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Last updated on April 18th, 2024 at 05:50 pm

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Homemade Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe [Video]

Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe is made with fresh strawberries and Jell-O, in a sweet, thick, and decadent sauce. It tastes so much better than the store-bought version! Whether you are using it to make strawberry pie, to fill donuts, or to spread it on top of a cake, ice cream, or toast, my strawberry pie filling is easy to make and tastes delicious every time. All you need are six ingredients, some water, and about 10 minutes of your time!

Easy Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe

I have been making my jam and preserves since I was young, as I grew up with my grandparents who have a huge garden with many fruits and berries. It is such an easy way to have the freshest fruit without all of the preservatives and sugar the store-bought stuff has. In addition, making it yourself will save you a lot of money!

Especially when strawberries are coming in full season, I tend to take advantage of their abundance and make batches of this recipe. Even though you could make this dish year-round, the fruits just taste better when in season. They are sweeter, juicier, and not to mention cheaper this time of the year. 

The great thing about this Strawberry Pie Filling is that you can utilize it not only on pies but in various other desserts. And trust us, making it at home is well worth it, and it tastes so much better than the canned version. 

If you like to make your fruit preserves, jams, and jelly, try my instant pot strawberry jam. It is one of those dump-and-go recipes that cooks itself. Making homemade jams is always fun, easy, and budget-friendly. You might also like our Persimmon Jam and my famous Apple Pie Filling.

What you need to make strawberry pie filling

To make this delicious strawberry pie filling recipe, all you need are lemon juice, lemon zest, white sugar, cornstarch, strawberry jello, and some strawberries of course. It takes just 10 minutes to make and a couple of hours to chill so it is set.

  • Strawberries – Get the local organic ones if you can find them. Find the ripest red strawberries without worrying about the shape or size.
  • Lemon juice – Gives your strawberry pie filling a fresh citrusy flavor.
  • Lemon zest – For a little bit of tanginess.
  • Sugar – I use white granulated sugar because it has the best flavor and texture for this recipe.
  • Strawberry Jello – Not only does it add extra strawberry flavor but it also helps thicken the sauce.
  • Cornstarch – For extra thickening.
  • Water – To dissolve the cornstarch.

How to make Strawberry Pie Filling?

  1. Rinse and cut: To begin, rinse and slice strawberries into smaller pieces.
  2. Mix it up: Stir the lemon juice, zest, and strawberries in a large bowl and set it aside.
  3. Thicken: Then, whisk some water, cornstarch, and sugar in a large saucepan on medium heat. Stir well and let it boil for one minute.
  4. Add fruit: After, add the strawberries and stir them as they simmer for three minutes.
  5. Add Jello: Now, remove the pan from the stove and stir in the Jello. Be careful not to crush the strawberries.
  6. Let it chill: Finally, let it come to room temperature before letting it chill for two hours before you use it.



Expert tip:

Choosing the best strawberries

There are more than six varieties of strawberries that are separated into three types including June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral, separated by when they are ripest. The ones you choose should be ripe enough to be sweet but not too ripe because they will be too soft.

  1. June-bearing strawberries bloom in June with a large number just one time of the year.
  2. Everbearing strawberries have two smaller crop seasons in June and September.
  3. Day-neutral strawberries do not go dormant and you can expect fruit from them all year round. However, they are smaller than the June-bearing strawberries. Also, this type is grown as an annual instead of a perennial.

There are several common varieties. Albion, which is a darker red and has a sweeter flavor, grows large fruits that are conical and firm. Honeoye is a cold-hardy productive plant that grows tasty red fruit of medium size. Other varieties include Alpine Wonder, Gariguette, Wild American, Evie-2, and Monterey.

If you can find local, organic strawberries, those are my first choice. They are fresher and have no chemicals on them. Also, do not worry about the shape or size when making this recipe. Just make sure they are red.

Recipe variations and add-ins:

  • Add other fruit: Mix in some raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries for a berry delight filling.
  • Use different Jello: Try other flavors of Jello like lemon, lime, or even mint for a different taste.
  • Extracts: Another way to make your strawberry pie filling unique is to add some kind of extracts like vanilla, almond, or lemon.
  • Add nuts: Every pie is better with nuts. The flavors of crushed walnuts, pecans, or almonds would be delicious.
  • Lime: Instead of lemon juice and zest, use lime for a different citrusy flavor.

Serving suggestions:

Strawberry pie filling is easy to make and only takes 10 minutes. The only problem is that you have to chill it for a couple of hours. But that gives you time to list all the things you want to use it for. Here are my favorites.

  • Make a strawberry cheesecake by adding a layer of this delicious filling at the bottom or on top.
  • Serve it on top of ice cream or yogurt bowls.
  • Take your strawberry poke cake to the next level with this delicious filling. The sauce will seep into the cake and the strawberries will stay on top.
  • Another cake that would be great with this sauce is a strawberry lava cake. Just add the filling in the middle.
  • Strawberry smoothies are more than just smoothies with a spoonful of this delicious filling.
  • Why not use it instead of jelly or preserves on your peanut butter sandwich?
  • Try it on top of pancakes or waffles for an extra delicious breakfast.
  • No matter what you put this on, don’t forget to add a dollop of fresh homemade whipped cream.

Frequently asked questions

What is a strawberry cream pie made of?

The main ingredients in strawberry cream pie are cream cheese, whipping cream, and strawberry pie filling or sauce. Some recipes call for heavy cream or sour cream instead of whipping cream but they all follow the same basic recipe of a graham cracker crust, a layer of cream cheese filling, and a layer of strawberry sauce.

Why is my strawberry pie watery?

Watery pie filling has happened to everyone who bakes, including me! First, make sure you use the right amount of cornstarch. Also, be sure the cornstarch is dissolved in water before heating it to a boil. Then, let it boil for the full three minutes. It is also important to let it chill long enough for the pie to be cool all the way through.

What is fruit pie filling made from?

Besides fruit, there are a few main ingredients you need for fruit pie filling. This includes starch, sweetener, and acid. I use lemon for the acid, cornstarch, and Jello for the starch, and sugar for the sweetener. Other thickeners used may be Clear-jel, flour, or tapioca. Some recipes call for honey or maple syrup instead of sugar.

What are the types of filling in a pie?

There are many different types of fillings for pies including custard, savory, fruit, and cream. I have made many fruit pies including apple, blueberry, blackberry, and boysenberry. Some cream pies may include coconut, banana, and strawberry cream. Custard pies vary from chocolate to bananas. Savory pies are made with some type of meat or veggie instead of sweet ingredients.

What thickens strawberry pie filling?

I like to use cornstarch for my fruit pie filling because it thickens the sauce without any added flavor except a bit of sweetness. But flour is another one I like to use but it takes longer to dissolve. Tapioca is another good choice for fruit filling. Potato flour and arrowroot are a couple of other choices you can experiment with.

What is the best thickener for pie filling?

As I stated above, I choose cornstarch for my pie filling because it is faster, gives the filling a smoother texture, and you only need a little. However, flour is a good choice for cream pies and does not need heat to mix in. But it makes your filling cloudy and will be gummy if you use too much. If you plan to freeze your pie, tapioca will not break down when frozen.

Can you freeze strawberry pie filling?

Yes, it stores and freezes well. Before storing it, ensure the mixture is completely cooled down. Then, transfer to an airtight container, a lidded jar, and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

To freeze it, transfer it to a freezer-proof dish, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Before serving, thaw it overnight in the fridge before using it. Once thawed, it might have some excess liquid or water on top, simply pour that off before using it on pies, or as a spread.


How to store:

Refrigerator or freezer

  • Refrigerate: Place leftover strawberry pie filling in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 14 days.
  • Freezing: Once your pie filling is cooled completely, you can freeze it for up to three months in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.
  • Defrost: Thaw overnight in the fridge for the best results.
  • Reheating: No need to reheat but you may have to pour off some liquid that can form on top of the frozen filling. 

Canning strawberry pie filling

I highly recommend making a larger batch of strawberry pie filling and canning it. This way you have it on hand whenever you need to fix a quick, easy, and delicious pie or dessert year-round.

  • Prepare the boiling water canner. Heat the jars and lids in the simmering water (do not boil) until ready for use. Set the bands aside.
  • Transfer the strawberry pie filling into the hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace, tap the jars to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim, place the hot lids on the jars, apply the band, and adjust until the fit is fingertip-tight.
  • Add the jars to a boiling water canner and process for 30 minutes, the time stays the same for pints and quarts.
  • Remove the jars and let them cool. Check the lids for seal after 24 hours, they should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.

More recipes with strawberries:

Recipe tips:

  • Be sure to use the ripest, reddest, and freshest strawberries you can find.
  • If you cannot find good fresh strawberries, you could use frozen strawberries. Just thaw them and pat them dry first.
  • Sometimes, brighter colors make the pie filling more appetizing. Add some red gel food coloring to make it brighter.
  • Do not skip the Jello. Even if you cannot find strawberry Jello, use a different flavor because it adds to the texture, thickness, and flavor.
  • Slice the larger strawberries into halves or quarters but leave the small ones whole for extra texture.

Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe

Strawberry Pie Filling is made with fresh strawberries and Jell-O, in a sweet, thick, and decadent sauce. So much better than store-bought!

Strawberry Pie Filling Recipe
  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time10 MIN
  • Servings 5 cups


  • 6 cups fresh strawberries cored and sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 3.4- ounce box strawberry Jell-O powder


  • In a large bowl, stir together the strawberries, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
    mixing sliced strawberries and lemon zest in a bowl
  • Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat until smooth and combined. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
    whisking cornstarch and sugar in a bowl
  • Add the strawberries, gently stir in, and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
    whisking sliced strawberries in a saucepan
  • Remove saucepan from the heat and gently stir in the Jell-O powder, careful to not crush the strawberries.
    adding strawberry jello to strawberry pie filling in a saucepan
  • Let the mixture cool at room temperature for 2 hours, then refrigerate until fully chilled and settled. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for 5 days.
    homemade strawberry pie filling in a saucepan
  • Use on pies or other desserts.

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Hello, this recipe looks good and I’m going to make this tonight for my family as a cheesecake topping. Once all ingredients are done simmering. How long do it have to chill in the fridge before I can put it on my cheesecake?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Chill it until its no longer warm so it wont melt the cheesecake

D. Morgan

D. Morgan

Made i twice. Second time mixed the jello into cornstarch mixture after boiling it for 1 minute. When fully incorporated, and slightly cooled, added the strawberries. Liked it better this way.

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

I am so happy that you loved the recipe. Thank you for the feedback!



Can I can this for later

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

yes, you can!

Kelly kraft

Kelly kraft

Does this have to chill before putting it in a pie crust and baking it in the oven

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Yes, preferably it needs to be chilled first so it settles.

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