Tomato Bacon Jam

Sweet and smoky, this Tomato Bacon Jam is like a surprise party for your tastebuds.

Tomato Bacon Jam is Oddly Fantastic

This Tomato Bacon Jam includes three of my favorite things in the world:

  1. Bacon
  2. Onions sauteed in bacon fat
  3. Tomatoes
Small spoon in a jar of tomato jam.

The concept may sound strange. I mean, fresh tomatoes stacked on top of Chicken Margherita or Caprese Pizza are great. And roasting them and throwing them in Roasted Veggie Pasta is pretty wonderful.

But tomato JAM? Seems a little sus.

I get it. It’s weird. But hear me out. Long before this blog ever started, I made a tomato, bacon, and onion jam recipe on a whim. It sounded interesting, I was only working part time, and heck, what else was I going to do with a spare afternoon except make jam out of tomatoes? (Gosh, remember free time?? Those were the days!)

Anyway, the tomato jam turned out to be freaking delicious. It was sticky and sweet and surprisingly addictive. It was the kind of dish that’s better than it should be, the kind that has an inexplicable goodness that makes you fall in love with cooking.

This stuff is perfect for when the garden (or market) is overrun with fresh tomatoes. It’s simple to make and pairs with everything from sandwiches to biscuits. I think you’re going to be as surprised and delighted as I was when you try it!

Wooden cutting board filled with crackers, cheese, and a jar of tomato bacon jam.

How to Make Tomato Jam

Just like other fruit jams, tomato jam is made by cooking the tomatoes down until they’re soft and thickened.

The key difference here is in the added flavorings. We’re adding savory, smoky, and tangy qualities with bacon, smoked paprika, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard and red pepper flakes.

Ingredients for tomato jam on a white background.
  1. To make the jam, grab a deep skillet or Dutch oven, and cook the bacon until crispy, then remove from the pan and crumble.
  2. Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of the grease, then add a large chopped yellow onion. Saute until the onions begin to soften, 7-9 minutes.
  3. Stir in 1.5 lbs. chopped tomatoes, the crumbled bacon, apple cider vinegar, sugars, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the jam is thickened, about 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The jam is ready to be served!
Step by step photos of making tomato jam: crumbled bacon, onions sauteed in bacon fat, tomatoes sugar and spices added, wooden spoon stirring everything together, a Dutch oven with the cooked jam.

Sooo, what does Tomato Bacon Jam taste like?

Tomato bacon jam sounds like it would be savory, but it’s actually pretty sweet, just like other fruit jams! However, it does have a lot more complexity thanks to the bacon and spices.

It tastes like caramelized tomatoes–richer, sweeter, and more mellow than their fresh counterparts, balanced by the savory and smoky flavors of the bacon and smoked paprika. A little vinegar and mustard add a subtle tang, and you’ll get a hint of heat at the end from red pepper flakes.

Dutch oven filled with cooked tomato bacon jam.

Common questions and substitutions:

Can I make this jam sugar free?

I think the jam tastes the best (and is the most, well, jammy) with sugar. That said, maple syrup would work well here as a natural sweetener.

I think you could also use sugar substitutes like Truvia or Stevia, though I haven’t tried this myself

What tomatoes are best for tomato jam?

I’ve made this with many different kinds of tomatoes, from roma to slicers to cherry tomatoes, and they’ve all worked, though roma is my standard. Using a mixture of tomatoes is also totally fine.

How long does bacon and tomato jam last?

The jam should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and will last about 7-10 days. You can eat it cold or warm it in the microwave before serving.

Can bacon jam be preserved?

Canning is not my forte, but some readers have successfully canned this recipe.

Because the jam has meat in it, you must use a pressure canner. Here’s a popular one.

Pints will take 75 minutes and quarts 90 minutes, using the hot pack method. Use 10 pounds of pressure, unless you’re 1,000+ feet above sea level. Then, increase to 15 pounds.

You can learn more about canning meat and the hot pack method here.

Jar of tomato bacon jam with a small spoon taking a scoop.

What is Tomato Jam Used For?

Perhaps the correct question is, what doesn’t go with tomato bacon jam? This stuff is good on everything.

Tomato jam spread on a cracker with cheese.
Up close image of a jar of tomato bacon jam with a small spoon in it.

Tomato Bacon Jam

Yield: Yields 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Tomato Bacon Jam is the perfect way to use up fresh summer tomatoes! This tomato jam is sweet and savory and absolutely fantastic on sandwiches, biscuits, crackers, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lbs tomatoes (I used a mix of cherry and roma), chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Fry bacon in a deep skillet or Dutch Oven over medium heat until crispy. Use tongs to remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  2. Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease. Add the chopped onion to the skillet, making sure to scrape off any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook onion until translucent, 7-9 minutes.
  3. Crumble the bacon and add it back to the skillet along with the remaining ingredients. Stir everything together. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer mixture for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very little liquid remains and the mixture is thickened. I stir every 10 minutes or so in the beginning, and every 5 minutes during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  4. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

Leftover jam should be cooled and stored in a sealed container in the fridge. It will stay good in the fridge for 7-10 days.

You can put this stuff on everything: waffles, biscuits, crackers, egg sandwiches, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, a spoon.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 613mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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69 Comments

  1. I was given a large box of overripe tomatoes and true to my commitment of not wasting food I got busy on google. I came across your recipe for Tomato Bacon Jam, what a great find. It’s EXCELLENT, I made a few adjustments, used maple bacon and Colemans dry mustard. I am sure I will be making this many more times in the future. Thank you so much! Susie

  2. Hi! Love this recipe, but I don’t always love the skins (I use cherry tomatoes)….Wondering if you could put the tomatoes in food processor first to make the skins tiny and then cook it? Not sure how this would change the consistency….?

  3. So uh. This recipe. Has no right being as good as it is. There’s a burger restaurant near where I live that sells this burger with bacon tomato jam for like $13, and as much as I loved it, I really can’t justify spending that much on a sandwich. When I took to the internet to see if I could make this jam myself so that I could slap it on a burger and satisfy my cravings, I could not believe how effective this was in copying that burger recipe! It’s so flavorful with the sugar, tomatoes, and caramelized onions, and the texture is so shockingly good. It was also perfect because I had pretty much all the ingredients on hand already except for the bacon. The combination may seem weird at first, and it’s not like the most aestheitcally pleasing jam in the world, but the life-changing taste would make anyone forget all of this

  4. Oh. My. Goodness! A friend sent this recipe to me because we have sooooo many tomatoes right now. I just made some and this is absolutely fantastic!! I don’t know if any will even be left before my husband gets home from work! Made exactly as stated in the recipe. This is going into the binder for our summer garden recipes. Thank you so much!

  5. Absolutely delish! I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one who was tempted to eat it by the spoonful (I did have a few!). I think this would be great on pork or chicken. Can’t wait to make a batch and hand it out to friends.

  6. My husband and I made this yesterday. We also added a chopped jalapeño, and hungarian hot paprika. It taste delicious bu t it did not get thick? Any suggestions would be appreciated for thickening.

  7. I made this today and the Family LOVED IT over burger on the grill. Yummy! I quartered the recipe and it turned out wonderful. Going to try to can next time.

    1. So glad you loved the bacon jam! Thanks so much for sharing. Please let me know if you do decide to can it!

  8. I was told you could not can bacon.
    Is this true??? Reasoning was possible botchilism?…?I can raw pork loin, so why not cooked bacon?

  9. Hey there! I made this during the spring and it was a hit! I make a yummy salad with arugula, blanched green beans (or asparagus) and sun-dried tomatoes. I used this jam in place of the sun-dried tomatoes, and WOW! It really jazzed it up! Thank you for helping me find a creative way to use up garden tomatoes. So. Many. Tomatoes. 😊

  10. This stuff is the bomb! It was great on burgers, and I dressed some broccolini with it.. SO GOOD!!! I personally CAN eat it with a spoon…

    1. I’ve never tried this with a sugar sub. I would imagine Truvia or Splenda could be use if you follow the correct ratios. I believe Truvia is 1/2 to every 1 cup of sugar, so a few Tablespoons would probably be all you need. Best of luck!

  11. Can you freeze the jam? My brother makes a regular tomato jam and freezes it all the time but wasn’t sure about this recipe.

  12. This is amazing! Do you know if I can make a bunch of this and save it by canning it in a water-bath canner? If so, how long should I let it process?

    1. I personally haven’t canned this before, but a reader of mine has with great success! You can read Patsy’s comments above, but I’ve also copy/pasted her instructions here: “If you want to can this recipe for your storage, simply pressure can it, pints 75 mins., quarts 90 mins., using the hot pack method. I didn’t change anything in the recipe. Pressure canning is necessary due to the bacon.”

    1. I personally haven’t canned this before, but a reader of mine has with great success! You can read Patsy’s comments above, but I’ve also copy/pasted her instructions here: “If you want to can this recipe for your storage, simply pressure can it, pints 75 mins., quarts 90 mins., using the hot pack method. I didn’t change anything in the recipe. Pressure canning is necessary due to the bacon.”

  13. Well, we finished all my canned Tomato Bacon Jam made last Fall. Can’t wait for tomatoes this year. I’m going to can twice as much so we don’tru n out through next winter. This is the best recipe ever!

  14. My tomato bacon jam turned out wonderful, after pressure canning. I did 12 pints and the flavor is excellent. Now we can enjoy it all winter. We love it with pot roast. MMMMmmm, yummy!

    1. So you were able to can this even with the meat? A friend and I were wondering if this was something you are able to can. Would you be willing to share how you did it?

      1. If you want to can this recipe for your storage, simply pressure can it, pints 75 mins., quarts 90 mins., using the hot pack method. I didn’t change anything in the recipe. Pressure canning is necessary due to the bacon.

    2. How long did you can it and using what pressure. I have a one pot and don’t know if I can use that to pressure can it. Thanks!

  15. Is there a way to make this more savory than sweet? I was thinking of making it and putting it on chicken or in a roasted pork taco. Savory or even spicy would be amazing. Do you have any suggestions? This looks amazing as is I must say.

    1. Hmmm…the tomatoes will have a natural sweetness when they cook down, but you could definitely eliminate some or all of the sugar to make it less “jammy”. I think Sriracha would add some great smoky heat to this as well. You could also add chili powder

  16. I make a spicy tomato chutney that we eat on EVERY THING, so I know I would love this jam, Courtney. Because BACON! Oh, my goodness, I could eat it with a spoon!

  17. I hadn’t stopped over here in awhile to check in in your little corner of the blogosphere and I have to say, you’re like, a celebrity blogger these days, Court! Your writing style and recipes are amazing! And I think I may just have to try this jam out with my late crop of tomatoes I just picked 🙂

  18. I still have plenty of tomatoes at home too! The crops came in late to my CSA and I’m basking in all the tomato glory. Off to make tomato bacon jam. . . .

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