Candied Jalapenos (Cowboy Candy)

You’ll be amazed at how simple these Candied Jalapenos are to make and they involve No Canning and use pickled jarred jalapenos!

Candied jalapenos are known in Texas as “Cowboy Candy”– and they go with nachos, fajitas or on a cracker with some cream cheese!

Because this recipe uses jarred pickled jalapenos, so there’s no slicing–no reason to wear gloves or worry about rubbing your eyes.


Candied jalapenos in a jar next to a red and white checkered napkin

I like to keep a jar of these homemade candied jalapenos in in the refrigerator for a quick snack or to go with some cream cheese on a cracker!

Why you’ll love this recipe!

  • Quick and easy – No Canning version of Cowboy Candy uses jarred, pickled jalapenos
  • Versatile – you can put these sweet candied peppers on tacos, tostadas, fajitas or eat them by themselves!
  • Not too hot – jarred jalapenos don’t have the heat fresh ones have, so you’ll feel comfortable serving this sweet peppery condiment to your friends who can’t take the heat!
  • All-natural and no preservatives – homemade Cowboy Candy has simple ingredients
  • Affordable – why spend $6-8 dollars for a jar when you can make it at home for half that?

Here’s what you’ll need:

What makes the jalapenos “candied” – basically a simple syrup with a little vinegar. Now how easy is that? 

A jar of pickled, sliced jalapenos, sugar, apple cider vinegar and water. BAM! That’s it!

Some folks put onions and other seasonings in their candied jalapenos, but I like to keep it simple! These are sweet, tangy and just a little spicy – they go great with barbecue, too!

Ingredients on counter with labels

How to make them:

Use a fork and pull out a cup’s worth of sliced peppers; place them in a sealable jar (any jar will do- it doesn’t have to be a “canning” jar)

Jalapenos in a measuring cup with a fork

In a saucepan, add water, sugar and apple cider vinegar; heat until sugar melts (this is basically a simple syrup with vinegar); Pour over pickled jalapenos and store in the fridge

Saucepan of simple syrup being poured over jarred jalapenos

For best results, make these about 3 days before you want to serve them; it takes a while for the peppers to absorb the sugar

Candied jalapenos in mason jar


These sweet pickled jalapenos go with just about everything!

  • If you’re feeling adventurous and want to “fancy-up” these quick and easy candied jalapenos, throw in some sliced red bell pepper or onion
  • Make a cream cheese dip: In a food processor, combine one block of cream cheese with 3-4 tablespoons of candied jalapenos; combine well and serve with crackers or warm flour tortillas
  • Serve with your favorite barbecue chicken, ribs or steak!

Three tostadas on white plate with lettuce, chicken and candied jalapenos

Let the candied jalapenos rest in the fridge for about three days then enjoy them on your favorite nachos, burritos, tostadas or enchiladas! 

These also go great with barbecue or on a barbecue sandwich! Serve these at your next outdoor picnic with hot dogs, burgers and brats!

Related recipes:

Candied jalapenos in a jar next to a red and white checkered napkin

Candied Jalapenos

Popular "Cowboy Candy" recipe using jarred, pickled jalapenos! No canning involved!
5 from 6 votes
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 1 cup jalapenos , pickled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • In a medium saucepan, heat water on medium heat
    1 cup water
  • Add sugar and apple cider vinegar
    1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Cook 3-5 minutes until sugar dissolves
  • Remove 1 cup of jarred pickled jalapenos and place in another jar or bowl
    1 cup jalapenos
  • Pour sugar mixture over jalapenos
  • Store in sealed jar in fridge for at least one hour


  • use pickled jalapenos; use a fork to pull the peppers out of the jar and place in a 2-cup jar
  • it's okay if a little of the pepper juice is still on the peppers

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1cupCalories: 783kcalCarbohydrates: 200gSodium: 16mgSugar: 200g
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