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5 Smart Ways to Use up Half Jars of Jam

Some days it seems like half the refrigerator's storage space is used for jam jars, and under these circumstances it's not easy to keep track of what flavors you have on hand or how long the jams have been open. To make sure you use them all up before fuzzy green things begin to grow on the surface, it pays to have a handful of recipes for re-purposing jam.

1) Party Snacks

Pepper jelly can be particularly tricky to use up, whether it's based on mild bell peppers or hot habaneros. Cheesy Thumbprints with Pepper Jelly lets you use up not just the jelly you have on hand but also can be made with a mix of cheeses, like Pepper Jack, cheddar or Parmesan.


Pepper Jelly Appetizer

2) Tangy Main Dishes

Jam of almost any kind can be added to meat marinades, and the sugar helps form a flavorful, caramelized crust on grilled or braised meats. Use peach or apricot jam (or combine 'em and use up two jars!) to make Pineapple Sticky Ribs.


Moutwateringly Tangy Pineapple Meatloaf

3) Weekend Breakfasts

If you've got an assortment of raspberry, blackberry, red currant or strawberry jam to use, stir them together for PBJ French Toast. Dress it up further and swap out the peanut butter for Nutella, almond butter, or whatever nut butter you have on hand that needs to be used.


Apricot Raisin Loaf

4) Dressy Desserts

While these recipes take some extra time, the end result means nobody will guess that part of the inspiration came from needing to clean out the fridge! If you don't have pineapple preserves on hand, Hawaiian Tarts can be made with any tropical fruit preserves, or a blended flavor like apricot-pineapple or strawberry-guava.


Raspberry Nut Butter Cake

5) Creative Cookies

These recipes can be a hit regardless of the flavor of jam you've got to use. Czechoslovakian Cookies have a spiced pecan shortbread base that works particularly well with cherry, plum or apricot preserves.


Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

Additional Ideas to Use What You Have on Hand

7 Ways to Stop Wasting Food
Three Tricks for Reducing Food Waste, Saving Money
12 Easy Dinners from a Jar of Peanut Butter

About Jill Lightner

An abiding fan of cookies, crab, cider, and cardamom, with a tendency to get obsessed over a single kind of food at a time. Baked 23 galettes in eight weeks, and likes pie crust cookies even more than actual pie. Author of Scraps, Stems, and Peels: Recipes and Tips for Rethinking Food Waste at Home (Skipstone, October 2018). Find me on Instagram or Twitter at onemorebitener.