Zucchini jam is one of my favorite ways to use up that extra garden zucchini. Grated zucchini, sugar, lemon juice, and your favorite flavor of Jell-O are transformed into a sweet and fruity jam that's perfect for spreading on your morning toast.
Do you have an abundance of summer garden zucchini and don't want it to go to waste? Try making a batch of zucchini jam. It's flavored with your favorite type of powdered gelatin (like Jell-O brand) - today we're using strawberry Jell-O.
Since zucchini has a mild flavor, it takes on whatever flavors are added to it. In this case, we're using Jell-O to add the fruity flavor to our grated zucchini.
Spread zucchini jam on your morning toast or add to your next charcuterie board. Zucchini jam requires no canning and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need four cups, or about 540 grams of finely shredded zucchini. I recommend finely shredding your zucchini for this recipe because it softens quickly on the stovetop and melds right into your jam after it sets. Larger grated zucchini will add a noticeable texture to your jam.
- Granulated sugar - Sugar is a necessary part of jam because it sweetens your jam and helps preserve it in the refrigerator or freezer. Since we are not canning our jam today, it must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Lemon juice - Helps preserve your jam, cuts the sweetness with a little acidity, and helps prevent discoloration.
- Jell-O - Any brand or flavor of powdered gelatin dessert works here. Strawberry, peach, apricot, and cherry are popular choices when making jam. You'll need one 3-ounce box (this is the smaller of the two boxes commonly found at the grocery store) for this recipe. You can also double the recipe and use a 6-ounce box instead, if desired.
Can I make this sugar free?
I have not tested this recipe with sugar substitutes or sugar-free Jell-O, so I can't say for sure how your jam would turn out. The sugar added to the recipe not only sweetens the jam but also helps preserve it. Sugar substitutes do not have the same preservative qualities as regular sugar, so your jam will not last nearly as long if using sugar substitutes.
Can you taste the zucchini?
No. Zucchini has a very mild, slightly sweet, green flavor that is undetectable when paired with stronger flavors. In this case, whatever flavor of Jell-O you've chosen is what your jam will taste like!
Make sure you're using zucchini, not other green vegetables like cucumber, which do have a strong flavor that would overpower your jam. Not sure which one you have on hand? Check out my post: Zucchini vs cucumber - what's the difference?
What size jars do I need?
This recipe makes three 8-ounce jars of jam, or 24 ounces of jam. Feel free to use any combination of jar sizes, like six 4-ounce jars, or a 16 ounce jar and an 8 ounce jar.
Since we're not canning our jam, your jars do not need to be sterilized first (unless you want to). Any clean, dry jars with tightly sealing lids will work.
Since we are not canning our jam, it must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Zucchini jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to one year. To thaw frozen jam, transfer to the refrigerator to allow to thaw overnight.
If freezing jam, make sure to leave about 1 inch of space at the top of your jars. Your jam may expand slightly when freezing.
- 4 cups (540 g) finely shredded zucchini, do not drain liquid out
- 2 cups (396 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 ounce box Jell-O, any flavor
- In a stock pot over medium heat, add grated zucchini, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 8 minutes. Add Jell-O powder and stir until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Mixture will look thin but will continue to thicken as it cools.
- After mixture has cooled slightly, transfer into jars (leaving a 1 inch gap at the top to account for expansion when freezing) and allow to cool completely to room temperature with lids off. After jam has cooled, add lids and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- This recipe makes 24 ounces of jam.
- Any flavor of Jell-O powdered gelatin dessert works in this recipe. Popular flavors include strawberry, peach, apricot, and cherry.
- Since we are not canning this jam, it is not shelf stable. It must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer at all times.
- Jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month, or in the freezer for up to a year. To thaw frozen jam, transfer to the refrigerator to allow to thaw overnight.