The Ultimate Guide to Making Zucchini Jelly: A Nostalgic and Economical Treat

Summer is upon us, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll make more zucchini bread and cake than your entire neighborhood can eat. This is a recipe my grandmother made every year, and I LOVED this jelly as a kid on my PB&Js. Maybe many of you already know it, but here’s the recipe for zucchini jelly. As far as jellies go, it’s pretty approachable. The texture is similar to marmalade, the taste is similar to strawberry jam. Very good on toast, biscuits, or even pancakes. Economical as well.

Ingredients You Will Need

  • 6 cups seeded, and shredded zucchini (peeling is optional)
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry (peach and apricot work well, too) flavored Jell-O mix

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Zucchini Jelly

Step 1: Prepare the Zucchini

Start by thoroughly washing your zucchini. You can choose to peel the zucchini or leave the skin on, depending on your texture preference. Once washed and optionally peeled, seed and shred the zucchini. Measure out 6 cups of the shredded vegetable.

Step 2: Combine Ingredients

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the shredded zucchini, sugar, drained crushed pineapple, and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Step 3: Cook the Mixture

Bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to cook until the zucchini becomes clear. This process usually takes about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Step 4: Add the Gelatin

Remove the pot from heat and immediately add the flavored gelatin mix. Stir continuously until the gelatin is completely dissolved and well incorporated into the mixture.

Step 5: Sterilize the Jars

While your jelly mixture is cooling slightly, prepare your jars. Sterilize them by boiling in water for about 10 minutes. This ensures that your jelly will be preserved safely and for a longer period.

Step 6: Fill the Jars

Ladle the hot zucchini jelly into the sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top. This space is essential for proper sealing.

Step 7: Seal and Process the Jars

Seal the jars with their lids and process them in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. This step is crucial for ensuring the jelly is safely sealed and can be stored without refrigeration.

Enjoying Your Homemade Zucchini Jelly

Zucchini jelly is a versatile and delicious spread that can be enjoyed in various ways:

  • On Toast: Spread it on a warm slice of toast for a delightful breakfast.
  • With Biscuits: Pair it with freshly baked biscuits for a sweet and savory snack.
  • As a Pancake Topping: Use it as a unique topping for your pancakes or waffles.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Zucchini is not only tasty but also packed with nutritional benefits:

  • Rich in Vitamins: Zucchini is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are important for maintaining good health.
  • Low in Calories: This makes it a great addition to a balanced diet.
  • High in Antioxidants: Zucchini contains antioxidants that can help protect your body from various diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use other types of gelatin flavors for this recipe?

Absolutely! While the recipe calls for strawberry-flavored gelatin, you can experiment with other flavors like peach, apricot, or even raspberry to suit your taste preferences.

2. How long does zucchini jelly last?

When properly sealed and stored in a cool, dark place, zucchini jelly can last up to one year. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and consumed within a few weeks.

3. Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe?

The sugar in this recipe acts as a preservative and helps achieve the desired texture. Reducing the sugar might affect the jelly’s consistency and shelf life. However, if you prefer a less sweet jelly, you can experiment with lower amounts of sugar and add pectin to help with setting.

4. Is it necessary to use a boiling water canner?

Yes, processing the jars in a boiling water canner ensures that your jelly is properly sealed and safe to store without refrigeration. This step helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

5. Can I freeze zucchini jelly?

Yes, you can freeze zucchini jelly. Ensure that you leave enough space in the jars for expansion during freezing. Thaw it in the refrigerator before use.


Making zucchini jelly is a delightful way to preserve the abundance of zucchini during the summer months. This recipe, passed down from generation to generation, offers a taste of nostalgia and a practical solution for utilizing surplus zucchini. Whether you spread it on toast, enjoy it with biscuits, or use it as a pancake topping, zucchini jelly is sure to become a favorite in your household. Follow this comprehensive guide to create your own batch of this economical and delicious treat.

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