Wondering what to do with all that mint growing in your garden? Make mint jelly! This recipe is an easy mint jelly from scratch canning recipe that’ll give the more recognizable grocery store condiment. Mint jelly is the perfect partner for spreading over chocolate cake, a filling for thumbprint cookies and stirred into iced tea.
Making mint jelly is pretty straightforward.
I am here to set your mindset about mint jelly free.
Painful as it might be, it needs to be done so that you can experience how much this condiment has to offer beyond your Easter lamb. Now that statement might have been the first prick, but I’m going to keep jabbing.
Did you know that this recipe takes just 10 minutes in a boiling water bath to preserve? Or, that you’ll find more uses for this spread in everyday, weekday meals and (or should I say, especially) cocktails? Needless to say, this won’t be a jar of jam spending lonely abandonment in your fridge for months on end anymore.
Let’s get to it.
Why you’ll love this easy mint jelly recipe
- If you’re addicted to canning (like me) and you do a little bit of herb gardening on the side, this recipe is no brainer. Mint grows as a cut-and-come-again weed all spring and summer long making this jelly, topped with a green bow, the perfect Christmas gift!
- Because REAL mint jelly is actually quite hard to find (even in your high end gourmet stores). This is perplexing because this jam is so easy to make.
- No pectin? No problem! You actually don’t need to use pectin because mint contains tons of natural pectin. But, this recipe includes it to give things that spoonable jelly body.
How I can use mint jelly for more than lamb?
- Salmon, topped with a mint jelly glaze, makes a superb main course that’s healthy, fast, and delicious.
- Mix 2-3 scoops of mint jelly into a tangy yogurt sauce and serve it with crispy, panko coated squash, zucchini or eggplant rounds.
- Watermelon mojito granitas, anyone? Talk about a refreshing drink! Combine watermelon, crushed iced, a splash of white rum, scoop of mint jelly, and squeeze of lime and unwind.
- Add a tablespoon of mint jelly to your apple and spinach breakfast smoothie for an invigorating kickstart to your day.
- Need a ready-made filling for your Christmas thumbprint cookies? Here.you.go.
- Spread over chocolate frosted cake or vanilla ice cream.
Is this recipe approved as safe?
YES! That’s because I only share tested home canning recipes inspired from reputable sources. This recipe is adapted from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Top and Margret Howard. I take safe canning practices very seriously, so this (and any) recipe that appears on my blog or YouTube channel will:
- Use only recipe methods that follow safe and science-based guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Jarden companies like Ball and Bernardin.
- Source all information so that you can follow it back to the canning authorities where the recipe originated. I know this makes nearly every other word in my blog post look like a lit-up Christmas tree, but I want you to be a confident, informed canner too, so I’m very transparent about any modifications I include.
My goal with publicly sharing canning recipes is to inspire you to create your own healthier, better-tasting, and usually cheaper convenience foods. And, to show how canning food in the modern world still makes sense! Above all, I want you to be both safe and successful in your canning efforts. For this reason, I’ll always link to the approved NCHFP canning recipes and encourage you to make a small investment in purchasing the most updated preservation books and equipment I use in my own kitchen.
- First this. Accept that you’ve been lied to. Mint jelly isn’t naturally green <<insert gasp here>> In its au natural glory it has a dark gold/bronze (and sometimes brown) hue. This is tragically disappointing, I know, but it’s why this recipe uses green food coloring.
- Peppermint options are plenty these days, but this recipe uses your standard garden spearmint and lemon mint, which will give you that classic mint jelly taste and pairs best with savory entrees.
- Yup, I’m totally your home cook who slides a little more of everything into a recipe, but sis, don’t do that with the mint. Why? Honestly it’ll just be waaaaayy too strong. Let my losses be your lesson.
Easy Mint Jelly from Scratch|Canning Recipe
(makes six 8 ounce jars)
- 3 ½ cups firmly packed fresh mint (mix of spearmint and lemon mint)
- 4 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 packet of liquid pectin (2 pouches if they are 3 ounces each)
- Rinse your mint leaves and place in a 5 quart heavy bottomed pot.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- After a boil is reached, remove the pot from the heat, cover and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Strain the mint leaves from the juice using a strainer or cheesecloth.
- Place the mint juice in the refrigerator for 6 hours (and up to overnight).
- Measure out 3 ½ cups of the mint liquid. Discard mint. Add lemon juice and, if using, food color to your desired shade of green.
- In a 8 quart pot, over medium heat, combine your mint liquid and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Once sugar has dissolved, bring temperature to medium high heat until a full rolling boil is reached. Stir in both packets of pectin and continue to stir constantly. Boil for 1 minute and keep…well, stirring.
- Remove the pot from heat and immediately skim off the foam using a large metal spoon.
How Can You Tell When Your Mint Jelly is Ready?
Easy. You can use something called the cold plate method (also known as freezer test or the saucer test). What you’ll do is stash a few small plates in the freezer before you start making your marmalade so that they’re nice and cold by the time you’re towards the end of the recipe.
Drop a dollop of the jelly onto the frozen plate and return it to the freezer for 2-3 minutes. When you pull it out, the consistency will give you a snapshot into the future into how your marmalade will set.
If you push it up and it wrinkles, you can be confident of a strong set.
But, if you can slide your finger through without resistance, you need to cook the jelly a little longer.
Canning your Mint Jelly
Filling the jars
- Sanitize your jars and place them on a dishtowel.
- Grab your funnel and ladle that jelly goodness into the jars, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace.
- Remove any air bubbles by running a long plastic or wooden skewer between the jar and the marmalade.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with vinegar to remove any spillage (which can prevent your jars from creating a seal).
- Secure the rings to the top of your jar until they are “fingertip tight” but still allows enough air to pass through.
Processing your mint jelly on the stove
- Using a jar rack or plate, lower the jars into the boiling water of your water bath canner.
- Pour in more water to ensure that the water covers at least an inch above your jars.
- Place the lid on your pot.
- Bring water to a full boil for 10 minutes, then use a jar lifting to remove the jars out of the water and let them cool on a towel undisturbed for a minimum of 8 hours. (note: do not tighten the caps or you’ll risk breaking the seal).
When are the jars ready?
As your jars cool, you’ll hear the jars making clicking pops. Leave the jars undisturbed on a towel for a minimum of 12-24 hours. After that, you can confirm the jars have sealed by removing the rings. A sealed jar lid will remain secured to the jar without the rim and be slightly indented in the center. Use your index finger to moderately tap on the jar in a few places, it should not pop back when pressed. The majority of your jars will seal within a few hours of cooling down. If you have any jars that didn’t seal properly, just store them in the fridge and use them within the month.
- Mint jelly will be shelf stable and keep (unopened) for up to one year.
- If you’re not going to can your marmalade, you can store it in the fridge for use within the month!
- Buutt…if you’re not canning this, freeze for up to 3 months.
Craving more quick minute water bath recipes? Don’t miss out on my Sweet & Spicy Onion Jam, which will surely become another one of your weekday favorites!