Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam in glass jar with spoon resting on pink marble surface

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 8 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 pint jam
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
41 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 41
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 437mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 14mg 69%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 242mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The handy thing about tomato jam is that there is no time of year when it’s a bad idea to make it. In peak tomato summer months, capitalize on that amazing flavor and general abundance of tomatoes everywhere, and if you know how to can, you’ll be able to return to the flavors of warm weather no matter the season. On the other hand, in the winter months when tomatoes are not quite there yet, this jam makes the best of a bad situation and turns proverbial lemons into lemonade thanks to lime juice, herbs, and spices. 

The beauty of tomato jam lies in its versatility. Top a burger with it, fold it into scrambled eggs, or whatever your heart desires. Just like fruit jam, spread it on warm toast—you can even top it with a fried egg and/or avocado! Serve a small bowl amidst your cheese spread or charcuterie board. Dollop it onto focaccia, cornbread, or any quick bread right before they go into the oven. Use it as a unique filling in a grilled cheese sandwich, use it on a homemade pizza! It toes the line nicely between sweet and savory, so it provides balance no matter the application.

"Tomato jam is such a delicious condiment and super-easy to make. The jam is full of texture and tangy and complex flavor. I didn't peel or core the tomatoes, and everything cooked down to a soft and jammy consistency. I used ras el hanout I made from the linked ingredient." —Diana Rattray

tomato jam/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, about 8 to 10, coarsely chopped

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely grated

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    tomato jam ingredients gathered in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper, chili flakes, garlic, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, ras el hanout, and lime juice to a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir well to combine.

    tomato jam ingredients in a saucepan over burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, stirring frequently, until the tomato jam is thickened significantly and reduced to about one-third its volume (about a pint), 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour, depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes.

    tomato jam cooked down in saucepan over heat

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared jars for canning, or transfer to an airtight container if using in the coming weeks.

    tomato jam in two glass jars for storage

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are, the time the jam takes to reduce to a nice consistency can vary widely. Keep a close eye, and know that the more you stir, the quicker the water in the tomatoes evaporates, so sometimes it's advantageous to be hands-on in the process.

How to Use Tomato Jam

Enjoy tomato jam by the spoonful or try one of these ideas:

Recipe Variations

  • Roma tomatoes work best for this recipe because of their tart flavor, seed-to-meatiness ratio, and for their accessibility and affordability. Most other tomatoes would do the job as well, with the exception of heirloom tomatoes. Heirlooms when in season are perfect on their own and not improved when cooked.
  • Ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that usually contains cinnamon, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, paprika and turmeric, among others. They’re all warm spices that go well with the earthy flavor of tomatoes, but feel free to experiment with different flavor profiles: Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, jerk spice, or even bbq seasoning would all work well here.


  • If not processing to be canned, tomato jam can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
  • To freeze, transfer the cooled tomato jam to an airtight freezer container. Label the container with the name and date and freeze for up to 6 months. Defrost the jam in the refrigerator overnight.