Sweet ‘n Spicy Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette


The salads don’t stop just because fall sets in. I simply shift my greens and keep experimenting with salad dressings, although bolder flavors do prevail. Lately, I’m addicted to this pepper jelly vinaigrette. The combination of sweet and spicy is a beautiful compliment to greens and other fresh vegetables, and it has a strong comfort food vibe. The pepper jelly also helps to thicken the vinaigrette, so that less oil is required and it can be whisked together in mere seconds.

Sweet 'n Spicy Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette - Bold, flavorful, 5-minute salad dressing recipe

The heat of the vinaigrette depends on the pepper jelly that you use. I’m a bit of a wus, so I used the Guava Brava Pepper Jelly from Jenkin’s Jellies. They offer four pepper jelly varieties, rating from mild to medium to Hell Fire. All are good, but I’m timid and lean toward the tamer of the bunch. But the Hell Fire is so popular, that they even have a whole cookbook dedicated to using it.

Jenkins Jellies and my 5-Minute Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette Recipe

Jenkins Jellies make a great marinade for meat, fish, or tofu, but I’m still hung up on using them in this pepper jelly vinaigrette.

I’ve trialed the recipe with two different types of healthy oils: extra-virgin olive oil and cold-pressed hemp oil. Both were delicious, and we didn’t taste much difference between the two. However, the hemp oil pepper jelly vinaigrette has a slightly greener tint, and the consistency seemed a little richer.

Sweet 'n Spicy Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette - Bold, flavorful, 5-minute salad dressing recipe

Special Diet Notes: Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Sweet ‘n Spicy Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
Prep time
Total time
I've become addicted to this super-easy dressing. It has a sweet, spicy, and lightly creamy appeal that brightens most salads, yet is bold enough to stand up to heartier fall and winter greens.
Serves: about ¾ cup
  • ¼ cup pepper jelly (I used Guava Brava Jenkins Jelly)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or cold-pressed hemp oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage (your choice of type) or water
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, glass jar, or blender, and whisk or blend until smooth.
  2. Let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. The flaxseed will cause it to thicken even more with time, so I recommend whisking it in just before eating if you are going to chill this vinaigrette in the refrigerator overnight.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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