How to Make Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves

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5 from 210 votes

My mom showed me how to make her famous homemade strawberry preserves! The recipe is old-fashioned with an intense fresh strawberry flavor made from only a few ingredients. Made in a small batch without pectin, these preserves are SO much better than store-bought!

Why We Love Homemade Strawberry Preserves

I grew up eating my mom’s strawberry preserves, made from fresh local strawberries that were cooked down to intensify their flavor in just a few easy steps.

Although local spring/summer strawberries can’t be beaten, store-bought strawberries do the job perfectly, too!

With only a few ingredients, you can whip up homemade strawberry preserves in no time and it’ll keep so well in the fridge for weeks to come!

You’ll love having preserves on-hand for so many reasons: on Lemon Poppy Seed Scones, Silver Dollar Pancakes, Parker House Rolls, for the kids with Peanut Butter, etc.! The opportunities are endless.

Ingredients for Strawberry Preserves

You’ll need only a few ingredients to make the best strawberry preserves!

  • Fresh strawberries – fresh in-season strawberries can’t be beaten but regular strawberries from the grocery store do the job perfectly too.
  • Fresh lemon juice – a dash of lemon juice intensifies the flavor of the strawberries.
  • Sugar – sugar (but not too much sugar!) sweetens your jam just enough.
  • Cornstarch – a dash of cornstarch is the secret ingredient, helping to thicken your preserves to the perfect consistency.
  • Cold water – cold water activates your cornstarch.
  • Salt – a dash of salt adds flavor.

Variations & Substitutions

  • Substitute 1 cup of blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries for 1 cup of strawberries.
  • Substitute potato starch for cornstarch. Follow packaging instructions for quantity!
  • Add in a dash of cinnamon for a warm touch!
  • Add in a ½ teaspoon lemon zest, orange zest or lime zest for a citrusy undertone.
  • Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or Grand Marnier to get fancy.

How to Make Strawberry Preserves

The full instructions and step-by-step video are in the recipe card below!

  1. Mash.

    Mash strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher.

  2. Add.

    Stir in lemon juice, sugar, and salt.

  3. Cook.

    Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and add cornstarch mixed with cold water. Stir. Let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring every minute.

  4. Cool.

    Remove from heat, and let preserves cool in a large bowl at room temperature before cooling completely in the refrigerator.

  5. Store.

    Transfer preserves to airtight containers.

Preserves Vs. Jam

The difference between preserves and jam is simple: preserves contain larger pieces of fruit than jam, which contains mashed fruit!

How to Store Preserves

After preserves have cooled completely, store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 4-6 weeks for optimal freshness.

How to Use Strawberry Preserves

Oh my! There are SO many uses for homemade strawberries preserves, served warm or cold! Here are some of my favorites…spoon on:

  1. Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
  2. Cranberry Orange Scones
  3. Mini Buttermilk Pancakes
  4. Buttery Parker House Rolls
  5. Wheat Beer Bread
  6. With Homemade Honey Peanut Butter on toast or a sandwich
  7. Buttermilk Biscuits
  8. Classic French Toast
  9. Strawberry Muffins
  10. On ice cream or pound cake with fresh Vanilla Whipped Cream

How do you warm preserves? Place desired amount in a microwave safe dish covered with plastic wrap, and heat in increments of 30 seconds until warm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you use frozen strawberries for preserves?

I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries to make homemade preserves!

What does cornstarch do?

Cornstarch naturally thickens strawberry preserves to the perfect consistency…it’s so much better than pectin!

Do strawberry preserves need to be refrigerated?

Yes…strawberries preserves should be refrigerated, but can be served chilled, room temperature, or warmed in the microwave!

How long does homemade jam last?

Homemade preserves/jam lasts at optimal freshness in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.

Can you freeze homemade preserves?

Yes! To thaw frozen preserves, place in the refrigerator.

More Strawberry Recipes You’ll Love On Tastefully Grace!

Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves

My mom showed me how to make her famous homemade strawberry preserves! The recipe is old-fashioned with an intense fresh strawberry flavor made from only a few ingredients.
5 from 210 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Sauce & Dips
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spring, summer
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace


  • Potato masher


  • 4 packed cups fresh strawberries hulled & cut in half
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Mash strawberries in a medium pot with a potato masher to desired consistency. I like some large pieces of strawberries and others that are completely mashed.
  • Stir in lemon juice, sugar, and salt.
  • Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and add cornstarch mixed with cold water. Stir. Let simmer over medium heat for 7 minutes, stirring every minute.
  • Remove from heat, and let preserves cool in a large bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooling completely in the refrigerator.
  • Once cooled, transfer preserves to mason jars or other airtight containers!



Serving: 2tablespoon | Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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  1. Heather
    June 16, 2024 / 5:21 pm

    Hello, may I say holy Toledo batman. So good and so easy. This is the very first thing that I have every canned and they came out great.
    They were a little thinner than I think they should be BUT I think it’s only because I’m not use to homemade. I made a triple batch and got 4 honey mason jars full plus a little extra for tasting on our toast this morning. I have to say I feel like canning everything now. Pickling cukes for bread and butter pickles here I come.

    • June 17, 2024 / 12:15 pm

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks so much for your review! I”m so happy the preserves came out well. Best of luck with all of your canning plans!


    • Summer
      June 18, 2024 / 9:18 pm

      Can I ask how you canned these?! 😄. I want to as well!

  2. Sue S
    June 11, 2024 / 11:35 pm

    5 stars
    My husband bought too many strawberries at the farmer’s market, and I didn’t want them to go to waste. This is the easiest and quickest recipe ever! Love how you use lemon juice and less sugar then most recipes. Delicious! Thank you!

    • June 12, 2024 / 10:57 am

      Hi Sue,

      Yay! I appreciate your review and I’m so glad you love the preserves!


  3. Susan
    May 28, 2024 / 5:31 am

    5 stars
    Thanks Grace, for this recipe—what a joy!
    It was the second one that I brought up when my neighbor brought me a kilo & a half freshly-picked strawberries. The first recipe was for jam and called for 4 cups of sugar & 4 cups of strawberries . I “jumped for joy” when I saw half a cup of sugar for about the same amount of strawberries and I had one last 🍋. I let it simmer a little longer as I covered my pot to bring it to a boil, which was daft of me. I know the cornstarch/cold water mix that’s in there thickens it more as it cools. My kitchen smells amazing and the preserves are “plenty sweet”. I can’t wait to bring my neighbor one of the two jars your recipe yields. She’ll protest that I didn’t have to, and I’ll sincerely tell her, “It’s my pleasure!” 😃👋

    • May 28, 2024 / 8:45 am

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful review! I truly appreciate it! I love your story. Please do let me know if you try any other recipes!


  4. Karen
    May 22, 2024 / 6:09 pm

    Hello Grace.

    I am a “First Timer” with a very happy and bountiful strawberry crop this year. I have lemons of various sizes. How much lemon juice would you expect for this recipe?

    Thank you


    • May 22, 2024 / 9:45 pm

      Hi Karen,

      I am jealous of your strawberry crop! I would expect to use 1/2 a lemon or about 1 tablespoon or so of juice!

      I hope this helps.

  5. Alison Norris
    May 5, 2024 / 10:20 pm

    First time making preserves tomorrow..strawberries are plentiful now. Wondering if anyone has subbed honey for the sugar?
    This recipe looks so yummy and easy.

    • May 6, 2024 / 9:56 am

      Hi Alison!

      I would stay away from honey, since honey is not only sweeter but since it is a sticky liquid, the texture of the preserves will be stickier and thicker. Honey also has a distinct taste instead of a neutral taste like regular sugar.

      I hope this helps!

  6. Atwellj
    April 27, 2024 / 11:00 am

    Hi. Curious about a hot water bath after canning to allow a longer shelf life? and if so, length of time to hot water bath?

  7. Stephanie
    April 8, 2024 / 2:27 pm

    5 stars
    Hi Grace! I’m about to make a big batch of these to give as favors for my Berry Sweet baby shower. How many ounces would you say your standard recipe makes? I’ll probably put them in 2oz or 4oz jars depending on how much the recipe yields. Thanks in advance!

    • April 8, 2024 / 3:57 pm

      Hi Stephanie,

      First off, congrats!! The recipe makes roughly 2 cups of preserves or roughly 16 ounces. I hope this helps!


      • Maggie
        May 28, 2024 / 1:46 pm

        As a follow up to Stephanie’s, do you have any words of wisdom for those of us that want to take advantage of this year’s excellent crop of strawberries and make enough preserves for the year and for gifting at Christmas time? I am thinking of making enough for 12 to 15 1-cup mason jars.

        • May 28, 2024 / 2:43 pm

          Hi Maggie!

          The original recipe yields about 2 cups, so you will need to multiply the recipe by 6 to 7.5 times to get the desired quantity. In the comments below, I’ve linked a site talking about canning best practices if that helps too 🙂


  8. Anna
    March 20, 2024 / 10:55 am

    Thanks for the recipe! Maybe this has already been answered, but can I freeze strawberries to make this later?

    • March 20, 2024 / 11:14 am

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your question! When you freeze strawberries, it changes their texture and increases their water content, which can lead to to a runnier consistency and flavor alterations. So I don’t recommend it if at all possible!

      I hope this helps.

  9. Wendy Cabler
    March 16, 2024 / 11:59 am

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I made preserves years ago and hadn’t in a really long time and ended up with a flat of strawberries from a fundraiser. We ate as many as we could prior to this recipe…🙃 that said, I sprinkled mine with onion powder and chili powder, and they came out amazing with a bit of a kick! Thank you, Grace!

    • March 18, 2024 / 9:31 am

      Hi Wendy,

      Love your chili powder idea! How fun! Thanks for your note.


  10. Tracy Boyd
    March 12, 2024 / 2:53 pm

    5 stars
    I made the preserves for my 91 year old Mother….they are amazing! I love them too!

    • March 13, 2024 / 9:06 am

      Hi Tracy,

      Love this! Thanks for your comment!


    March 1, 2024 / 12:08 pm

    Just made this recipe up to the point of putting it into the frig. Can’t wait to try and looks like it is going to be good. Saving this recipe.

    • March 1, 2024 / 12:21 pm

      Hi Janice,

      Happy Friday! Thanks so much for your review. So glad it turned out well.


  12. Anonymous
    February 6, 2024 / 12:47 am

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! Thank you!

    • February 6, 2024 / 10:23 am

      So glad to hear! Thanks for your comment.


  13. Debbie
    January 1, 2024 / 2:23 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to make it

    • January 2, 2024 / 10:03 am


      I can’t wait to hear how it comes out!


  14. Carly
    December 21, 2023 / 9:16 pm

    What if it isn’t super sweet after you let it sit? Should you add more before letting it go into the fridge

    • December 22, 2023 / 9:45 am

      Hi Carly,

      Hmmm, good question. If the preserves aren’t sweet enough for your taste, I’d probably add in more sugar while it’s on the stove. If it’s already off the stove, you can add more sugar in small increments, and microwave it very gently to help melt the sugar.

      I hope this helps!

  15. Kween
    October 21, 2023 / 12:53 pm

    5 stars
    So happy I found this recipe. I had a boatload of strawberries and didn’t know what to do with them. This is an excellent recipe.

    • October 22, 2023 / 6:28 pm

      Hi Kween,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I’m so happy you like my mom’s preserves!!


  16. Tina
    October 4, 2023 / 9:25 am

    5 stars
    The most delicious preserves I’ve ever had!!!

    • October 4, 2023 / 9:27 am

      Thanks, Tina! My mom’s recipe is the best!


  17. Anonymous
    August 21, 2023 / 10:11 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been looking for something to add pizzazz to my jam!🍓

  18. Leisa
    August 5, 2023 / 6:21 pm

    This was awesome! Can I use this recipe with peaches?

    • August 7, 2023 / 1:28 pm

      Hi Leisa!

      So sorry for the delay in response. I haven’t tried the recipe with different fruits. My guess is it would work but I don’t want to mislead you. Other berries would certainly work!

      I hope this helps:)

      • Leisa Fell
        August 10, 2023 / 8:13 pm

        I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. 🙂 Thanks!

  19. Cindy
    July 27, 2023 / 8:50 am

    5 stars
    I have used this recipe for strawberries, black raspberries and raspberries, love the low sugar . The jam sets up nicely and the flavor is like fresh fruit. Thank you ! I have passed your recipe along to several people.

    • July 27, 2023 / 9:01 am

      Hi Cindy,

      I love the mixed berry method! Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you love the preserves!


  20. Jim
    July 25, 2023 / 5:57 pm

    5 stars
    I just finished putting up my third batch of preserves and want to thank you for sharing your mother’s recipe! So easy to make and just an amazing taste. Fortunately I have a unlimited supply of fresh strawberries and shared my first two batches with family & friends who are now asking for more!

    • July 26, 2023 / 9:28 am

      Hi Jim,

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipe as much as I do…especially during strawberry season!


  21. Stacey
    July 6, 2023 / 3:41 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely Love this recipe!! It came out perfect. I doubled the recipe and reduced mine for a little longer ( about 20 min) The result was the most beautiful bright red strawberry colour I’ve ever seen, not too sweet, and perfect texture. Made 8 jars ( and one for the fridge. Lol)

    Thank you so much for posting!

    • July 6, 2023 / 4:01 pm

      Hi Stacey,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Wow, so happy the recipe turned out well!!


    • Nichole
      March 18, 2024 / 7:47 pm

      Hi. Can’t wait to try this. Can I can this so it’s shelf stable ? I’m thinking perfect gifts.

      • Stacey
        March 18, 2024 / 8:25 pm

        5 stars
        I did! Even did this same recipe for my raspberries and Blueberries.

      • March 19, 2024 / 9:34 am

        Hi Nicole,

        I personally am not a canning expert and just refrigerate these, but below in the thread of comments is articles on how to best can these! Thanks for your comment!


  22. Beth Ann
    June 29, 2023 / 10:01 am

    5 stars
    The perfect sweetness, consistency and taste! OMG!

  23. Jill
    June 28, 2023 / 12:40 pm

    5 stars
    Never had something more delicious in my life!!

  24. Judy
    June 28, 2023 / 11:31 am

    4 stars
    I picked a lot of native strawberries yesterday and decided to try your recipe last night—I followed it to the letter. The result is absolutely delicious, but the preserves are extremely liquid-y, like a runny sauce with berries. I used the correct amount of cornstarch and cold water and added the mixture according to the instructions. I put the preserves in the fridge after cooling, and when I checked on it this morning, it hadn’t thickened up. Is there anything I can do at this point?

    • June 28, 2023 / 12:39 pm

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for your note! I am a bit shocked and saddened the preserves didn’t thicken properly for you. The reasons I can think of are: the cornstarch was expired, mixture wasn’t boiled and then simmered long enough, or maybe the consistency of the preserves just isn’t for you 🙁 Check out my video to see whether the consistency looks similar to yours and for visual instructions just in case something went wrong. I wish I could provide more concrete reasons why the preserves didn’t set, but it’s tough for me to say since you followed the recipe accurately and this is one of my top recipes. Please let me know if you retry the recipe and if I can of help more!


      • Judy
        June 28, 2023 / 10:19 pm

        Hi Grace,

        My preserves were much more liquid-y than yours were in the video. Not sure why. The cornstarch I used was brand new—I had just bought it yesterday. This is a head-scratcher. Perhaps the berries I picked had much more liquid in them than the store-bought variety? They were particularly juicy–maybe they just needed a little extra corn starch mixture? No matter, the preserves taste incredible! (They’ll just make for an especially drippy PB&J!) I’ll absolutely try this again in the next couple of days and will let you know how it turns out…Sticky fingers crossed!


        • June 29, 2023 / 9:25 am

          Hi Judy,

          I agree on the strawberries. Native strawberries are very juicy and delicate 🙂 I’m so glad it tastes delicious! Let me know when you try again!


  25. Denise Fairbrother
    June 24, 2023 / 7:49 am

    Picked my first flat of berries for the season and anxious to try your recipe! Was wondering if you can double it? I’m new to this
    Thank you so much

    • June 24, 2023 / 11:08 am

      Hi Denise!

      You absolutely can double the recipe! Let me know how it turns out.


  26. Scott
    June 22, 2023 / 9:02 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for first time and it was beyond my expectations. I added a touch of vanilla and honey too. Rest was as instructed and wow. Thank you!

    • June 23, 2023 / 8:22 am


      Thanks so much for letting me know! Mom’s recipe does it again!


  27. Misty
    June 16, 2023 / 10:18 am

    If using vanilla, can I use vanilla paste?

    • June 16, 2023 / 10:30 am

      Hi Misty,

      Although I haven’t used vanilla in this recipe, I assume a bit of vanilla pasta would work!


  28. Anne
    May 25, 2023 / 8:36 pm

    5 stars
    I just made this and it’s delicious! I picked fresh strawberries and I used those that appeared to be almost too ripe. The beautiful color, fresh strawberry scent, and the perfectly proportioned ingredients make this an instant hit! It took me about 10 minutes. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful family recipe! 🙂

    • May 26, 2023 / 8:40 am

      Hi Anne,

      This made my day! So happy it turned out just the way my mom would want it to. Thanks so much for letting me know!


  29. April 30, 2023 / 9:20 am

    5 stars
    Only changed one thing! Added a little lemon zest. Turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    • April 30, 2023 / 11:51 am

      So glad it turned out well! Love the lemon zest addition.


  30. Mair
    April 23, 2023 / 11:09 am

    This looks great. Just have 2 questions: can I omit the cornstarch? and can I substitute stevia for sugar?

    • Stacey
      July 6, 2023 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Mair,

      It’s not recommended to omit the starch all together, but you can sub the cornstarch with arrowroot starch, or sub with flour ( like a gravy). However, the sugar part is the iffy. I tried using a stevia sweetener and it It doesn’t preserve right. I ended up having to throw out all the jars I made. If you were to use stevia, make it for the fridge only. So 1 jar at a time. Hope this helps.

      • July 6, 2023 / 4:01 pm

        Thanks so much for replying to this comment from Mair. For some reason I missed this one 🙁

    • July 6, 2023 / 4:03 pm

      Hi Mair,

      I’m SO sorry I missed your comment. It was pushed to spam for some reason. I hope Stacey’s input is somewhat helpful (I agree with her!).

      My apologies again!

  31. Veneal
    April 23, 2023 / 11:08 am

    Can I freeze the jam in jars?

      June 2, 2023 / 3:35 pm

      I would avoid freezing them in anything glass as it will expand in the freezer. We used to use soft plastic storage containers and freeze them that way. Something that will flex is best.

    • June 2, 2023 / 3:56 pm

      Hi Veneal,

      I’m not sure how this comment slipped through the cracks! Someone answered your question below and I agree with her advice. Or you can freeze them in jars but be sure to leave a ½ inch at the top of each jar to allow for expansion.

      I hope this helps and is not too late!

  32. Rebecca Sanderlin
    March 4, 2023 / 9:18 am

    5 stars
    It’s strawberry season here in central Florida, and I wanted a new way to take advantage. Tried this recipe and it’s amazing!

    • March 5, 2023 / 3:05 pm

      So happy to hear you enjoyed! Thanks for commenting 🙂


  33. Julie Fager
    March 3, 2023 / 7:40 pm

    This is my first EVER attempt to make jam/jelly, and I have a probably juvenile question. Your recipe say to use the juice of 1/2 a lemon. What approximate measure would that be? Some recipes need to be EXACT, and I’d hate to mess this up right off the bat. Thank you in advance!!

    • March 5, 2023 / 3:07 pm

      Hi Julie,

      So sorry for the delayed response! I was away for the weekend. The amount of lemon juice doesn’t have to be exact. I’d personally just squeeze in half a normal-sized lemon, but measurement-wise, I’d say it’s equivalent to about 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice.

      I hope this helps!

      • Julie J Fager
        May 30, 2023 / 9:09 am

        Thank you so much, and please forgive MY slow response. I’m going to try the strawberry jam again.

        Thanks again!!

  34. Rita Scott
    February 24, 2023 / 11:22 am

    Do preserves require hot water bath for preservation & sealing of the jars?

    • Diana
      June 21, 2023 / 1:11 pm

      If you want to store on a shelf, then yes hot water bath for 10 minutes. Make sure you cover the entire jar. 2 inches over the lid. Rapid boil for 10 minutes in sterile jars. Cool at least 12 hours before checking the seal.

  35. Linda
    November 15, 2022 / 6:11 pm

    I am a muffin freak and and found some really good deals on strawberries over the course of the season so I froze them I know they say that you should use fresh strawberries for this but I used Frozen and it still came out wonderful very simple recipe and gave a great flavor and satisfied my sweet tooth🤗

    • TastefullyGrace
      November 16, 2022 / 3:16 pm

      Hi Linda!

      So happy you loved the recipe!! Thanks so much for the comment.


  36. Kate
    September 19, 2022 / 10:26 pm

    5 stars
    Over the weekend I picked up 7 quarts of strawberries and abour 6 pounds of peaches for free. Though I haven’t decided what i’m going to do with the peaches, I want to make preserves with the strawberries. I was over the moon when I found your cite and this recipe. Last week I made plum Lekvar, it’s like a super stiff apple butter but made with Italian plums. It took 2 days of cooking before I finally ended up with 8 half pints. The recipe for your strawberry preserves looks so much easier and a lot quicker. Thanks.

    • TastefullyGrace
      September 20, 2022 / 1:04 pm

      Hi Kate,

      I’m so happy to hear this recipe helped! It’s one of my favorites. Enjoy!


  37. John young
    August 22, 2022 / 2:48 pm

    How do I can some preserves

  38. Janine
    August 13, 2022 / 4:52 pm

    I made this and it turned out good but if you don’t process this won’t it spoil????

    • TastefullyGrace
      August 15, 2022 / 1:09 pm

      Hi Janine,

      The preserves will last for about a month without any processing!


      • August 19, 2022 / 1:06 am

        Thank you fir taking the time to reply

  39. Cheryl Cobb
    May 11, 2022 / 11:05 am

    This recipe doesn’t seem intimidating at all! I’ll be on the ready the next few weeks, when strawberry season kicks in. We love preserves and I am excited to try your recipe!! Thank you for sharing this.

    • TastefullyGrace
      May 11, 2022 / 12:43 pm

      I’m so glad you’re excited about making it! Please let me know how the preserves turn out 🙂


5 from 210 votes (188 ratings without comment)

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