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August 25, 2023 4 min read

Whether you're spreading it on toast or using it as a glaze, pepper jelly provides an irresistible blend of sweet and spicy flavors. This unique condiment adds a gourmet touch to your everyday meals. However, as with any food item, it’s essential to consider the nutritional components behind the delicious taste. Let’s delve into the nutritional profile of pepper jelly.

What Makes Up Pepper Jelly?

At its most basic, pepper jelly consists of peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin. Each of these components contributes to the overall nutritional makeup of the jelly.


The primary ingredient in pepper jelly is, unsurprisingly, peppers. These can range from sweet bell peppers to spicy jalapenos or even hotter varieties. Peppers are a low-calorie food rich in vitamins, primarily Vitamin A and C.

Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune function, and cellular communication. On the other hand, Vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties, plays a vital role in maintaining skin integrity, immune function, and wound healing. Furthermore, peppers offer a modest amount of Vitamin E, Vitamin K1, Vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.


Sugar provides the sweetness that contrasts beautifully with the heat from the peppers. It's also responsible for most of the caloric content of the jelly. A single tablespoon of pepper jelly contains around 13 grams of sugar, contributing to approximately 50 calories.


Vinegar is a significant component in pepper jelly, contributing to its characteristic tang. While vinegar itself is low in calories and does not significantly affect the jelly's overall calorie content, it does offer potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that vinegar can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve heart health.


Pectin is a natural fiber found in fruits, and it’s used in jelly and jam production for its gelling properties. While it does not contribute significantly to the caloric content, it does provide a small amount of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is integral to digestive health and may also aid in weight management and maintaining heart health.

Click here for detailed information of the Health Benefits of Pepper Jelly.

Pepper Jelly Nutritional Label

Delving Deeper: Nutritional Analysis

While the basic components offer an overview of pepper jelly’s nutritional content, it’s essential to delve deeper.

Caloric Content and Serving Size

The serving size for pepper jelly is typically one tablespoon. This serving size carries approximately 50 calories, almost all of which come from sugars. If you’re watching your calorie intake, remember to consider this in the context of your overall daily consumption.

Sugar and Carbohydrates

As a preserve, pepper jelly has a high sugar content, accounting for the majority of its carbohydrates. The sugar content can vary among brands and homemade recipes, but on average, one tablespoon contains about 13 grams of sugar. For individuals watching their sugar intake, especially those with diabetes, it's important to consume pepper jelly in moderation.

Vitamins and Minerals

Pepper jelly isn't a significant source of vitamins and minerals, but it does contain some due to the presence of peppers. Peppers are rich in vitamins A and C, and these nutrients will carry over into the jelly, albeit in much smaller amounts after processing.

Dietary Fiber

Though pepper jelly isn’t a major source of dietary fiber, the pectin does contribute a small amount. Dietary fiber can help maintain bowel health, control blood sugar levels, and assist in achieving healthy weight.

Pepper Jelly in Your Diet

Pepper jelly, with its blend of sweetness and heat, makes a great addition to various dishes. However, due to its high sugar content, it's best enjoyed in moderation. Whether you're using it as a glaze for meat, a dressing for salads, or a spread for bread, pepper jelly can enhance the flavor profile of your dishes.

Although it is a condiment, its high sugar content suggests it should be treated as an occasional indulgence rather than a staple food. As part of a balanced diet, it can be enjoyed in small amounts without causing significant nutritional imbalances.

For those who want to enjoy pepper jelly while reducing sugar intake, there are low-sugar or sugar-free options available. These versions use sweeteners like stevia or erythritol to provide the sweetness without adding calories or affecting blood sugar levels.

Moreover, remember that pepper jelly is incredibly versatile. It can be used with sweet or savory foods, paired with cheeses, spread on sandwiches, or even used as a base for a tangy salad dressing. This versatility makes it easy to include in your diet in ways that suit your preferences and dietary needs.


In summary, pepper jelly offers a unique combination of sweet and spicy flavors, making it a delightful addition to a variety of dishes. Its primary ingredients are peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin, each of which contributes to its nutritional content.

Although it’s not a significant source of vitamins, minerals, or fiber, it does provide a small amount of these nutrients. However, its high sugar content means it should be enjoyed in moderation, especially for those watching their calorie or sugar intake.

By understanding the nutritional composition of pepper jelly, you can make informed decisions about how to include it in your diet. Whether you enjoy it as an occasional treat or find a low-sugar version that fits into your daily meal plan, pepper jelly can provide a dash of gourmet flavor to your culinary creations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I enjoy pepper jelly if I'm trying to lose weight?

A: Pepper jelly can be included in a weight-loss diet, but it should be consumed in moderation due to its high sugar content.

Q: Are there healthier versions of pepper jelly?

A: Yes, there are low-sugar and sugar-free pepper jellies available. These options can be a healthier alternative for those looking to reduce their sugar intake.

Q: Is pepper jelly suitable for vegans?

A: Yes, pepper jelly is typically vegan. However, it's always a good idea to check the label for specific brand information.

Q: Does pepper jelly have any health benefits?

A: Pepper jelly provides some vitamins A and C, along with a small amount of dietary fiber from pectin. However, it's not a significant source of nutrients and is best enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.

Pepper jelly is a unique and flavorful condiment that can add a sweet and spicy kick to a variety of dishes. Understanding its nutritional profile can help you enjoy it as part of a balanced and mindful eating plan.