Tomato Bacon Jam Recipe

Many a wise person has said that bacon can make any meal better, and few meat-eaters would disagree. So when you can blend bacon into a savory tomato jam, the end result is sublime. Recipe creator Erin Johnson, who you can catch making magic on her Instagram account @probablyinthekitch, has made a really special recipe that packs more of a kick than those other sweet jams. The key ingredient is obviously bacon. Yet the blend of bacon with tomatoes, onions, apple cider vinegar, and a little brown sugar (along with other spices) offers the sweet-and-savory balance that helps make the bacon jam taste even better. Plus, the fact that you can spoon this over an entree, like chicken or beef, or spread it over toast is a truly wonderful thing. We even suggest using it as a spread in your turkey wrap or as a topping for avocado toast. And it could make a great substitute salsa for huevos rancheros, too. Basically, anywhere you can imagine adding bacon and tomatoes, you'll love adding this easy-to-make bacon tomato jam.

Gather the ingredients for tomato bacon jam

Obviously, this recipe requires bacon, so pick up 1, 12-ounce package of center cut bacon. "I use center cut bacon because the lower fat content renders the perfect amount to cook this recipe without having to drain," explains Johnson. 

In the vegetable section get 1 large onion and several large tomatoes — enough for 2 pounds-worth of diced tomatoes. A standard tomato weighs about 5 ounces, so 6 or 7 tomatoes should be fine. You'll also need fresh garlic, salt, pepper, ground mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika. You'll also need brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.

Cook the bacon

Start off by chopping the bacon. "I cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces before cooking," Johnson explains. In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined dish to drain, leaving the rendered fat in the pot. "If you use a traditional [1 pound] package of bacon, after cooking, pour off all but 2 tablespoons worth of the fat," Johnson says. Don't fully empty the Dutch oven, however.

Cook the onions and tomatoes

Add the onions to the pot and allow them to cook until fragrant. Then it's time to add your diced tomatoes.

"I like to use a variety of tomatoes when I make this, but you can use whatever you have," explains Johnson. "This time, I used a mix of Roma, grape, and cherry tomatoes. This is a great way to use homegrown tomatoes if you find yourself with a surplus." 

Using pre-diced and cooked tomatoes will actually add to your cook time. "You can use canned tomatoes," Johnson explains, "but they will take longer to reduce to a jam-like consistency."

Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir continuously, making sure they cook through. 

Spice up and finish your jam

Add the apple cider, brown sugar, garlic, and spices to the pot. "If you want a sweeter product, consider adding additional sugar," says Johnson. "If you don't like spicy, decrease or eliminate the crushed red pepper. If you want more, increase [the recipe]!" Stir to combine everything well. "I add the bacon back after the spices," Johnson explains.

Allow this magical concoction to cook on low for at least 45 minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated and the rest is a jam-like consistency. "The color deepens as the moisture evaporates," Johnson explains. "I usually test it by smearing a bit onto a slice of bread, if it's too wet I let it cook a bit longer (and enjoy the snack)."

Serve warm or chilled

Turn off the heat and allow the jam to cool, then spoon it into a glass jar. "This keeps for at least 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen," explains Johnson. Or you can just serve it fresh and warm. "You can eat this warm, smeared over warm French bread or however you'd like," she adds. "It will firm up in the fridge." However you eat it, this is guaranteed to impress.

"There is no shortage of uses for this — I like to serve it over cream cheese with crackers, on sliced baguette, on my ricotta toast, or even as a spread to take my grilled cheese over the top."

Tomato bacon jam recipe
No Ratings
Tomato bacon jam may sound like a surprising mix of flavors, but this sweet-and-savory spread is perfect on toast or a grilled cheese sandwich.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tomato bacon jam on baguette
Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • 1 12 ounce package center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  1. In a Dutch oven or heavy skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined dish and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  2. Add the onions to the pot and allow to cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook until the onions are tender.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and spices. Stir to combine. Add the bacon back in.
  5. Allow the ingredients to cook on low for at least 45 minutes, or until most of the moisture has evaporated and the remaining is at a jam-like consistency.
  6. Turn off the heat and allow the jam to cool, then spoon the tomato bacon jam into a glass jar.
Calories per Serving 151
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 18.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 291.8 mg
Protein 4.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe