Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot) Pickled Peppers

Sweet & Hot Pickled Jalapenos - easy and no processing needed!

I love summer when the living is easy…gardening, grilling and maybe even a little light canning. I’m not about putting up quarts of tomatoes (although you should see how many plants we put in, lol!) but I do tinker with small batches of something special. Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers fit the bill & bonus…they go right in the fridge and don’t have to be “processed.”

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

When we ran out of pickled jalapenos, I thought I’d make my own. See, I’d just been to Aldi where they sell a dozen jalapenos in a package. I needed two – and I was going to do what I usually do – roast and freeze the rest for salsa later – and that was when I had my “aha” moment.

Pickle those suckahs!! Why not? Well, I didn’t have a recipe, that’s why. In my search for pickled jalapenos, I came across “Cowboy Candy” or Sweet & Hot Jalapenos.

And so again, my food ADD (make this, no make that, well, maybe I’ll pin it and three hours later…I have no food for dinner but pinned like 7 gazillion recipes) came out and before you know it, I was venturing into uncharted territory with this “Cowboy Candy.”

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy – who knew, lol! These sweet, hot peppers are insanely good, especially on crackers with a little cream cheese to tame the heat. I’m sure they’ll be just as good used any way you’d plain old pickled jalapenos like my Refrigerator Pickled Jalapenos. If you’re wondering if Cowboy Candy is worth making – take a gander at the prices on Amazon.

Because I just used 10 jalapenos but wanted them submerged in the liquid while they simmered, I ended up with about 1/2 cup or so of the liquid that didn’t fit in the 12-ounce jar. I had thought I might add it to the popsicles I was making (is that crazy?) but the liquid was blow your mind hot hot hot…I put it in a little bottle & plan on using it like hot sauce.

There seems to be some question on whether to keep the seeds in or take them out – I found most of the seeds fell out and sunk to the bottom of the liquid. If you don’t want the seeds, just strain them out after the peppers are boiled. Easy peasy.

So how about you? Are you familiar Cowboy Candy? What do you put yours on?

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers

Cowboy Candy

  • Servings: 12 oz jar
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Notes: This is a “refrigerator” not a “canned” Candied Jalapeno, and hasn’t been tested for canning. The longer these sit (a week is good, longer is better) the better it gets.

  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 pounds fresh green jalapeños, washed and sliced into 1/4 to 3/8th inch rings
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into a small dice

In a small, deep saucepan, add sugar and vinegar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

Standing back (so as not to inhale the fumes) add the peppers and bring back to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and stir now and then, cooking for about 4 minutes, or until peppers have lost their bright green color.

Remove from heat and with a slotted spoon, place the peppers in a very clean 12 ounce jar.

If desired, strain the seeds from the syrup and discard. Return the syrup to the heat and bring back to a boil for five minutes. Pour hot liquid over the jalapenos. The jalapenos will float at first, but after a few hours will distribute throughout the jar.

Let cool to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator. Any leftover syrup (and there will be some) can be saved for another use.


I’ll be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.


Cowboy Candy Sweet Hot Pickled Peppers are like pickled jalapenos x infinity. Killer hot but tempered by a little sweet, use as a condiment or in a dish! They're a great backyard barbecue or gameday app topping cream cheese spread crackers. Small Batch, refrigerator pickles. #CowboyCandy #GameDayAppetizer #PickledJalapenos


36 thoughts on “Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot) Pickled Peppers

  1. Desiree Lee Hertzog

    I made these using differnt types of ghost, habaneros and hungarian hot peppers , they came out beautiful very very hot but ghost carolina reapers and scorpian peppers are the hottest in the world still so delicious!!! I also canned them as I made A LOT of them and had no issue with canning them 3 months later and still good

  2. Marguerite Nutter

    I mix cowboy candy into the filling for my deviled eggs and then top with bacon….. how can jalapenos and bacon ever go wrong?

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Lori I personally have not but other people have told me they have used a mix of different peppers. Just be aware of your heat level


  3. just Bob

    Suggestion: Add a piece of hot smoked salmon to that cracker with creamed cheese and cowboy candy . Just had some yesterday. Amazing!!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh my goodness Bob that sounds like an amazing combo thanks for filling us in on this treat! Mollie

  4. Linda Moore

    Hi, Cowboy candy sounds delicious!!!! My daughter makes a sauce with pineapple, Jalapenos, and sugar. It is to die for!!!!! So, I’m betting this is just as good. I do have a question though. Have you ever made the recipe cut in half? I am single. So. I really would like to make less.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Highlander you can definitely cut it back you just have to make sure you have enough syrup to cover the jalapenos.. Your daughter saw songs absolutely amazing!! Mollie

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Cindy, thanks!! My son in law just bought some, and they were a pale comparison to these!! I’m glad you guys are enjoying them and thanks for taking the time to comment!


  5. Pingback: Cowboy Candy (Sweet & Hot) Pickled Peppers | My Meals are on Wheels

      • Mallory

        Just tried this!!! Our jalapeno plant hasn’t been as insane ad out Serrano and cayenne this year so I’m trying a mix of green and red Serrano, a few jalapeno, a good few red cayenne, and some tiny lunchbox. We have too many peppers and this smells HOT so I’m sure it will last us a good long while. Thank you!!!

        • FrugalHausfrau

          My jalapenos just did not produce well this year either, and I just had to leave my garden (I moved from MN to GA) so I wonder how everything else is doing! I gave my neighbors free reign to help themselves. The habaneros were looking good, so I was very sad to leave them!

          I love your idea of mixing/matching multiple peppers and I bet it IS hot with that variety!

          • Mallory

            It was definitely quite hot and my fiance is now referring to the mix as Russian Roulette Cowboy Candy haha we still have about 4 dozen serrano and cayenne so I’ll be making more this weekend, they go great on tacos and everything you can imagine! Sorry to hear about you having to leave your garden behind, I’ve always been lucky to move later in the year after the harvests are over. Hope your new home allows for excellent garden space!

            • FrugalHausfrau

              That is SO funny! I suppose with the mix of peppers it’s a crapshoot, lol! I’m betting the longer they sit the more they will absorb each others flavors (and heat!). You’ve inspired me to try a fun mix next time I make these!!

              I’m moving to be near my daughter. She says she’s already found and talked to some members of a garden club for me and found several community gardens. I had to laugh…I feel she’s “signing” me up for activities like she signs up the kids for after school functions, lol! Georgia will be a much longer growing season and I pulled a bunch of herbs to bring along with me and plant here…I just can’t live w/o my herbs!

              Take care, hon!!


  6. I’m still thinking about jalapeno popsicles!! You are so inventive Mollie!! But these do look great with most any bar-b-que meat. And– I heard they are building an Aldi about a mile from our house!! So excited had Aldi when we lived in Spain, but I’ve only heard other people refer to them here. What do you buy there?? OK, that’s all. Hugs from here Mollie!

    • Hi Rhonda – I was only going to put a teensy bit in the ones I was making! 🙂 They just put an Aldi in near my folk’s house last year and it was strange because it was the saddest little thing – I don’t know if there was a distribution problem or what – but now they’re up and running full speed. I buy a LOT of vegetables, some of the basics like flour, etc. and they always seem to have fun little cheeses but you never know what they’ll have. Eggs, milk and cream and bread are always cheap. I really love that they’re so small you can just cruise around and be in and out, but there are some things I end up picking up at the regular grocery store. Hugs back to you!

      • Hey Mollie– well, I can’t wait til they put in our Aldi (under construction now!). I’m hoping they have most of what we need–I don’t like funning around to multiple stores for groceries– I already make side trips to our Trader Joe’s for the unique things they have. Glad to have your valued evaluation! Are you still at your folks?? hugs from here!

    • Sunday

      I bought my jalapeños there yesterday. Meat, fresh vegetables and fruits bread, candy, pop, wine, beer. I love Aldi.

      • FrugalHausfrau

        Hi, and sorry to reply late…I’m in GA and there are two aldi that are both about 5 miles away! I just don’t shop there as often…I am really missing them though! Are you on the Aldi FB page? I love it!

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