Rhubarb Habanero Jelly

So, I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while. But, now that I’ve had the chance to enjoy the Rhubarb Habanero Jelly, I can honestly say it’s incredible, and if you have some rhubarb lying around, you should consider making this!

Jar of rhubarb habanero jelly near a pepper plant

An idea is born.

The idea and basic recipe were given to me by my friend Doug. You might remember his Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul.

I made a few minor adjustments, like cutting the recipe in half and adding the red onion and bell pepper. I really just added the onion and bell peppers as decoration. It looks so pretty with all the flecks of colour.

If you want a fleck free jelly, you could omit the onion and bell pepper all together. You would then cook the habanero with the rhubarb and strain it all out. It’s important to note that it’s ok to play with the amount of onion and bell peppers but do not adjust the amount of sugar, water, or vinegar.

I had to sit on the finished product for a while because I wanted to make sure the heat from the habanero would mellow out. Because let me tell you, it had some heat when it was first cooked. Now it’s perfectly amazing! Thanks, Doug!


All good things begin with rhubarb.

I’m a rhubarb lover! So, when Doug sent me this recipe, I was all over it! You see, he knows I love rhubarb, and he loves it too. Just ask him about my recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Gin. There is just something about the colour of rhubarb! It’s just so pretty! And the taste, well, let me just tell you that it’s not just for pie.

2 jars of rhubarb habanero jelly

But how would you use it?

Who doesn’t love an elegant cheese tray? Habanero Rhubarb Jelly is the perfect addition! It looks so pretty in a cute little dish, and the cheese is an ideal way to mellow out the heat.

For a quick appetizer, you could spread the jelly over some cream cheese. It’s so simple yet unbelievably tasty!

I’ve also used it to make my jalapeno poppers (recipe to come). It really ups the heat level on these, so it’s not for the faint of heart!

The possibilities are endless! I haven’t tried it on a sandwich yet, but I think it would work well with chicken or turkey.

The Star ingredients.

It probably goes without saying, but you’ll need some rhubarb. I’m lucky enough to have some beautiful pink rhubarb in the garden. If you can find the pink, use it. It gives this jelly such a lovely colour.

Next up, find some habaneros. That might sound easy for most of you, but I had to go to five stores to find some—the joys of living in the north. I ended up finding them in Walmart of all places.

When it comes to gelatin, I ended up using the liquid for the very first time. Wow! I was surprised by how it turned out! I’ve been making pepper jelly for years. I’ve never had a jelly turn out so well. I may start using it all the time now. I find the powder to be temperamental with a mind of its own. But the liquid has set wonderfully every time!

Sugar! Yup, so much sugar. Just remember, you are only consuming a little jelly when you have it, and you probably won’t be eating it every day. But hey, if you do, I’m cool with that! I don’t judge!

Wear gloves when you play with peppers!

Why do I have to remind you? Well, because I have to remind myself! I get lazy and think, oh, it’s only one pepper… Oh, I’ll wash my hands really well.

I remember gloves most of the time. But every time I forget, I guarantee my fingers find their way to my eyes, and I’m given a harsh reminder!

Rhubarb habanero Jelly cooking

It looks complicated!

It’s not! Let me explain a couple things that people get stuck on.

You will require 375 ml of the juice you get from boiling the water and the rhubarb. If you end up with way too much, put it back on the stove and boil it to reduce a bit longer. Don’t have enough? It reduced too far. Just add a bit more water. No problem!

When the recipe talks about a boil that you can’t stir down, that’s precisely what it means. A light boil will stop when you stir it. A nice rolling boil will not! That’s what you want for this recipe, a nice rolling boil that won’t stir down.

Jelly in the spoon

 Safety First

As always, when canning, you should make sure your cooking area is as clean as possible. Follow all the rules on the government website for safe canning. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/home-canning-safety.html

sterilizing jars

Now let’s get to it!

This is what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups rhubarb
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 1 pouch of liquid pectin
  • 1/3 cup plus a teaspoon of white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup each red onion, red bell pepper, and habanero pepper finely diced
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 heavy pot
  • 6- 250 ml jars or 12- 125 ml jars (or a combination of both) with snap lids
hot water bath
Hot water bath.

Rhubarb Habanero Jelly

Prep time


Cooking time



5 or 6

A beautiful addition to an elegant cheese tray. This lovely jelly is a little tart, a little sweet, and a little spicy! It’s a sure way to impress your guests.


  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped.

  • 1 2/3 cups water.

  • 1 pouch liquid pectin

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped.

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped.

  • 1/4 cup habanero pepper, finely chopped.

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar.


  • Combine rhubarb and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. (about 20 minutes)
  • Strain the rhubarb and water mixture. you will need 375 ml of this juice for the next step. See notes if you don’t have this amount. (discard rhubarb)
  • In the pot combine 375 ml rhubarb juice, vinegar, red onion, red bell pepper, habanero pepper and sugar.
  • Bring to a boil that you can’t stir down.
  • Stir in the liquid pectin and bring to a boil that you can’t stir down. Be sure to use every drop of pectin! Continue to boil 1 minute longer.
  • Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Be sure to wipe down the rim before placing the snap lid.
  • Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and let rest for 24 hours. If any lids have not sealed properly, store the jars in the fridge and use them immediately.


  • Rhubarb juice- if you have too much liquid, once you strain the rhubarb, return the liquid to the pot and reduce it longer. However, if you don’t have enough, add more water to bring it to 375 ml.
  • I usually fill 5 or 6- 250 ml. jars. But I always have an extra jar ready in case it’s required.

Are you new to canning and need supplies to get started? Here is what I suggest buying.


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  1. My jelly has come out quite runny. I used a little over 4 cups of rhubarb and had exactly 375 ml. Boiled pectin as described. Recipe made about 4.5 cups jelly. Tastes great but consistency has left something to be desired.

  2. The jelly doesn’t set even when pectin is doubled

  3. Allison J

    Throughout the recipe I kept thinking I must be doing something wrong, reading incorrectly, measuring things wrong. I didn’t even come close to a yield of 6 x 250ml jars. I got just under 5 x 236ml jars. I made myself crazy double checking measurements and rereading and I made no mistakes in measurements.
    I also had another problem of it not setting.

    • I find the size of the rhubarb stalk can really change the “real” amount of rhubarb when we are measuring. When the stalks are large, we can’t fit as much into our measuring container. Perhaps we should measure by weight.

      Not using enough rhubarb would decrease the natural pectin as well and that may explain why the jelly isn’t setting.

      I’m going to change the amount of rhubarb in the recipe to help ensure a proper set.

  4. It was still runny. We are going to try heating it again and adding more pectin.. maybe we boiled too much with the pectin.. I’m assuming that liquid pectin comes in only 1 size pouch? It tastes amazing though! I thought it would be great drizzled over icecream too 😋

    • Ice Cream?? What a great idea! It’s great mixed into cream cheese and served with crackers as a snack as well!
      Did you add more pectin? How did it turn out?

      One way to increase the pectin naturally would be to add another cup of rhubarb and be sure to boil it until the rhubarb is falling apart.

  5. Is there only one size pouch for liquid pectin? And how long does it take for the jelly to set? We made a batch about 5 hours ago and it is not very jelly like.

    • Hi Angela, how was it after 24 hours? Did you reduce the amount of liquid down to 375 mls and did you boil it with the pectin for the correct time? Pectin is a funny thing. Sometimes it just doesn’t do what we want.

      It will still taste amazing! Mix it with some cream cheese and serve with crackers! Yumm!!


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