Homemade Strawberry Preserves

Today I am sharing a homemade strawberry preserves recipe without pectin. And if you don’t know how much I love strawberry season, I will assume you are new here.

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Homemade strawberry preserves without pectin

If you're a fan of all things strawberry and all things sweet, this is the perfect recipe for you! Preserves are a perfect way to preserve the flavors of your favorite fruits, and strawberry preserves are one of the most popular ones. However, most recipes require the use of pectin, a thickening agent commonly used in jams and jellies.

But don't worry, this recipe does not require any added pectin. 

Instead, we'll use a natural thickening agent readily available in every household. Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it's also much healthier than the store-bought version that's loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors.

So, grab your apron, and let's get started! Follow my step-by-step guide and enjoy the sweet and delicious taste of homemade strawberry preserves on your toast, yogurt, or pancakes. Your taste buds will thank you for it! 

And just like with my apple butter recipe, which replaces any apple butter on a store shelf.  You will never want store-bought jam again.

Preserves ingredients

Ingredients For Homemade Strawberry Preserves

  • fresh strawberries 
  • sugar
  • fresh lemon juice
  • cornstarch
  • cold water
Cooking strawberries down for preserves

How To Make Homemade Strawberry Preserves Without Pectin

Start by placing fresh strawberries in a medium-sized pot and adding sugar and a splash of lemon juice. If the strawberries are too hard, wait until they soften before mashing them. 

Then, bring the mixture to a boil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pan while occasionally mashing the berries with a masher. The aroma alone is enough to make your mouth water.

Mashed strawberries

Once the mixture has come to a boil and the strawberries are mashed to your liking, turn the heat down to medium-high heat and add a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) to the pot. Keep stirring the mixture, as it will thicken quickly, and you don't want it to burn. Let the mixture cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

After the mixture has thickened, pour it into a large bowl and let it cool for 30-45 minutes at room temperature. Once cooled, transfer your homemade preserves to mason jars or any available airtight container. This delicious recipe is perfect for making a big batch that you can enjoy for weeks.

Now that you have your very own homemade strawberry preserves, it's the perfect time to get creative! Add a spoonful to your morning yogurt or oatmeal, or spread it on your favorite toast. 

The possibilities are endless, and you can feel good knowing that you made it all from scratch. Enjoy!

Some Good Things To Eat Homemade Preserves On

Homemade preserves are a versatile and delicious addition to many different foods. 

Here are some ideas for things to eat with homemade preserves on:

Toast or English muffins. A classic way to enjoy preserves is on a slice of toast or an English muffin. The sweetness of the preserves pairs perfectly with the bread's toasty flavor.

Pancakes or waffles. Homemade preserves are a tasty topping for pancakes or waffles, adding a burst of fruity flavor to the breakfast staple.

Yogurt. Spoon some homemade preserves over a bowl of plain yogurt for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.

Cheese and crackers. Pairing preserves with cheese and crackers makes for a delicious and easy appetizer. Try a tangy goat cheese or a sharp cheddar with your favorite fruit preserve.

Ice cream. Homemade preserves make a delicious topping for ice cream, adding a fruity and sweet flavor to your favorite frozen treat.

Grilled meats. Some homemade preserves, such as berry or peach, can be used as a glaze for grilled meats like chicken, pork, or salmon. The sweetness of the preserves pairs well with the savory flavors of the meat.

Sandwiches. Try adding a dollop of homemade preserves to your favorite sandwich for a sweet and savory twist. A classic example is a turkey and brie sandwich with cranberry preserves.  Or even a good ole peanut butter and “jelly” sandwich.

Overall, the possibilities for enjoying homemade preserves are endless. Get creative and try them on your favorite foods to find your new favorite combination!

Strawberry preserves close up
Faq icon

FAQs about Homemade Strawberry Preserves

When stored properly, homemade strawberry preserves can last up to a year. The key to preserving the freshness of your homemade strawberry preserves is to store them in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a pantry or a cupboard. It's important to keep the preserves away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture, as these factors can cause the preserves to spoil.

To ensure the longest shelf life for your homemade strawberry preserves, make sure to use clean and sterile canning jars and lids for storing. Before filling the jars with the preserves, sterilize them by washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly, and then boiling them in water for 10-15 minutes.

Once filled, seal the jars tightly and store them in a cool and dry place. Labeling the jars with the date they were made is also a good idea, so you can keep track of how long they've been stored. If you notice any mold growth, off smells or flavors, or discoloration, it's best to discard the preserves and not consume them.

Preserves and jam are both sweet spreads made from fresh fruit and sugar, but there are some key differences between the two.

Preserves are made by cooking whole or large pieces of fruit in sugar until they are soft and thickened. The result is a spread containing large pieces or fruit chunks suspended in a syrup or gel. Preserves usually have a chunky texture and a more intense fruit flavor.

On the other hand, jam is made by crushing or pureeing fruit and cooking it with sugar until it thickens and the fruit breaks down. Unlike preserves, jam usually does not contain large pieces of fruit but instead has a smooth and spreadable consistency. Jam is usually less chunky and has a more even texture than preserves.

In addition to the texture differences, preserves and jam also have different cooking times and sugar ratios. Preserves require a longer cooking time to soften the whole or large pieces of fruit, and they typically have a higher sugar content to help preserve the fruit chunks. On the other hand, Jam has a shorter cooking time and a lower sugar content to allow the fruit to break down into a smoother consistency.

Generally speaking, preserves use more sugar than jam. This is because preserves typically contain larger pieces of fruit, which require more sugar to preserve their shape and texture. The sugar helps to draw out the fruit's natural pectin, which thickens the mixture and helps to hold the fruit together.

On the other hand, Jam is made from crushed or pureed fruit, requiring less sugar to achieve a smooth and spreadable consistency. Since homemade jam does not contain large chunks of fruit, it also doesn't need as much sugar to preserve the fruit's shape.

That being said, the amount of sugar used in preserves and jam can vary depending on the recipe and the fruit used. Some recipes for preserves may use less sugar, while others may use more. Likewise, some recipes for jam may call for more sugar to help set the mixture, while others may use less.

If you're looking to make a lower sugar version of either jam or preserves, there are recipes available that use alternative sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup, or no added sugar at all. However, keep in mind that altering the amount of sugar in a recipe can affect the texture and shelf life of the final product, so it's important to follow a recipe specifically designed for the level of sweetness you're looking for.

  • Citrus peels. Citrus peels—especially the white part, or pith—are naturally packed with pectin. …
  • Cornstarch. Cornstarch is a natural thickener that works as a seamless substitute for pectin.
  • Gelatin. Gelatin is a viable option for non-vegans or non-vegetarians.
Homemade strawberry preserves made without pectin

Homemade Strawberry Preserves

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This recipe for homemade strawberry preserves without pectin is a simple and delicious way to use up fresh strawberries. The recipe uses only a handful of ingredients, including fresh strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and water, and comes together quickly on the stovetop.


  • 3-4 packed cups fresh strawberries hulled & cut in half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ lemon juiced or ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


  1. Place strawberries in a medium pot, add sugar, and lemon juice
  2. Mash the berries (if they are too hard, wait to mash them)
  3. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat and every so often mash the berries with the masher.
  4. Once it’s boiling and you’ve mashed the berries, turn the down to medium high and add the corn starch slurry (corn starch plus water).
  5. It will begin to thicken quickly, so do not take your eye off it.
  6. Let cook for 5-6 min continuing to stir every minute or so.
  7. Pour into a large bowl and let cool for 30-45 min at room temperature
  8. Once cooled, transfer preserves to mason jars or other airtight containers

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 0g

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