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Strawberry Canning Recipes: Jam, Jelly, Preserves, Syrups + FREE Printable Labels

22. May 2023

Strawberry season is near, let the jam making begin! But what if you want to make something other than basic jam or jelly? Our strawberry recipe roundup list has you covered! We have butter, syrup, & chutney recipes too! Not everyone wants 7 cups of sugar in their jam either, so we also have reduced sugar options.

FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags |

AND we designed these FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags so you can decorate all of your berry-good looking jars! There are multiple fun and colorful canning labels that you can handwrite text onto for your specific canned goodies. We also include cute labels just for jam and jelly. The printable hang tags include a variety of designs with fun sayings.

Download the FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags

Download the Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags |

Download the FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags

 FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags |

When I can strawberries, I want to make sure I taste the natural strawberry flavor and not just added sugar. Now tastes vary, so perhaps some prefer jam that tastes like candy! Yet I gathered up some lower sugar strawberry canning recipes for this post as well as traditional recipes. I note which strawberry recipes use reduced sugar or substitutes like honey or maple syrup. Many traditional jam recipes have 6+ cups of sugar, so for those looking to cut back on added sugar, please give the lower sugar recipes a try. If you want to reduce sugar in jam, you can also use a low-sugar pectin. Pomona’s Pectin allows you to use even less sugar than other traditional low-sugar pectins.

Many canners think they need a ton of sugar to can jam. This is not true, although opinions differ for sure. How much sugar do you need to preserve fruit or retain the color of what’s in the jar? Instead of sugar, can you opt for natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup instead (which are just sugars in a different form, yet more “healthy” options compared to refined sugar)? If so, what are the ratios of those ingredients to replace sugar?

One important thing to note is the shelf life of canned goods preserved without sugar (or with reduced sweeteners). Lower sugar jam options will have a much shorter shelf life after opening the jar. So once the jar is open and in the fridge, it may last a few weeks before it starts to go bad. Traditional high sugar jams will of course last much longer in the fridge, sometimes a year or more! You can expect to have the same shelf life for unopened jars, although there may be some discoloration with low or no-sugar varieties. Canning in smaller jars will allow you to use up opened low-sugar jams much faster before they spoil. I prefer small 4-oz jam jars.

Canning Strawberry Jam in 4oz Jar |

4-oz mason jars are the perfect size for canning small batch jams with natural sweeteners. The jam should get used up long before it can spoil in the fridge after opening.


Here are a few good places to read more about reducing (or eliminating) additional added sugar in recipes.

  • While sugar is not needed to can fruit, it helps improve flavor and color. Simply Canning has info on the downsides of canning without sugar. Once opened, a sugar-free or naturally sweetened jam will not last as long in the fridge, or it may become discolored on the shelf. The best solution for that in my opinion is to can in the smallest jars so you can use it up before it goes bad. I often can jam in 4-oz jars.
  • Kathleen from Roots & Boots has a great article on how to can sugar and pectin free jam. She helps dispel some of the myths about canning without sugar.
  • HealthyCanning also has an article on canning substitutes like Stevia or sucralose.
  • The good news is that it is perfectly safe to use maple syrup or honey in place of sugar when canning. You can read more about how to substitute honey for sugar in recipes (honey can also replace other sweeteners). Swapping these natural sweeteners in place of sugar will change the taste of a recipe. Some recipes may work better using honey versus maple syrup. And while some recipes are created and tested using a specific sweetener, you can always experiment on your own too.
  • Maple syrup can effect the taste of fruit. It’s best to use a light golden or amber syrup that has a more delicate taste so fruit isn’t overwhelmed with a maple syrup taste. Home Spun Seasonal Living has an article on how to use maple syrup in recipes in place of sugar.
  • Naturally Sweet Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan has already tested canning recipes using natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, agave, fruit juice concentrate, & more. I highly recommend this book if you want to reduce refined sugar in canning recipes. And plus, all the hard work of testing recipes with sugar alternatives has been done for you!
  • There are different pectins you can use that help reduce some of the sugar in jam recipes. SBCanning has a good rundown of these pectins for reduced sugar canning recipes.
  • Even plain water may be used to can fruit, although a light sugar syrup may be a bit tastier.


Strawberry Jam Canning Recipe |

Making Jam & Jelly Without Pectin

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has guidelines on making Jelly without Added Pectin & also making Jam without Added Pectin. If you don’t add pectin to canned jams, you can expect to have a softer set jam. I personally don’t find that to be an issue at all. It is also possible to remake and reprocess jelly that is too soft. On the other hand, you can also have jam & jelly that is too stiff! This can be the result of overcooking, adding too much pectin, or too little fruit, juice, or sugar. If a jam or jelly is too soft or stiff for your liking, you can always use the final product in a different way than intended. For instance, you can add to vinaigrette or meat glazes, oatmeal or smoothies, or ice cream toppings. Or you can just suck it up buttercup and eat that runny jam on biscuits still!

 Canning Runny Strawberry Jam |

If you have runny jam, you can attempt to remake and reprocess it. Or, you can keep as-is and stir into oatmeal or serve on top of ice cream.


Problems with Final Jam & Jelly Products

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a handy chart on common issues with canned jam and jelly. So if you are wondering why your jelly is cloudy or why there are crystals or bubbles in your final product, take a look at their chart!

NOW, on to some recipes! Again, I note which recipes are lower sugar, use sugar alternatives, and have specialty pectin or no added commercial pectin at all.


Strawberry Jams & Preserves

It’s hard to beat traditional strawberry jam on biscuits or rolls! I also like to stir a spoon into my yogurt, oatmeal, or add to ice cream and nut butter sandwiches. But every once in a while, I like to dress up basic jam and add vanilla bean, brown sugar, or other fruit to my strawberry jam.


Strawberry Jam Canning Recipe with custom mason jar labels |

Add our rustic Custom Apothecary Strawberry labels to your finished jam jars. Shop for matching canning labels in the Apothecary Canning Label Collection


Strawberry Jam with Natural Pectin Canning Recipe

Our Strawberry Jam recipe uses natural pectin in the form of granny smith apples and lemon. You make homemade applesauce “pectin” first, then you add it to your berries. It’s obviously a little more involved than using store-bought pectin, but the results are worth it. Plus you will have a more natural pectin. Our recipe also reduces the sugar a bit more than most traditional strawberry jam recipes. Get the strawberry jam canning recipe on our blog post and shop for Apothecary Strawberry Canning Labels in our shop.

Below are additional jam recipes. Some of these recipes are pectin-free. Since strawberries are pretty low in pectin, making a jam without pectin will yield a softer setting jam.


Strawberry Mixed Fruit Compote |

If you have handfuls of mixed berries, try making a fruit compote! You can sweeten with concentrated fruit juice and a splash of lemon juice so the berry taste really shines!


Strawberry Jams with Other Fruits & Vegetables

 FREE Printable Strawberry Jelly Canning Labels |

Our FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels are available for jam & jelly. Also included are blank labels for you to handwrite your own text.


Strawberry Jelly

It must be jelly cuz jam don’t shake like that! Jelly making (or eaten’) just ain’t my thing. I would rather have all the fruit pulp in a jar, but jelly does look awfully pretty all jarred up! Here are a handful of jelly recipes to try.


Bowl of Strawberries |


I have only canned whole strawberries a few times. They taste ok enough, but I prefer to freeze them whole instead of canning them. They get soft and the color pulls out of them once canned. But they seem to taste perfectly fine and work well in oatmeal. You can also add vanilla bean or spices to basic canned strawberries if you wish.


Strawberry Sauces, Syrups, Chutneys, & Butters

Because some times you want something different than jam! Butters are tasty on biscuits and syrup is lovely on pancakes. But how about some strawberry BBQ sauce or vinaigrette? Now that IS different!


FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags |

Our FREE Printable Strawberry Hang Tags are perfect for gift giving jars of jam, jelly, preserves, or butter!


Strawberry Pie Filling

The only strawberry pie I have ever eaten has come from Elby’s Big Boy (in some parts, Elby’s is called Frisch’s Big Boy). It is a tasty but heavily gelled and goopy pie. Not to mention super sweet. While I’ve never eaten homemade canned strawberry pie filling, I can only imagine it is far superior to anything in most restaurants. Strawberry pie filling requires thickening, but there are only a few thickeners approved by the USDA. Clear Jel seems to be a favorite for canners since it doesn’t clump. The non-instant Clear Jel (regular type Clear Jel) will withstand the canning process. Avoid old recipes that call for flour or cornstarch for thickening as those are not approved for canning any more. Alternatively, you could preserve strawberries in syrup, then thicken with cornstarch after opening the jar.


Drinks & Concentrates

Syrups and sodas and juice, oh my! Most of these recipes are for the refrigerator. The exception being a wonderful strawberry lemonade concentrate for canning.


Download the FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags

FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags |

Shop all of our Strawberry Canning Labels on

Shop for Strawberry Canning Labels |


See our Canning Strawberries Pinterest Board for more strawberry recipes.

Canning Strawberries Pinterest Board |

Strawberry Canning Recipes with FREE Printable Labels & Tags |

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Comments (2)

Theri on July 16, 2023

Hi. I have a few questions about freeze canning strawberries and raspberries. I use my own organic berries, Florida Crystals Organic Sugar and followed the Pectin recipe. The jam tastes great, but it’s pretty sweet. It states to use 4 cups of sugar for every 2 cups of crushed strawberries. I read your article. Would it be safe to cut that sugar amount in half? TIA

CanningCrafts on July 16, 2023

You can definitely adjust the amount of sugar for jam recipes by switching to a lower sugar pectin. If you use a specialty pectin like Pomona’s Pectin, you can drastically cut the amount of sweeteners in jam recipes too. I have also made strawberry jam with honey and no pectin, although it seems to take quite a bit longer to cook down. But you can taste the FRUIT more than the sugar, so it’s more natural tasting.

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