Canning, Freezing & More Preserving / Recipes

Grapefruit-Rosemary Jelly

Grapefruit-rosemary jelly

I admit it. The only reason I made Grapefruit-Rosemary Jelly is because after spending a day chopping and supreming and canning a batch of Orange-Grapefruit-Ginger Marmalade, I’d had enough of citrus preserving for a while. I just wanted something simple and quick to go through my last basket of grapefruits from the garden, and this jelly was it.

In my kitchen, grapefruit and rosemary go hand in hand. (You might remember this complementary combo from my Grapefruit-Rosemary Bread recipe.) I find that rosemary tames the tartness of grapefruit without being too floral. You get all that wonderful grapefruit flavor with none of its bitterness or sourness… just yummy goodness.

If you tend to shy away from making jelly because it usually calls for an obscene amount of sugar, this is your type of jelly. None of this 5-cups-sugar-to-5-cups-juice business (I feel myself bouncing off the walls just writing that!). By using low-sugar pectin, you can cut out half the sugar and still have a perfectly preserved jiggly jelly.

Grapefruit-Rosemary Jelly

Makes 2 pints


4 to 5 cups grapefruit juice
2 large sprigs rosemary
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons (or 1 packet) low-sugar powdered pectin (I use Ball RealFruit Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin)


You can cheat and use bottled juice, but this is a good way to use up grapefruits that might be a little past their prime.

Extract 4 to 5 cups of fresh juice from your grapefruits. I love love LOVE my juicer for this!

Extract 4 to 5 cups of fresh grapefruit juice

In a medium saucepan, stir together the grapefruit juice, rosemary sprigs, and powdered pectin, and bring the ingredients to a boil. Keep the mixture at a full rolling boil until the rosemary is well infused and the syrup is slightly reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes.

Bring grapefruit juice, rosemary, and powdered pectin to a boil in a pot

Stir in the sugar and boil hard for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or a jelly bag. (In a pinch, a couple layers of cheesecloth also works well.)

Strain grapefruit juice through a fine mesh sieve

Ladle the jelly into hot, clean jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust the time as needed for your altitude).

Ladle jelly into hot, clean jars and process in a boiling water bath

Grapefruit-rosemary jelly

Spoon the jelly over pork chops as a tasty tart glaze, or spread it over some good old-fashioned peanut butter, my favorite! It’s like having a grown-up PB&J sandwich.

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


  • Jeanne
    February 17, 2022 at 9:43 am

    I’ve been looking for a low-sugar canning recipe for grapefruit that uses pectin, because my grapefruit jam doesn’t always gel right. I was so happy to see your recipe! I omitted the rosemary this time (will definitely use it next time) and didn’t bother to strain everything because I actually wanted pulp. So, I don’t know if I technically made jelly or jam, but it’s absolutely delicious! I think I’m going to check out your grapefruit-rosemary bread recipe next!

  • Fiona Brown
    August 25, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    I was thinking of making this for a fete, how long does it last (without refrigeration)?

    • Linda Ly of Garden Betty
      October 15, 2016 at 1:12 am

      It’s shelf stable up to a year. Once opened, it should be refrigerated and will last a few weeks that way.

  • Michellepleadwell
    August 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I love all of your gorgeous canning recipes and recently tried the grapefruit, rosemary jelly.   After 8 days it still hasn’t set so should I assume it was unsuccessful?    

    • Linda Ly
      August 26, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Yes, it definitely should’ve set by now. I suggest sticking the jar in the fridge and seeing if the jelly will set that way, especially if you’ve had hot weather. Otherwise, you can re-heat the jelly with more pectin, and re-process the jar.

  • Meemsnyc
    February 10, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    This looks amazing!  What a great flavor combo!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.