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Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no pectin

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Who’s ready to make an easy Strawberry Jam with all those sweet, delicious strawberries in season right now? You’re in luck; this easy Strawberry Jam Recipe is made with only strawberries, sugar, and a bit of lemon. No pectin is needed, and it couldn’t be easier to make!

Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no Pectin.

The Best Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe

Have you ever wondered how to make Strawberry Jam? It’s surprisingly easy!

I have an amazing small-batch strawberry jam recipe to share with you today. I make this jam every year after we visit our local strawberry farm. This recipe is such a great way to use up all those strawberries.

The beauty of this jam recipe is in the use of fresh strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar instead of pectin to make the strawberry jam set.

Why this Easy Strawberry Jam Recipe Works

  • Simple IngredientsAll you need is strawberries, sugar, lemon juice! The sugar and lemon juice work together with the natural pectin already found in strawberries and lemon to make the strawberry jam set. (Lemon juice also helps prevent the growth of bacteria.)
  • Fast – Takes only about 20 minutes!
  • Tastes amazing – The flavor of homemade jam just doesn’t compare to store-bought!

Didn’t the strawberry jam turn out gorgeous!? I’m not kidding when I say this jam recipe is easy. And only takes about 20 minutes to cook!

How to make Strawberry Jam

Ingredients in Strawberry Jam

You only need 3 ingredients! (Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full printable recipe card.)

  • Strawberries | Fresh or frozen berries work for this recipe; hulls are removed. If you use frozen, thaw them first, or you will need to allow for extra cooking time since you will be cooking from frozen and will be extra juicy.
  • Sugar | Granulated sugar. 
  • Lemon juice | Fresh is best, but bottled works too.
ingredients in strawberry jam

That’s it! No pectin, no water, no extras. Making jam is super simple. All it takes is a bit of time stirring your pot on the stove. 

How to Make Strawberry Jam

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. small batch strawberry jam ingredients
  2. Stir over med-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high heat and bring mixture to a full rolling boil. If foam begins to rise to the top, just whisk it back in.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, mashing the strawberries as you stir. Continue to simmer until the jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface of the jam. (About 10 to 15 minutes. See the tips below to help judge when your jam is done).) how to make strawberry jam with no pectin
  5. Transfer the jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Seal jars and store them in the refrigerator. 
strawberry jam recipe

Recipe Tips

  • Use ripe strawberries- Strawberry season is the perfect time of the year for this recipe; fresh-picked strawberries are perfect for this strawberry jam recipe. Choose strawberries that are firm, sweet, and free of bruises. A combination of ripe and slightly underripe is perfect.
  • A strawberry huller is a great tool for quickly removing hulls from your strawberries.
  • If you want a less chunky jam, you can process the fruit in a food processor before cooking or use an immersion blender while the fruit cooks.
  • If cooking at a higher altitude, you will need to reduce the target temperature (220°F) by two degrees for every 1000 feet of elevation.

Variations

  • Add blueberries for a mixed berry jam.
  • Add some of the lemon zest for an extra pop of brightness.
  • When simmering, add 2 tablespoons of minced herbs, such as basil, cilantro, or mint, to the jam mixture.

Storage Suggestions

For best results, use the opened jar of jam within 10 to 14 days. Sealed and unopened, your homemade should keep in the fridge for between 1 to 3 months. In the freezer, it should last about a year.

FAQ’s

Over the years, I’ve received a few questions and comments about this recipe. I’ve tried to answer them all in one place for you today; feel free to leave a comment if you have a question I have not answered. Also, check the comment section – tons of good info there! 

How To Know When Jam Is Done 

The simplest way is to use a thermometer to check the temperature. You will want the jam to reach 220°F. 220°F is the heat point at which the sugar bonds with the pectin and forms a gel. Remember, the jam can take 24-48 hours to fully set up. So, if your jam is still on the thinner side, don’t worry. Know that as it sits in the fridge, it can set up more. (more info below on what to do if your jam never sets up.)

Another method to test if the jam is ready is the “plate in the freezer” method. (Remove jam from heat while conducting the test.) Place a small plate in the freezer when you begin cooking your strawberry jam. When you’re ready to test to see if the jam will set, remove the plate from the freezer and place a quarter-sized amount of the jam in the center of the plate. Place the plate back in the freezer for one minute. After a minute, run your finger through the jam on the plate. If it wrinkles and is gel-like, the jam is ready. If the jam “fills in” the line you made with your finger, you should cook the jam for another few minutes.

Can I Double this Strawberry Jam Recipe?

Yes, you can double this small batch Strawberry Jam recipe. Keep in mind you will need to cook the jam for longer if you increase the ingredients. (see tips above on how to know if your jam is done.

Can I make this recipe Sugar Free?

If using artificial sugar or less sugar than the recipe calls for, you can help your jam gel by adding 2.5 tablespoons of chia seeds at the end of the cooking time.

Can I Freeze Strawberry Jam?

Yes, you can! The even better news is that you can freeze it right in the jar. Just make certain that you leave some space at the top as it will expand a tiny bit when freezing. This way, you can make several jars in batches and pull one from the freezer to unthaw when running low.

How to Can Strawberry Jam For Pantry Storage

This recipe is perfect for a water bath canner. I have the Ball Home Canning kit. It contains everything you need for water bath canning. How to can your strawberry jam:

  1. Wash jars and lids (I use the sterilize function on my dishwasher. Use whatever size jar you like. (I prefer the 8 oz jars for this recipe.)
  2. Pour the strawberry jam into the jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Use a skinny spatula to help remove air pockets.
  3. Wipe down jar rims and add the lids. Seal to fingertip tightness. (Screw the lid on till you feel resistance. If it’s too loose, the jar won’t seal, too tight air won’t release properly.)
  4. Process for 5 minutes in the boiling water bath. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove jars and let cool for 12 to 24 hours. Check the seal by removing the band and pressing the center of each lid. If you are able to indent the lid, your jam did not seal properly. Store in a cool, dry location for 1 year for best quality, but the jam may be good for up to 2 years. Be sure to test your jar for spoilage before using it. 

Keep in mind that higher altitudes affect boiling, and you will need to process the jam differently. (Interesting article about boiling points being lower at high altitudes.)

Can I Use Frozen Strawberries To Make Jam?

Yes, may need to increase the cooking time a bit as frozen strawberries tend to be more watery (and they are frozen rather than room temp.) You can also use a thermometer to help determine when your jam is done. (When the jam reaches 220 F, it should be ready.)

Can I Use This Jam Recipe With Other Fruits?

The cooking process of this jam will work fine with other fruits, but you will need to consider the sweetness level of whatever fruit you are using. If the fruit is not very sweet, you may need to increase the amount of sweetener you add during the cooking process. Check out my Blueberry Jam Recipe and my Peach Jam Recipe for other fruit jam examples.

Why Didn’t My Strawberry Jam Set Up? (And How To Fix It)

There can be various reasons why your jam didn’t set up properly.

  1. Your Strawberry Jam most likely needed to cook longer, or there is a small chance that the strawberries didn’t have enough natural sugar for the jam to set. It’s a combination of cooking time, sugar, and lemon that makes this recipe gel. (Lemon acts as a natural pectin in this recipe.)
  2. If you followed the directions and it didn’t set up properly, let the strawberry jam sit overnight in the fridge. If that step still doesn’t get it to stiffen up and set, you can try re-cooking it for a bit longer and either 1. adding in a bit of pectin or 2. adding a bit more sugar and lemon (not much, just give it a taste test.) For best results though, I recommend using a thermometer and making sure your strawberry mixture reaches 220 degrees F.
How to make Strawberry Jam

Simple Ideas to Use Strawberry Jam

In no time at all, you can have a sweet and simple strawberry jam that you’ll want to put on everything. My mind can probably go on forever when thinking of ways to use homemade strawberry jam, some of my favorites are:

  • crusty bread with cream cheese
  • In peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • on homemade biscuits with lots of butter
  • on top of pancakes or waffles with whipped cream
  • over plain or vanilla yogurt
  • drizzled over vanilla ice cream or cheesecake
  • a filler for homemade muffins or cupcakes
  • DIY Christmas or hostess gift

My entire family thinks this strawberry jam is the best thing ever. I also have a great peach jam and easy blueberry jam recipe if you want to try making jam using a different fruit.

Easy Strawberry Jam recipe with no pectin

More Fresh Strawberry Recipes For All Those Strawberries:

Tried this Strawberry Jam Recipe?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

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easy strawberry jam recipe with no pectin

Strawberry Jam – No Pectin

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 133 reviews
  • Author: Jamie sanders
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: about 1 3/4 cups 1x
  • Category: jams and jellies
  • Method: stovetop

Description

A delicious and easy Strawberry Jam Recipe with no pectin. The simple recipe is made with only strawberries, lemon, and sugar! It is the perfect way to use up all of your fresh strawberries.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 16 oz strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir over med-low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Increase heat to med-high and bring mixture to a rolling boil.
  4. Stir frequently mashing the strawberries as you stir, continuing to boil, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface of the jam. (about 10 minutes.)
  5. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Seal jars and store in refrigerator for about 10 days (or freeze)

Notes

  • Makes about 1 3/4 cups
  • Additional tips:  If you have a candy thermometer, it’s ready when the jam reaches 220 F.
  • If you want a less chunky jam, you can process fruit in a food processor before cooking or use an immersion blender while the fruit cooks.
  • If cooking at a higher altitude, you will need to reduce the target temperature (220°F) by two degrees for every 1000 feet of elevation.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 tbs
  • Calories: 27
  • Sugar: 66
  • Sodium: 0
  • Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 7
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 0

Enjoy!  What are some of your favorite uses for jam?

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293 Comments

  1. So incredibly quick and easy to make, and super delicious! I wanted to use up some absolutely flavorless organic strawberries I bought at Costco the other day (I mean, seriously, they were beautiful looking but had ZERO flavor and awful texture). And the jam is so good that I can hardly believe it has those berries in it. Like a bit of magic! Thanks for the great recipe!






  2. Rebecca Horton says:

    is it 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or 2 tablespoons

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      tbp = tablespoons

  3. Margaret Armstrong says:

    Made this on the 24 th April so easy delicious will do it again

  4. Do you need to use fresh lemon juice or can you use bottled?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      fresh is best, but bottled can work in a pinch.

  5. Caroline Mapfumo says:

    This was our first attempt at making jam and my girls were THRILLED with the outcome! Thank you for sharing a wonderful and fool proof recipe! Now onto bulk production while strawberries are in season. Not clear on Step 4 of the canning method – how exactly do you do the boiling method? Thanks muchly!






    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      hi, I have a post about canning pizza sauce that talks a little bit about the canning process I use. ( Canning Pizza Sauce ) It would be the same for the jam, but you would process it for 5 minutes in boiling water. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the water for another 5 minutes.

  6. Audrey Callum says:

    I’ve never tried making jam without pectin before. It was so easy and so delicious.






  7. Taste just the way my Granny used to make it!






  8. My 1st time making jam. I followed the recipe exactly and it was perfect!






  9. Carrie Mataraza says:

    Folowed this recipe exactly but the jam stayed watery. Can I put it back to boil down more?






    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      yes you can, see tips in the post for jam that didn’t set.

  10. Quick! Easy! Delicious! Thank you for the recipe! Absolutely wonderful!






  11. This was the best, thanks!






  12. Can you use this jam under strawberries on top of cheese cake

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      I don’t see why not.

  13. just used this recipe to make cranberry jelly! can’t wait to add this to a white chocolate cheesecake! thank you!!






  14. Any substitutions for lemon juice? I read we could use vinegar just half the amount though. Really not wanting to head out to the store as we are currently going into another state lock down and everyone is panic shopping.

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      Never tried it without using lemon juice. You could try to just leave it out. Make sure your jam comes to 220 degrees F in order to gel properly. For me, I use a thermometer to check the temperature. You will want jam to reach 220°F. 220°F is the heat point at which the sugar bonds with the pectin and forms a gel.

      It can take 24-48 hours for the jam to fully set up. So if it is still on the thinner side, don’t worry. Know that as it sits in the fridge it can set up more.

      Another method to test if the jam is ready, is the “plate in the freezer” method. (Remove jam from heat while conducting the test.)

      Place a small plate in the freezer when you begin cooking the jam. When you are ready to test to see if the jam will set, remove the plate from the freezer and place a quarter size amount of the jam in the center of the plate. Place plate back in freezer for about a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate. if it wrinkles and is jell-like the jam is ready. If the jam “fills in” the line you made with your finger, you should cook the jam for another few minutes.

    2. We live in S. America, in Peru, where there are no lemons. Lime juice works fabulously – and, I think, tastes better! I have made this kind of jam using figs, mangos, and other tropical fruits, as well. Wonderful!

  15. Solid recipe. Turned outs great everytime and my girlfriend loves it too. I make a double batch or more cause it’s so popular. Thanks for sharing.






  16. Maddy Vogel says:

    Hi, I just made this recipe I used frozen organic strawberries .Omg it is Delicious! Thank you for sharing , I will never buy store bought jam again . Looking forward to trying the other flavors?






  17. so easy and soo good!






  18. lorna terry says:

    Daughter got me some strawberries to ripe to eat so I checked out a jam recipe, came across yours it’s cooling now but looks & smells lovely so simple to make can’t wait to taste it cold , thanks for sharing ???






  19. About how many ounces of jam does this make? I need to buy jars, but don’t want to have a bunch of excess left over. Also, do you recommend small or large jars?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      This is a small batch recipe. So it makes about 8 ounces —ish. You can double and triple the recipe it just may need to cook longer.

  20. Tina Moody says:

    I am a beginner jam maker and this recipe is awesome. I have tried others and they turn out terrible. Thank you for sharing!