This tangy, sweet Tomato Jam is a simple classic recipe that you’ve gotta have during the spring and summer seasons! It’s the perfect way to use fresh tomatoes, and tastes amazing on everything.
Sticky, Sweet, Tomato Jam – Serve It with Everything!
Fresh tomatoes are such a delight – they’re juicy, tangy, and savory, and work so well added to salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, you name it. Then there’s tomato sauce, pasta sauce, ketchup… is there anything tomatoes can’t do? This is one of my favorite ways to use up the gorgeous tomatoes you get during the spring and summer tomato season: tomato jam!
While you may be used to more popular fruit jams like strawberry and cherry jam, tomatoes also make great jam. It’s not a strictly sweet condiment, and it actually includes onion to bring out the savory flavor of the tomatoes. Instead of being added to desserts, it’s amazing as a condiment, topping, or spread to go with savory appetizers and other recipes.
What Does Tomato Jam Taste Like?
Tomato jam is incredibly flavorful. The long, slow cooking process concentrates the flavor of the tomatoes, and melds the sugar, onion, and vinegar flavors into the tomatoes beautifully. Somewhat like a relish or chutney, tomato jam is complex and fruity, with a sweetness from the sugar and sourness from apple cider vinegar and lemon.
Is Tomato Jam Just Ketchup?
While these two dishes are sort of similar, they are ultimately very different. Ketchup is a smooth, blended tomato condiment – definitely a sauce, not a jam! Tomato jam has a consistency very similar to strawberry jam. It’s shiny, sweet, savory, and perfect for spreading on a slice of baguette or eating with brie and crackers.
What You’ll Need
To make tomato jam, you only need a few basic ingredients. Tomatoes are the star of the show, so it pays to find fresh, ripe ones with a lot of flavor.
- Tomatoes: I prefer Roma tomatoes. Dice up the tomatoes, or if you are using smaller tomatoes like cherry or grape, you can quarter or halve them.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is fine. Raw sugar would also work.
- Onion: White onion is my go-to. A sweet onion, such as a Vidalia onion, would also be great.
- Vinegar and Lemon Juice: A combination of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice cuts the sweetness and adds complexity.
Let’s Make Tomato Jam!
This recipe is old-fashioned and fun to make. And who doesn’t love the look of a fresh, new jar of homemade jam, right? So rewarding. Here’s how to make it:
- Combine the Ingredients. Measure and combine all of the jam ingredients in a large pot or Dutch oven, and stir to combine.
- Simmer. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to low, and let it simmer uncovered for about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The jam will thicken slowly during this time. Make sure to stir the jam every so often (about every 30 minutes should be fine) to ensure even cooking. Be careful not to let it scorch.
- Enjoy! When the jam is done, let it cool and then serve it warm. We like it on toasted baguette slices with fresh basil, for garnish.
These tips will help you tweak the tomato jam recipe to your taste. Definitely check them out before you start cooking – you may find an idea here that you love!
- Tomatoes: Any type of tomato will work here, but I prefer to use Roma tomatoes because they are a heartier tomato with less juice. If you use a different tomato variety, you may need to cook them a little longer to thicken the jam.
- Make It Hot: Diced jalapeno or crushed red pepper flakes would be great for making this jam a little bit spicy.
- Sugar: You can use brown sugar in this recipe, too! Brown sugar adds a warm, sunny, molasses-y flavor that’s subtle but also packs a punch. Feel free to use half and half brown sugar and white sugar, or just use brown sugar entirely.
- Add More Flavor “Twists.” You want to be careful with just how many changes you make to the recipe, or the jam may end up tasting a bit strange. But some interesting changes you could make would include adding fresh ginger, adding fresh garlic, and throwing in ground spices of your choice (cumin or cinnamon, for example).
Yummy Serving Suggestions
Once you try this jam, you’ll want to add a smidge to just about everything. It’s very versatile, and the sweet-tangy flavor adds an extra dose of deliciousness to sandwiches, chicken, pork, you name it!
- Crackers: It’s great over crackers all by itself, but you can also add a little cream cheese, goat cheese, or any creamy cheese! This makes an amazing appetizer. Need to go low carb? Try my favorite Low Carb Crackers!
- Biscuits: A fresh Homemade Biscuit is perfect with any kind of jam or jelly, including tomato jam. This savory-sweet combo will blow your mind!
- Crostini: A toasted crostini is great with this tomato jam. You can top it with fresh basil like I showed in this post. Or you could swap the strawberries for this tomato jam in this Strawberry Brie Crostini for an impressive appetizer or snack!
Storing and Freezing
To store this recipe, let the tomato jam cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze this for up to six months. It makes a great gift!
Easy Tomato Jam
- 5 pounds Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ white onion, diced
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Add all the ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine.
- Bring it to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
- Then lower the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, until jam has thickened, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Make sure to stir the jam every so often, about every 30 minutes, to ensure even cooking.
- Serve warm on toasted baguette slices with fresh basil, for garnish.
More Sauces and Condiments
- Cranberry Relish
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Adobo Sauce
- Homemade Chamoy
- Marshmallow Fruit Dip
- Salted Caramel Sauce
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