lid will come off. 
  • Using the jar tightening tongs lift the jar off of the washcloth and gently place the jar in the canner on the jar rack.  I like to hold the bottom of the jar with a hot pan holder with my other hand to support it so I don’t lose it on the way over.
  • Move on to the second jar and do all the same things. Place the canning jar inside the water bath canner and return the water to a boil. Begin to time the cowboy candy when the water starts to boil. 
  • Process 10 minutes for half-pints and 15 minutes for pints
  • When the timer goes off, remove the jars using the jar grabber tongs and a hot pan holder remove your cowboy candy jars to the folded towels on the counter or table top. 
  • Let cool for 24 hours
  • When the cowboy candy is cool, label with what is in the jar and the date they were made
  • This will last for over a year.


How do I serve candied jalapenos?

Cowboy candy is delicious with

  • a big bowl of pinto beans
  • diced and baked into cornbread
  • served on your favorite pizza
  • on top of nachos 
  • eat them on your favorite sandwich
  • put them on your baked potato
  • put them in pasta salads


Want more food preservation recipes like candied jalapenos? Try these!


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