Strawberry Canning Recipes: Jam, Jelly, Preserves, Syrups + FREE Printable Labels22. 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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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 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.
- Healthy Strawberry Jam (Refrigerator recipe with maple syrup & chia seeds)
- Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam (no sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Low Sugar Strawberry Jam (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry Jam Sweetened with Juice Concentrate (with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Honey Strawberry Jam Recipe with Chia Seeds (low sugar with honey, no pectin)
- Honey Sweetened Strawberry Jam (with honey, no pectin)
- Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam (with honey & Pomona’s Pectin)
- Honey Sweetened Strawberry Vanilla Jam (with small amount of honey & Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry Freezer Jam (classic pectin freezer recipe)
- Strawberry Freezer Jam (with Liquid Pectin)
- Strawberry Maple Jam (with maple syrup & low-sugar pectin)
- Small Batch Strawberry Balsamic Jam (no pectin)
- Strawberry Basil Jam
- Strawberry Cardamom Jam (Refrigerator recipe with no pectin)
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
- Traditional Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (lower sugar but can be adjusted to taste, no pectin)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Lemon Jam (low sugar, no pectin)
- Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Rhubarb Berry Jam (No-pectin refrigerator recipe with strawberries, blueberries, & powdered sugar)
- Strawberry Rose Hips Jam (no cooking, no pectin immersion blender recipe, optional raw honey)
- Strawberry Meyer Lemon Jam
- Small Batch Strawberry Fig Jam (no pectin)
- Strawberry Kiwi Jam (no pectin)
- Strawberry Kiwi Jam with Ginger (classic pectin)
- Tutti Fruiti Jam (no pectin, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, & raspberry)
- Strawberry Plum Jam (no pectin)
- Strawberry Plum Rosemary Jam (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry Ginger Jam (Ball flex pectin)
- Strawberry, Honey and Ginger Preserves (honey with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry-Banana Jam (honey with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Low Sugar Apricot Strawberry Jam (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Pineapple-Strawberry Jam (low sugar or honey option with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry-Jalapeno Jam (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry-Cranberry Jam (low sugar or honey option with Pomona’s Pectin)
Honey Sweetened Mixed Fruit Compote (honey with mixed berries)
Our FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels are available for jam & jelly. Also included are blank labels for you to handwrite your own text.
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.
- Strawberry Jelly (uses Sure-Jell)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly (pectin-free recipe uses gelatin jello)
- Strawberry Prosecco Jelly (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry Pepper Jelly (refrigerator recipe with low-sugar pectin)
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.
- Canning Whole Strawberries (no sugar & low sugar options)
- Fermented Strawberries with Honey (ferment & refrigerate)
- Pickled Strawberries (refrigerator recipe with honey)
- Quick Pickled Strawberries (refrigerator recipe with sugar)
- Spicy Pickled Strawberries (no sugar refrigerator recipe)
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!
- Strawberry Honey Butter (low sugar recipe uses sugar & honey)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Butter (honey or maple syrup)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Butter (lower sugar)
- Strawberry Hibiscus Butter
- Roasted Strawberry BBQ Sauce (not a canning recipe)
- Strawberry Salsa
- Fresh Strawberry Sauce (Low-sugar refrigerator recipe. You can use sugar, honey, or maple syrup to taste)
- Fermented Strawberry Rhubarb Chutney (ferment & refrigerate)
- Strawberry Syrup (lower sugar recipe)
- Strawberry Chutney
- Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade (low sugar with Pomona’s Pectin)
- Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
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.
- Fermented Strawberry Rhubarb Soda (ferment & refrigerate)
- Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate (canning recipe)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade (refrigerator recipe)
- Strawberry Kombucha (ferment & refrigerate)
- Strawberry Juice (optional minimal sugar used)
- Strawberry Simple Syrup (refrigerator recipe)
Download the FREE Printable Strawberry Canning Labels & Hang Tags.
Shop all of our Strawberry Canning Labels on CanningCrafts.com