Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

I spent Mother’s Day weekend up to my elbows in strawberries. On Saturday, our family went out to a local you-pick berry farm and spent a couple of hours harvesting the sweetest, freshest, most delicious strawberries that I’ve tasted in a long time. I wanted to get enough berries to make strawberry jam and strawberry fruit leather, and still have enough left over to freeze for smoothies.

When it was all said and done, we paid for 17 pounds of berries and came home happy.

I spent most of the day on Sunday processing the berries; removing the caps took quite awhile, especially since the berries were very small. I was very excited about making the jam; we love strawberry jam and we had already attempted blackberry jam a few weeks earlier, which turned out pretty well for a first try.

How-to: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

Freezer jam isn’t made the same way as jam you could keep in the pantry; this jam must stay frozen in order to avoid spoilage. It’s canning for beginners. You don’t need to worry about doing everything “to a T” – there’s a little more room for trial and error.

Besides the berries, you will need no-sugar pectin, white grape juice, and honey. You will want about one packet of pectin for every four cups of mashed berries, which will make around six half-pints of jam. (Don’t you love how precise I’m being?) I made twice that amount. After the berries are washed and the caps are removed, mash up the berries with a large fork, a beater, a potato masher, or all of the above. Little hands can easily help.

Then heat the white grape juice and the pectin together on the stove in a large pot. Stir frequently until it comes to a rolling boil, and then stir constantly for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in fruit. Stir well for one minute and then stir in honey.

Then ladle it into your clean jars and put the lids on. The instructions below say to ladle it through a funnel, which would have been handy for avoiding mess except that I forgot to clean my funnel; oh, well!

Doesn’t that sound easy?

This was a project where the whole family could participate. The jam has no crazy artificial colors or flavors, and no refined sugars. It’s a healthier alternative to store-bought jam, and believe it or not, it’s cheaper than buying similar jam at the grocery! I love that I was able to source local strawberries and support that farmer, and let’s not forget the taste – yum…this jam is so much more delicious than anything I’ve purchased. It has fresh and vibrant flavor, just like the berries.

So don’t fear making jam! This is a perfect way to begin exploring the world of canning and preserving foods. You can use the same recipe for blackberry jam, too. I haven’t tried any other fruits yet, but I’m sure raspberries would also be delicious.

Recipe: Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

• 6 half-pint freezer safe canning jars with lids and bands
• tongs
• ladle
• potato masher
• funnel
• large pot
Sterilize all equipment prior to use; you can do this in a dishwasher or in a pot of boiling water for 20 minutes.

4 cups of mashed berries (do not use a food processor; the jam will not be the right consistency)
1 3/4 cup of white grape juice
3/4 cup honey
1 packet of no-sugar pectin

Mash berries by hand. Then set up all the jars next to your stove; you will want everything arranged before you begin. Keep the lids in a pan of simmering water on the stove (not boiling).

Pour white grape juice and pectin into pot, and bring to a boil on the stove top, stirring frequently. Once the mixture is boiling, stir constantly for one minute. Then remove from heat and gently pour in the mashed berries. Stir for one minute, then pour in the honey.

With your clean ladle, ladle the jam into the jars through the funnel, leaving at least 1/2 inch head room at the top of the jar. Then one at a time, use the tongs to remove the lids from the pan of simmering water and place on top of the jars. Screw the bands down until they are just “finger-tight.” Don’t make them overly tight.

Let the jars cool to room temperature, then put the jam in the fridge overnight. The next morning, you can move it to the freezer.

Have you ever made freezer jam? If you make this, please let me know how it goes; I’d love to hear!


Katie is a writer, a teacher, a mezzo-soprano, and a mama. She and her husband Shaun are passionate about mentoring and equipping artists of all kinds. Find her online at katiefox.net.

Encouragement for living simpler, right in your inbox.

We share our stories as we simplify our lives - no guilt-trips, just love.

(no spam, promise. we hate it, too.)


  1. Canning for beginners – this sounds right up my alley! 🙂

    We’ve done something similar to this on a much smaller scale, making enough to last a week or so in the fridge. But, you make this sound so simple (and you’re pictures show the process so clearly) that I may just have to attempt a larger-scale operation and freeze some jam from all of the awesome strawberries we’ve been getting in our Farm Fresh boxes every week.

    Thanks, Katie!
    .-= Kara Fleck’s last blog: The Best of Both Worlds: Bringing Our Favorite Indoor Activities to the Outdoors =-.

  2. I’ve always wanted to know how to make jam w/o using sugar, so I’ll definitely be saving this recipe! Thanks, Katie.
    .-= Simple Homeschool ~ Jamie’s last blog: Curriculum Choices: Tackling Math =-.

  3. That jam looks delicious. I can just imagine putting it on toast. I would love to try this!

  4. This looks so easy! Do you know how long the jam stays good in the freezer? A couple months? A year? Many years?

  5. this is perfect! I was just wondering about freezer canning of sorts. I have a lot of freezer space, and didn’t want to mess with the boiling water, sterilizing, and hot stuff with toddlers under-foot. Freezing sounds good to a beginner like me. And thank you so much for a sugar-free recipe! That is even better.

  6. Thanks for the recipe – I didn’t use the juice when I did this – used sugar. I like this idea better!

    Are you going to share the fruit leather recipe too?!

    • I am still working on the fruit leather… My first attempt was not so stellar! 🙂 Once I get it done I might share, although I am using a dehydrator, which I know not many people have. So, we’ll see!

  7. Made this a few weeks ago and already have to make more because my whole family loves it and I had to share with them all. 🙂 My husband said he never wants to taste store bought jam again – only my homemade! It really does taste so fresh & delicious.
    .-= Kayla’s last blog: Sweet Baby Ethan =-.

  8. I’m so happy you posted this! I have been making freezer jam for 2 years and wondered if there was a way to make it with out all that sugar. Thank you! I’m excited to try this method instead the next time I make jam.
    .-= Kristen’s last blog: family + art = mother’s day happiness =-.

  9. Oh we made plum jam recently but I have to try one that doesn’t have equal parts fruit and sugar… Gotta try this, well bookmark it… It is a long time till we see strawberries again!!!
    .-= se7en’s last blog: The Week that Was – 2.45 =-.

  10. Oooh, Katie! We went to that same farm just the day before you did! You had much better weather though — Friday was SO hot. We didn’t get anywhere near 17 lbs (!) before we cried Uncle and retreated to the shade (and ice cream). I still wanted to make jam, though, so I really appreciate the easy recipe!
    .-= Hannah’s last blog: For everyone who’s a mother or ever had one =-.

    • Yes – we were so glad for the cooler weather that day! If not, I’m sure we would have similarly surrendered. 🙂 Aren’t the berries so so so delicious?!?!

      • My 4 y.o. and I made a batch tonight and had a great time. Can’t wait to taste it, as it looks lovely. I didn’t notice I needed to buy the sugar-free pectin, so ended up with whatever Central Market had, which did contain sugar. 🙁 So I reduced the honey, and hope it won’t be too sweet.
        .-= Hannah’s last blog: For everyone who’s a mother or ever had one =-.

  11. Oh!! I am so jealous!! We won’t have strawberries to pick around here until the beginning of June! I can’t wait. My family is freezer jam crazy. We make it every year and make enough to last the whole year for 3 households. I have stopped buying store bought jam because I can’t stand the taste of it anymore! Two years ago we processed 90lbs of strawberries. Each household picked 30lbs. and then we spent one LONG day together making jam. Just a few years ago we stumbled on a preservative (also from the Ball company) called No Cook Freezer Jam. We love it. It does use sugar but it is only 1 1/2 cups to 4 cups of crushed strawberries (the regular preservative we used to use was 4c. sugar to 2c. strawberries!!). Plus you don’t cook it on the stove at all. You just crush the strawberries, add the sugar and preservative packet and put the jam in freezer containers. So quick and simple!!
    Anyway, thanks for the post. You have my mouth watering for fresh local strawberries!!

  12. Katie, I’m so envious that you have strawberries already! Then again, I just harvested a huge armload of rhubarb, so I’m feeling inspired for jam as well.

    What a great post! I’ve never made freezer jam — I kind of like how the jars look all lined up in my pantry. Any idea how this sugar-free recipe might work if I processed it like regular jam?
    .-= Aimee @ Simple Bites’s last blog: Encourage Kids to Cook By Hosting a Cooking-Themed Birthday Party =-.

    • Aimee, I’m not sure about that – I’ll have to look into it! I’m curious, too, because “regular” jam is next on my list.

      Yes, strawberry season is actually almost over here! I’d say we have another two weeks, max. The blackberries will be next! 🙂

      • I actually just did this on Mother’s Day (relaxing, right?). And by this I mean no-sugar canned strawberry jam. I’d done full-sugar freezer jam a few years in a row, but now with a baby, I just couldn’t stand the idea of feeding it to her. I used a special kind of pectin: Pomona’s Universal Pectin (http://www.pomonapectin.com/). There are quite a few options as far as recipes go–honey, sugar, artificial sweeteners, stevia, juice, etc. I did 1c honey to 8c mashed strawberries. The consistency is definitely different, and my HARDCORE sweet tooth certainly misses all of the sugar, but I like it. Not so much off the spoon, but I had some on a toasted English muffin, and it was great. And I felt good putting it on my 13-month-old’s sandwich (of course, I think all the strawberries we’ve been eating/feeding her is breaking her sensitive face out, but she loves it).
        .-= Brooke’s last blog: Tuesday lunch date =-.

  13. Awesome! I just made some no-cook freezer jam that came out delicious (tastes like when you just add sugar to strawberries) but I was totally looking for a no-sugar version! This will definitely be the next one I try. Thanks, Katie!
    .-= Nicole aka Gidget’s last blog: Three-Year Old Chiquita =-.

  14. I have made freezer jam once and it was with sugar. I love your recipe and I am going to make some for our gf pancakes and waffles! Yum yum. Thanks for the great recipe.
    .-= Keilah’s last blog: Mother’s Day Surprise =-.

  15. I love strawberry freezer jam! I made tons of it last year with fresh strawberries, and we’re still enjoying last year’s jam. I’ll definitely be making more when we run out. I used the special freezer pectin, which called for sugar. I would love to make it without sugar, so I think I’ll try your recipe this year. I bet it’s delicious with honey!
    .-= Jeanne’s last blog: Meyer Lemon Madness! =-.

  16. Thanks for the recipe! Once you take it out of the freezer to use it, do you know how long it will last in the fridge?

    • Hmm, I’m not sure about that – we always eat it up so quickly that it’s never been an issue! I’m sure it’s like any other jam – just use your judgement!

  17. I just made no-cook freezer jam today because the organic strawberries were such a good price at the grocery store today; I don’t crush them, instead I toss them in the blender. It makes for a more even consistency. I used organic sugar, but I would be tempted to cook to try a no-sugar version.
    .-= nopinkhere’s last blog: Chocolate Chip Snack Cake =-.

    • In the directions for the no-sugar pectin, it said not to put the berries in a food processor or blender because it breaks down the natural pectin of the berries too much. Maybe the no-sugar pectin vs the freezer jam pectin is the difference?

  18. I have never made jam and I’m not sure I understand freezer jam exactly. We go through jam pretty quickly in my house but not 3 days quickly. Do you have to defrost the jam every time you use it and then put it back in the freezer? Or, do you transfer a few tablespoons every now and again into a separate container and leave it in the fridge for a few days? I really want to try this. Sounds like a lot of fun!

    • No, you just keep the jars in the freezer as opposed to the pantry (that’s how they stay fresh, since they are not truly “canned.” When you are ready to open a new jar, just take it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then it’s ready to eat. Store in the fridge like any other store-bought jam until it’s gone! It lasts for a few weeks at least.

  19. I’ve just started making strawberry jam this season and I’ve been cooking it on the stovetop with sugar! When I found your recipe I was so excited! I did try to use honey with the stove top method but it did not work well at all!! I’m going to use your recipe tomorrow but I have a question… when the jam is in jars and frozen, and the time comes to consume can I take a portion of the jam out and put the jar back in the freezer or is it better to defrost and use the whole jar at one time?? Thank you so much for your input, I will let you know how it turns out tomorrow!!!

  20. okay, i am completely confused, for ingredients you say no-sugar pectin, does that mean the pectin that says “no sugar” on the front or one with no dextrose in it?

    • It’s the pectin that says “no sugar” or “no sugar needed” on the front. You can see it in my picture of ingredients.

  21. Sana Mo says:

    Hi! So, I attempted to make this yesterday. I followed your directions and jarred them last night. I took them out of the fridge this morning and they are still kinda watery looking. Is that okay or should I take them all out and add some more pectin/juice mixture?


    • It’s hard to say without seeing it myself….but in general, homemade jam is always more watery than store-bought. And I’ve learned it can also take up to two weeks for it to really finish “jamming.” I would say if they are really watery, you could add a bit more, but if it’s not bad I would just go ahead and freeze them, then take one out to thaw and eat in a week or so and see how it is. Let me know if you have more questions!

  22. Jocelyn McCarthy says:

    I made freezer jam last evening but forgot to put the bottles in the freezer until this morning. Any chance my jam may spoil?

    • Was it out on the counter or in the fridge? If it was in the fridge, it’s fine. If it was out on the counter, I don’t know… I would get it into the freezer (except your first jar, if you’re going to eat it right away, you can just put in the fridge) and go ahead and try. You should be able to tell if it smells like jam or if it smells “off.” I hate for you to waste all that jam! So I would try. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Jocelyn McCarthy says:

        Hi Katie,
        Yes it was left out on the counter but I did try some this morning on toast and it was fine. I’ll have to tag those bottles just in case and keep an eye on them.
        Thanks, for your advice!

        • Suzanne says:

          When my mom used to make freezer jam, she always left them on the counter overnight instead of the fridge. That was sugar jam, but still, I’m sure they’re fine.

  23. I’m curious…would this recipe work well with other fruits? Would it just be a matter of increasing/decreasing the sweetener (honey in this case) to account for the tartness/sweetness of whatever fruit you’re using?

    Can’t wait to try this out…thanks!
    .-= Nikki Moore’s last blog: I Hate Exercise =-.

    • I used the same recipe for blackberry jam and it was great. I am sure it would work well for any berry and I don’t see see why it wouldn’t work for other fruits, too! Be brave! 🙂 If you try it out with other fruits, be sure to let us know the results!

  24. I *just* finished making this…Ill let you know how it turns out!

  25. Thanks for the great post. Can’t wait to try this. I’ve been using glass jars in the freezer for other things like stocks, leftover soup, etc. I always leave about an inch head space for expansion. It doesn’t look like you leave much at all. Have you ever had any break?

    • There is about a half-inch of head space there that you can’t see because of the bands. For the jam, this is plenty – it doesn’t expand like liquids do, and the jars I use specifically say freezer-safe. For liquids and for non-freezer safe jars, you will want to leave an inch or two, though. I’ve never had these break, but I have had non-freezer-safe glass jars break when they have liquids in them if I don’t leave at least an inch!

  26. I’m going to try this! Can I just use plastic containers like old margarine containers? thats what my parents used years ago when they made freezer jam

  27. Great recipe and loved the no sugar part. If you are using frozen berries, cut back on the liquid or take the time to reduce it a little more as the recipe was modestly firm but fell a little short. Excellent flavor and color. I also did a batch with frozen blackberries. To add some bulk to it I added an extra cup of berries which sis the trick. Again, great flavor and color.


  28. I too am wondering about the containers. Do they have to be glass? the end of the strawberry season is here I would like to give this a try.

    • I’m sure that you don’t need glass containers – we just try to avoid plastic since it contains toxins, esp since you have to ladle the jam into the containers when it’s hot, which will release even more toxins.

      • thank you for your reply. We dont seem to be able to buy the sugar free pectin here. My DH is off to San Franscisco this weekend so I will see if he can purchase some for me.

  29. I’m not sure why I didn’t see the question/answer on here but…..we have been doing the freezer jam for years now. There are years we gobble it down and years we barely touch it. How long is it “safe” to keep it in the freezer? We have some 2008 jars still that we are eating. The flavor is just as good as it was 3 years ago and there’s no spoiled taste. Are we okay doing that?

  30. Charlotte says:

    Katie, have made strawberry freezer jam before with reg. amount of sugar and also reduced sugar, love them both, but I wonder how the grandkids would like the no sugar/honey version?? How does it compare in sweetness to the full sugar one or the reduced sugar one? I like the idea of no sugar and love using honey. I’m in Fl. right now and have lots of strawberries!!

  31. Looks scrummy!!! 🙂

  32. Strawberry picking this Wednesday. Can’t wait to try your jam. Being a diabetic I am always looking for a recipe that doesn’t use so much sweetner especially white sugar. Do you know if you can go ahead and water bath this or is it strickly freezer jam?

  33. Just finished a batch of your jam… I used organic apple juice instead of grape. Can your pectin change the taste? I noticed after I dumped it in that it had a “best used by 2010” date on it. OOPS! So, I’m not sure if the taste isn’t great due to the apple juice, the pectin or the honey I used. Should still be yummy on fresh bread, and healthier than the sugar loaded kind! Thanks for sharing this!
    Also, may I ask what you pay for your berries? I think ours are pretty pricey. Thanks again! 🙂

  34. I just made a batch of this over the long weekend. I used raw honey and the jam was delicious. Thanks!

  35. Thanks for posting this! Just made this recipe and can’t wait to try it out!

  36. Amber S. says:

    We gathered the last of the strawberries last weekend and used this recipe to make jam. It worked wonderfully! Thanks!

  37. Crystal says:

    Does the jam actually thicken like regular jam? I’d really like to try this recipe but am afraid it will be runny. I’ve been told that if you don’t use all the sugar that most recipes call for, the jam won’t thicken.

  38. This recipe sounds nice. But, if you have room, I would rec’d freezing the fruit. Defrost them , blend them to make a jelly like substance(with a blender), add honey(if needed) & serve. Simple & easy 🙂

  39. Shelley says:

    I just made this Strawberry jam recipe…IT is unbelievably Great!!!….I wanted to make as natural and organic jam as possible and this was the ticket….thanks for the terrific recipe….its fast ….easy….and I could just eat it with a spoon!

  40. I made this recipe last night. I used Apple Raspberry juice (from Aldi’s) because that’s what I had on hand, and it turned out really well. I also used raw honey. I think it has a strong honey taste which I’m not thrilled with, but it’s very good and I’m sure it won’t last long (meaning it will get eaten quickly – I have kept freezer jam for years and it hasn’t gone “bad”). This is my second attempt at sugar-free jam, and my first success, so I am very pleased. Thanks for the recipe!

  41. I think that to get the loan from creditors you ought to have a great reason. Nevertheless, one time I’ve got a term loan, just because I was willing to buy a bike.

  42. Nice site, thank you for sharing, I thought all in one day! You have a beautiful pen, hats off!

  43. My best experience ever ever for ever and good knowledge.

  44. this site having good content such as requires i appreciate it…

  45. Thank you for writing it.

  46. Man, that looks good. My grandma just went to a local pick your own berry farm too about a week ago. She brought back a ton of assorted berries. I really want to save some of them for the winter, but I’m having a hard time keeping my hand away from the bucket 🙂 They’re so good.

  47. Sharon Hille says:

    I am diabetic and want to try the 4 ingredient strawberry freezer jam. I never drink grape juice because of the high content in the juice, could I substitue
    and use apple juice? Any other ideas? Hopefully, I can find a place that sells the Sugar Free pectin. I don’t care for a lot of Equel or SPLENDA.
    THANKS FOR ANY IDEAS OR HELP… Sharon , Kent, Wa.

  48. Thank you for posting this, I have been wondering how easy it would be to make my own jams as I had not done this since being a teenager. (yes that long ago lol)

    Also wanted to say I love your Polish Pottery… I myself have a huge collection and adore it!

  49. I just made this jam and was really looking forward to it.
    Once I put it into the jars, it turned out almost like juice 🙁
    Any idea why this happened? I double checked the grape juice measurements.
    Maybe I had the wrong kind of pectin or wrong package size? The package of pectin was labelled “fruit pectin crystals” with no sugar.
    Any help would be appreciated as I have more strawberries to make another batch 🙂

  50. it is great site and blog, keep it commenting

  51. Thanks for sharing these info with us! I was reading something similar on another website that i was researching. I will be sure to look around more. Thanks

  52. Iphone Repair at Dr Cell Phone Service Center

  53. A great post, thanks for taking the time to share, continued success to your site in the future! GOOD Work!!!

  54. I feel very lucky can find this page. Finally i find something that i want to know. Thank you for this useful information’s.

  55. I am really excited to make this jam. I am confused as to what type of pectin to use. I rushed out to the store and bought Low or No Sugar Needed Pectin,(New Formula) but now I am confused and think I should of bought the packet of Pectin for freezer jam. The other concerning factor is the amount of pectin in the container is to make 22 half pints but does not break it down to how much for a packet recipe amount. Any help would be appreciated

  56. This is one of the most incredible blogs Ive read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!

  57. Well, that’s really great and appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.

  58. This summer, I started making this freezer jam for my deli. Everyone comments on how wonderful the flavor is and how it tastes of fresh berries. I have adults come in for a peanut butter and homemade jam sandwich after nibbling on the kiddos! The only thing I have added is paper thin sliced lemon rind to the boiling juice and pectin. I try not to add too many of the fruit bits but it helps add a nice little tang! Thanks for an easy and delicious recipe.

  59. We extra this great site in order to my favorite feast visitor, terrific things. Can’t obtain enough!

  60. Christine Lister says:

    Hi, I made Blackberry jam two weeks ago with Splenda and bottled pectin, it was very good, then last night I tried some from an opened jar, not kept in the fridge and the smell of acetone was very strong, I did the water bath and the lids popped .
    It has not affected me though, what could have happened?

  61. I’m going to try this….wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it turns out…: )

  62. Sally Thompson says:

    Wow! That looks yummy! I feel hungry already. Haha! I want to try this! Thanks for sharing it!

  63. It’s our very first time browsing at this website. We really enjoyed studying your own terrific page it is really precious material. I Found this site on yahoo and also I am satisfied that I clicked your website link.

  64. Looks great!

  65. Get Social Bookmarks With People Powered Plus +1’s Likes or Youtube Views You Have Control Over Every Aspect

  66. Can you use wild blueberries with this recipe?? Could you post some pics of this

  67. Ha ha what a preparation,really is i feel to eat this fruit.

  68. Would you recommend using agave nectar instead of honey? If so, would you use 3/4 cup?

  69. Katie! I found your blog via a friend’s–love it! Saw your pic at the bottom and remembered meeting you in Austin (I’m married to Kyle Truman). Do you know if this recipe works with other fruit? My son has a food sensitivity to strawberries. And grape juice, for that matter. 🙂 I am thinking of using pineapple.

  70. can one make this WITHOUT the honey? i find i prefer just the sweetness of the berries themselves but am wondering how it would set up w/o the honey..?

  71. Shannnon says:

    I made this with strawberries a few weeks ago and it was on the soft/runny side. I made it today with raspberries and added an extra 1/2 pkg of pectin (1 1/2 total). It is definitely more tart with the extra pectin, but so far sitting on the counter it is thicker – it will not run off the bread like the other stuff. Great recipe though and I love the idea of no added sugar. The honey is a great sweetener and I actually just used apple juice since that’s what I had and it costs less than white grape juice.

  72. I’ve made strawberry freezer jam using honey and also using agave nectar. I have to say the batch with the agave nectar tasted so fresh! It was the best strawberry jam I’ve ever eaten. Yum. 🙂

  73. Nice job. I love the jam. Looks very delicious.

  74. Hi I tried this jam recipe and the flavor is great but it turned out super hard like ice. Not sure why? Any ideas.


Add Your Thoughts