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Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

This sweet vanilla bean strawberry jam is perfect with fresh-picked summer strawberries. It’s simple to make, requires only four ingredients, and is ready in under two hours!

vanilla bean strawberry jam in small glass jars

It’s strawberry season! That means it’s time to stuff ourselves on strawberry basil shortcake, strawberry freezer jam, and, OF COURSE, vanilla bean strawberry jam.

I have always loved vanilla bean, but I love it even more when it’s tossed with strawberries and turned into a thick and dreamy jam.

I have eaten most of this jam on toast, but let me tell you something. Don’t underestimate the deliciousness of jam on vanilla ice cream.

It’s a match made in sweet treat heaven! 

While I didn’t have the time this year to pick my own strawberries, this is an excellent use for fresh-picked strawberries. 

Craving strawberries in a form that would be great overtop ice cream? Why not try this easy strawberry compote!

small cooking pot full of vanilla bean strawberry jam

Tips for making homemade strawberry jam

Don’t worry, I SWEAR homemade jam is nothing to be scared of. It’s so simple to throw together; from start to finish, you’ll be done in less than 2 hours. 

Now, I will say that if you’re looking into canning jam, it can be a little more time-consuming, but today’s jam is what I call a refrigerator jam.

That means you make your fresh jam, store it in the refrigerator, and use it within two months.

Plus, all you need is four ingredients, and it can’t get any easier than that!

And I used my favorite dessert ingredient – vanilla bean paste!

If you have been following me, you know it’s one of my favorites!

cut strawberries in a large bowl with sugar and vanilla bean paste

Using natural pectin

We are not adding any packaged pectin, instead, we are adding in some chopped apple.

Apples are naturally high in pectin, so they will help thicken the jam just as well as store-bought pectin.

Since strawberries are naturally very low in pectin, this step helps ensure the jam is set up correctly. 

cut strawberries in a large bowl

Adjusting the sugar content

If you have ever made candy, you know that you can create anything from soft, chewy caramels to hard, crunchy brittle by heating sugar.

That’s because sugar changes as it is heated. The higher you go, the harder the set of the candy. 

When looking at jam-making, it’s the same process.

The recipe must have enough sugar to bond with the pectin to create a thick and spreadable jam.

You’ll have a much thinner jam if you cut the sugar down too much.

That doesn’t mean you can’t play around with the sugar content in this recipe. But if you reduce it significantly, you may be left with a thinner jam.

You’ll likely also need to add a little cooking time. 

a little spoon inside a jar of vanilla bean strawberry jam

Adaptations and Substitutions

  • Not a fan of vanilla? Try adding in fresh basil to boost the summertime flavor of this jam. 
  • Want to add more than just strawberries? Try adding in blueberries, cherries, or raspberries. 
  • What if I can’t find vanilla bean paste? Use two whole vanilla beans, insides scraped clean, instead.

So, there you have it! Homemade vanilla bean strawberry jam in just under 2 hours. How easy and delicious does that sound? Plus, it’s a fun twist to traditional strawberry jam. 

2 jars of vanilla bean strawberry jam with a little plate of straawberries

Love this vanilla bean strawberry jam? 

Try a few of my other strawberry recipes!

vanilla bean strawberry jam in small glass jars

Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

Author: Brandy O’Neill – Nutmeg Nanny
This sweet vanilla bean strawberry jam is perfect when made with fresh-picked summer strawberries. Super easy to make and perfect on toast!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes



  • Wash berries thoroughly and then stem and core.
  • Add berries to a large bowl and add sugar and vanilla bean paste. Stir to combine.
  • Let the strawberry mixture sit for 45 minutes or until the berries are juicy and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add strawberries with all their juices and the chopped apple to a medium-sized pot and set over medium heat.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will start out VERY watery but this is normal.
  • Gently mash the berries and cook for about 15 minutes longer or until you have reached your desired jam-like consistency.
  • Cool jam and store in a clean mason jar or another airtight container.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


  • 2 vanilla bean pods scraped can be used in place of vanilla bean paste.
  • This jam is NOT canned so please make sure to store refrigerated and eat within the time frame given.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g
Keyword condiment, homemade jam, jam, jelly, preserves, strawberries, strawberry, strawberry jam, strawberry jelly, vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla bean paste
Did you try this recipe?Leave a comment and 5 star review!

About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

Recipe Rating

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having

Tuesday 26th of July 2011

I just made some vanilla bean strawberry jam, loved the flavours together.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Wednesday 20th of July 2011

Love the addition of vanilla in the jam... It looks just lovely!

Kim - Liv Life

Tuesday 19th of July 2011

Wow!! Vanilla beans in the jam, excellent! I make a strawberry sauce for ice cream with vanilla and strawberry, why not jam? Love it!


Tuesday 19th of July 2011

this is a gorgeous and tasty way to keep the flavor of fresh strawberries around for a little bit longer. excellent idea, adding vanilla bean!

Diana @ a girl, a dog and an oven

Sunday 17th of July 2011

Yum! I love trying new types of fruit preserves/jam, and the idea of vanilla and strawberry sounds lovely!


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