They’re both delicious when you spread them on toast, but what is the real difference between jam and marmalade?

Jam is made from fruit, solidified with pectin, and sugar is added for sweetness. Jam is great for fillings and retains the fruit pulp, which contributes to its thick consistency. Making peanut butter and jelly? Often, you’re making peanut butter and jam—jelly is somewhat thinner, made from fruit juice instead of whole fruit.

Marmalade, on the other hand, is most often made from citrus fruits, and is made by boiling the juice of the fruit along with the peel in sugar and water. Marmalade is most often made with oranges but can be made with any combination of citrus fruits—think grapefruit, lemon, lime, and occasionally you can bend the rules a little and make a savory marmalade with ingredients like onion, shallots, etc.  The inclusion of the fruit peel can add a bitter tang that many marmalade lovers enjoy.

Want to taste the difference for yourself? Check out our seven recipes for marmalade and jam, below.

Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade

grapefruit marmalade

Honest Cooking

Navel oranges and ruby red grapefruit make for a fantastic combination in this marmalade recipe. And you can easily adjust the amount of fresh lemon juice and sugar depending on how tart the grapefruit is. Get the recipe.

Strawberry Jam

homemade strawberry jam

Chowhound

So simple you can hardly call it a recipe, our instructions for strawberry jam are a great way to preserve fresh fruit so that you can enjoy the taste of summer all year round. Use the freshest strawberries you can find at the farmer’s market. Get our Strawberry Jam recipe.

Preserved Onion Marmalade

onion marmalade

Lord Byron’s Kitchen

Don’t have the time to make caramelized onions? A jar of this onion marmalade will have you hardly being able to tell the difference. Strong flavors like garlic, chili flakes, white vinegar, orange juice, and some salt, pepper, and brown sugar meld together nicely. Get the recipe.

Red Pepper Jam

red pepper jam

Chowhound

Red pepper jam with jalapeños or serrano chilies and red pepper flakes is an incredible match for cream cheese if you want to throw together a quick snack. Add in some extra red pepper flakes to kick the flavors up a notch. Get our Red Pepper Jam recipe.

Blood Orange Port Marmalade

blood orange port marmalade

Mountain Feed

The bright red color of the blood oranges and one-and-a-half cups of port wine make this marmalade a few shades darker than the norm. Meyer lemons add some additional sweetness. Get the recipe.

Shallot-Tarragon Jam

shallot tarragon jam

Chowhound

A savory spread that’s packed with flavor: white wine-tarragon vinegar, fresh tarragon leaves, and caramelized shallots make for a jam that tastes great in a sandwich or served with cheese for a quick appetizer. Get our Shallot-Tarragon Jam recipe.

Fragrant Blueberry Jam

homemade blueberry jam

Chowhound

If you’ve gone blueberry picking and you went a little overboard, blueberry jam is a great way to use up about a pound of blueberries in no time. This recipe is as natural as it gets—finely grated apple peel is substituted for pectin so the only ingredients are blueberries, sugar, apple peel, and lemon juice. Get our Fragrant Blueberry Jam recipe.

— Head photo illustration by Chowhound, using: Eat the Love/Closet Cooking.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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