Creative Ways To Use Jams and Jellies

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You can do much more with jams and jellies than just spreading them on toast. Here is a list of a few of great ways to use jams and jellies:


  • Roll a peeled banana in strawberry jam. Then sprinkle it with nuts or granola. Freeze for a quick cool dessert or snack anytime.
  • Add some peach, apricot or pineapple preserves to cooked carrots.
  • Don’t have fruit for smoothies? Add some preserves or jam to them.
  • In place of sugar for your hot tea, add 1-2 tsp. of peach or apricot jam.
  • Add some raspberry jam to apple juice or applesauce.
  • Spread any ho-hum coffee cake with jam to kick it up a notch.
  • Stir orange marmalade or apricot, strawberry, peach or raspberry jelly into a fruit salad for a glaze.
  • Put a few dollops of jam or jelly on a bar of softened cream cheese to serve with crackers.


photo by: bokchoi-snowpea


  1. Carys says

    And when you only have a little bit of jam/jelly left in the jar, then make sure you use that too.
    You can add some milk to the jar, shake it and you have a flavoured milkshake; or do the same with plain yoghurt or ice cream for a flavoured treat to which you can simply add some fruit/nuts etc if you want too.

  2. Margaret2 says

    You can mix white or rice vinegar and your bottom of the jelly jar for interesting sweet and sour dips.

    Once ate in a bistro where the special of the day was a simple breaded pork tenderloin with an apricot jelly sauce. Not bad, but for the price??

    Shake the leftover jelly up with a little water to thin it, then add it to milk for the childrens’ breakfast.

  3. Phyllis says

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I get jam given as gifts and just haven’t gotten into the habit of putting it on my toast. Can’t wait to add it to our applesauce and my morning smoothie.

  4. Nancy says

    My son is hosting an Irish student for the Ulster Project this month. Our student tells us that he puts jam on his vanilla ice cream. My sons think that is odd but really it is no different than the flavored syrups such as chocolate or strawberry.

  5. jill says

    I find this to be true of a lot of things, Nancy. For example when I tell people I love mayo on my country fried potatoes and hash browns they think that sounds really weird but if you think about it what more is potato salad but potatoes and mayo and most people love that.

    • says

      talking to a friend at the flower section of the store we were talking herbs. She said if you add a bit of tai basil to the mayo it is really good with fried potatoes.
      Don’t care for mayo much myself but just read your post here and thought I would let you know that tip. She says a restaurant in the city serves all fries with the mayo.
      If my tai basil grows I just may give it a try.

  6. Terry says

    I love these ideas. Never thought thinking outside the box. What a great way to rotate your food storage!

  7. rose says

    we bought a cheesecake for some kind of fundraising for one of the schools in the area (my daughter actually bought it) and the top of the cheesecake had a very thin layer of strawberry jam on it (instead of the can of pie filling or fresh fruit) ..
    it made the cheesecake look very colorful (it was a super thin layer of the jam) …

    • says

      Didn’t think about cheesecake Rose. Oh yum. You could use raspberry, blueberry, peach or lots of kinds. This might work too to make a plain cheesecake and let each family member add their own favorite flavor to the top.

  8. Angie M. says

    Nancy and Jill,

    I was reading your comments about some people thinking jam on ice cream or mayo on fried potatoes is weird but strawberry syrup on ice cream or mayo on potato salad is normal and thinking this is true of so many things.

    For one example, my husband thinks me topping my meatloaf with ketchup is disgusting but he eats ketchup on a hamburger. He thinks it is weird that I put ketchup on my fried potatoes or hash browns but he dips his french fries in ketchup.

    My grandpa always pours milk over his cake or cobblers and people think this is gross but people put whipped cream or ice cream on cake and cobblers all the time and this is accepted as normal.

    My favorite way to eat ice cream is put about three scoops in a tall glass and then fill about half the glass with milk, stir with a spoon until it is all icy. I was doing this in my office kitchen at lunch one day and a couple of co-workers were wrinkling there noses and saying “Yuck…you put milk in your ice cream?” Then another co-worker said “Duh! Milk shake!” Lol!

    I’m really open minded to trying new food combos. I’m lucky there are very few things I actually dislike…or maybe I’m not so lucky…makes staying thin a challenge. Lol!

    I took my sons to Wendy’s one day with another boy who was a baseball team mate. All three boys ordered chicken nuggets. My two boys ordered sweet and sour sauce for dipping. The other boy ordered a little container of mayo on the side. At the table, he mixed the mayo with ketchup and dipped his chicken nuggets in it. I pondered this flavor combo silently, wondered if it might be weird and finally decided no because I put top my meatloaf with ketchup and then I put mayo on a meatloaf sandwich. So I think I’m ok with that flavor combo. I still haven’t tried it with nuggets but I bet it wouldn’t be bad.

    One thing that did kind of puzzle me is I heard that some people like cheese on their apple pie. I’m not sure I would like that but I do like to eat sliced apples with cheese slices so who knows? 

    • says

      Too funny Angie – I wouldn’t dream of eating my apple pie with out a slice of cheese on it. I don’t like ice cream on my pie but apple pie without cheese just doesn’t cut it for me. HA!HA! They even have apple pie crust with grated cheese, yum yum. It is interesting people’s likes and dislikes and the way they look at food.

      Oh the mayo ketchup combo reminds me of fry sauce found at every fast food place when we lived in the northwest but never heard of anything like it here in the mid west.

  9. says

    Whenever I eat waffles, I put jam or jelly on them. I’m not a lover of maple syrup, even though I grew up in upstate NY about 20 min. from the VT border. I would always get “funny” looks when I did this. It’s really delicious!!
    Also, many people up home (unfortunately I haven’t lived there in 38+ years) eat cheese(cheddar) with their apple pie too! The ones who do, wouldn’t dream of eating their pie any other way! Personally, I like both ways.

  10. Annie says

    Jam was like dessert at my grandparents home. My Bumpa would put it everything! Bread crusts to use them up, icecream as a topping, pancakes because it was cheaper than syrup, pork chops to sweeten ’em up, and tomato halfs for a swwet and sour bite (with vinegar and salt too). Jam was plentiful, money was not. it was a great sweet treat. Oh Ya.. and in bread in the pie irons over camp fire too to make “fire pies” So yummy!!
    I’ve also cooked pork in jam too,,,it’s awesome.

  11. rose says

    i have add blueberry jam on my waffles and pancakes too .. and the meatballs made with bbq sauce and grape jelly (i prefer the cranberry sauce myself but the rest of the family likes the jelly version) ..
    ice cream? well i love just choc/van/strawberry ice cream and i love to mix it up and let it melt . awesome! ..
    my one set of nephew and niece, they used ot eat van ice cream with either strawberry or pineapple jam and add a bit of milk and stir it up (milkshakes!) ..
    mom cooks ham with the apricot or pineapple jam/jelly on it .. 😀 ..
    and apple pie with cheddar cheese (sharp cheddar please!) .. yummo ..
    we do ketchup/mayo mixed together .. we call that french salad dressing and if u add relish then its 1000 island dressing ..

  12. Angie M. says

    I love the meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce. I have never tried the cranberry sauce but think I will.

    My mom also cooks ham with pineapple and sometimes even adds cola. She also used apricot jam on pork chops or pork roasts.

    We have also used jams and jelly on pancakes and waffles.

    This is making me hungry!

  13. Bea says

    I bought some bananas and I am going to put some strawberry preserves on one, with some chocolate granola. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the ideas.

  14. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze-Betty Crocker cookbook Circa ?1950? Betty wouldn’t lie to us, which makes it official. I believe its supposed to be cheddar or strongly flavored cheese.

    I put a cup of water in almost empty jelly jars and nuke them to get every last drop to sweeten my tea. It also prevents me from putting ant magnets in the recyle bin.

    Mixing mayo and ketsup makes thousand island sauce-or Big Mac’s secret sauce without the pickle.

    I lived in the third world where deaf orphans weren’t fully supported by their government because “they never would be productive citizens.” My “stupid, dirty, dog” eats better than many overseas orphans. There people ate the whole chicken-uterus, feet, unborn eggs and bugs too. I admired them for not letting any of the animal food God blessed them with go to waste. I am aware of how rich Americans are and thank God I have enough to eat and don’t judge what anyone else does unless they try to eat my dog.

  15. Denise Osburn says

    Next time you need a glaze for a pound cake or bundt cake, warm up some jelly and mix with powdered sugar.

  16. says

    have been looking at rhubarb jam recipes. the ones I find all have a jello added.
    is this to thicken it when you are not using pectin.
    only know how to make about 20 qt. size recipes from my mom and now want just a bit for every once in a while.
    can anyone tell me why the jello.

  17. Lorene says

    When I got home last night with Chinese food including an egg roll, I discovered I had forgot the sauce so I heated in the microwave some peach jam I had in the fridge and it was delicious. Thanks for all the good ideas!

  18. Roxanne says

    Many people put milk on cereal. I put cereal on ice cream. Specifically puffed wheat or grape nuts as we were poor and could not afford nuts

    • Claire says

      Or as a mix-in for oatmeal! Love doing that with strawberry jam & then adding a cut-up banana. Yum.

  19. says

    We love jam cakes, a vanilla layer cake, with vanilla pudding spread on the bottom layer, topped with raspberry jam, then the top layer of the cake. No frosting needed.
    As for unset jelly or jam, this happens to me at least once a season. I make about 50 half pint jars of jelly.jam a year. When a batch doesn’t set, I remake it, with added pectin. The lack of set is usually due to me cooking the fruit juice/jelly too long and killing off the natural pectin.
    And for rhubarb jam, I always blend rhubarb with strawberries., no jello in the rhubarb/strawberry jam I’ve made. Both rhubarb and strawberries are low pectin fruits, so I have to add some commercial pectin.

  20. Sandi P says

    My son got me started on what I think is one of the oddest food combinations. He puts tabasco type hot sauce on his pancakes! This is along with syrup, so it’s kind of like a sweet and sour sauce. I had to try it since I like hot sauce, and it is actually very good. I do get some strange looks at the local cafe though.

  21. Bea says

    This is a jam recipe that uses ripe bananas and saves you from throwing them away.
    Banana Jam (Makes 2 pints)
    7 ripe bananas
    3 cups sugar
    5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    Add all ingredients to pot and stir to mix. Bring to boil, then cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. Watch and stir so mixture doesn’t burn or stick to bottom of pan. Turn down heat to simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened. Pour into clean and hot jars.
    To clean and heat jars wash in hot soapy water, rinse, and then place on cookie sheet and place in oven, preheated to 250 degrees, for 20 minutes. This should be done last 20 minutes of jam cooking time. Pour jam into hot bottles, turn upside down on lids, for 2 minutes after sealing, then turn rightside up and let cool. Can be kept in cool dry place for 6 months, or refrigerated after cooling.
    I made this jam and it’s very good. Can be used on toast, pancakes, banana bread, or anything jam is used on.

  22. Bea says

    Jill, I never heard of Banana Jam either, but discovered it in a book from Europe. Since bananas are something I love to eat, and use in recipes for banana bread and cake etc., I was thrilled to find this recipe. It’s very good too and simple. Since bananas have pectin naturally you don’t even have to buy pectin or any jam making ingredients to add, so I liked that idea too. And when it’s cooking it smells so yummy that you can’t wait for it to get done to eat. Great on toast. Very inexpensive to make too, because fancy jams are espensive in stores and the recipes makes 2 pints.

  23. Helen Higgins says

    It is winter here in Australia, so my favourite use for the last of the jam, is to put it in the bottom of the steamed pud before cooking. Marmalade is a fav.

  24. Tommie says

    Anyone else ever make fresh strawberry banana jam.
    The banana jam made me think of it. It is a family
    Favorite here. Good ideas on this site.. Tommie,’

  25. Dotty says

    One more suggestion. If you like smoked porkchops, try cooking the chops in a small amount of oil and with a sprinkle of Worchestershire. When browned, remove the chops and add hot pepper jelly to the drippings in the pan. Stir until the jelly has melted and pour over the chops and serve. Sweet, smoky and spicy. Absolutely delicious!!!

    • says

      That sounds so good Dotty. I love any kind of jelly or jam with pork chops but smokey and hot pepper jelly really sounds good.

  26. Mary Jane says

    I have used crab apple jelly in barbecue sauce, in marinade for beef jerky and I have used jams in the middle of ordinary, plain muffins. Put about a third of the muffin mix into the muffin paper or cup, add a dollop of jam or jelly, and add more muffin mix. bake as usual. Your stories of jams and jellies reminded me of a true story that I read in a Sunday School paper as a teenager. It seems there was a young and poor unmarried missionary on the mission field, and she liked to have some jam with her toast every morning…just one slice. One day when funds were low, she ran out of jam, and missed the breakfast staple. She had been challenged in her work, to remember that she could ask God for even small things, and if it was in her best interests, she could trust God to provide for her. She felt a little silly at first (because she felt that He had much greater requests to attend to) but she prayed and asked God for her little request of some jam or jelly for her toast. Long story short, at the time the article was written, she praised God for her having had jam or jelly for her breakfast for over 33 years…without her ever having to buy it! About strange food combinations, I have been told by my American friends on more than one occasion, that the idea of peanut butter on toast for breakfast is a Canadian anomaly. It is also delicious on cold pancakes rolled up, or on cold waffles as well.

    • says

      My granddaughter has eaten peanut butter on toast almost every morning since she was little tiny and so many in our family love it on pancakes too. Needless to say my kids go through tons of peanut butter.
      You know if I had all the money in the world I would give my kids everything I could that was good for them even the little things.If my child came to me hesitantly asking me if he could have a little butter or jam on his toast it would break my heart that he didn’t think I loved him enough to have the time for his request or care enough to give it to him if it is in my power to do so. I love them and everything about them and their needs are my interest. God is no different with us. He is interested in every little detail of our life and that is why He wants a relationship with us and not just for us to practice a religion about Him.That is also why the Bible says you have not because you ask not. How many times in the Bible did Jesus feed the crowds or the disciples? He even took time to turn the water into wine for His first miracle.
      The thing that I can’t ever get use to is when I ask God for something He not only gives it to me but He gives me 10 times the or more what I asked for. Never ceases to amaze me.

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