Orange Thyme Jam

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Jar of our homemade Orange Thyme Jam

Some mornings call for nothing less than a biscuit, loads of butter and homemade jam. I believe I have just the jam for such an occasion.

Fresh thyme and oranges for making homemade jam
Freshly peeled mandarin oranges for making homemade jam

This jam was inspired by the rustic jams I buy for John and me to use on toast, sandwiches, and such. I’ve wanted to make homemade jam for a while but was always intimidated by the process. Some require fancy jarring equipment – perhaps an investment I’ll make in the future – others pectin, and I just wanted something simple, as usual.

Orange zest grated over a bowl for making simple homemade jam
Jar of our rustic Orange Thyme Jar recipe

The ingredients list is modest and affordable, and there’s only 1 bowl (or pot, in this case) required. And though it’s a bit more time intensive at about an hour, it’s well worth the effort. The result is a refreshingly light, “springy” jam that’s perfect for warmer weather and all of the delicious food it brings with it. I’ve already slathered mine on waffles, fresh baked bread and on top of cream cheese toast – the latter being my absolute favorite. Somehow the tanginess of the cream cheese pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the jam. I think I’m in love.

Plate with toast slices slathered in homemade Orange Thyme Jam

Of course, if you’re not an orange person, simply sub another fruit. Strawberries, persimmons, blueberries, blackberries, and apricots would work lovely here and perform similarly as far as preparation and consistency. I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot more homemade jams come summer. I simply can.not.wait.

Fresh thyme leaves and slices of toast with Orange Thyme Jam
Plate with slices of toast covered with our delicious Orange Thyme Jam recipe
Knife in a jar of our simple Orange Thyme Jam recipe

Orange Thyme Jam

A simple, springtime jam with fresh oranges and thyme. The result is a luscious, not-too-sweet jam perfect for waffles, toast, pastries, and buttery biscuits. Just 7 ingredients and 1 bowl required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Knife resting in a jar of homemade Orange Thyme Jam
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 64 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1-2 Weeks


  • 5 cups sweet orange segments (about 8 medium-sized navel oranges // peeled and quartered)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 cup raw, natural cane sugar (less if you prefer it less sweet, though it helps it thicken)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (chopped // 2 sprigs yield ~1 Tbsp)
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  • Bring oranges, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar to a low boil in a large saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, stirring frequently to combine.
  • Once it reaches a low boil, reduce heat to medium low and add a pinch of salt and stir. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then add thyme and orange zest.
  • Continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by about a third. It should be thick and syrupy – be patient as the whole process may take up to an hour. Add a bit more sugar to help it thicken even more.
  • Once thickened, remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to clean jars and store in the fridge. Will keep for a couple of weeks. To store in freezer, make sure to use freezer-safe canning jars to avoid cracking.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*Recipe (as originally written) yields ~4 cups total.

Nutrition (1 of 64 servings)

Serving: 1 two-Tbsp servings Calories: 50 Carbohydrates: 12 g Protein: 0.5 g Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 19 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 11 g

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  1. Ketan says

    How do you think it will turn out if I substitute the cane sugar with Maple Sugar (powdered maple syrup) or Coconut Sugar? I notice most homemade jams are made using cane sugar (if not regular sugar). Should I be concerned over thickness/consistency using the maple or coconut sugars? Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ketan, yes, cane sugar is very helpful for the right texture when it comes to jams and jellies. You could try it with maple, but we aren’t sure if it will work. Coconut sugar might also work, but in our experience it doesn’t have the same textural results as cane sugar and often adds a distinct color and flavor. Let us know if you try any subs!

  2. Atara Dahan says

    Can I do the same thing, just peel all the clear inner skin off?
    I don’t like that part of the orange it’s hard to chew
    Do you feel it in the jam?

  3. Ryan says

    I made this and while it tastes great my oranges never really broke down. It’s less of a jam than it is a sweet chunky paste. Any suggestions on how to get the oranges to break down in the future?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ryan, we’re glad you enjoyed the taste! Cooking longer and/or using a wooden spoon to press it against the sides of the pan should help.

  4. Laura says

    I didn’t have orange juice so just substituted with water. I also used the same amount of regular cane sugar, as that’s what I had on hand. Absolutely delicious! This is a keeper! I have some homemade chocolate muffins I plan on serving with this and just can’t wait!

  5. Tiffany says

    Hi Dana! I love your blog and recipes. It’s my go-to when I’m trying new plant-based dishes. I just tried this jam recipe and had some issues and could use some troubleshooting help. I substituted mandarin oranges and they ended up turning brown as they cooked down and after the jam cooled the consistency was more like a paste and stringy. I removed as much of the white flesh as I could before putting the oranges in the pan. Is the consistency and color the result of the substitution or a different error on my part? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Interesting. If it turned brown perhaps the heat was too high or it was cooked for a little too long? As for the stringiness, that’s naturally occurring in the fruit. This is more of a jam than a jelly if that makes sense.

  6. Molly Mitchell says

    Hi Dana! I’m a big big fan of everything you do. I want to make some preserves for Christmas presents this year and I think this jam would be perfect. However, I’d love to extend its shelf life so folks don’t have to rush through it.

    Do you have any idea if the flavor would be compromised by a hot water bath?

    Thanks in advance for your guidance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think the flavor would be compromised with a water bath. However, as always, I’d recommend doing a small batch test for flavor / texture / freshness before going all out, especially for gifts!

      • Molly says

        Hi! I did! It was great! I just barely finished my jar of it a few weeks ago (I made it just before Christmas) and it was just as yummy and fresh as it was when I made it!

  7. Barb says

    Question from me is … do you have to take off the outside of each wedge of orange? Or, is the outside between each orange piece left on?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Barb, no need to remove the outside of the wedges. It is more of a textured jam, rather than a smooth marmelade. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried and can’t say for sure. If you experiment with it, report back on how it goes though!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      No, it wasn’t but it was inspired by the rustic jams we buy and use on toast, sandwiches, and such.

  8. linda says

    Hi, I live in Valencia,Spain, I am British, in a couple of months there will be an orange glut here, Price about 10kilo for a euro. Problem is I cannot stand marmalade because of the bitter taste, is this jam similar or just like an orangy jam?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! Just ensure you use freeze-friendly canning jars to ensure they don’t crack!

  9. Sierra says

    Simple and delicious! I didn’t have enough oranges so I made this with the big $5 bag of Persimmons I had just picked up at the farmers and some rosemary as sub for thyme. Really yummy and filling, been loving it on toast in the morning or as a before dinner snack ?

  10. Carolina says

    Back in May 2016 while Rving with my family through the west coast we were given a whole crate of oranges, I absolutely love oranges but Jezz, it was a lot oranges… I baked orange cakes, orange cookies, orange juice and smoothies and i still had plenty left. So i did a google search and found this recipe.
    It’s not easy to cook on a small camper kitchen, with no counter space but I really wanted to give this a go.
    The whole family fell in love with this recipe. Since then I’ve made this jam so many times I lost count. I am super addicted to it :) and always have to have a jar of it in the refrigerator.

    Thank you Dana, for this delicious Orange jam.

  11. Jean Forseth says

    Your printer friendly link doesn’t work, at least on my iMac. Will have to try recipe from my phone. It looks delicious and simple.

  12. Margaret @ Veggie Primer says

    This looks and sounds lovely! I’m wondering if you could use date sugar instead of cane sugar… Thoughts?

  13. Amber Hamilton says

    My mom and I made this and it was fabulous! My husband and mom LOVED it and they got upset when I gave some to our neighbor. They said it was too good to share! Pairs great with your vegan biscuits.

  14. Sierra says

    I made this recipe using blood oranges and rosemary instead of naval and thyme with great success. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  15. jeanie says

    I’m about to make my 4th batch of this jam from oranges I picked off my one tree in February (it’s May 3 — both my oranges and lemons have no problem staying good in the frig). Thi s is a wonderful recipe (and I make a lot of fresh jams), thank you. I’d like to encourage your readers to not hesitate to make this with even 3-4 oranges. You’ll get one jar and it lasts a long time in the refrigerator. I also freeze my jams and have fresh jam throughout the year.

    I take the peels and make candied orange peel. Putting a little ginger in the syrup is tasty, too.

    And to be sure nothing goes to waste, I put the leftover syrup from the candied peels in a jar and we use it in seltzer, ice cream, and on french toast.

  16. Elvira Carpino says

    I cannot believe you created this! I also would love to know if I can process this in the hot water bath and keep it. Thanks for sharing, Ellann

  17. Judi says

    Dana, this looks amazing!! I am wondering if it’s possible to can this for any period of time? I would love to do that so I have this 6 months from now. Photo’s are beautiful.

  18. joy says

    This is a must for me. I never know what to do with excess oranges off tree. Do you use lemon thyme or common thyme.

  19. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up says

    I love the idea or orange jam. I have to agree with you that I particulary love jam on cream cheese toast (or even a waffle). My kind of breakfast!!

  20. Wes Roberts says

    If this is asking for too much information, not a problem in not responding. But…where do you two amazing souls live? And do you have a more private way (email?) of communicating?

    As a 71yo leadership mentor, I encourage people to “tune in” to your blog. A mentoring model I’ve developed over the years (not a system or formula) is concerned with helping people think about their lives in 8 dimensions. All of these impact the other. Where I know people are struggling with health/wellness, etc., I encourage them to begin eating better, and moving more, etc., and your blog posts have been an enormous encouragement.

    Thus, I would welcome, if/when you and I may have the time to have further dialogue about the best of food for nourishing not only one’s body, but one’s soul and relationships and dreams. Would you, in the future, be able to give any time to that?

    Living in two different parts of the planet, most likely, Skyping is a great way to communicate. Just today I’ve Skyped across town (live in the Denver area, and a massive Spring snow storm is under way), and when I finish this I will be “going” to Dubai. :-) Would welcome exploring what might work.

    Keep up your good work. An olde man here in the Rockies is thoroughly enjoying your efforts. And your pictures are art pieces!

    …thank you for any consideration!


    • Jackie says

      Can this orange/thyme jam be further preserved (for longer period of time) by placing in boiling water bath? Can the persimmon version also be preserved (canned) using boiling water bath? I have a lot of persimmons!

  21. Eileen says

    I’m definitely intrigued to see that this jam is made of citrus, and yet it’s not the ubiquitous marmalade–which I generally find too butter to eat in any quantity. But I think I would have no trouble at all downing a couple jars of this jam on toast! :)

  22. Kathryn says

    Love how bright and sunny these pictures are! Thyme is such a great herb especially in combination with citrus fruit. Lovely!

  23. Jess says

    What a great combination of flavors, Dana. Homemade jam is one of my favorite things. Stunning pictures, as always!

  24. Tieghan says

    Making you own jam is such and awesome idea!! This orange jame look so good on that toast! I want some for breakfast!