Lightened-Up 30-min Strawberry Jam

I’ve watched my mom spend time in the kitchen canning over various years. The end result is always extremely tasty, and the jars always look beautiful.

But the whole process isn’t really for me. I don’t like the thought of standing over the stove for hours, stirring, sanitizing the jars, doing dishes, dishes, and more dishes… all for one flavour of jam that you’ll probably get tired of in a month.

Lightened-Up 30 min Strawberry Jam by Katy's Kitchen

Mom, you know I love your jam, and your chutney, and especially your pickles!

But I just don’t have the patience. I enjoy my food most when the process of making it is quick, fun, and easy. Enter 30-minute jam!

Lightened-Up 30 min Strawberry Jam by Katy's Kitchen

This jam takes 30 minutes. Literally. I timed myself. And those 30 minutes included constantly pushing the dog out of the kitchen, and running around grabbing props for photos. How did my mom do this with three children?

Chia seeds are the magic ingredient here.

Basically everything gets thrown in this one pot until it thickens up. See? Easy.

strawberry jam


Its a little less sweet than your average jam, so feel free to add more sugar to make it less “lightened-up”. I’ve always found jams too sweet, though, so this one was perfect for me.

A day or two in the fridge makes the jam thicker and the flavours really come through. However, since it is “fresh” it will not last as long as your regular shelf-stable jam and must be stored in the fridge.

Lightened-Up 30 min Strawberry Jam by Katy's Kitchen

Lightened-Up 30 minute Strawberry Jam

adapted, slightly, from OhSheGlows

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:


  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1 TB chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Defrost the strawberries partway to make them easier to chop. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces until you reach 2 and 1/4 cups. Put any leftover strawberries back in the freezer.
  2. In a medium pot, place chopped strawberries and sugar. Heat on low until the strawberries start to sweat and the mixture begins to get watery. Then, stir in the chia seeds.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so the strawberries don’t burn. Then simmer at low heat for about 14 minutes, (If adding vanilla, do it now!) stirring occasionally, until the jam has thickened up a little more. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes before pouring into a jar.

Serving suggestions:

On toast, on oatmeal, on ice cream, on a spoon straight out of the jar….


I made this recipe again and added vanilla. It gives the jam a smooth aroma and extra flavour. I’ve updated the ingredients list and the directions accordingly.

So go on, lick the bowl!

30 minute strawberry jam


Published by

Katy MacKinnon

Katy MacKinnon is a food photographer and recipe developer, and Food Fight! co-host.

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