Strawberry freezer jam is a simple four-ingredient recipe (no pectin required) that's perfect for strawberry season. This small batch recipe makes a sweet jam that's filled with fresh strawberry flavor.
It's strawberry season. Now is a great time to stock up on fresh, in-season strawberries. Looking for something new to make with those juicy strawberries? How about a batch of freezer jam!
You'll love this recipe because you only need four ingredients, most of which are probably in your kitchen already. I like to make use of ingredients I have on hand, instead of going out to buy one special ingredient (like pectin). So for this jam recipe, we're using cornstarch instead.
Strawberry freezer jam is perfect for spreading onto your morning toast. It can also be added to other recipes that call for strawberry jam, like no churn strawberry ice cream and strawberry jam popsicles.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Strawberries - Fresh, in-season strawberries are best. Grocery store strawberries, strawberries from your local farmer's market, or strawberries from your home garden all work great. You can also substitute with frozen strawberries that have been thawed.
- Granulated sugar - I have only made this recipe with granulated sugar. I have not made this recipe with sugar substitutes (if you do, please consult your sugar substitute packaging for correct quantities). Sugars acts as a preservative in this recipe, so if you do use a sugar substitute, keep in mind that your jam will not keep as long.
- Lemon juice - Helps cut the sweetness of your jam and adds a bright, fresh element. It also helps prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Cornstarch - Thickens your jam. Omitting the cornstarch will result in a thin strawberry sauce (it will taste just as good, but will not thicken to a jam consistency).
What size jars do I need?
One quart of strawberries makes two 8-ounce jars of jam. I like to use 8-ounce ball mason jars to store my jam.
This recipe is very easy to double, triple, or more - so stock your freezer with as much jam as you'd like. Freezer jam will last about 3 weeks (or longer!) in the refrigerator, or about a year in the freezer.
Do I need to sterilize my jars?
Sterilizing is something that is done in canning to remove any bacteria, yeast, or fungi on your jars before filling them with cooked fruits or vegetables. This is done because canned foods are meant to be stored at room temperature for long periods of time. Those jars need to be free of bacteria, which would cause your food to spoil over time.
Since freezer jam is stored in the refrigerator or freezer at all times, there is no need to sterilize your jars beforehand. A regular, clean jar is sufficient.
This jam recipe is not shelf stable. I repeat - not shelf stable! It must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and is not a replacement for a traditional canning recipe for shelf stable jams.
However, if you'd like to sterilize your jars as an additional precaution, you are welcome to do so.
Storing your jam
As I said above, this jam is not shelf stable. Shelf stable goods can be stored in your pantry at room temperature without spoiling. This recipe is a simple freezer jam, and is meant to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer at all times.
Your jam will keep for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator, or about a year in the freezer. Keep your jar tightly sealed at all times to maximize freshness.
Low sugar jam
If you'd like to make a lower sugar jam, add half the amount of sugar. The strawberry flavor will be more pronounced and tart, so keep this in mind.
If you'd like to make sugar-free jam, replace the sugar called for with your favorite sugar-free sweetener. Consult your sweetener's package directions, as some alternative sweeteners are more concentrated and should not be swapped at a 1:1 ratio.
Sugar also acts as a preservative, so your low- or no-sugar jam will not last quite as long when refrigerated.
Readers have had success using alternative sweeteners with this recipe, although I have not tried any myself.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
- 1 quart strawberries, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, (juice from one lemon)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add chopped strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved (and add a splash of water if your strawberries are not very juicy). Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and gently mash strawberries with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached. Return to heat and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until mixture has reduced slightly. The mixture should thickly coat the back of a spoon (and will continue to thicken as it cools).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to jars. When filling jars, leave about 1 inch of space at the top - your jam will expand slightly when frozen. Cool jam completely before adding lids. Store for up to 1 year in freezer, or up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Freezer jam is not shelf stable and needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer at all times. Jam will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks in a tightly sealed jar, or in the freezer for up to a year.
- Sugar can be substituted with a sweetener alternative, but please consult your sweetener package for proper ratios (some are more concentrated than others).
- If using a sugar substitute, keep in mind that the sugar helps preserve the jam, so your sugar-free jam will not keep as long in the refrigerator.
Hi Heather I love this recipe. The best part was only 1 cup of sugar with 5 cups of strawberries. I froze 25 1/2 cups of the jam, the thing is I bought way to many. I have about 8 quarts left so I baggied them up and froze them. They aren't to tasty when you pull them out - do you have a low sugar recipe for water bath? ty
Hi Charleen, I do not have any canning recipes, only freezer jam recipes like this one. However, I did find a promising looking low sugar strawberry jam recipe here: https://www.sustainablecooks.com/easy-strawberry-jam/
Hope this helps!
I made the jam like the recipe , it is not thickening, any idea what I should do
Right now I am letting it cool.
Hi Mary Ann, the cornstarch is the thickening agent in this recipe. I find that if I have very juicy, in-season strawberries, sometimes they need a little extra cornstarch. You could try making a slurry of a few teaspoons of cornstarch with a few teaspoons of water. Stir this into your jam over medium-low heat, then allow it to cool completely (it will also continue to thicken as it cools).
I had the same problem. I tried the slurry and that didn’t help. Its tasty. But more like strawberry soup.
Hi Becky, were you using very juicy, in season strawberries? This recipe doesn't add liquid other than the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, so it sounds like your strawberries were very juicy! I'd recommend simmering for longer, until the jam appears to thicken in the pan.
Timothy C Cook
I'm just curious, is the cornstarch really necessary? I seem to remember when I was young my grandmother taught me how to make strawberry jam with just strawberries and sugar. She said the strawberries contain enough pectin naturally to thicken the batch. I may have remembered it wrong though. Also we would have use wild strawberries so maybe there is a difference.
Hi Timothy, I've made this recipe dozens of times and find that the cornstarch is necessary, which is why I include it in the recipe. I've used both store bought and garden strawberries (I have not tried wild strawberries) and I found that garden strawberries are usually much juicier. You might be able to get away with using only sugar with store bought strawberries and not adding any additional liquid. If you give it a try without cornstarch, let us know how it goes!
this is amazing! Just made it this afternoon -- will definitely be making again! Thank you for posting!
I found some frozen strawberries, can I use those in place of fresh?
Yes, frozen strawberries that have been thawed will work just as well as fresh!
I made this recipe with my 8 year old grandson who with adult supervision did most of it himself. It turned out wonderful and we liked the fact that it wasn't super sweet and the berry flavor really was the "star" . Thanks so much for the recipe and I will be making it again.
Thank you for the great review, I'm so glad you both enjoyed making jam today!
This is such a yummy recipe - I made one batch Saturday, and am making two more batches today, Monday. (1/2 of the first batch is already eaten !)
I had some strawberries that where about to over ripen. I came to your site and found this fruit spread recipe. I made 3 small jars for my fiancé who loves fruit spreads on his toast and had just used up the last we had in the house this very morning. Thank you so much. You have helped me not to waste foods during a safer at home period😊
I love love love this recipe. I use it often. Could I substitute peach and keep the same ingredients? Thank you for sharing once again.
Hi Lisa, I'm so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe! Yes, you can replace the strawberries with peaches. Here's my recipe for peach freezer jam: https://thetoastykitchen.com/peach-freezer-jam/
Could I substitute Splenda for the sugar?
Hi Marisa, yes, you can use splenda instead of sugar, using the same measurements.
Your jam may not last as long in the refrigerator, because sugar does help to preserve the jam and give it a longer shelf life when refrigerated. I haven't tried it myself, but if you do, please let us know how it goes!