The Food in Jars Kitchen

140 Ways to Cook, Bake, Plate, and Share Your Homemade Pantry


By Marisa McClellan

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 2, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The book Food in Jars readers have been waiting for: 140 recipes for the preserving kitchen, helping you use up your homemade pantry!

Marisa McClellan wants everyone to know that a pantry full of homemade jams, jellies, salsas, and pickles can do a whole lot more than accompany toast. They can add bold bursts of flavor to your home cooking! In her fourth book, she provides 140 recipes for incorporating preserves into everyday dishes. It is as simple as stirring applesauce into a dish of baked oatmeal, brushing apricot jam onto a whole chicken, or building your pasta salad with a jar of pickled vegetables. Recipes include:
  • Jam-Filled Biscuits
  • Preserved Lemon Hummus
  • Strawberry Basil Pizza
  • Jam-Lacquered Chicken Wings
  • Lemon Curd and Blueberry Tart
  • Pantry Sangria
With chapters focusing on great ways to use preserves throughout the day and for every meal, readers aren’t required to have a specific preserve on hand to work, making this cookbook flexible and easy to use for both experienced and novice canners.

As one of the most beloved voices in canning and preserving, Marisa serves as a kitchen muse to help each reader complete the cycle of empty jar to empty jar. Add The Food in Jars Kitchen to your collection, an inspired workhorse of delicious eats.



LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT A CONVERSATION I’VE HAD REPEATEDLY over the years with my friends, neighbors, blog readers, canning students, and anyone else who learns what I do for a living. After a moment or two of chatting, they begin to confess that they love canning, but have trouble using up the contents of their homemade pantry. With a resigned shrug, they say, “After all, I can only eat so much toast.”

Once I hear that, I leap into the conversation and quickly rattle off half a dozen ways that I use my preserves beyond toast. I tell them how to combine aromatic vegetables, fresh or dried herbs, vinegar, and jam to create a quick sweet-and-sour braising medium for meat and poultry. I describe a savory goat cheese tart featuring tomato or onion jam.

I talk them through various salads and side dishes that incorporate diced pickles and mustard vinaigrettes. We contemplate all the ways one can combine preserves with yogurt to create parfaits, dips, sauces, and spreads. Without fail, they go off brimming with ideas and feeling like their collection of jams and pickles is an asset rather than a millstone.

When I first started writing about canning and preserving and teaching classes on the subject, I thought my mission ended once my readers and students understood the mechanics of the boiling water bath. I believed that once people had a full pantry, they’d be well on their way to a more independent and homemade life.

However, I quickly discovered that I was wrong. I see now that my job is to help people complete the circle. You may have heard of the concept of cradle-to-grave design. I think of this as empty-jar-to-empty-jar education. I want everyone to understand and be able to embrace the full lifecycle of a jar of jam, jelly, chutney, or pickles. I believe that a pantry full of homemade jams, jellies, salsas, and pickles is a boon, a gateway to easy home cooking and tasty baked goods, and a huge help when it comes to entertaining creatively.

The mission of this book is to show you how to take your various preserves well beyond the typical applications, with both flexible formulas and step-by-step blueprints. The recipes included in this volume have been designed so that they don’t require specific preserves to work. Instead, they call for things like a cup of unsweetened applesauce, half a cup of runny berry jam, or two tablespoons of chopped pickles. That is by design, to give you optimum flexibility so as to use up the contents of your individual pantry (whether homemade, gifted, or bought at a farmers’ market or grocery store).

Because there will always be some variability between the jams that I make and the ones in your pantry, these recipes have been cross-tested by a panel of home cooks and canners with a variety of homemade and store-bought preserves, all with an eye toward pinning down any issues that may arise and making the recipes as foolproof as possible. Some of the recipes include a lot of narrative instruction as a result. Please do read the recipes carefully and thoroughly before diving in, so that your process can be informed by our hard collective work.

Much of the food in this book is the kind that many of us ate as kids. It’s home cooked, cozy, and occasionally homely. While there are plenty of things that are worthy of a dinner party, the fact of the matter is that when you’re working with various jams, chutneys, and fruit butters, the end result is often a dish of delicious food in varying shades of brown. I embrace this aspect of these dishes because it recalls earlier times, when everything on the table was homemade, homegrown, or local, out of necessity rather than trend. To borrow a phrase from the engineering trade, it’s a feature, not a bug.


THE RECIPES IN THIS BOOK ARE, FOR THE MOST PART, BASIC HOME cooking. If you have a kitchen with a fairly conventional set of cookware and tools, you should be ready to put this book through its paces. There are a few things I do want to call out especially, as I use them a lot in these pages and you might not already have them.

Rimmed baking sheets in 18 × 13 inch/46 × 33 cm and 13 × 9 inch/33 × 22 cm, otherwise known as half and quarter sheet pans, respectively. Not a day goes by when I don’t reach for one or the other. The quarter sheet pans are what I use to bake the Shortbread Bars (here), Linzer Bar Cookies (here), and most vitally, the Jam Slab Pie (here).

Removable bottom tart pans. These are used in the Pies and Tarts section (here) and will make your homemade tarts look beautiful and professional.

Springform pan. Nothing works as well as this pan for the Flourless Chocolate Cake (here).

Offset spatula. I like the smaller versions of these handy tools. Best thing around for smoothing cake batter in the pan.

Silicone spatulas. Everyone has a favorite stirring tool and mine are fully encased silicone spatulas that can go in the dishwasher. I have several so that there’s always a clean one when I need it.

Measuring cups. A nesting set of graduated measuring cups and a few large-capacity plastic or glass measuring cups will always be useful.

A digital scale. There’s no piece of kitchen gear that I reach for more than my OXO 11-pound/5 kg capacity digital scale.

Immersion blender. Purée soups and sauces without having to clean a food processor bowl or blender container!

Cookie scoops. I have them in 1- and 3-tablespoon sizes and could not love them more.

Beyond those things, there are a few tools that are nice to have that I will reference on occasion in these recipes. Included in that list are a few sharp knives of various sizes, a sturdy peeler, a rasp-style zester, and a fine-mesh strainer.


Conventionally, morning meals are where jams, jellies, fruit butters, and other sweet spreads do the bulk of their heavy lifting. Truth be told, most of us know how to spread jelly on toast, sweeten plain yogurt with runny jam, or enhance bowls of oatmeal with apple butter, so I’m not going to rehash any of that well-traveled ground.

I could have filled this entire book with things designed for breakfast and brunch, so I spent a lot of time working to make this section a collection of morning all-stars. There were a few things that didn’t make the cut, because I felt that they’d be too much of a turnoff (the jelly omelets I loved as a kid spring immediately to mind) or too trendy to be timeless. If I did my job right, you’ll find a number of enduring morning dishes in the following pages.

Fruit Butter Baked Oatmeal

Oatmeal Applesauce Bars

Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Applesauce Bread


Jam-Filled Biscuits

Basic Jam-Streaked Scones

Ginger Marmalade Scones

Peach Walnut Cream Scones

Tomato Cheddar Scones

Filled Crêpes

Mo’s Famous Pancake Mix

Pancake Sauce

Kimchi Matzo Brei

Sauerkraut Frittata

Basic Jammy Granola

Peanut and Berry Jam Granola

Marmalade and Mixed Nut Granola

Pear, Ginger, and Walnut Granola

Tomato Jam and Smoked Paprika Granola



The first time I encountered baked oatmeal was at a bed-and-breakfast in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Studded with frozen blueberries, it managed to be simultaneously soggy and unpleasantly dry. However, I was intrigued by the concept of an oatmeal dish that could be made over a weekend and sliced and reheated throughout the work week, so I got to work creating my own. The result is slightly cakey, and with a splash of milk, it microwaves beautifully.

Nonstick spray or unsalted butter for pan

2½ cups/250 g rolled oats, divided

1 cup/120 g chopped pecans, lightly toasted

½ cup/85 g golden raisins

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1¼ cups/300 ml milk

2 large eggs

1 cup/240 ml fruit butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup/50 g granulated sugar

1 cup/240 ml water

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Spray an 8-inch/20 cm square baking dish with nonstick spray.

Place 1 cup/100 g of the oats in a blender and pulse until the oats are broken down into a rough flour.

Combine the oat flour in a large bowl with the remaining 1½ cups/150 g of rolled oats and the pecans, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

Place the milk, eggs, fruit butter, vanilla, sugar, and water in the same blender container (no need to wash). Blend until well combined.

Pour the liquid from the blender into the oat mixture and stir together.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the pan and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Serve warm.



These bars are morning lifesavers. I suggest that you keep a few in the fridge or freezer for days when you’re running late but still want something relatively healthy that can be quickly consumed while you juggle household chaos or your morning commute. Even better is the fact that they are easy to make. All the prep is done in a food processor.

Nonstick spray

3 cups/300 g rolled oats, divided

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 large eggs

1 cup/240 ml applesauce

½ cup/110 g packed brown sugar

4 tablespoons/55 g unsalted butter, melted

1 cup/120 g chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Grease a 13 × 9-inch/33 × 23 cm pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving the paper ends protruding to overhang on 2 opposite sides.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine 1½ cups/150 g of the oats and the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Process until the oats are broken down. Add the eggs, applesauce, brown sugar, and melted butter and process just until the ingredients are well mixed.

Add the remaining 1½ cups/150 g of rolled oats and the toasted nuts, and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the mixture is just combined.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tops are a golden brown, the corners have begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.

Remove the oat slab from the oven and let it cool completely before removing from the pan. Once it is cool, use the overhanging parchment paper to lift the slab out of the pan. Slice into 12 equal bars with a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, wrap the bars individually, tuck them into a resealable plastic bag, and freeze.



Everyone needs a quick, healthy muffin recipe in their culinary arsenal and this is mine. I like using some fruit butter in place of the more traditional applesauce because it brings added sweetness and tenderness. They’re good for easy weekday breakfasts or made in mini-muffin tins for a church coffee hour.

Nonstick spray for muffin pan

1 cup/100 g whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup/100 g rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup/240 ml whole milk

½ cup/100 g firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup/60 ml neutral oil

¼ cup/60 ml fruit butter

½ cup/85 g raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C. Lightly spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, brown sugar, egg, oil, and fruit butter.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring just until no flour remains visible. If you’re adding dried fruit, fold it in now. Let the batter rest for a few minutes, so that the oats can absorb some of the liquid.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the pan and let them cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.



This is the banana bread my mom has been making my whole life. She didn’t like the flavor when it was made with all banana, so she lightened it with applesauce. I like to cut inch-wide slices, sandwich sheets of parchment between the slices, and then wrap the whole thing for the freezer. One cycle in the toaster oven and you’ve got a warm slice of banana applesauce bread that tastes just as if it was freshly baked.

½ cup/110 g neutral oil, plus more for pans

1¾ cups/220 g all-purpose flour

1¾ cups/225 g whole wheat flour

1¼ cups/250 g granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground allspice

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup/265 g unsweetened applesauce

1 cup/250 g mashed banana (2 to 3 bananas)

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Oil two 9 × 5 × 3-inch/23 × 13 × 8 cm loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves.

Add the beaten eggs, applesauce, mashed bananas, and oil and stir until well combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. If the tops start to overbrown before the interiors are set, gently cover with a piece of foil.

Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. Once the loaves are nearing room temperature, remove them from their pan and let them finish cooling on the rack.

Tightly wrapped, these loaves will keep on the counter for up to 5 days. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze.

Note: If you prefer (or if you only have one loaf pan), you can also bake this batter in standard 12-cup greased or lined muffin pans. Muffins will take 20 to 25 minutes to bake.



One of the fun things about traditional popovers is that they fill with airy compartments as they bake. But no one needs yet another popover recipe. Instead, I offer my childhood recipe for popunders. These custardy cups don’t achieve the same height as their lofty cousins, but in exchange they are the perfect vehicle for preserves both sweet and savory. They also reheat better and can be made in mini-muffin tins and filled. They are especially great as part of an appetizer menu, filled with savory items, such as small spoonfuls of chutney and a few crumbles of cheese.

Nonstick spray, for muffin pan

1 cup/240 ml whole milk

2 large eggs

1 cup/120 g all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup/60 ml jam or chutney

Spray a 12-cup muffin pan thoroughly with nonstick spray.

Combine the milk, eggs, flour, and salt in a blender and purée until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping the sides down once. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared muffin pan. Each cavity will be about a third of the way full.

Place the muffin pan in a cold oven and set it to 450°F/232°C. Bake until they brown and puff up a bit, 18 to 22 minutes. Try not to open the oven too often to check them, as it slows down the baking time. They should remain concave in the center, but if they do puff all over, know that they will settle back down.

Popunders (and popovers) are best served warm, so plan on serving these as soon as they come out of the oven. If you do have leftovers, they are best reheated in a toaster oven.

If you’re serving them all at once, fill each concave center with about 1 teaspoon of jam. If they’ve puffed more than you’d like, press the centers down with a spoon before filling.

Note: For more traditional popovers with airy lift, preheat the oven prior to baking and divide the batter between just 8 muffin or popover cavities in an oiled, straight-sided muffin pan.



These jam-filled biscuits are my version of the ones I used to get at Grand Central Baking in my much younger days. It’s an artisanal bakery that started in Seattle and opened its Portland shop during my freshman year of high school. Whenever my friends and I headed for Hawthorne Boulevard to visit Escentials and Buffalo Exchange, we’d end our trip with a treat from Grand Central.

3 cups/360 g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup/110 g whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

8 ounces/225 g cold, unsalted butter, cut into small squares

1¼ cups/300 ml buttermilk, divided

¾ cup/180 ml jam

Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.


  • As the editor of a home cooking website, I hear a lot of stories from readers about their successful home preserving projects-almost always accompanied by the question, "Any ideas for what to make with this?" I am thrilled to now be able to point them to Marisa McClellan's gorgeous new cookbook, which is full of ideas ranging from jam-sweetened granola to weeknight skillets with sauerkraut.—Emma Christensen, managing editor for Simply Recipes
  • All of Marisa's books are essential volumes in my kitchen--her recipes check all the right boxes: useful, reliable, creative, and full of flavor. But The Food In Jars Kitchen might just be my favorite one yet. Now every one of my precious jars will find its best purpose, whether slathered on a roast chicken, swirled into a cake, or stirred into a cocktail. Best of all, the recipes in this book are for the comforting and unfussy food I love to eat, each one shared with the warmth and gentle authority that have made Marisa's books so accessible and invaluable to all of us over the years.—Alana Chernila, author of Eating From the Ground Up, The Homemade Kitchen, and The Homemade Pantry
  • One can eat-or give away-only so many jams or pickles on their own. Marisa has not only given me delicious destinations for my garden creations, but also justification for planting and preserving more! And I know that I'll make many of her recipes with store-bought preserves, because they sound so good that they stand on their own.

    Martha Holmberg, coauthor of Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
  • Instead of letting jams and pickles languish in your fridge (guilty), you could be using them to lacquer chicken wings, swirl into pancakes, and perk up salad dressings. Marisa McClellan gives us the nudge and the tools we need to liven up our cooking, just by remembering the powerhouses we have waiting in the fridge door.—Kristen Miglore, Creative Director of Genius at Food52 and author of Genius Recipes and Genius Desserts
  • Marisa has been our expert guide, leading us deep into the canning pantry; now she is putting us and our jam (and pickles! and chutney!) to work in the kitchen. From sweets to meat, booze to biscuits, this is a massive collection of accessible, delicious, and homemade kitchen staples and comfort foods worthy of your homemade preserves. Buy this book for yourself and the canning enthusiasts in your life. You will find daily inspiration in its pages for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.—Karen Solomon, author of Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

On Sale
Apr 2, 2019
Page Count
240 pages
Running Press

Marisa McClellan

About the Author

Marisa McClellan is a full time food writer and cooking teacher, and has been blogging about canning, pickling, and preserving on her blog Food in Jars (three times nominated by Saveur magazine for a Best Food Blog award) since 2009. She has published three books about canning, including the bestselling Food in Jars. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband.

Learn more about this author