Easy Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam {No-Pectin Option}

Delicious low sugar strawberry freezer jam is so easy and quick to make! Strawberry freezer jam is a great way to preserve your strawberries at the peak of freshness and sweetness. No cooking, canning, or special equipment is required for making freezer jam either!

A mason jar of strawberry freezer jam on a wooden table next to a plate of fresh sourdough scones.
Ssourdough scones or biscuits make the perfect accompaniment for your homemade jam — add some thick, clotted cream too.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Strawberry freezer jam only requires 3 common ingredients.
  • This is a 5-minute jam recipe.
  • If you don’t have pectin, you can make it without.
  • You can make it low-sugar or with the traditional, sweeter recipe.
  • Freezer jam requires no cooking, canning, or special equipment so anyone can make it.
  • This is a fantastic way to preserve the sweetness of fresh strawberries when they are in season.

I’m planning a huge strawberry raised bed in my garden so I know this fast and simple freezer jam will become a staple.

My version of strawberry freezer jam is low-sugar compared to traditional recipes but don’t let the “low sugar” label fool you as this jam is plenty sweet as-is.

However, if you want to make the traditional, sweeter variety, I include those steps in the recipe card.

And if you don’t have pectin, or don’t want to use any, I’ll even show you how to make it without pectin.

This jam is not water bath canned so it is not shelf-stable and must be kept frozen, hence the term, freezer jam.

If you love strawberries, try my raw milk strawberry custard ice-cream, my honey roasted strawberries, or my raw kefir smoothie recipe.

What Is Freezer Jam?

Freezer jam is a type of jam made with fresh fruit. It is not cooked or canned (as in water bath canning) but made with raw fruit. Because it’s not cooked, it tastes incredibly fresh and more like the real fruit itself compared to regular (or cooked/canned) jam. But since it is uncooked, it must be kept in the freezer for long-term storage.

For long-term pantry storage, you must use a water bath or pressure cooker canning recipe, not this one.

Ingredients

An overhead shot of the three ingredients needed for strawberry freezer jam.
  • Strawberries | Fresh, sweet, and ripe strawberries picked during peak season is the best choice here. You will want to dehull your strawberries.
  • Sugar | Sugar brings out the sweetness of strawberries even more and enhances it. It also helps the jam to set, although freezer jam (especially low-sugar freezer jam) tends to be runnier than traditional cooked jam. You can also use maple sugar (that link leads to my recipe), maple syrup, or honey instead of cane sugar and I list those substitutions below and in the recipe card.
  • Pectin | Pectin is what makes jam set and keeps it from being a runny fruit puree.
  • Lemon Juice & gelatin powder (for pectin-free version only) | To make this freezer jam without pectin, you need to add lemon juice. Everything is clearly explained in the recipe card below.

See recipe card for quantities.

Equipment

A food processor is recommended but a blender, or potato masher, or even a sturdy spoon will do in a pinch to crush the strawberries.

If you plan to freeze your freezer jams in glass jars, you should be using freezer-safe jars like these mason jars.

Instructions

A food processor on a marble counter full of smashed strawberrries.

Wash and dehull your strawberries. The hull (or calyx) is the green leafy top of the strawberry, which is generally removed. Then using a food processor, mash them by pulsing a few times until your desired consistency is achieved. I like my jam slightly chunky instead of being perfectly pureed.

A glass bowl with sugar and pectin being whisked together.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and pectin.

A bowl of finished strawberry freezer jam.

Add 5 cups of your crushed strawberries berries (the whole 2 quarts should yield 5 cups)  and stir very vigorously for 3 minutes until the sugar and pectin dissolve. Make sure you are scraping the bottom as you stir.

Strawberry freezer jam being ladled into mason jars for freezing.

Ladle into containers and freeze. If using glass mason jars to freeze, you should leave as much space as you see in this photo to avoid glass breakage from expansion.

Hint: Fresh strawberries are best. You can use frozen strawberries but it is best to let them defrost in the refrigerator first by putting them into a mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid.

Substitutions & Variations

Sweetness & Consistency | This strawberry freezer jam is low in sugar and will be less gel-like as a result. To increase sweetness and get a more traditional jam consistency, add up to 4 more cups of additional sugar.

Sugar | You can make this jam with other types of sugar, like my homemade maple sugar.

Storage & Freezing

I prefer two materials to store my food: silicone and glass.

This freezer jam will last in the refrigerator for quite a while due to the sugar and pectin content — 3 to 4 weeks.

To freeze this jam in glass, make sure the glass mason jars are not completely full. Food expands as it freezes and pressure can build in the jar and break the glass as a result. Leave an inch at the top that is free.

In the freezer this jam will maintain its quality for up to 6 months or more.

Buy Mason Jars on Amazon.

You can also freeze this jam in these amazing silicone souper cubes or in silicone bags.

A mason jar of strawberry freezer jam on a wooden table next to a plate of fresh sourdough scones.

FAQ

What is the difference between jam and freezer jam?

Freezer jam is made with uncooked, raw, fresh fruit whereas typical jam is made with cooked fruit. Traditionally jam is water bath canned to make it shelf stable at room temperatures whereas freezer jam must be frozen or refrigerated for a maximum of 304 weeks.

What happens if I don’t add pectin to freezer jam?

Freezer jam has added pectin to help it set firmer, although the consistency will never be as gel-like as cooked jam. If you do not add pectin, your jam will be very loose and more like a fruit puree. Not a bad thing, but not like jam either so be prepared. Some recipes add substitutes like gelatin to set the jam.

Looking for more strawberry recipes like this? Try these:

A mason jar of strawberry freezer jam on a wooden table next to a plate of fresh sourdough scones.

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam {Low-Sugar + No-Pectin Variations}

Strawberry freezer jam is a great way to preserve strawberries at the peak of freshness and sweetness. No cooking, canning, or special equipment required for freezer jam either! 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fruit, jam
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 304kcal
Author: Jana Dziak

Equipment

  • Food Processor (you can also mash by hand)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon (or other larger spoon for stirring)
  • Ladle
  • Half pint jars (or other freezable containers)

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts strawberries fresh and washed, stems and hulls removed.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fruit pectin like Ball brand

Instructions

  • Wash and dehull your strawberries.
  • Then using a food processor, mash them by pulsing a few times until your desired consistency is achieved. I like my jam slightly chunky instead of being perfectly pureed.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and pectin.
  • Add 5 cups of your crushed strawberries berries (the whole 2 quarts should yield 5 cups)  and stir very vigorously for 3 minutes until the sugar and pectin dissolve.
  • Make sure you are scraping the bottom as you stir.
  • Ladle into containers and freeze, or refrigerate for 3-4 weeks.
  • For sweeter jam with a more firm and gel-like consistency: add at least 1 more and up to 4 more cups of sugar in addition to the ingredients above.
  • For a pectin-free version: dissolve a 1/2 teaspoon of plain gelatin powder into 1/4 cup of slightly warmed freshly squeezed lemon juice. Let bloom for 2 minutes then stir to fully dissolve and add to jam as the last step after you have dissolved the sugar.

Notes

Because freezer jam in uncooked, it will not have the same firm, gel-like consistency of cooked jam. Adding more sugar and gelatin will increase the firmness.
Fresh strawberries are best. You can use frozen strawberries but it is best to let them defrost in the refrigerator first by putting them into a mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid.
Storage & Freezing
This freezer jam will last in the refrigerator for quite a while due to the sugar and pectin content — 3 to 4 weeks.
To freeze this jam in glass, make sure the glass mason jars are not completely full. Food expands as it freezes and pressure can build in the jar and break the glass as a result. Leave an inch at the top that is free.
In the freezer this jam will maintain its quality for up to 6 months or more.

Nutrition

Serving: 3tablespoons | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.04g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 25mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 139mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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