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An easy strawberry jam recipe without pectin uses just 3 ingredients and only takes 20 minutes! It is bright and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor! Use it as a topping for cakes or ice cream, to flavor buttercream or spread on a slice of 100% whole wheat bread.

bright red strawberry jam on spoon resting in jar on wooden surface.

This easy strawberry jam recipe is just sweet enough to accentuate the strawberries. We don’t have to add as much sugar since the goal isn’t a super thick, spreadable jam! The combination of fresh strawberries, lemon juice and zest, and sugar makes a bright, flavorful jam!

I love making jam when fruit is at its peak. I store them in jars to enjoy throughout the rest of the year. I typically have this strawberry jam, apple butter, peach preserves without pectin, mixed berry jam and wild blueberry jam when I can find them!

Why You Will Love this Strawberry Jam Recipe

  • Bright strawberry flavor that isn’t too sweet! Since we aren’t trying to get a thick jam, we don’t have to worry about adding enough sugar to gel with the pectin. That makes this jam bright and taste like the best ripe strawberry you ever had!
  • Lemon zest & juice enhance the flavor. Not only does lemon add a bit of refreshing acidity, but lemon enhances strawberries natural flavor just like in my easy blueberry sauce.
  • Natural ingredients. Unlike store-bought jams there are only 3 ingredients in this recipe and the first one is fresh strawberries!
strawberry jam in jar with hand dipping spoon into jar.
apple butter in clear jar with spoon on marble.
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Professional Tips for Making Strawberry Jam without Pectin

  • Be careful not to overcook. If you cook it too long the sugars will caramelize. The resulting jam will not be that beautiful bright red and the flavors will be subdued.
  • If time allows macerate the strawberries. Letting the sugar and strawberries sit together overnight will make this jam even better! It isn’t necessary though.
  • This is a small-batch jam recipe. If you scale this recipe up more than 3x without pectin, it will be watery and sad. Additional sugar would also help, but I didn’t want a cloyingly sweet jam.  
  • Making a larger batch will increase the cook time. Just watch it!
  • It might go wrong but that’s okay. Learning when to stop cooking jam purely by eye and smell takes practice and several trials that go horribly wrong. Don’t beat yourself up about a bad batch, because at least you didn’t burn 30 pounds of farmer’s market strawberries like I did once!

Ingredients Needed for Small Batch Strawberry Jam

  • Strawberries: I developed this jam for fresh strawberries that are in-season. That is important because ripe, in-season berries contain more natural sugar and less water. If you are choosing between frozen berries or out-of-season strawberries, choose the frozen ones. These tend to have more water but also more flavor. The resulting jam might be looser.
  • Granulated Sugar: Sugar not only adds sweetness and enhances the strawberries natural flavor, but sugar also helps thicken the jam. Adding more sugar will thicken this jam even without adding pectin.
  • Lemon Zest: Be sure to zest your lemons before you juice!
  • Lemon Juice: Using freshly squeezed lemon juice will make the best jam. The flavor is unparalleled.  

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Possible Variations

  • Make a thicker strawberry jam. There are two ways to achieve a thicker strawberry jam. You can either add cornstarch or add pectin. I include measurements for pectin in the recipe card below.
  • Use orange juice and lemon. Add a bit of orange juice and zest along with the lemon juice. You still want to acidity and brightening quality of the lemon, but orange pairs wonderfully with strawberries.
strawberry jam on large spoon held over jar.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry Jam

Use these instructions to make the perfect… every time! Further details and measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Wash, hull and remove the stems of the strawberries. Cut in half or quarters depending on how large they are. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot or saucepan.

Taste the strawberry mixture and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. Strawberries vary greatly in their sweetness, so be sure to taste before you cook!

Step 2: Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil and cook on medium heat until the strawberries begin to break down and release their juices. Stir occasionally. You can use a potato masher to speed this process along.

If you want a seedless jam, immersion blend the hot jam and then pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Return the seedless jam to the pot to continue to cook.

Step 3: Continue to simmer over low heat until jam jells on a frozen plate stirring frequently as it thickens. It will not set as firm as a jam with pectin, but it will hold a line briefly before slowly dripping down the plate.  

For bright, clear homemade jam, you must skim the foam from the top of the cooking strawberries. I use a small ladle for this.

Step 4: Pour into a large bowl or baking dish, cover with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in for steam, and then cool completely. Once room temperature, pour into clean mason jars or airtight containers. Store in the fridge.

Chef Lindsey’s Recipe Tip

If you want to add pectin to this recipe, it is ready for the pectin when the jam will hold a line in the bottom briefly before filling in. Mix the pectin with about 1 tablespoon sugar and then sprinkle it into the cooking mixture while stirring constantly. Continue cooking, watching carefully, and stirring more frequently to make sure it isn’t burning. Cook at least one minute or until thickened.

Old Fashioned Banana Bread strawberry jam and mascarpon.

How to use strawberry jam?

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store strawberry jam?

Store strawberry jam in clean, airtight containers for up to 6 months refrigerated. You can also freeze this jam for over a year.

If storing for longer than a week, be careful not to contaminate the jam by dipping a dirty spoon inside or using your finger to clean the edges of the jar. I’m not judging, just passing along general advice. We all do this in our own home! If you see visible mold on top, it was contaminated and should be thrown out.

Can you can this recipe?

I would not recommend canning this jam. It doesn’t have as much sugar as other recipes suitable for canning like my peach preserves recipe. I store it in the refrigerator and it will keep for 6 months or more.

Can I add pectin to this strawberry jam recipe?

Yes. I have another strawberry jam recipe using pectin that is based on this one. It makes a thicker spreadable jam that would be appropriate for filling tarts, cakes or cupcakes. You should add 13g of pectin to the 1x recipe below. That would be approximately 1 ¼ teaspoons. I use nH pectin, which is stronger by gram than others, so you might need to test with your particular pectin.

Can you make a larger batch of this strawberry jam without pectin?

The short answer is, no. You can double or triple this recipe with no issues, but it is a small-batch jam recipe, which cannot be made much larger without adding pectin.
Indulge me in a short story about how know this to be true. In my early days as a restaurant pastry chef I multiplied the recipe below by 15 using fresh market strawberries. The result was strawberry soup. I continued to cook that soup in hopes that it would make something resembling jam, but the sugars caramelized and eventually I scorched it. It still resembled thicker soup and it tasted like hundreds of dollars mixed with sugar.

Old Fashioned Banana Bread strawberry jam and mascarpone

If you tried this recipe and loved it please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I love hearing from you; your comments make my day!

Quick Strawberry Jam in jar with spoon
5 from 8 ratings

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe

An easy strawberry jam recipe without pectin uses just 3 ingredients and only takes 20 minutes! It is bright and bursting with fresh strawberry flavor!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 people

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Wash, hull and remove the stems of the strawberries. Cut in half or quarters depending on how large they are. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot or saucepan.
  • Taste the strawberry mixture and add more sugar or lemon juice as needed. Strawberries vary greatly in their sweetness, so be sure to taste before you cook!
  • Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil and cook on medium heat until the strawberries begin to break down and release their juices. Stir occasionally. You can use a potato masher to speed this process along.
  • If you want a seedless jam, immersion blend the hot jam and then pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Return the seedless jam to the pot to continue to cook. Skimming the foam occasionally.
  • Continue to simmer over low heat until jam jells on a frozen plate stirring frequently as it thickens. It will not set as firm as a jam with pectin, but it will hold a line briefly before slowly dripping down the plate.
  • Pour into a large bowl or baking dish, cover with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in for steam, and then cool completely. Once room temperature, pour into clean mason jars or airtight containers. Store in the fridge.

Video

Notes

Yield – 380g or approximate 1 ¼ cups. This does depend on how much water was in your strawberries and how much it was cooked down.
Presentation – Cooking the jam too long will result in dark, brownish jam rather than the vibrant red pictured.
Adding Pectin – For a thick, spreadable jam you should add 13g of pectin to the 1x recipe above. That would be approximately 1 ¼ teaspoons.
Storage – Store strawberry jam in clean, airtight containers for up to 6 months refrigerated. You can also freeze this jam for over a year.
How to add pectin – It is ready for the pectin when the jam will hold a line in the bottom briefly before filling in. Mix the pectin with about 1 tablespoon sugar and then sprinkle it into the cooking mixture while stirring constantly. Continue cooking, watching carefully, and stirring more frequently to make sure it isn’t burning. Cook at least one minute or until thickened.

Nutrition

Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American, French
Calories: 107
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Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this professional chef tested strawberry jam recipe. Check out our other jams, jellies and preserve recipes or dive into all our sweet dessert toppings & sauce recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this strawberry jam. It’s really delicious. A great addition to my breakfast! Will make this again!

  2. 5 stars
    Loved this strawberry jam! So quick and easy to make — had it for breakfast smeared on toast, so divine!

    1. Hi Michelle! That sounds glorious, could use a slice of toast with this jam right now…thank you for commenting!

  3. 5 stars
    I used this strawberry jam in a thumbprint cookie recipe and it was beyond delicious! The jam was so easy to make using fresh strawberries. I made one jar worth and it was gone in two days! Everyone loved it.

  4. 5 stars
    I never thought jam making could be so easy. So fresh and fragrent too. YUM – so much better than store bought

    1. Hi Jo! It’s so much easier than one would think, isn’t it? I’m happy you enjoyed!

  5. 5 stars
    Sooo good! The flavor from the lemon zest was my favorite part. I did decide to strain it, but I probably won’t next time so it’s a little thicker!