Herb Jelly

Herb Jelly
Herb Jelly

Herb jelly? Yup, herb jelly. It actually is what you think it is.

Before we jump into what it is, let’s discover what we can use it for:

  • Add to meat marinades
  • Add to stir fries for extra sweetness and flavour
  • Add to salad dressings, sauces or dips
  • Add on top of cracker and cheese snacks
  • I love to make a dressing using 3 parts oil to one part jelly

First, let’s define jelly, as opposed to jam.

In North America:

jelly refers exclusively to a clear or translucent fruit spread made from sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice—thus differing from jam by excluding the fruit’s flesh… Source: Wikipedia

So, it is normally the extracted juice of fruit or vegetables that have pectin added to produce the jelly.

For herbs, we go about the process a little differently. We infuse a liquid (water, wine is good too) with flavour (herbs). Then we add pectin.

The beauty of making a jelly is that it is another great option for preserving the abundant harvest at the end of summer. It is also an awesome gifts to make for friends and family. Hint: Christmas is coming.

Dry and Liquid Pectin
Dry and Liquid Pectin

A Note on Pectin

There are two main pectin forms – dry and liquid. These are NOT interchangeable WITHIN a recipe.

By this I mean that you can use either one, but they must be used within a recipe differently.

Whenever dry pectin powder is in a recipe, it is used at the beginning. It is usually added even before the sugar component. This allows the pectin the chance to rehydrate.

Liquid pectin is added at the very end of the recipe. This is because it is already hydrated. If liquid pectin is added at the beginning, it will end up over cooked and will not set.

So, let’s say you have liquid pectin but the recipe calls for an envelope of dry… Simply add the liquid pectin after adding and dissolving the sugar.

So, let’s say you have dry pectin but the recipe calls for liquid pectin … Simply add the dry pectin at the beginning of the recipe – usually the initial cooking just before adding the sugar. The time it takes to dissolve the sugar and bring the contents to a boil will be enough to rehydrate the pectin.

Herb Jelly

Servings Prep Time Cook Time
5 Jars

(250 ml or 1/2 pint)

15 minutes 60 minutes


Recipe Notes

  • Use this technique with other herbs or combinations
  • You can make garlic jelly by using chopped garlic. Cook and steep it as per the recipe. You can then strain out the garlic or leave it in the jelly.


  • 4 Cups (1 L) Water
  • 2 Cups (500 ml) Herbs chopped (I used dill here)


  • 1 Envelope Fruit Pectin powder
  • 3 Drops Green Food Colouring
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Butter (optional to reduce foaming)
  • 5 Cups (1 kg) Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar


Before preparing your jelly, get your canning jars ready.

  • Sterilize the jars in boiling water or the dishwasher with the “heated dry” setting.
  • Get the lids and rings ready by holding the lids in hot (not boiling) water. The lids do not need to be sterilized as they do not touch the food itself
  • Get the canning water bath ready by filling with water and getting it boiling.


  1. In a saucepan combine Water and Chopped Herbs over high heat
  2. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 10 minutes
  3. Remove pot from heat and let sit to steep for 10 minutes
  4. Once steeped, strain out herbs. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  5. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to liquid
  6. Measure the liquid. It should measure 3 2/3 Cups (918 ml). If it doesn’t, add extra water to reach that amount.
  7. Return to stove and add Pectin and Food Colouring
  8. Bring mixture to a boil
  9. Add Sugar and stir while it dissolves and comes to a full boil
  10. Once mixture is boiling, set timer for one minute. Remove from heat after boiling for one minute.
  11. Pour into jars and leave 1/2 inch headspace
  12. Add lids and rings (tighten rings finger-tight. Do not over tighten) and place in water bath pot
  13. Bring to a full boil and then set timer for 15 minutes
  14. Once timer goes, remove pot from heat and let sit for 5 more minutes in the water bath
  15. Remove jars from water bath and let sit for 24 hours. Jar lids will pop to signify the vacuum seal of each jar. If any jar lids do not pop and seal, place them in the fridge and use first.
  16. Remove rings and place jars in pantry for up to one year. I remove the rings so that a broken seal becomes obvious. If you are concerned that a jar is not sealed properly, do not use the contents. When in doubt, throw it out.

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