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A delicious sweet and savory tomato jam recipe - perfect for using up summer garden tomatoes!

This Tomato Jam is a recipe we’ve been waiting anxiously to make (and share) for months!  My husband Jack first made this terrific jam last summer when we had more tomatoes from our garden than we knew what to do with.  We happily canned quite a few jars of this luscious and savory tomato jam last summer – thinking that they would last us all winter and spring until tomato season arrived once again!

But our tomato jam is so delicious we went through those jars much quicker than we anticipated!  First, we gave a few jars to our daughter Courtney, and her boyfriend Kenny loved it so much that we had to give them a few more jars!  (In fact, Kenny loves this so much – he claims full possession and ownership of any and all jars of tomato jam at their house, and only very unwillingly does he share it with anyone!)

We also gave a few jars away to our neighbor…and then some to my brother…and combined with Jack slathering this tomato jam on practically everything he ate, the last delectable jar of precious tomato jam was sadly used up months ago!

Tomato Jam - A Family Feast

So with a garden full of tomatoes, onions and basil – it was (finally!) time to make more jam!

A delicious sweet and savory tomato jam recipe - perfect for using up summer garden tomatoes!

This tomato jam is both savory and sweet with a deep, rich color and flavors reminiscent of a chunky gourmet ketchup – but so much better!  Tomatoes and onions are slowly cooked down in a mixture of granulated and brown sugars, cider and balsamic vinegars, lemon juice, salt, coriander and cumin.  But Jack also adds a generous amount of chopped basil to the mixture which sends this tomato jam over the top!

I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be making numerous batches of this wonderful tomato jam for the rest of this summer while our tomato crop is flourishing!  We want to make sure we don’t run out of it again!

Tomato Jam - A Family Feast

Tomato Jam

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups


Note: We made the batch of jam shown here with grape tomatoes and left the skins on which helps give the jam some extra texture. If you use the plum tomatoes called for in the recipe, you should follow steps 1-4 in the recipe to remove the skin before chopping up the tomatoes.


  • 4 pounds plum tomatoes, or other tomato varieties such as grape or cherry
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup sweet onion such as Vidalia, chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon


  1. Clean tomatoes, removing any stems. Cut an X in each tomato end with a sharp knife.
  2. Prepare an ice water bath.
  3. Bring four quarts of water to a boil in a non stick pot. Keep the heat on full and drop the tomatoes in. When the skin starts to peel, remove them to the ice bath. Empty the water, you will reuse the pot.
  4. Work over a sheet pan and peel the skins off the tomatoes. Then squeeze the stem end to pop out the stem. (It’s a squeeze, twist and pull motion to remove the stem. Depending on the variety of tomatoes, you may also need to squeeze out the seeds.) Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them back into the dry pot.
  5. Add all of the other ingredients to the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture for about two to three hours or until it reduces to a thick jam. Make sure you don’t let it burn. The cooking time depends on the amount of liquid in the variety of tomatoes you use so the timing is not an exact science however the finished product will be about 4 cups (one quart).
  6. Store in 8 ounce glass canning jars (follow complete canning steps shown here) or store in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.


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  • Gillian Mala’efo’ou wrote:

    Is it possible to freeze the tomato jam?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Gillian – We haven’t tried it ourselves but if you try it, please let us know how it comes out!

  • Lennie wrote:

    What do u use tomato jam for?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lennie – It can be used like a ketchup or a condiment. We’ve also added it to a grilled cheese which was delicious!

  • lydia wrote:

    Made the tomato jam. Took almost 4 hours but so, so worth the wait. Seriously delicious, I keep digging into the jar. Really addictive and really loving it. Am so keeping the recipe. Thank you!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Lydia! So glad you liked it!

  • Paul wrote:

    Beautiful please send recipe

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Paul – You can print or view the recipe at the bottom of the post.

  • Wanda Maddox wrote:

    Hi I have a ? for you. Have you ever use this tomatoe jam in the slow cooker?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Wanda – No…the slow cooker won’t allow the moisture of the tomatoes to cook off. You’ll need to cook it on the stove. Sorry!

  • Michelle wrote:

    I made this a couple of weeks ago with my mom….we made 2 double batches so 16lbs of tomatoes….Oh my! it is to die for. We’ve already eaten 2 jars. Tomatoes by the bushel are on sale where I am and me and a friend just froze a bushel so we can make more jam in the fall. I’m thinking teachers gifts!!! I’ve actually just taken a spoonful and eaten it right out of the jar its so good. I will be making this for years to come! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Michelle! So glad you are enjoying the recipe as much as we do!

  • Carol wrote:

    I made this yesterday using a coworker’s bounty of cherry tomatoes and my husband raved the entire time he was “tasting” through it. He immediately had it on his scrambled eggs for dinner that night and was reluctant to let me bring some in to work with cheese and crackers for the crew the next day. Now I need to hit the farmer’s market for lots more cherry tomatoes so I can “put up” a few jars for the winter. I’m not sure it will make it that long.

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL – your husband sounds exactly like our son-in-law…he wanted the jar we gave them all for himself! So glad you enjoyed the recipe. (We’re due to make our annual batch this weekend!) Have a great day Carol!

  • Becki Wagoner wrote:

    Making tomato jam asee speak.My kitchen smells yummo! First had this at a farm to fork dinner on a cheeseburger and fell in live with the flavor!! Can’t wait to taste test!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope our recipe is as good as the one you ate at your dinner Becki!

  • Jen wrote:

    Hi! I really want to try this, however, I am not growing tomatoes (or anything else). Do you have any tips on where I can find cherry or grape tomatoes in bulk? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jen – A club store is probably the place to go for the largest consumer packages. Or – if you happen to have a Restaurant Supply near you, that’s another option, but I think you need a business ID to shop there. The other place you could try is a local farmer’s market – or a local farm stand – this is the type of recipe that you can make with less-than-perfect tomatoes and I bet you could get a great deal on some less-than-perfect tomatoes that they don’t want to put out to sell. (I hope that helps!)

  • Kathy Haan wrote:

    I used beefsteak tomatoes we got from the neighbors so it took longer to reduce, but it was still SO SO SO SO good. I added it to coconut sticky rice, and also put it on a baguette with soup. Out-of-this-world. Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Kathy – so glad you enjoyed the jam! (Love the idea of serving it on sticky rice!)

  • dlo wrote:

    Perfect recipe that i have been cooking this for the 3rd time in a row! We are also using this recipe as a homemade ketchup, a real deli that goes with many! Hope to see many recipes from you! Any idea on how to create deli from roasted eggplants, i want to can several veggies for the winter. Thanks again for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the tomato jam as much as we do! I’m sorry, we don’t have an canned eggplant recipe but a quick google search would probably lead you to an eggplant tapanade or other types of canned eggplant recipes. Hope that helps!

  • Mary wrote:

    I just made this, and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory. I accidentally doubled the cumin (1/2 tsp), but it turned out yummy, nonetheless. Thank you for the recipe. Now i have a solution to my plethora of cherry tomatoes.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Mary! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Amy wrote:

    Do you think this recipe could be make and frozen into smaller amounts if I don’t have the time (or equipment) to can?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – We’ve only canned it ourselves, but I think it should be OK to freeze. I’d suggest using a small zipper seal bag (squeeze all of the air out to avoid freezer burn). Please let us know how it comes out!

  • Mary wrote:

    I’m excited to try this recipe. I’m planning on using unpeeled heirloom cherry tomatoes. Did you cut your cherry tomatoes in half or quarters before cooking or did you process them whole?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Mary – Your heirloom tomatoes sound fantastic! We processed the cherry and grape tomatoes whole. We hope you love this jam as much as we do!

  • Rita Thomas wrote:

    I had some wonderful tomato jam served with salmon last fall & have been looking for a good recipe. This is the one! I’d rather freeze a batch than can it. Any recommendations? Thank so much!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Rita – We haven’t tried freezing the jam ourselves, but I it will probably work! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Tim wrote:

    This is too sweet. It’s very good, but I would expect tomato jam to be more savory. If I ever make it again I’d cut the sugar in half.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing your feedback Tim!

  • Martha wrote:

    Hi Nellie – We haven’t tried freezing this jam ourselves so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, please let us know how to works out!

  • Peggy Eichhorn wrote:

    Dear Martha,I’m writing from the south of France to thank you for this absolutely gorgeous recipe.I was a bit skeptical to begin but now I’m in heaven.Today my husband and I had toast with ricotta and a big topping of your jam.Even my husband who is very picky loved it.I will follow your blog and am looking forward for many delicious
    Recipes.Bless you and forgive my school English.Peggy

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Peggy! We’re so glad you found us and so glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  • Diane wrote:

    I have never had tomato jam before but was intrigued by this recipe! I made it and used heirloom baby tomatoes that I peeled quite easily with a hot water process! Once I sampled it, I refuse to share it is so yummy!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL – you’re very welcome Diane! Our son-in-law has been known to hoard a jar or two of this jam all for himself too! 🙂

  • Su Ayres-Thomas wrote:

    I make a tomato orange marmalade, preferably with (seeded) Seville oranges, which gives it a hint of bitterness, and I also use ginger–grated fresh, plus crystallized. Penzey’s spices recently came out with extra-small crystallized ginger they call “Sweet Ginger Bits”, and it’s great, as it saves me a bit of chopping time. It never occurred to me to add onion, or coriander, or cumin, but I’m surely going to now! Thanks for your excellent recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Your marmalade recipe sounds amazing Su! Hope our recipe is just as good!

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