Microwave Strawberry Jam

So easy! Try this small batch strawberry jam made in a microwave. Cooks in 15 minutes, with quick cleanup.

Microwave Strawberry Jam
Elise Bauer

Do you ever buy more strawberries than you can eat? It happens to me often enough during berry season, especially when I see huge tubs of berries on sale.

The problem is that often when they are on sale, they don't have many days left in them, so you need to use them up right away.

My mother, bless her heart, has the perfect solution for too much fruit. She makes small batch jams in her microwave. She does it with the plums and figs from her trees (see her Microwave Fig Jam).

This week I had a big container of strawberries that needed to get eaten or used, so I decided to use mom's microwave method to make a quick batch of jam. Excellent!

Microwave Strawberry Jam
Elise Bauer

A Simple Jam a Kid Can Make

It's so easy. All you need are strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice (I added orange zest because it gives the strawberries some lift). And you need a large Pyrex or microwave safe mixing bowl.

After you've let the strawberries sit for a bit in the sugar to draw out their moisture, it only takes 15 minutes in the microwave on high to make!

2 1/2 cups of quartered berries will yield about 1 1/2 cups of jam. No candy thermometers needed, or big canning pots. No making dozens of jars to store for the winter or give away.

This approach makes a really small batch. But sometimes (usually) that's all we need!

Want to Can This Jam?

This recipe makes such a small amount, there's little point in bothering with canning it. For larger amounts of jam, try our strawberry jam for canning recipe, which yields about 4 half-pints.

Recipes to Savor a Strawberry Moon

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Microwave Strawberry Jam

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Macerating 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 12 servings
Yield 1 1/2 cups

The best strawberries for making strawberry jam are those that are firm and not soft, overly ripe, or too sweet.

You can sub 1/2 cup of the strawberries for 1/2 cup of chopped orange segments for more orange flavor. Just don't use more than 2 1/2 cups of fruit or your bowl may overflow in the microwave.

You can swap out some of the lemon juice with balsamic vinegar.


  • 2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered (from about 1 pound)

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup sugar (can reduce to 1/4 cup if you would like your jam less sweet)


  1. Toss the berries with orange zest, lemon juice, and sugar, then rest:

    Place the quartered strawberries, orange zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl (at least 10 cup capacity) or 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup.

    Gently toss to combine so that the strawberries are well coated with the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes at room temp to macerate.

    Simple Tip!

    A tiny pinch of finely ground black pepper can add some zing to the jam.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Microwave in 5 minute intervals:

    Place the bowl with strawberries on a plate (to catch possible overflow) in your microwave oven. Cook on high for intervals of 5 minutes each, gently stirring after each 5 minute interval.

    Simple Tip!

    In my 1650 Watt microwave, I use 3 intervals of 5 minutes each for a total of 15 minutes. If you have a lower powered microwave, you may need to cook longer, or if you have a higher powered microwave, you may need less time.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Pay attention so that the mixture doesn't overflow. If it bubbles up too much and begins to overflow, put the mixture in a larger (microwave safe) bowl and continue.

    The jam mixture will be ready when the liquid in it thickens slightly and gets syrupy. Because it is hot, it will not be thick like regular jam. As it cools it should thicken.

  3. Pour into the jar, let cool, then chill:

    Pour the hot jam into a jar. Let cool to room temperature then store in the refrigerator.

    Simple Tip!

    Your yield may vary, but this recipe should fit into 1 pint jar, 2 half-pint jars, or 1 half-pint and 1 (2-ounce) jar.

    Elise Bauer
    Microwave Strawberry Jam
    Elise Bauer

    If the jam is too loose and watery even after it has chilled, it may need to be microwaved for several minutes longer.

    Store in the refrigerator, or freeze (leaving 1 inch headspace in the jar to account for the expansion of the liquid as it freezes into ice).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
45 Calories
0g Fat
11g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 22mg 110%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 59mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.