You just need two ingredients for these Easy Strawberry Preserves. This recipe is BIG on strawberry flavor!
If you love strawberries, you have to try these Easy Strawberry Preserves!
You just need strawberries, sugar, and about 30 minutes to create the most intensely flavorful preserves that are jam-packed with strawberry flavor. No pectin needed!
The preserves are delicious on toast, swirled into oatmeal, or dolloped on top of pancakes or waffles.
This recipe is a Southern vintage recipe, adapted from a Junior League cookbook from the 1970s.
Preserves vs. jam
Preserves are made with whole fruit, whereas jam is made with mashed fruit.
Since whole fruit is used in preserves, the fruit flavor is typically very intense. These preserves taste more like strawberry than an actual strawberry! 🙂
This particular recipe for preserves calls for chopping the strawberries into a rough chop, especially if you’re using store-bought strawberries. Many store-bought berries are seriously huge!
If you’re using homegrown berries (which are typically much smaller than store-bought berries), you can keep them whole, or just halve them.
- You’ll need a candy thermometer (or even a meat thermometer) for this recipe. We’ll cook the sugar first so that the preserves get thicker as they cool, without the use of pectin.
- Use a large saucepan so that the mixture doesn’t boil over.
- You can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.
- No need to chop the strawberries if they’re small.
- You’ll need 2 pounds of fresh strawberries for this easy recipe, either store-bought or freshly picked.
- The only other ingredients are sugar and water!
How to make easy strawberry preserves
The preserves start by making a sugar syrup. The syrup thickens the preserves as they cool, without the use of pectin.
Start by combining 1 cup of water with 2 cups of sugar in a large saucepan or pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook until it reaches 230°F on a candy thermometer.
While the sugar cooks, roughly chop the strawberries. If you’re using small berries, you can leave them whole or cut them in half.
If you’re using large strawberries (like I did), cut them into quarters or smaller.
Add two cups of strawberries to the hot sugar, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the remaining sugar and remaining strawberries. Bring to a boil, and cook for another 10 minutes.
The strawberries will be very soft, and a pink foam will form on top.
Use a spoon to skim the foam off. The foam doesn’t affect the taste, but preserves will look nicer without it.
Then, carefully pour or spoon the preserves into jars. Let cool slightly, then screw lids on the top and refrigerate.
How to adjust the amount of sugar
Want less sugar? You can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe by up to half (from four cups to two cups).
Follow the recipe instructions as written, but don’t add the additional two cups of sugar when you add the last of the berries.
The preserves will obviously be less sweet (and possibly a little looser), but they will still be delicious.
Storage and freezing instructions
Store the strawberry preserves in covered jars or plastic containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
You can also freeze the preserves for 6–8 months. Defrost in the refrigerator when you’re ready to use them.
Uses for strawberry preserves
Since these easy strawberry preserves are quite chunky, they’re maybe not ideal for a PB&J sandwich (but don’t let me stop you!). Here are a few great ideas for using them:
- On top of toast
- Swirled into oatmeal
- Spooned on top of vanilla ice cream
- Dolloped over pancakes or waffles
- Stirred into Greek yogurt
- Blended into a strawberry milkshake
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!
Easy Strawberry Preserves
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups strawberries, roughly chopped (about 2 pounds)
- In a large saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cook until the mixture reaches 230°F.
- Add 2 cups of strawberries, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining strawberries and the remaining sugar, and bring to a boil. Cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat skim the foam off the top. Transfer to jars, and store in the refrigerator.