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Strawberry Jam – 5 Easy Recipes for America’s Most Popular Jam

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Classic and low sugar strawberry jam, fruit blends and even raw fruit spreads – any way you like it, we'll help you get your strawberry jam on. We also answer some common jam canning questions.

jar of strawberry jam and strawberries

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam with Pectin

These low sugar strawberry jam recipes feature Pomona's Pectin, but you can adjust to use whatever low sugar pectin you can find locally if you like.

Using commercial pectin creates a shelf-stable jam for canning that cooks very quickly, keeping more fresh strawberry flavor.

I prefer Pomona's Universal Pectin over the other options low/no sugar commercial pectins that I've tried. The flavor seems “cleaner” to me, and it is non-GMO, which I also prefer. Each box of Pomona's Pectin makes several batches of jam or jelly.

Order Pomona's Pectin here.

Jams can also be easily made with frozen berries instead of fresh, so you can freeze your berries (or purchase frozen berries) and whip up a batch of jam when it's a bit cooler outside.

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Strawberry Jam Recipe (Low Sugar)

Easy strawberry jam recipe with big strawberry flavor, sweetened with sugar or honey.

  • Yield: 45 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups mashed strawberries (you will need about 8 cups fresh berries)
  • 12 cups white sugar – or – 1/2 to 1 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (included in the Pomona's Pectin box pectin box)

Instructions

  1. Sterilize jars and prepare lids and rings. Keep jars warm. Fill water bath canner with hot water. Bring to boil while prepping the jam.
  2. Prepare fruit by mashing with a pastry blender or potato masher, or gently chopping in a blender.
  3. Add proper amount of calcium water from jar into pan; stir well. (Instructions for making the calcium water are in the box and in the video below.)
  4. Measure sugar or cold/room temperature honey into separate bowl. Thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into the honey or sugar. Always premix your sweetener and your pectin powder to prevent clumping.
  5. Bring fruit to boil. Add pectin-honey-sugar mix; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat. Letting the jam cool just slightly before placing in jars will help keep the fruit mixed in the jars instead of all floating at the top.
  6. Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2 -piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals – lids should be sucked down. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened, at least a year in the pantry unopened.

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Would you like to watch a pro make strawberry jam? The video below from Pomona's Pectin walks you through the canning process step by step.

jars of low sugar strawberry jam
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Strawberry-Banana Jam (Low Sugar)

  • Yield: 45 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 cups mashed strawberries (you will need about 8 cups fresh berries)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 12 cups granulated sugar – or – 1/2 to 1 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s pectin
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (included in the pectin box)

Instructions

  1. Sterilize jars and prepare lids and rings. Keep jars warm. Fill water bath canner with hot water. Bring to boil while prepping the jam.
  2. Prepare fruit by mashing with a pastry blender or potato masher, or gently chopping in a blender. Blend in lemon juice. Make sure the bananas are well blended so you do not have any large banana chunks. I typically use overripe bananas that turn to mush very quickly. Strawberries naturally have a pH of 3.0 – 3.9. Adding lemon juice helps to make sure the pH stays under 4.6 for safe water bath canning.
  3. Add proper amount of calcium water from jar into pan; stir well.
  4. Measure sugar or cold/room temperature honey into separate bowl. Thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder into the honey or sugar. Always premix your sweetener and your pectin powder to prevent clumping.
  5. Bring fruit to boil. Add pectin-honey-sugar mix; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat. Letting the jam cool just slightly before placing in jars will help keep the fruit mixed in the jars instead of all floating at the top.
  6. Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2 -piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 feet above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals – lids should be sucked down. Lasts about 3 weeks once opened, at least a year in the pantry unopened.

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stockpot filled with strawberry jam with pectin, sitting on the stove

Classic Strawberry Jam with Pectin

Classic strawberry jam with pectin was what my mom used to make. It has a high amount of sugar, which gives it a longer shelf life and yields more jam per batch.

It's a little sweet for my tastes now, but if you like an old-fashioned, full sugar spread, this is the one for you.

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Classic Strawberry Jam

The classic strawberry jam recipe made with Sure-Jel pectin and fresh strawberries.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 cups crushed strawberries (about 3 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp Ball® Classic Pectin
  • 7 cups granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Prep your boiling water bath canner or stockpot (see below). Clean jars in dishwasher and keep warm, or simmer jars until ready to use. Wash canning lids in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Have bands and lids ready to cover jars.
  2. Place crushed strawberries and lemon juice in a 6 to 8 quart pot. Stir in pectin. Bring mixture to full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. (Make sure you get all the way to the bottom of the pot.)
  3. Add sugar all at once, stirring to dissolve. Return jam to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard one minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
  4. Ladle jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims, place on lids and rings. Tighten to fingertip tight.
  5. Process jars for 10 minutes in a water bath canner. (Adjust for altitude if needed, see below.) Remove jars from canner and place on a kitchen towel on the countertop to cool.
  6. Check seal after 24 hours. Lids should be clamped down in center and not flex when pushed. Label and date and store in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight.

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strawberry jam on a spoon on a white plate with strawberries in the background

Low Sugar Strawberry Jam without Pectin

With some lemon juice and a little more cooking time, you can make low sugar strawberry jam without pectin. This jam will set a little softer than the jam thickened with commercial pectin.

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Strawberry Jam (Low Sugar, No Added Pectin)

Strawberry jam made with lemon, fresh strawberries, and sugar.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 cups mashed strawberries (about 2 pounds)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions

  • Mix together strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan.
  • Heat on low, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  • Increase heat to high and bring to a full, rolling boil. Boil, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches 220F (105C) or passes the gelling test.
  • Pour jam into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process jars in water bath canner for 10 minutes. (Adjust for altitude if needed.) Remove jars from canner and place on a kitchen towel on the countertop to cool.
  • Check seal after 24 hours. Lids should be clamped down in center and not flex when pushed. Label and date and store in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight.
  • Alternatively, store in refrigerator and use within 3 weeks.

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picking strawberries for jam

Uncooked Strawberry Jam with No Pectin

If you want the flavor of fresh strawberries, but still want the consistency of strawberry jam, try out this raw fruit recipe with no pectin.

Instead of pectin, this recipe from Stocking Up III uses agar agar flakes for thickening. Vegan and vegetarian friendly. (Agar agar is a vegetable gelatin made from seaweed. You can buy it online here.)

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Raw Strawberry Jam (No Added Pectin)

Raw strawberry jam recipe thickened with agar flakes. Vegan and vegetarian friendly.

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cups of prepared mashed strawberries at room temperature
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons agar agar flakes
  • ½ cup mild-flavor honey, such as clover honey

Instructions

  1. Mix together lemon juice and strawberries and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepot, add cold water and agar agar flakes. Wait one minutes without stirring to allow agar flakes to absorb water. Bring agar agar and water to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring until agar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add honey to agar agar-water mix and stir until dissolved. Scrape down sides of pot with a heat resistant spatula.
  4. Pour the agar mixture slowly into the fruit, stirring as you add it. (Do not pour fruit into agar mix.) Stir until well-mixed. Taste and add more honey, if desired. Pour into sanitized jars or freeze containers, leaving ¾ inch headspace. Cover jars and label with date and contents.
  5. Store in refrigerator and use within three weeks. For longer storage, cool in refrigerator for 10 hours, then store in the freezer. Thaw jam in the refrigerator before use.

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More Strawberry Goodness

There are two more recipes for strawberry preserves on the site:

See also, “How to Store Strawberries 12 Ways – Plus Tips to Keep Berries Fresh” and “Full Listing of All Our Jam, Jelly and Spread Recipes with Photos“.

Why do you turn jars upside down when canning?

Some older recipes called for the jars to be flipped upside down on the counter after filling with hot jam and screwing the lid on. In theory, this seals the jars.

There are a couple problems with this method. One, sometimes you get jam in between the jar and the lid, and it doesn’t seal. Two, taking the time to process your jam jars in a water bath canner (or large pot) drives the oxygen out of the headspace (the space between the top of the jam and the lid of the jar). Removing the oxygen helps keep your jam from spoiling.

If you’re really in a hurry, choose a recipe that is stored in the refrigerator or freezer instead of flipping your jars. When you want jam for longer storage, take a few extra minutes to process your jam in a hot water bath.

How long do you boil strawberry jam jars?

For safe long-term storage, strawberry jam should be canned in a water bath canner. Because strawberries are acidic, you don’t need to pressure can the jam.

Prep and seal your jars, place them in the canner, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude if you live more than 1000 feet above sea level.

altitude adjustments for boiling water bath canning

How do you make jam without a canner?

You don’t need a canner to can strawberry jam. All you need is a large pot with a lid. Simply place a folded kitchen towel or improvised rack made of canning lids in the bottom of your pot to keep jars from sitting directly on the bottom.

Another option is to choose a jam recipe that is stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

For more information on safe canning practices, check out The Natural Canning Resource Book.

Strawberry Jam - 5 Easy Recipes for America's Most Popular Jam

Originally published in 2011, updated in 2016, 2018.

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27 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe and video. I love making jam but have been looking into some lower sugar versions. I'll give this a try.

  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe- can't wait to try this with some mid-summer berries! I have been wanting to try Pomona's pectin ever since I canned my first strawberry jam and it used SO much sugar! I could believe how much sugar was in regular jam. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. I was nervous about using Pomona's Pectin, but as long as you mix the sweetener and pectin, it's really pretty easy. Being able to use less sugar is great!

  4. I've made jam with sugar or with honey, but never both. Sounds like a good solution since it will reduce the amount of sugar, but you still keep it sweet. Thanks for a great idea!

  5. Thanks for stopping by, Amy and Jasmine. The jam is very good. It tastes more like fruit, not so much like sugar. 🙂

  6. Wish I had found this yesterday before I tried canning my strawberries. Any Idea why my strawberry jam didn’t set? And is there a way to redo mine, they did not set.

    1. it depends on what pectin you used. If you used a”no Sugar” pectin like “Sure Jell” you can redo the jam. empty the jars in the a pan and stir them together. wash you now empty jars and get new lids. mix 2 teaspoons of no sugar pectin into a 1/4cup of sugar(whatever sweetener you used). now mix that into the cold jam in the pot once it is mixed in put the pan over medium high and bring to a boil. boil 1 minute then take off the heat. Now rejar the jam and rewaterbath just like new jam. I have done this myself and it works for the “sure Jell” brand of pectin. If you didn’t use “no sugar” pectin the jam will not set until you have enough sugar, acid and pectin in it. but you can do tests to see if you can get a set adding sugar and pectin bring to boil and dip a metal spoon or measure cup into the jam and get a small puddle of jam on it. put in freeze for 1 minute. take out if it is set or almost it will most likely set when rejared and processed.

  7. Hello!!
    could someone (just briefly) explain the calcium water, please!! That brand of pectin is not available near me and I cannot open videos!! LOL
    Thank you 🙂

    1. The calcium water is included in the Pomona’s Pectin. It’s very simple to use. You dilute the calcium in water, and then add it during the jam processing as specified in the recipe. The Pomona’s Pectin bases its gelling action on the calcium, not on sugar like regular pectin, so the calcium water is required.

      1. Thanks,
        But can you make or buy the ingredients for the calcium water!! We can’t buy Pomona’s here!!

        1. I don’t think the other low sugar pectins use the calcium water. If you use a different low sugar pectin, use the proportions of fruit and sugar given here, but use their instructions for the pectin part.

  8. This looks like a great recipe (strawberry) and I intend to try it. Is it ok to add a little lemon juice to the mix? And if so, how much would you recommend? I don’t know what type of reaction this type of pectin will have with the lemon juice. Also, some of the other Strawberry Jam with Honey recipes I’ve seen state that the jam is a little thin. Is this jam thicker?

    1. You must add lemon juice for the strawberry banana jam, as noted. You could add some lemon if you like for the plain strawberry if you like, but it’s not required. I personally wouldn’t add more than a tablespoon. Jams thickened with Pomona’s Pectin tend to be quite thick if you use the full amount.

  9. Thank you for some recipes that use a sensible amount of sugar for jam. This will help with any weight loss programs that you might be on as well.

  10. Where can I find the ponomas pectin? Can it be ordered from Amazon? I am in Florida just wondering about where I can find it. This recipe sounds really easy and good so does adding the banana to the strawberry banana recipe will make this for sure.

  11. Your link for the pectin is not working…I wanted to make sure i ordered it through yours in case you get a percentage…let us know if you update it.
    Thanks,

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