Marionberry Jam Recipe: A Deliciously Simple Spread

Discover the Delightful Marionberry

If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying marionberries, you’re in for a treat. These Oregon-grown berries are often referred to as the “Cabernet of blackberries” due to their incredibly flavorful and complex taste. In this easy marionberry jam recipe, we’ll transform these delicious berries into a low-sugar chia jam. The result? A rich, purple spread that you’ll want to enjoy on everything. The best part? No pectin required!

The Joy of Exploring New Flavors

I absolutely love sharing food discoveries with my email subscribers. It’s always exciting to try new foods and keep our diets interesting. Even after years of exploring, I still find hidden gems to sample every week. Recently, I had the pleasure of trying marionberries for the first time, and this marionberry jam recipe is one of the delicious outcomes. When it comes to new foods, I prefer to keep recipes simple, allowing the natural flavors to shine.

A Bounty of Berries

This simple jam recipe is all about celebrating the abundance of berries. Just remember, the quality of your marionberries will determine the final outcome. If you’re wondering where to find marionberries, don’t worry—I’ve got you covered. Check out the FAQs section below for all the details. Even if you don’t live in Oregon, you can still enjoy this marionberry jam recipe. By using frozen berries, you can savor the best flavors of summer all year round.


What is a Marionberry?

The marionberry, also known as the “Marion blackberry,” is a unique type of blackberry developed in Oregon. It’s a cross between Olallieberries and Chehalem blackberries. Named after Marion County, Oregon, where it was extensively tested, these berries have become a local favorite.

Marionberry vs. Blackberry: What’s the Difference?

Yes, the marionberry is indeed a type of blackberry. However, its taste may differ from the blackberries you’re accustomed to. In recipes, you can replace marionberries with regular frozen blackberries to make a classic blackberry jam (without pectin). It’s important to note that, like other blackberries, marionberries have seeds.

What is the Difference Between a Boysenberry and a Marionberry?

Boysenberries are larger than marionberries and are a combination of blackberries, raspberries, and loganberries. On the other hand, marionberries are a cross between blackberries and olallieberries.

Benefits of Making Marionberry Jam

Aside from their incredible taste, marionberries offer several advantages when used in jam recipes:

  • Low-Calorie: This recipe is weight-watcher friendly, with low sugar content and just 80 calories per cup of fresh marionberries. It’s also naturally gluten-free. For a low-carb, vegan option, simply omit the honey.
  • Minimal Ingredients: Once you have your marionberries, you won’t need much else. We believe in keeping things simple!
  • No Pectin Required: No need to buy pectin for this recipe. The natural texture of marionberries, combined with chia seeds, will help achieve the desired thickness.
  • Low Sugar Content: This marionberry jam is low in refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the natural sugars present in the fruit and a touch of honey.
  • Packed with Health Benefits: Marionberries, like other berries, are rich in phytonutrients and fiber. Incorporating marionberries into your diet is an excellent way to enjoy these health-promoting components.
  • Exciting New Food Experience: If you haven’t tried marionberries before, this simple recipe offers a fantastic opportunity to experience their unique flavor.
  • Perfect Gift Idea: Looking for a thoughtful homemade gift? Try filling some cute canning jars with this marionberry jam. Just remember to keep it refrigerated or frozen, as it is not canned.
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Oregon Marionberry Jam Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to create this delightful marionberry fruit spread:

  • Frozen marionberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • Honey

The chia seeds are the secret to achieving a thick jam-like consistency without the need for pectin. When combined with the natural seeds of marionberries, this spread becomes wonderfully textured. For a touch of sweetness and a hint of tanginess, we use freshly squeezed orange juice. To mash the marionberries, a hand potato masher comes in handy, but a fork will also do the job.

How to Make Marionberry Jam

This no-sugar blackberry jam recipe uses frozen marionberries, as they break down easily when thawed. Here’s the step-by-step process:

  1. Place the frozen marionberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop.
  2. Heat the fruit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft and mushy.
  3. Mash the berries to your preferred consistency using a potato masher or fork. I prefer a smoother texture, while still leaving some seeds for that delightful crunch.
  4. Stir in the fresh orange juice, honey, and chia seeds. Allow the jam to cool and thicken.
  5. Transfer the jam to a glass jar (or jars) and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, you’ll have a jar of fresh Oregon marionberry jam ready to enjoy! Any jam you won’t use within 3-4 days should be stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer. This marionberry freezer jam will stay fresh for months, ready to satisfy your cravings whenever they strike.

Expert Tips from a Dietitian

This marionberry jam recipe falls in the level 1 category, making it suitable for individuals aiming to support fat loss. Berries are low-calorie foods that align with various dietary patterns, including low-carb and keto diets. You can easily incorporate this low-sugar marionberry jam into a range of dishes to add a healthy touch.

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The overall suitability of this recipe for weight loss also depends on what you pair it with. For a lower-calorie, satiating option, try spreading the jam on high-protein, low-fat Greek yogurt. For a more indulgent meal, enjoy a thick layer of marionberry jam on a nut butter-filled sandwich using whole-grain bread for added fiber. Check out the recipes section below for more inspiration!

If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can always add your favorite non-nutritive sweetener, maple syrup, or more honey. Keep in mind that increasing the sweetener alters the nutritional information of the recipe. Added sugars, even natural ones like honey and maple syrup, contribute a significant number of calories in a small volume. However, it’s worth mentioning that you can make a sugar-free marionberry jam by omitting the sweeteners altogether. I’ve tried it, and it’s enjoyable, but taste preferences may vary.

Recipes Using Marionberries or Marionberry Jam

Marionberries can be used as a substitute for regular blackberries in any recipe of your choice. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Summer Berry Salad (substitute fresh marionberries for blackberries)
  • Banana Split Fruit and Yogurt Bowls (replace blackberries with fresh marionberries)

When it comes to using marionberry jam, the possibilities are endless! These seed-packed, flavor-rich preserves are perfect for a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich that will make your lunchtime truly special. Another simple idea is to serve the jam over your favorite yogurt, along with granola and a dollop of almond butter. Personally, I enjoy this jam on plain Greek yogurt or skyr to keep added sugar intake to a minimum. However, it’s equally fantastic with flavored yogurts like lemon, orange, or vanilla.

To create a complete breakfast experience, incorporate this marionberry jam recipe into overnight oats. Feel free to use it in the Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit recipe, substituting the blueberry chia jam with marionberry chia jam. For a dessert-like breakfast, serve this jam as a marionberry compote over waffles or pancakes. Add a dollop of whipped cream, a drizzle of maple syrup (use sugar-free if desired), and a sprinkle of orange zest. Absolutely delicious!

Frequently Asked Questions

When are marionberries in season?

Marionberries are typically in season from mid-July to mid-August in Oregon. These two months are the prime time to enjoy fresh marionberries if you’re in the area. Luckily, frozen marionberries are available year-round and can be enjoyed across the country.

What do marionberries taste like?

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Prepare your taste buds for a delightful surprise! Marionberries have a more complex and rich flavor compared to your average grocery store blackberry. This may explain why they’re referred to as the “King of Blackberries” and the “Cabernet of Blackberries.” They offer a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness, with a slightly firmer texture.

Where to Buy Marionberries (if you don’t live in Oregon)

If you’re outside of the Pacific Northwest, obtaining fresh or frozen marionberries locally might be challenging. Fortunately, you can purchase them online. Northwest Wild Foods is an excellent source for frozen marionberries, although availability is seasonal. They also offer a wide variety of other lesser-known berries, edible mushrooms, nuts, and seafood. It’s a foodie’s paradise! Keep an eye out on their website for marionberry availability.

Where to Buy Marionberry Jam (if you don’t want to make it)

If you can’t get your hands on fresh or frozen marionberries, fret not! Marionberry jam is more readily available. Numerous options exist for buying marionberry jam online, catering to a range of dietary preferences. Here are a few choices:

  • Misty Meadows Sugar Free Marionberry Spread: Made with marionberries, pectin, and apple juice—nothing more. This spread is my top pick for premade, no-sugar-added marionberry jam. Plus, it comes in an adorable crock!
  • Oregon Growers Marionberry Fruit Spread: A classic marionberry jam made with pectin (i.e., sweetened with sugar). This product is Non-GMO project verified, although marionberries and other blackberries are not genetically modified crops in the U.S.
  • Big Foot Toe Jam Oregon Marionberry Jam: This jam wins the award for the most amusing name! For those who prefer a seedless option, this is your go-to. It’s another classic jam recipe made with sugar for those who enjoy sweetened fruit spreads.

Other Berry Recipes You’ll Love

If you adore berries as much as I do, you’re in for a treat! Berries are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making them a perfect fit for low-calorie and low-carb diets. Here are some berrylicious recipes to satisfy your cravings:

  • Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie
  • Strawberry Cucumber Smoothie
  • Blueberry Overnight Oats for Weight Loss
  • Strawberry Banana Nice Cream
  • Frozen Cod in Air Fryer (Served with Strawberry Kiwi Mango Salsa)
  • Orange Chicken Salad with Strawberries

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Embrace the Joy of Marionberry Jam

Please remember that the recipes on this website may not be suitable for everyone due to their unique medical needs and personal preferences. If you need assistance determining the best dietary pattern for you, consult with a registered dietitian or your physician. The nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients you use. Food labels often provide inaccurate calorie information, so don’t stress too much about the numbers.

For more information on how the recipe levels can assist you in achieving your weight management goals, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. It’s time to dive into the delightful world of marionberry jam and enjoy its irresistible flavors!