Love and Olive Oil

Strawberry Jalapeño and Strawberry Basil Jam

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Strawberry Jalapeño and Strawberry Basil Jam from @loveandoliveoil

In the past four weeks I’ve picked over 15 pounds of strawberries, nearly three gallons of ruby red goodness. From two different farms on two different mornings. I’ve made preserves and ice cream, salads and guacamole, and sprinkled them in my cereal every morning. I’ve stashed a few bags of puree in the freezer, and filled my pantry with over a dozen jars of jam. And I’m considering going out for one more load before the season is over.

If too many strawberries is a problem for you, well, then, more strawberries for me.

Strawberry Jalapeño and Strawberry Basil Jam from @loveandoliveoil

May is, perhaps, my favorite month of them all, if only because that is when the strawberries ripen in Tennessee. You can’t beat local strawberries, the kind that are red right through to the core. The kind you can smell before you see, the fragrance of strawberries hitting your nose before you even see the fields. The kind that are so sweet and juicy it’s almost blasphemy to add any sugar to them at all.

And yet… strawberry jam is hardly blasphemy. It’s the best way to preserve the best of May so the rest of the year doesn’t seem so lame by comparison. And even though eating 15 pounds of strawberries might seem tempting, believe me, your stomach will not be happy with you if you try. And we all know they’ll only keep so long in the refrigerator.

I knew last year’s Strawberry Hibiscus Jam was going to be tough to beat (my little 2nd cousin Skye would vouch for that, I’m sure. She may not remember me but she sure as heck remembers my jam). With that in mind I decided to do two different flavors this year that I hope will please Skye just as much: basil and jalapeño.

Fresh Picked Tennessee Strawberries

Basil is such a logical companion for strawberries, that one was a no brainer. The slightly grassy notes of the basil perfectly compliment the candy-sweet berries. I could see this one being used in both sweet and savory ways.

The jalapeño, on the other hand, is for adventurous canners and eaters alike. I honestly had no idea how much spice would come through in the final jam (and had a brief moment of “oh shit did I ruin the whole batch?” as I threw 3 whole jalapeños into the food processor.) But the balance between sweetness and spice is perfect. With savory undertones, this jam would be divine with cheese, mindblowing on a burger, or the secret to perhaps the world’s greatest peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

(What are you waiting for? Click through for the recipe and to download a set of free printable labels for your own jars!)

Strawberry Jalapeño and Strawberry Basil Jam from @loveandoliveoil

A few words (ok, more than a few) about pectin:

I’ve struggled with getting my jam to properly set. I’ve tried Sure-Jell powder and Certo liquid, and neither has really produced an ideal set. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, the low-sugar stuff sets up almost too firm for my taste, with an off flavor that I don’t love. The two batches pictured here were made with regular Sure-Jell, and are a bit looser than I’d like them to be. Still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but they’d be a bit drippy if you wanted to use them for, say, a sandwich.

In the time since, however, I made a third batch of jam (plain-ass strawberry, as per Taylor’s request) using Pomona’s Universal Pectin, and I have to say I may never go back to Sure-Jell again. Since it doesn’t rely on sugar to set, the results are much more reliable no matter how much I tweak the recipe. The jam set up beautifully with absolutely none of the separation issues (‘floating fruit’) that I’ve had with other batches. So while I actually made these two jams with Sure-Jell, I much preferred the batch I made using Pomona’s and thus have written the recipe below accordingly.

If you prefer to use a different brand of pectin, I recommend starting with the basic strawberry jam recipe on your pectin packet insert, and adding the jalapeño or basil to that. Since each type of pectin has its own specific instructions (sugar quantities, ingredient order, boil times, etc) you’d be best off following the instructions and especially sugar quantities for whichever brand of pectin you are using.

Strawberry Jalapeño and Strawberry Basil Jam

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  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 10 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin
  • 2 teaspoons calcium water (included with the pectin)

For Jalapeño Jam:

  • 3 large jalapeños, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped

For Basil Jam:

  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves


  1. Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 5 half-pint mason (or equivalent) jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
  2. In a food processor, pulse about 1/3 of strawberries with either jalapeño or basil until finely chopped. Add remaining berries and pulse briefly until coarsely chopped; do not liquefy the berries as you still want chunks of berries in your final jam. You should have approximately 4 cups of crushed berries.
  3. Pour berries into a large, heavy saucepan along with lemon juice and calcium water and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Whisk together pectin and sugar until evenly incorporated. Add to strawberries, stirring vigorously until completely dissolved. Continue to stir unti mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, skimming off any foam that may have formed.
  5. Ladle jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.
All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

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Free Printable Strawberry Jam LabelsBonus! A labeled jar is a happy jar, and with that in mind I’ve created these quirky labels for both strawberry jam recipes, so whichever one you decide to make you’re covered.

To use, simply download the printable file, then print onto full-sheet sticker paper (I used Kraft brown sticker paper, which can be purchased online at or locally at most office supply stores). Cut out the shapes and apply directly to the the finished jars. Curious about the hexagon and square jars I’ve used? I ordered them online at SKS Bottle (the 6oz size).

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Disclaimer: Copyright Love & Olive Oil. For personal use only. If you post about or share these labels, please credit appropriately and do not link directly to the downloadable file but rather to this post. Please do not distribute these downloadable files. Thank you much!

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  1. Wow, what an interesting mix of ingredients!
    This year I am planting a heap of chilies in the garden. I wonder how well it would go if I swapped out the Jalapeños and instead used some chocolate scotch bonnet chilies…
    Have you tried something like this?

    • I’ve used habaneros in a similar recipe (in my ebook if you’re interested, it uses pectin so it’s a quicker/lower sugar recipe).
      You’ll probably just want to use less chilies than specified if you use hotter ones but I think it’ll work just fine overall (I don’t recommend using MORE chilies than specified as it may reduce the acidity, but less is just fine!)

  2. Did you make the strawberry jam with Jalapeño and basil or just one of the ingredients?

  3. Frances – I made the strawberry basil jam tonight with the pectin. It is delicious. Added a new jam to my jam made efforts. I’m new to making jam. Feeling excited!!!

  4. What modifications do I need to make if my only option is sure-jell?

  5. Hey,

    I was very excited when I found these recipes and made them in August. However now the colour of the jam has changed from a pretty pink to a dingy. It was one of the first canning recipes I did but I followed and did a canning bath. Any idea why the colours would be faded and weird looking now? Hoping the jam isn’t ruined.

    • Lower sugar jams have a tendency to discolor with time, but they should still be fine to eat as long as they were properly processed and the seal is still in tact (the jar should ‘pop’ when you open it). If you see any visible mold or detect a weird odor then you should toss the jam, but just a slight discoloration is no cause for worry. If you can, store your jam in a cool dark place as sunlight will cause them to discolor even more.

  6. Wouldn’t you need more lemon? I was reading the insert from the pectin and am wondering if it’s enough?

  7. Hi there! 
    Your recipe sounds so yummy! I’m about to start my first try at making pepper jelly- i have sure-jel packets…can that be used in this recipe? 
    Thanks so much! 

  8. This jam is soooo delicious! I made the strawberry jalapeño and I kept in half the jalapeño seeds to add more kick. I also used no pectin & just cooked it for longer.  Thanks for the recipe! 

  9. I made the strawberry jalapeno jam using Pamona’s it’s very good but did not set, will have to remake tomorrow 

  10. Just bought some wonderful mountain strawberries and was going through your different strawberry jam recipes I saved from your blog.
    I might not be able to find pectin, what do you think of using agar agar powder in small quantity enough to hold but not gel?

  11. Would you please tell me which label software program you use? Love your labels and would like to make some for different recipes! Getting ready to make your Strawberry Basil adding the Jalapeno to that! Thank you!

  12. I was wondering what font you used to make these labels? I have a couple of flavors of jam I can and was hoping to match the fonts up. Thanks!

  13. We went to the Portland, TN Strawberry Festival on May 9th this year (2015).  It was the first time I’d been and was disappointed in the festival itself, but we got 7 quarts of strawberries that were delicious.  I made a strawberry pie for our Mother’s Day brunch, ate some and made the rest into jam, which turned out delicious too.  But while we were in Portland, we stopped at the Sumner Crest winery.  They had some Strawberry Jalapeno jam/jelly that was AMAZING and I’ve been looking for a recipe.  Found yours and am excited to try it, but was SUPER EXCITED to see the Strawberry Basil version!  I love anything with basil and will definitely try this as well.  Thank you!

  14. Love this recipe – especially the kick the jalapeños give – spicy and sweet!  

  15. LOVE Strawberry Jalapeno Jam! My favorite use is to put on a brie and bake until its a bubbling gob of yumminess. It’s also delicious over cream cheese or goat cheese on toasted baguette slices for a beautiful appetizer.
    I chose to make Strawberry Mint Jam instead of Basil and it is equally fabulous. If you love these flavors consider making a summer sorbet with strawberry mint or basil it is just so refreshing.

  16. Hi Lindsay! I LOVE the printables. Can you tell me what font you used? They are gorgeous and I would love to create my own version for different types of jam? I just can’t get over how adorable the font is! Thanks for sharing these!

  17. I’m back – I made this today. And I actually put both the basil AND the jalepeno in the same batch (I knew it wasn’t written that way but I love them together) and o.m.g!!!!!!!! seriously my new go-to jam recipe! THANK YOU!

  18. I made the strawberry basil version last night with strawberries I picked at a local U-pick farm (strawberries ripen a bit later in Utah) and basil from my Farmer’s Market. Oh my goodness the jam turned out amazing; delicious and perfect consistency! Found some Pamona’s Pectin at the Natural Grocers in town and I do not think I will ever use another brand of pectin again.  I had to sample my work for breakfast on ciabatta bread this morning and although I was planning on gifting a couple of the jars, I might just keep them all for myself. This is probably my favorite batch of jam to date. Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

  19. You just made my day!!!!!! I went pickin’ today and got 15 pounds of strawberries. I wanted something strawberry basil (love basil and have a ton growing) so I googled and came across this post. Not only is it strawberry basil jam, but you use two other of my absolute FAVORITE ingredients – jalepenos and Pamona’s Pectin! I know what I’m doin’ tomorrow!!!!

  20. This looks delicious!!! I’ll definitely make this recipe some time next week. :D

  21. I’ve never made jam, but was inspired by your pictures so I channeled my inner Olivia Pope and did it!  The combinations sounded too good to pass up.  Decided on the basil recipe.  No problems following the recipe and the jam came out perfect!  Very proud of myself!  Thanks for the recipe.

    • I LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing, and go you for being brave and trying canning! I know once I realized how easy it was, there was no stopping me. :)

  22. Both of these strawberry jams sound amazing!

  23. Love this! I can think of so many great ways to use this jam. 

  24. These look great. I’m trying to figure out how to add this to the recipe box (I just created an account) so I can find it when I have time to make these, but I can’t figure it out! Can anyone give me a hint?

    • There’s a “Save” button in the recipe area just underneath the thumbnail. By the print button. You can also install a Ziplist bookmarklet/recipe clipper to save recipes easily as well.

  25. Wow! This combination of ingredients sounds amazing! I would love to taste it…perhaps I’ll try. I’ve never made jam before but this recipe is encouraging me to try!  Thanks for sharing :)

  26. This sounds amazing! I have not made jams since I was a kid. But the combination of strawberry with basil and Jalapeno is just too irresistible. I will definitely give this a try. I’m also going strawberry picking in the next couple weeks so the timing is perfect!. Have you ever thought about selling your jams?

  27. I always have that problem with jam, too drippy. I’m totally trying your Pomona Pectin. Thanks for the tip!

  28. You seriously have the best jams. I love all your jam posts!!!

  29. Oh man, I would devour this! My fiance loves spicy jelly so when I make this, I am going to have to hide it from him!

  30. Too many strawberries?! Impossible!  These sound amazing…I still drool over your strawberry vanilla jam from last year I believe it was.  And the labels are the perfect finishing touch!

  31. omg that strawberry jalapeno jam looks INCREDIBLE!!!!  seriously dying to slather that over buttered toast right now :)

  32. Hey Lindsay, I struggle with Pectin as well.  Have you used Pomona’s for jelly?  I find it works great for jam, but with jelly, the sugar always crystallizes, even when I follow their directions.  Just curious – it’s probably me!  Gonna try the strawberry – jalapeno jam this weekend!    

    • I haven’t made jelly in a few years, and when I did I used my aunt’s recipe which calls for Certo liquid pectin. It seemed to set up ok (probably because it has like 14 cups of sugar or something like that). May have to give a pepper jelly another try this year and play around with different pectins.

  33. These photos are just so pretty, Lindsay!  

    I’ve never been a big jam maker, but want to change that, so I appreciate you doing the legwork on figuring out the best way to make the jam set!

  34. I enter the state fair every year and the past 2 years, I’ve entered in the jam category. The deadline to enter this year is quickly approaching and I’ve been stuck on what new flavor to try.. Strawberry Jalapeno might justbe the one! Thanks for the idea!

  35. My mouth is totally watering! I am counting down to the yearly strawberry picking trip the the PYO :)
    I cannot imagine what my husband will do when I make a Victoria Sponge with strawberry &jalapeno jam in the middle….

  36. These flavor combinations are making me go insanely in love with strawberries!!!!!!!! Need to load up on these fruits and start making these delicious variations of jam!

  37. Such GORGEOUS photos!! Love all the colors and how they pop! And these flavors?? Yes, please!

  38. This sounds amazing! I love pepper jelly & strawberries sound like the perfect addition!

  39. My mouth is watering looking at all these pics! I love good strawberry jam!

  40. Yum! I’m not a canner but I’m totally tempted by strawberry basil jam

  41. Woah. Those are some unique jams. I’ll have to try the jalapeno one, since I love all things spicy. Great photographs! :)

  42. Hi Lindsay!

    I think this recipe and your whole site are just beautiful. I have a blogger question for you: do you create your own custom template for your recipe printables or do you use a pre-made template or plugin? Which one if you do?

    Thank you!!!

  43. Can’t wait for strawberry stands to start popping up! This jam looks delicious! And I love the jar labels- so cute! 

  44. So utterly gorgeous Lindsay!
    Hope your day is off to a fantastic start!

  45. I was -just- talking about finding a local place to go pick strawberries from!

    This jam is my jam! (wah..wah….). Sounds delicious and looks beautiful!

    • We’ve gone to Bradley Kountry Acres as well as Kelley’s Berry Farm, both about 40 minutes out. You better go this week though or you may be out of luck!

  46. I would inhale this! I love hot pepper jelly, and savory jams, well actually spicy jams! This would be a goner for me. Your pictures are so sharp, gorgeous, vibrant and just stunning, Lindsay! Pinned :)

  47. Oh heck yes! Both of those jams look like something that would disappear quickly at our house! And I’m a Pomona’s devotee too. My sister got me using it years ago when her kids were on major elimination diets (including no sugar). It’s the bomb because you can have as little or as much sweetener as you want!

  48. Gorgeous photos Lindsay! Strawberry-Jalapeno jam sounds amazing!

  49. I am totally obsessed with that first photo! This jam is gorgeous! Love the addition of basil and jalapeno too, so creative. 

    Also, thanks for the pectin info! I bought a whole set of canning equipment last year, and have neglected it for far too long. This may just be the push that I need to break it out again! 

  50. These pictures might be my favorite blog pictures of all time. Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

    This recipe may just get me over my fear of canning…I must try!

  51. I’m setting this aside for when strawberries come in! The farmers have said 2 more weeks… but patience is not my virtue.

  52. Oh man, what amazing combinations!! I cannot WAIIIIT until I have strawberries on hand to make em’!

  53. I am counting down until strawberries are ready to pick here in WI. I get totally out of control, so this jam is exactly what I need. (And I know exactly what you mean by a 15-pound strawberry tummy ache!)

  54. We are months from strawberries but you bet this jalapeño jam is on my list. Goat cheese strawberry jalapeño puff pastry? Oh yeah!


  55. Too many strawberries is NOT a problem for me :) And I think the strawberry jalapeno combination is the best idea ever!

  56. ok 

    1.) I am obsessed with jams. I have been trying to figure out  how to make this red onion and beet jam that i’ve been buying from the Grand Rapids Market. This combo looks amazing. 

    2.) why does everything taste better in cuter jars?

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