Homemade Mango Jam | No Sugar & No Pectin
Sugar Free Mango Jam Recipe
How to Make Mango Jam without Sugar or Pectin
Try this satisfyingly sweet homemade mango jam recipe made with just fresh mango, lemon, and water! No sugar or pectin needed, and the result is a perfectly flavorful, spreadable jam. Delicious slathered on toast, biscuits, or devoured on its own with a spoon! Learn how to make sugar free mango jam without pectin in just 2 hours.
Although mango isn’t the most common fruit to use in a homemade jam recipe, its sweet, tropical flavor makes it a great choice. Ripe mango has plenty of natural sugars to keep this jam sweet enough without added sugar. And, despite mango’s low pectin content, adding half a lemon to the pot—skin and all—serves as a natural pectin substitute!
Mango Jam vs. Preserves
A fruit jam is a spread made with whole fruit that’s cut into pieces, then cooked down to a smooth, spreadable texture—usually with the help of pectin. Fruit preserves, on the other hand, typically contain chunks of the fruit and are prepared, canned, or jarred for long-term storage. I designed this as a homemade jam recipe, but you’re welcome to leave it chunkier if you’re craving mango preserves!
Are mangoes high in pectin?
Pectin is a natural substance found in fruits that gives a homemade jam its thicker, gelled texture. Fruits like apples, peaches, plums, blackberries, and citrus fruits are naturally high in pectin. Mangos, on the other hand, have very low levels of pectin in them.
Typically, a mango jam recipe will add pectin in powdered form to help it thicken. But, the bitter flavor of the pectin then requires some sugar to offset the taste. Thankfully, there are other ways to make this mango jam without pectin! This keeps the recipe simpler, it requires fewer ingredients, and it removes the need for added sugar.
How can I thicken jam without pectin?
When a fruit is naturally high in pectin, it’s easy to make jam without pectin. (Like in my 2-ingredient no pectin plum jam recipe.) Or, in the case of this fresh mango jam recipe, we can add a fruit that’s naturally high in pectin. All citrus fruits—lemons, limes, oranges—are rich in pectin, particularly in the skin/rind.
In this recipe, I first juice half a lemon to add acidity, which will brighten the natural sweetness and flavor of the mango. Then, instead of discarding the skin/rind, simply toss the whole lemon half into the pot! Let the fruit cook low-and-slow, with that lemon skin adding natural pectin, and your jam will thicken on its own over time.
How to Make Mango Jam
- Peel and chop fresh mangos. Add to a pot with lemon juice and rind, along with a splash of water.
- Cover and cook over medium-low to low heat for ~30 minutes.
- Once it starts to boil, reduce heat, uncover, and cook 60-90 minutes—mashing and stirring regularly until thickened.
- Test doneness by spooning hot jam onto a frozen plate: if it sets instantly, it’s done.
How long does mango jam last?
Once prepared, you can transfer your sugar free mango jam into airtight jars and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks. Or, you can use a sterilized canning process to store for 2-3 months or more. (Mine is always eaten and gone within a few weeks!)
How to Use Leftover Mango
If you have extra mango left after making this recipe, or if you want to make just a half batch, there are plenty of tasty other ways to make use of that mango. Try my fresh mango juice made without any added sugar, or try my creamy 4-ingredient mango banana smoothie recipe!
Homemade Mango Jam
- 4 cups chopped mango , (~3-4 fresh mangos)
- ½ lemon, juice & rind
- 1-2 Tbsp water
- Peel and chop fresh mangos.
- Add chopped mangos, juice of ½ lemon and water to a pot, along with the rest of the squeezed lemon (skin and all).
- Cover and cook over medium-low to low heat for about 30 minutes.
- Once it starts to boil, reduce heat, uncover, and cook 60-90 minutes, until thickened. Mash the fruit with a wooden spoon and stir regularly, monitoring so the jam does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
- You can test the jam by spooning hot jam onto a frozen plate. If it’s done, the jam will instantly set.
- Discard lemon skin and transfer mango jam to a glass jar or airtight container. Allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
- (Or use a sterilized canning process for longer-term storage—up to 2-3 months.)
- Yields ~2½ cups mango jam.