This strawberry jam is the perfect sweet addition to your breakfast, cakes, pies, and pancakes.

This recipe is simple: 3 ingredients and no more than 20 minutes of cooking time! It’s excellent as a topping for oatmeal, too.

Or you can eat it with a spoon right out of the jar!

vegan strawberry jam

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO RECIPE HERE!

Ingredients and substitutions for strawberry jam

ingredients for strawberry jam
  • Strawberries: You can also do this recipe with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
  • Lemon: You’ll need lemon peel and lemon juice. We recommend using an organic lemon since we let the peel marinate with the strawberries. Lemon peel contains a lot of natural pectin, which will help thicken the jam.
  • Sugar: Any sugar will work here, including cane sugar, coconut sugar, agave syrup, and maple syrup. However, we prefer organic, unrefined cane sugar for a richer flavor.
  • Agar Agar or Chia Seeds: they both work as vegan natural thickeners. They are optional for this recipe, but we recommend using one for a thicker jam, such as a vegan cake or pie.

Equipment

You’ll need a hand blender if you want your jam smooth.

strawberries rinsed and cut in a strainer

Tips for making the best strawberry jam

Use small, red, ripe strawberries

Those are the sweetest and best strawberries for your jam, and they’re even better if they’re fresh from your local farmer or organic market.

Make sure you remove the parts of the damaged or over-ripe strawberries with a brown color. They will spoil your jam faster.

Larger strawberries that are not entirely red and are still white close to the stem are not the best. They are full of water, and you’ll need more sugar to make your jam tasty.

Marinate with lemon peel

The lemon peel serves two purposes. First, it infuses the jam with a zesty lemon flavor.

Second, it releases natural pectin into the strawberries during the marination time. Pectin is a natural thickener and will help your jam set.

marinating the strawberries

Keep stirring

If you stop stirring, your jam will stick to the bottom of your saucepan and burn. And no one likes burnt jam.

So keep stirring often, especially around the sides of the pot.

Smooth vs Chunky

We prefer a smooth jam for cakes and pies, a chunkier jam for pancakes, and a topping for our porridge.

Runny vs Thick

We prefer a runny and more saucy jam for our Sunday pancakes, but we strongly recommend a thicker jam for cakes and pies.

If the jam is a bit thicker, it will be a lot easier to build, cut, and eat your cake.

Use a natural vegan thickener

Our favorite thickener is agar agar, a naturally vegan powder that comes from algae. It’s colorless and tasteless, and it works like magic. You can also use ground chia seeds. They work well, but they will give your jam a darker color.

Go organic if you can

We recommend using organic ingredients for your jam. Especially the lemon, as you are soaking the peel with the strawberries.

strawberry jam in a jar

How to use strawberry jam?

Questions

Is strawberry jam vegan?

Yes. Our jam is 100% vegan!

Is strawberry jam gluten-free?

Yes. Our strawberry jam is 100% gluten-free!

How does jam thicken?

The principle behind thickening jam is simple: First, water is reduced through cooking. Second, the sugar melts. Third, natural fruit pectin acts as a thickener.

Why do we add lemon peel and lemon juice?

Strawberries are poor in natural pectin and will not set independently. Lemons have a good amount of pectin, but the acidity of the lemon will help jellify and set the jam, especially if you don’t use a lot of sugar.

Can strawberry jam be used as a cake filling?

Absolutely Yes! We used this recipe to fill our vegan strawberry vanilla cake and our vegan strawberry pie.

Can strawberry jam be made with frozen strawberries?

Yes. But we do not recommend it. In this case, you’ll need more thickener as frozen strawberries contain more water. Also, you will need to add more sugar to make the jam tasty.

How long will strawberry jam last?

The fresh, unsealed strawberry jam will last up to one week in the refrigerator.

Sealing it well in a glass jar can last up to 3 months. If you pasteurize it, it will last you for an entire year.

Can strawberry jam be frozen?

Yes. This jam freezes well. You can freeze it directly in your glass jar. Just leave space between the jam and the lid, as the jam will expand slightly. When frozen, jam can last up to one year.

Will strawberry jam be set without pectin?

Yes, it will. In this recipe, we do not use added pectin; we extract the natural pectin from the lemon peel. This should be enough for the jam to set. You can also substitute pectin with agar or chia seeds.

Will my strawberry jam thickens as it cools?

Yes, your jam will thicken quite a bit as it cools, so you should not overcook it, or else it will turn out too thick. If this happens, add a dash of water or extra lemon juice.

What sugar is for strawberry jam?

Any sugar will work. We like organic unrefined sugar, but some people don’t, as it has its distinct flavor.

You can use coconut sugar, whole cane sugar, date sugar, and even agave or maple syrup. If you use syrups, you might want to add some extra thickener.

Why didn’t my strawberry jam set?

Your jam didn’t set because 1) you did not cook it long enough, and it’s still too watery 2) you did not let it marinate with the lemon peel for long enough 3) your strawberries are too watery and need the help of a thickener.

How to fix a runny strawberry jam?

You can add a teaspoon or two of agar. You could also cook the jam for longer until more water evaporates.

How to make strawberry jam easy?

This recipe is super easy to follow. If you want to ensure your jam thickens nicely, get some agar. It reduces like magic!

How to make strawberry jam with low sugar?

Our recipe is already relatively low in sugar. Usually, jams call for a 1:1 sugar-to-fruit ratio.

To be able to use less sugar, you need to pick the best, reddest strawberries. Usually, the smaller ones from sunny places are the sweetest. You’ll also need to add some agar to thicken the jam.

vegan strawberry jam

Canning the jam

Canned homemade jam is the best way to preserve the freshness of spring and summer fruit all year round. While we prefer to make our jam fresh every time, here are the simple steps.

We believe the best jars to use are original ball mason jars.

IMPORTANT: It is essential to sterilize your jars properly when making homemade canned foods, as an environment without oxygen (canned food) is fertile for the growth of harmful bacteria.

So please take your time to read and follow the instructions:

1. In a large pot, bring plenty of water to a boil and submerge all your jars and their lids—open—for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure they are thoroughly sterilized.

2. After 20 minutes, carefully remove them from the boiling pot and place them on a clean surface. While they are still hot, fill them with jam. Leave 0.5 inches (1.5 cm) of space between the hole and the edge of the jar.

3. If necessary, clean the edge of the jar with clean kitchen towels quickly dipped in the boiling water.

4. Screw the lid on and seal the jars immediately. During the cooling process, the jam creates a vacuum that perfectly seals the jar.

5. Following this method, you can store the jam for up to three months.

Variations

The best thing about homemade jam is that you can be creative!

Our favorite strawberry jam variations are:

  • Ginger + Maple Syrup + Rhubarb + Strawberries
  • Banana + Strawberries
  • Orange Juice + Mint + Strawberries
  • Basil + Aged Balsamic Vinegar + Strawberries
  • Black Pepper + Strawberries
  • Lime + Mint + Strawberries
  • Vanilla + Strawberries

More strawberry recipes

More easy desserts

Strawberry jam with a spoon

Strawberry Jam

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 5 votes
This strawberry jam is the perfect sweet addition to your breakfast, cakes, pies, and pancakes.
This recipe is simple: Three ingredients and no more than 20 minutes of cooking time! It’s great as a topping for oatmeal, too.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • pounds strawberries
  • cup sugar
  • 1 large lemon

Optional ingredients for a thicker jam – choose one of the two

  • 2 teaspoons agar agar
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Instructions 

  • Rinse 2½ pounds strawberries and cut off the stem.
    Cut each strawberry into four pieces and place them in a large bowl.
    Add the peel of 1 large lemon cut into thin strips. Squeeze the lemon and add its juice to the bowl.
  • Add 1½ cup sugar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves with the strawberries and the lemon juice.
    Let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or if you have time overnight.
  • Pour the mix into a saucepan and remove the lemon peel.
    Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes while stirring.
  • With an immersion blender, blend the mix for a few seconds.
    If you like your jam chunky, you can skip this step.
  • Optionally, add 2 teaspoons agar agar or 3 tablespoons chia seeds to thicken the jam.
    Tip: If you use the jam for pies and cakes, we strongly recommend adding agar or chia seeds to thicken the jam.
    If you use the jam for pancakes you can skip this step and have the jam more liquid.
  • Let boil for another 5 minutes while stirring. This is important to activate the agar agar.
  • Pour into a jar and let it cool down at room temperature.
    Store in a fridge for up to a week, or use in your favorite cakes and pies!

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of strawberry jam out of 15 servings.
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Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 136mg, Dietary Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 12IU, Vitamin B6: 0.04mg, Vitamin C: 48mg, Vitamin E: 0.2mg, Vitamin K: 2µg, Calcium: 29mg, Folate: 20µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 0.4mg, Magnesium: 19mg, Zinc: 0.2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

    1. Hi Annie,

      If you add more agar agar or more chia seeds, yes, it will set up well, but the texture will be more jelly like.
      I am not sure about the right amount as I haven’t tested it. I would probably double the amount 🙂

      I hope this helps,
      Nico

    1. Hi Rianne, I use 16 oz mason jars. That is around 450 ml per jar. If I remember correctly I could fill two of those with this recipe, so you should get in between 800 and 1000 ml of jam from this recipe (depending on the water content of the strawberries).

    1. Hi Rima, we haven’t tried all fruits, but in principle I think they would work. Some fruit (especially fruit low on natural pectin) might require more chia to make the jam thicker.

  1. Guys any gluten free vegan recipes From crackers , bread cake candy or any you can help me with please thank u loads But l need full recipe .
    With love

  2. That was a great help but i need to preserve them a year , is there an explanation how It goes in details would that work with no sugar or the product will get damaged ?

    1. Hi Rima,

      if you want to preserve the jam for a whole year you need to pasteurise the jars after you filled them with jam to kill off all bacteria.

      To pasteurise the jam close the jars well (previously left open to let the freshly cooked jam cool), then put them in a high and spacious pot where the water level must be 2-5 cm higher than the capsule of the jars.

      On the bottom of the pot it is good to put some dishcloths to avoid the exposure of the jar to direct heat; in the same way it is good to put some rags between one jar and another.

      Heat, bring to the boil and leave to boil for about 30-40 minutes taking care to check the water level in order to top it up if it drops.

      Turn off and remove the jars only when the water has become cold, then dry them and store them in a cool, ventilated, dark place for storage.

      The sugar prevents bacterial growth, so I am not sure if the jam would last a whole year without sugar.

      Before you try, please read more about jam pasteurisation on Google. Im sure other blogs would go much more in details, unfortunately we are not experts in this topic 🙂