Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

This sweet vanilla bean strawberry jam is perfect when made with fresh-picked summer strawberries. It’s super simple to make, only requires 4 ingredients and is ready in just under 2 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 had a love affair with 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 the majority 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! 

And while I didn’t have the time this year to go pick my own strawberries this is a great use for all those fresh-picked strawberries. 

small cooking pot full of vanilla bean strawberry jam

Never made homemade jam before?

Don’t worry I SWEAR homemade jam is nothing to be scared of. It’s so simple to throw together and 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 and store it right in the refrigerator and use it within 2 months. Plus all you need is 4 ingredients and it can’t get any easier than that! And I used my most 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

Do I need to use pectin?

Yes, and no. We are not adding any packaged pectin, instead, we are adding in some chopped apple. Apple is naturally high in pectin so it will help thicken up the jam just as well as store-bought pectin. Since strawberries are naturally very low in pectin this helps to make sure the jam will set up properly. 

cut strawberries in a large bowl

Can I adjust the sugar content? 

Sorta? I know that is not a great answer. Let me better explain the role sugar has in jam making.

If you have ever made candy before you can see just by heating sugar you can get anything from soft chewy caramels to hard and crunchy brittle. 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 its sort of the same process. You have to have enough sugar in the recipe to bond with the pectin to create a thick and spreadable jam. If you cut the sugar down too much you’ll be left with a much thinner jam. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t take mess around with the sugar content a little in this recipe BUT just know if you cut it down by a lot 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


  • 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 2 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

Yield: About 1 cup
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

This sweet vanilla bean strawberry jam is perfect when made with fresh-picked summer strawberries. Super easy to make and perfect on toast!


  • 4 cups stemmed and quartered strawberries
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 apple, peeled and small dice


  1. Wash berries thoroughly and then stem and core.
  2. Add berries to a large bowl and add sugar and vanilla bean paste. Stir to combine.
  3. Let the strawberry mixture sit for 45 minutes or until the berries are juicy and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add strawberries with all their juices and the chopped apple to a medium-sized pot and set over medium heat.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. The mixture will start out VERY watery but this is normal.
  6. Gently mash the berries and cook for about 15 minutes longer or until you have reached your desired jam-like consistency.
  7. Cool jam and store in a clean mason jar or another airtight container.
  8. 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.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 0g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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24 Responses to “Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam”

  1. #
    Erica — July 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Fresh berries – nothing like them! The jam looks totally yummy. And I love the idea of added vanilla in the jam- YUM!. Hope you’re having a good week 🙂

  2. #
    Tamara — July 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Where have you been all my life…I mean, really? 🙂 Where did you pick up the vanilla pods from? A regular grocery?

    • admin replied: — July 14th, 2011 @ 1:14 am

      Haha I’m glad you like it 🙂 You can find vanilla beans in your local grocery store although I find they are cheaper if you buy them on Amazon. That is where I get my beans.

  3. #
    Jessica — July 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    That jam looks fantastic! Strawberry jam is my weakness….I could spread it on cardboard, lol. Great recipe!

  4. #
    Maris(In Good Taste) — July 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    The vanilla in this must make the taste so fantastic!

  5. #
    Willie — July 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Looks good, and you will be bringing a small jar for me to sample?

  6. #
    Reeni — July 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    There’s nothing better than strawberry jam made with your own two hands! Especially when you picked the strawberries yourself. I LURVE that you added vanilla!

  7. #
    Jessica — July 14, 2011 at 8:26 am

    So I keep clicking the “click to share” and the jam doesn’t appear….what am I doing wrong???? 😉

    Great write up! And I had so much fun picking with you!!! Can’t wait for blueberry picking, and raspberry picking, and apple picking, and pumpkin picking… yes I am totally getting ahead of myself! 🙂

  8. #
    Lyndsey — July 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

    This brings back memories. While growing up in Michigan we would go berry picking (all kinds of berries) every summer and my mom would make jam…mmm…nothing better. So how did the vanilla taste with the strawberry jam? It sounds divine!

  9. #
    shannon — July 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

    ooh, i need to go berry picking!! my mom always made strawberry jam, totally bringing back memories 🙂

  10. #
    Faith — July 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Strawberry picking is so much fun, I’m glad you got to go and enjoy it! There’s nothing like homemade strawberry jam and yours looks great — love the addition of vanilla!

  11. #
    Joanne — July 14, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    I so want to someday go strawberry picking! Definitely partially so that I’ll have enough strawberries to make this jam! It looks so delicious. Good call on the apples!

  12. #
    claudia lamascolo — July 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Just fabulous congrats to you I applaud this perfection of a jam!

  13. #
    Marla — July 15, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Strawberry picking – how fun! I must do that sometime soon. Love the jam especially with the vanilla.

  14. #
    Barbara — July 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Wish I had that slice of toast with you luscious jam for breakfast!

  15. #
    Megan'sCookin' — July 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I’m a sucker for anything using vanilla beans. This sounds wonderful using 2!

  16. #
    Samantha — July 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Ooh so thats what you did with your strawberries! It looks great! I might have to pick up that book you mentioned… Jammy is a good enough word for me!

  17. #
    Diana @ a girl, a dog and an oven — July 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm

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

  18. #
    grace — July 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

    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!

  19. #
    Kim - Liv Life — July 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm

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

  20. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — July 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

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

  21. #
    Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having — July 26, 2011 at 8:15 pm

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


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