Orange Jelly Recipe

March 15, 2010(updated on August 30, 2021)

orange jelly

Until recently, I had never made jelly. I thought it was below me, designed for children and eaten only until chunkier preserves were palatable. However, having made this recipe three times now (once to test it, once for a class and a third time just for fun), I feel a bit ashamed that I’ve been so snobbish towards jelly.

I’ve eaten the results of this recipe on toast, in a sandwich with peanut butter, and thinned down as a glaze for chicken and it has been consistently delicious. It recalls a classic orange marmalade, only without all those bits of peel. It’s perfect for the person who likes the bright, familiar flavor of orange, but doesn’t do so well with the bite of marmalade. What’s more, it’s refreshingly easy, as you begin with a half gallon of freshly squeezed orange juice. Sure, you could juice your own, and if you live in those warmer climates where oranges abound, I recommend it. But up here in the chilly east, I cheat and I don’t feel a moment of guilt about it.

Another thing that has me enamored of this jelly is that it is blank slate for a number of flavors. Unadulterated, it is good (and yes, perfect for kids who don’t like assertive flavors). But it’s amazing with a dash of cinnamon or spiked with a few tablespoons of ginger juice. Want a mimosa flavored jelly? Replace some of the juice with some champagne (or white wine, if you don’t want to open a bottle of bubbly just for jelly making). Steep some chai spices in your orange juice for an earthy bite.

I do believe that this is just the beginning of my jelly days. Look for more (maybe a rhubarb jelly?) in the coming days.

4 from 5 votes

Orange Jelly

Servings: 4 -5 Pints


  • 5 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 packets of liquid pectin


  • Place your jars into your canning pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Because this jelly is only processed for five minutes, you need to add this jar sterilization step.
  • Put your lids in a small pot and bring to a very gentle simmer (180 degrees) while you make the jam.
  • In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the sugar and orange juice and bring them to a boil. Cook at a boil until they’re greatly reduced. Using an instant read thermometer, watch until the pot reaches 220 degrees (this is important. Skip this step and you’ll end up with orange syrup in place of your jelly). Add the liquid pectin and allow to boiling for an additional five minutes (the goal is to reach 220 degrees again and maintain it for at least three minutes).
  • Pour the jelly into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for five minutes.

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82 thoughts on "Orange Jelly Recipe"

  • We just got our last order of citrus from Florida for the season. The oranges this month were really juicy and really seedy. So my most wonderful husband squeezed a bunch of them this weekend. And I made orange “jelly” (I didn’t send it thru a jelly bag, so there is a bit of pulp in there – so technically it isn’t true jelly). We had about 2 teaspoons which didn’t fit in the jars – we were fighting over who got to lick the spoon!

  • It’s no secret that I’m all about the jelly. This one is no exception. Glad you are now aboard the jelly boat!

  • Thanks, Marisa! I’ve always stuck to the chunky preserves and jams, too, because I like the fruits bits but I’m looking forward to making your orange jelly.

  • It’s the sugar that puts me off of jelly making; you can’t really cut it down, like in a jam, since the sugar *is* the substance while the juice is the flavor. For me, almost anything with 5 cups of sugar is way too sweet. Although I bet my husband would think he’d died and gone to heaven if I stopped it early and made orange syrup. Hmmmm.

    1. The usual sugar ratio for jelly is 450g sugar to 600ml of strained juice. I haven’t used liquid pectin; I add 1 lemon to about 1 kg of fruit and cook in the usual way for jelly.

  • I just made a batch of orange jelly a couple months ago, mainly because I was too lazy to go through the whole marmalade process. And we’re going through it so quickly, I’m going to have to make some more soon! If you were to make a mimosa jelly with Champagne, what ratio would you use of Champagne to juice to sugar? Love your blog, by the way!

    1. I just replaced 2 cups of orange juice with 2 cups of Champagne. I used the recipe just the same other wise. I liked it and will make it again. I am going to use Spamonte or baby duck next time.

  • I’ll admit it. I’ve always thought of jelly as jam’s vapid step-sister. The sheer lack of texture always seemed to leave me wonting. But, you’ve proven yourself a worthy judge — so I might just take your word on this 🙂

    Of course I’m trying the citrus marmalade first!

  • I’ve used bottled juice (natural & organic) to make pomegranate jelly and grape jelly. They turned out very well. I have to say I’m not in love with jelly; jam is much more delicious, but sometimes it’s nice to make a few jars of something that doesn’t require any fruit prep.

  • I am so glad you shared this recipe. I was going to make marmalade and time has gotten away from me. I still have a bowl full of oranges and I can now make this jelly instead. I think it would be great cooked on pork chops as a glaze.

  • would you consider adding my blog name to your list? I have your blogs listed on mine and love to read your posts.

  • MMMM this looks like a good one. Fellow food blogger Lo and I are getting together Thursday to make your marmalade, or I’d be tempted to make this one. I’ll have to tuck it back into my brainbox to make when I find myself jelly and jam-less.

  • I’ve been a lurker for a little while now, but I just had to comment on this one! As one who really enjoys making jelly I say HURRAY for you! Jams/jellies & pickles were the first things I learned to can!:) I’m so glad you jumped on board! This post has me intrigued…. I’ve made marmalade once (for the canjam) but never thought to exclude the peel and try it again! 🙂 THANKS for an awesome idea!! Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with!

  • My 6 year old and I have really enjoyed making savoury jams lately. We did one with red onion and lemon zest and another with dried apricots and habanero peppers — both recipes from the Ball Guide to Home Presering. The apricot-habanero jelly was a HUGE hit with the preschool board who had it on cheese and crackers and my husband who put it on turkey sandwiches.

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU My little boy just asked me to make him orange jelly. Now he wants to know if i can make him banana jelly.

  • I just made Orange Jelly the other day 🙂 It is tasty and I think it would be good heated to serve on waffles or ice cream 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Ooh, I just got (yet another) haul of Meyer lemons. I’ve already made curd, pie, cake, and (failed!!!!) marmalade. Perhaps I’ll try jelly!

  • I was the happy recipient of many giant lemons and a few bags of grapefruit. When I saw you orange jelly recipe, I immediately decided that I would make lemon jelly and grapefruit jelly. I haven’t gotten around to the grapefruit jelly yet, but the lemon jelly was fantastic! It has a wonderful warm golden color (almost like honey), and the flavor retains the fresh lemon flavor but is tart and just sweet enough. Thank you!

  • Ok, another small note….2 pkts of pectin is WAY TOO MUCH! My jelly set up like concrete. I had to melt it and add in 2 more cups of juice/sugar to fix it. Still love the jelly, love the taste.

  • Desertmonkey, results always vary with recipes like this. I have made it according to this recipe and have had it set perfectly and not set up at all. I’m sorry to hear that it set to firmly for you, though.

    1. Mine didn’t set up at all …… what do you suggest: redoing with 1 more packet of liquid pectin? i have to say it tastes wonderful as-is, but to give to friends I’d prefer to have it set properly!

  • I pithily state gratitude for the perfect solution for the oranges left on our trees as the weather is warmly up here in Mesa, Arizona.

  • If one were to make this into a mimosa jelly… how would one go about it? I presume, replacing some of the OJ with champagne? Would that work? How much would I substitute?

  • Jelly was the first preserve I ever made and so good; I usually pare the jest from the fruit and slice it into thin strips, simmer it slowly for an hour then add back into the jelly when you are adding the sugar.

  • This was the first jelly I’ve attempted, and I tried it yesterday. It still hasn’t set. I’m hoping that it will, but I don’t have high expectations. I think I actually just canned my first SYRUP. It tastes delicious though. It was so easy, that I think I’ll give it another try next weekend and see if I get better results. Thanks!

    1. I tried the recipe again and had the same results, even though I’m 100% certain that I did everything correctly. Now, I see that 4 of the 6 Orange Syrup jars in the basement have firmed into Jelly…. LOL, how crazy! Now, I’m going to label the new batch “jelly” and I’ll assume that it will firm up.

  • i tried this recipe and i got it! It was so easy to do it.. and this is also good for health because more benefits we can get..

  • I tried this recipe today and YUM! Tastes just like a mimosa. I’m going to have it on a croissant for breakfast tomorrow.

    I cut the recipe in half, using 1 C of champagne and 1 1/4 C of freshly squeezed OJ.

  • Hello – got your book (love it) but made the Mimosa Jelly from the recipe there and it only calls for 4 cups sugar and I see here in the recipe 5 cups… batch isn’t setting up… there an error in the book?

    1. These are different recipes. I reworked all the recipes for the book, so the 4 cups of sugar in the book is correct for that recipe. It sounds like you simply didn’t cook it quite long enough.

  • Wow! I tried this recipe last night and it worked great. Towards the end of reducing the jelly, I added about 1/4 cup of rose water. The result is a rose-orange jelly that smells and tastes great! Love your site!

    1. Yes. Use 4 tablespoons of powdered pectin (2 tablespoons per packet of liquid pectin) and whisk it into the sugar before mixing the sugar with the juice.

  • I am a volunteer site coordinator for a food co-op and have access to to a ton of fresh produce. I just purchased a 40 pound box of navel oranges. And although my family loves fresh fruit I have way too many oranges, and thankfully I found your recipe in time. I love to can so I am excited to try this out. I dont know anything about blogging so how would I go about following your blog? Ive read that you have recipes and would love to figure out how to share some of mine someday.

    1. You can either subscribe to the RSS feed or you can sign up to get email updates. Either of those options are found in the upper right hand corner of the blog.

  • I made orange jelly when there was a gallon of oj in the church refrigerator – never opened, but due to expire the next day. Someone was going to pour it down the drain so I absconded with it and made orange jelly. Good for people who don’t like the “bumpy” marmalade. Next time I might try the mimosa variety or spices. I do a lot of innovational jelly/jam making – like pink lemonade marmalade by adding maraschino cherries to the lemon marmalade. I love making jams and jellies and wish I had an outlet for the extras. Wish I could determine the sugar content so my diabetic husband could sample the wares. He is very cautious of his sugar intake. Any suggestions about how to determine sugar in home made jams/jellies?

  • I didn’t understand the part about boiling down. “Cook at a boil until they’re greatly reduced” Was I suppose to reduce the liquid or reach the desire degree? Once I reach the 220 degrees on my thermometer, I stop boiling and added the liquid pectin and boiled for another 5 minutes. I never reduced the liquid because it reached 220 pretty fast.
    Now it is not setting!!
    What do I do??

    1. Suzie, it should take at least 15 to 20 minutes to reach 220 degrees, and in that time, the volume should reduce. If your jelly reached 220 degrees so quickly that the liquid did not reduce, there may be a problem with your thermometer.

        1. I boiled it again, reduced it a bit and added one more pouch of liquid pectin and it “PERFECT!”
          I think I might have used 6 cups of OJ instead of 5.
          Thanks for the recipe, it taste great!

  • I don’t have any liquid pectin, but I do have Instant Fruit Pectin and Classic Pectin, would either of these work?

    1. Yes. Use two tablespoons of powdered classic pectin for every packet of liquid pectin that the recipe calls for. Whisk it into the sugar before combining the sugar with the fruit juice.

  • Yuuummmm!!! This jelly turned out so good. I followed the instructions and it turned out great. I am from Southern CA and we have a bumper crop of oranges this year. I will be making another batch and following up with some marmalade (using your recipe of course). Thanks.

    1. It can sometimes take several days or even a week for jelly to set. Did you check for set while the jelly was cooking?

  • Made one batch with fresh naval oranges and it turned out great. I am about to multiply the orange juice by 9. Should i multiply everything by 9 or should i cut back a little on the pectin? Thanks in advance.

  • Love this Blog! Am I able to substitute 1/4 Cup of Lemon juice and leave out the liquid pectin and just make a jelly by temperature alone. Also I was thinking of hitting the finished product just before it goes in the hot jars with a couple of teaspoons of Cointreau or Grand Marnier to set the flavor to another level!

  • The recipe is great… to me it is way to sweet. Is there anyway to cut back the sugar by using low sugar pectin? I’m still new at canning. Any info would be great helpful.

  • Your instructions say to boil the sugar and oj until “greatly reduced”, so how much is that – reduced by half maybe? Or more?

    1. The amount of reduction isn’t as important as the final temperature. You want to cook it until it reached 220 degrees F. The amount it reduces varies every time so I can’t say exactly how much it needs to cook down by.

  • New to canning here. Made your rosemary pickled cherries today and everything went smooth. Thank you. My question for this recipe; if I decide to use half pint jars I won’t be able to fit all the jelly in the canning pot at the same time. Can I leave the pot of jelly going on the stove while I can the first set, then boil more cans for the rest of the jelly?

  • I never had jam or jelly from a store until I was 16. What a shock.
    I love marmalade but am on my way to make this NOW!
    You said you had thought of jelly as a second cousin. In my grandmother Effie’s kitchen jelly was the quean! The crown jewel! And it is much more work than jam.

  • Can you mix the orange with another kind of fruit? I make American Beautyberry jelly. Last year I mixed it with strawberry. It was OK but didn’t knock my socks off. I’ve been thinking that orange would go really well flavor-wise. and came across your recipe in my wanderings & wonderings. Have you ever mixed it with any other jelly, esp. berry?

    1. I’ve never mixed in any other fruits when making this jelly, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

  • Well this was a fun day. I wanted to make marmalade. I have a recipe of a great great something from the civil war. Love it. But could not find it. I will. So looking up online found several. It sparked my memory of the recipe & now have made the first batch. I live in Arizona. Lots of citrus. & have made it often. So often that I didn’t think I would run out. Sadly there R no sour orange trees right now w fruit. So to the store. I used Valencia & grapefruit juice. Since I have lots frozen from my tree. Love that too. It turned out far better than I remember. I wrote it all down. & the last 4 jars I made w cardamon & cinnamon. Love the spices. Just as a note.. I find if I put about 1/2 tsp of salt it really enhances the flavor. I can’t wait to make just the jelly from alllll the grapefruit juice I have. I squeeze about 150 liters each January & freeze it. So much better than the canned. Thank U again for this recipe. It is great. I used recycled jars like pickle etc. they reuse about 2-3 times b4 not sealing. If kept in a cool dry area. Not the hot shed. Lol

  • Sooo.. I made this jelly but had no idea the difference between liquid and powdered was so big. I assumed they were equal. That being said I use two boxes of pectin in this because I didn’t know any better what’s going to happen and how can I fix it. I just got done doing this. Help! Obviously I am new to this jelly thing!

  • Well I asked for an answer and no response. Made this jelly but being new to jelly I added two boxes of pectin not knowing it was different from liquid ( I’ve never seen liquid before) . It’s 3 days later and it hasn’t set. Don’t know if it will or what it will taste like with 2 boxes. ?????

    1. I’m sorry that I didn’t see your previous comment. I really can’t anticipate how this jelly will work or taste with two boxes of powdered pectin. I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help.

  • 5 stars
    You nailed it exactly. Orange taste without the marmalade. I do recommend not straining. Leave some of the pulp in. My kids love apple jelly made from crab apples. It has a ‘bite’ to it that keeps drawing them back. The system would call it a BOLD flavor. However there is only one jelly that pleases all and absolutely will not make it to winter before it is all gone: elderberry. I matter how much I make. (It also makes a pretty good wine).

  • 4 stars
    I have a LOT of frozen orange juice that I got from my sadly to say now dead orange trees. I would like to make what I have into jelly , it it possible now that I have frozen the juice?

    1. Do you live above 1,000 feet in elevation? That’s the only way it could be boiling at a lower temperature. Otherwise, I suspect that your thermometer was faulty, not the recipe.