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Homemade Strawberry Jam (with fresh or frozen berries)

This fool proof, 4-ingredient Strawberry Jam comes out perfect every single time! Enjoy it any time of the year since you can use fresh or frozen berries!

EASY HOMEMADE JAM FROM 4 INGREDIENTS

Creating homemade Strawberry Jam can be incredibly simple and rewarding. The process yields a delightful combination of sweet and tart flavors for a classic preserve that can be spread atop toast, biscuits, or anything else you like jam on. The recipe is insanely easy, only requires 4 ingredients, requires no special tools, and can even be made with fresh or frozen berries – making it an ideal breakfast option year-round! To further enhance the jam’s taste, I have a secret ingredient not found in most recipes that truly makes it stand out above allll other homemade jam recipes.

A hand putting a spoonful of strawberry jam on a piece of toast.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Is Strawberry jam better with or without pectin?

Strawberry jelly made with pectin results in a jelly that is more firm and thicker than one without it. However, it is important to note that strawberries have natural pectin in them, so just like raspberry and blueberry jam, if using fresh berries, you don’t have to use pectin. Plus when you combine the strawberries with the jello, it firms up nicely as well. No pectin needed for this jam recipe!

Why do you put lemon juice in strawberry jam?

It does a few things. It lowers the pH of the jam and works to ‘set’ the jam (a bunch of science happening there) Also, strawberry jam tastes sweet, but adding a little bit of lemon juice can create a balance of flavors that really makes it shine. The acidity in the lemon juice helps to cut through some of the sweetness and adds brightness and zing to the jam. The lemon also helps preserve the color and flavor of the strawberries as well, preventing them from losing their vibrant hue.

What strawberries are good for jam?

Fresh berries that are nice and ripe or, frozen strawberries are best for making jam. Either will work.

What do you do if your jam is too runny?

Typically this doesn’t happen often with this recipe since we are using the jello, but if somehow you ended up with runny jam, there is something you can do.
You can try to thicken the jam by boiling it in a saucepan. Bring the jam to a vigorous boil and stir constantly until it thickens, usually about 5-10 minutes. You can also add a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water for each cup of jam and then bring it to a boil. This will help the jam thicken up more quickly. If the jam is still too thin even after boiling, you can place it in shallow dishes and refrigerate it until it reaches the desired consistency. But again, this is typically not a problem with this specific recipe.

Does jam thicken when cool?

Jam is traditionally made with pectin, which triggers the thickening process when heated. As the jam cools, it will continue to thicken as the pectin molecules bond together and form a gel-like structure that gives jam its signature texture. Additionally, some jams contain other thickeners like guar gum or xanthan gum to help create an even thicker consistency. So, yes, jam does indeed thicken as it cools.

Can I use fresh berries?

Absolutely! If using fresh berries, just use 4 cups of fresh ones instead of the frozen ones. I have a recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam and that one uses fresh berries and doesn’t require any stovetop boiling (and it uses pectin not Jell-O).

Do I have to use Jell-O?

No, although you will need other ingredients instead. If not using strawberry Jell-O for this recipe, be sure to add a 3-ounch pouch fo Certo liquid fruit pectin instead of the Jell-O and increase sugar to 4 cups of sugar.  

Can I preserve this strawberry jam?

Certainly! This is a great recipe to make and store some extra away for later. To preserve this, use a water bath canning procedure. Follow the directions here. 

Can I use other berries?

Yep! Just as I do in my Raspberry Jam recipe, you can use pretty much any berry. I’ve only ever tested this particular style of recipe with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries so it’s possible you may have to adjust amounts depending on how tart your fruit might be. Unfortunately, that is just one of those things you have to taste and test to figure out.

Do I have to remove the foam?

I remove the foam during homemade jam-making for a better-looking jar presentation, but it’s not necessary to remove it all. The foam doesn’t affect the taste, but rather it’s about creating a clear top when the jar is opened.

How much jam does this make?

This recipe makes just over three 11 ounce jars of jam, or a little over four 8 ounce jars of strawberry jam. You fill find that you will have some leftover, which is nice to put in a smaller jar to give to friends or keep for yourself if you are giving the larger jars to friends and family.

I don’t like seeds, can I remove them?

To me, strawberry seeds are so tiny that you don’t really feel them in there but some folks swear they do or for whatever reason, just don’t want or like them in there. You will have to do an extra step of straining the seeds out through a mesh strainer. You’ll probably need to help push it through as well because it will be thick. I never do this as we all enjoy the whole fruit in there are a lot of health benefits to leaving the seeds in.

How long does homemade strawberry jam last?

Homemade jam should be stored in the fridge for up to a month or in the freezer for up to a year.

One open jar of strawberry jam with a spoon holding some above it and a closed jar behind it.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • frozen sliced strawberries – I like the consistency of frozen strawberries because they are picked at the peak of freshness and are consistent in flavor but you can use fresh berries (about 4 cups)
  • sugar – real sugar here – I have not tried it with a sugar substitute so can’t say how that would turn out
  • strawberry Jell-O – it seems like a strange ingredient but it really helps to pop that strawberry flavor, you can use Certo pectin if you prefer (see my FAQ above on how to do that)
  • lemon juice – fresh works but also the bottled stuff works fine here too
Frozen strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jell-O, and lemon juice.

HOW TO MAKE STRAWBERRY JAM

Wash and dry jars with lids. In a 3.5 quart pot, over medium-high heat, add frozen strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jell-O and lemon juice. Stirring regularly. 

A pot with lemon juice, strawberries, sugar and jello.

Once sugar has dissolved (this takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes), take a potato masher and begin mashing all the berries until mostly smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil then turn down to a simmer for about 5-6 minutes. 

A pot of strawberry jam with a potato masher.

As it simmers, you’ll notice a light pink foam gathering at the top. Skim off any “foam” from the top of the simmering jam using a spoon. This will produce a lot of foam so it’ll take a little time to skim it off. 

A spoon skimming off the pink foam.

Remove from heat and pour into clean jars. I find it easiest to do with a wide mouth funnel (paid affiliate link) (non affiliated link)

Wide mouth funnel and a ladle pouring sauce in.

Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Then screw on the lids.

Wiping jars with a cloth.

Allow the jars to cool completely on the counter then put into the refrigerator. Mixture fully thickens into a jam consistency after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

Three jars of homemade strawberry jam with lids on top.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

An open and closed jar of Strawberry Jam.
A jar of homemade Strawberry Jam with a spoon holding some above the jar.

Strawberry Jam (with fresh or frozen berries)

Brandie @ The Country Cook
This fool proof, 4-ingredient Strawberry Jam comes out perfect every single time! Enjoy it any time of the year since you can use fresh or frozen berries!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Chill Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 36 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 48 servings
Calories 75 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 (14 ounce) bags frozen sliced strawberries
  • 3 ½ cups sugar (or more, to taste)
  • 6 ounce box strawberry Jell-O
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about the juice from one lemon)

Instructions
 

  • Wash and dry jars with lids.
  • In a 3.5 quart pot, over medium-high heat, add frozen strawberries, sugar, strawberry Jell-O and lemon juice. Stirring regularly.
  • Once sugar has dissolved (this takes anywhere from 8-10 minutes), take a potato masher and begin mashing all the berries until mostly smooth. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil then turn down to a simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
  • As it simmers, you’ll notice a light pink foam gathering at the top. Skim off any “foam” from the top of the simmering jam using a spoon. This will produce a lot of foam so it’ll take a little time to skim it off.
  • Remove from heat and pour into clean jars. I find it easiest to do with a wide mouth funnel (non affiliated link)
  • Wipe the edges of the jar with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Then screw on the lids. Allow the jars to cool completely on the counter then put into the refrigerator. Mixture fully thickens into a jam consistency after it has chilled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • This makes just over (3) 11 ounce jars worth of jam.  
  • Fresh berries can be used. Substitute with 4 cups of fresh.
  • If not using strawberry Jell-O, use 1 (3 ounce) pouch Certo liquid fruit pectin instead and increase sugar to 4 cups. 
  • It seems like a lot of sugar but it is perfectly balanced. Use less sugar if you prefer. Or if your strawberries are more tart, then add more sugar. 
  • Jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. 
  • I prefer to skim the foam off the top of the jam because it looks better while in the jars. However, this step is totally optional. It’s impossible to skim all the foam off the top but as long as you get a majority of it, it will look much nicer in the jars.
  • You can also can the jam using a water bath canning procedure. Follow directions here.
  • This makes (3) 11-ounce jars of (4) 8-ounce jars with some extra. 
Keyword Strawberry Jam

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So so easy and it got RAVE reviews!! I’m definitely going to make this to give as Christmas gifts. Absolutely the best Strawberry Jam I have ever made (and I have made a lot of recipes!)

  2. Very interested in trying this jam recipe with the jello… I’ve never see this before in a strawberry jam recipe…. can’t wait to try it out…By the way….. where did you purchase your jars with the beautiful lids I really like those !!!!!!

    1. I really like these jars as well. I found them at Tractor Supply.
      Le Parfait Jam Jar – 324ml Faceted French Glass Jelly Jar w/Twist Lid, Jonesie,11oz (Pack of 6) $39.99.
      I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a go.
      Ty 🙂

    1. Yep! You may have to slightly adjust amounts. I haven’t tested all of them yet so can’t tell you how to adjust but it depends on level of tartness, etc. I’ve only tried raspberry, strawberry and blueberry. 🙂