Candied jalapenos, also known as "cowboy candy"

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeno Peppers)

Have you tried this addicting recipe that is floating around the internet? If you haven’t, your life is about to be changed.

What is Cowboy Candy?

Cowboy Candy, also known as candied jalapeno peppers, is a condiment. Spicy jalapeno peppers are cooked down and combined with a sweet syrup, giving it its iconic sweet and spicy combo that everyone loves. The additions of apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, and tumeric gives it a bit of depth and zing, making this an enticing addition to hamburgers, pizza, nachos, poutine, and anything else your heart desires!

How Do You Preserve Candied Jalapeno Peppers?

This recipe is super simple – just place into glass mason jars and refrigerate! When stored correctly, these can last a couple of months in the fridge, though we doubt they will last half as long because they are just so tasty!

Other versions of this recipe involve water bath canning. When done properly, it can be shelf stable for up to a year. This recipe was written for fridge preservation – waterbath canning has not been tested with this specific combination of ingredients.

How Do You Eat Cowboy Candy?

Cowboy candy is best eaten as a condiment. The sweet and spicy combination goes so well with many different types of foods.

Some suggestions:

  • Hamburgers
  • Poutine
  • Pizza
  • Mixed with cream cheese and served with crackers
  • Hot dogs
  • Macaroni salads
  • Potato salads
  • Sandwiches
Candied jalapenos, also known as "cowboy candy"

Candied Jalapenos (Cowboy Candy)

Sweet and spicy candied jalapeno peppers! Made without canning equipment (just glass jars and lids!) Super easy and tastes delicious on burgers, nachos, and poutine.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time in Fridge 14 days
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 1 large pot
  • 1 pair of disposable gloves a plastic sandwich baggy works in a pinch!
  • 2 glass mason jars pint size, or about 500mL each


  • 2 pounds jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups white sugar (can reduce to 2 cups if preferred)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground tumeric


  • Wash and dry jalapeno peppers. Wear gloves and slice all the peppers into rings, discarding the stems. For less spice, also discard the seeds and white pith inside the peppers. Rings should be about 1/4" to 1/2" inch thick.
  • In a large pot, add vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, and tumeric. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. It may get bubbly/foamy – this means it is too hot, so turn down the heat.
  • After 5 minutes, raise the heat up to high and add the peppers. Once this starts boiling, turn it back down to a simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove peppers and place into glass jars. Keep the syrup in the pot.
  • Bring the syrup to a rolling boil and let that go for 5-10 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the syrup into each jar. Wipe the rims with a damp cloth and put on some lids.
  • Refrigerate for about 2 weeks. Product can be enjoyed for a couple of months when stored correctly in the fridge.


  • This recipe makes enough for about 2 mason jars (500mL each). Glass jars are recommended due to the addition of very hot ingredients directly into the containers.
  • Cowboy Candy is often canned using a waterbath method. I have not tried this, but there are many recipes online that can guide you in how to do this. I have a glasstop stove so I am not canning food at this point. 
  • Gloves are recommended. For this amount of peppers, even after washing your hands the compounds of the peppers can soak into your skin and remain there for awhile. To be safe, use gloves. If you do not have disposable food-grade gloves, a plastic sandwich baggy can do the trick in a pinch, although it is a bit awkward to work with. Better safe than sorry!
  • Due to the varying heat levels from pepper to pepper, it is hard to predict how spicy the batch will turn out. I think this recipe would work well for other types of peppers as well, but I have not tried it. 
Keyword jalapeno

Do you LOVE Cowboy Candy?

Please let us know if you have tried this recipe! What is your favourite way to eat Cowboy Candy? Let us know in the comments below!

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