Recipe Spotlight

Sweet! Spicy! Tangy! Candied Jalapeños Hit Every Pleasure Point

That perfect sweet-hot combination is yours for the taking.

Published Sept. 28, 2022.

I sometimes like to think of myself as the Simon Cowell of my own kitchen: I’m always looking for the next Big Thing that is delicious, versatile, and easy to whip up on a weeknight. 

And right now, my Big Thing is candied jalapeños.

Sign up for the Cook's Country Dinner Tonight newsletter

10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

Like One Direction, these little beauties will have you fanning your face and will set your pulse racing. Not only do they have that je ne sais quoi of true stardom, they’re easy to make, last in your fridge, and give pretty much anything you can think of that extra pop (star) of flavor.

And while they also have those Brad Pitt-esque good looks thanks to the mesmerizing combination of emerald green and ruby red, they’re supermarket-friendly too: If you can't find red jalapeños, you can substitute Fresno chiles or simply use twice the amount of green jalapeños.

I enjoy my candied jalapeños on a bagel with cream cheese; as a topping for nachos or tacos; chopped up and mixed with mayo for sandwiches; mixed into egg, tuna, or potato salad; or for the more daring dessert-lover, as a sweet-hot topping for ice cream.

Just trust me.

Candied Jalapeños

Serves: 12 (Makes about 1 cup)

Time: 20 minutes, plus 5 hours cooling and chilling

  • 4 green jalapeño chiles, stemmed and sliced ¼ inch thick (about 1 cup)
  • 4 red jalapeño chiles, stemmed and sliced ¼ inch thick (about 1 cup)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)

  1. Combine all ingredients (including turmeric, if using) in small saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until jalapeños just soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. Using fork or tongs, transfer jalapeños to 8-ounce jar. Pour syrup over jalapeños to fill jar, leaving ½ inch headspace. Affix jar lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. (Candied jalapeños can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.)

This is a members' feature.