Sweet and smoky, this Tomato Bacon Jam is like a surprise party for your tastebuds.
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Tomato Bacon Jam is Oddly Fantastic
This Tomato Bacon Jam includes three of my favorite things in the world:
- Onions sauteed in bacon fat
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!
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.
- To make the jam, grab a deep skillet or Dutch oven, and cook the bacon until crispy, then remove from the pan and crumble.
- 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.
- Stir in 1.5 lbs. chopped tomatoes, the crumbled bacon, apple cider vinegar, sugars, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
- Add it to a classic Scrambled Egg Sandwich or Croissant Breakfast Sandwich.
- Smear it on Honey Bacon Biscuits or Easy Drop Biscuits.
- Slather it on a burger, especially these Breakfast Burgers!
- Stir it into some Creamy Mac and Cheese.
- Add it to a cheese plate (it’s especially good with goat cheese!).
- Put it on an Air Fryer Grilled Cheese and lose your mind over how good it is.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve warm or cold.
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.