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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  • Loring Howell wrote:

    This is a yummy recipe for anyone who has many tomatoes! I added about 3 times the amount of coriander, cumin, apple cider vinegar, balsamic and lime juice (instead of lemon) and it turned out perfect. Also added some chili flakes. I think it would have been too sweet for my taste otherwise. I wanted more of a relish-tasting condiment. And, for those you who might wonder, it does thicken after being in the refrigerator overnight. I didn’t can it.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the suggestions Loring!

  • Linda K Ransome wrote:

    O am going to make the tomatoe jam. But I am going to water bath the jars so I do not have to put it in the fridge. Using this recipe cause it uses all my favorite things. Onions, balsamic vinegar and lemon. It should can well. Thank you. . Will it be a safe recipe for water bath canning? I also have to make it sugar free with splenda being I am a severe diabetic.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – As written, the recipe is safe to water bath can. I’m not sure how swapping in splenda will change the results however…

  • Barbara wrote:

    This is great for all kinds of things. I used cherry tomatoes and they were great plus I didn’t need to peel and seed

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe Barbara! We like the cherry tomatoes too – the skins add some nice texture!

  • Charlotte wrote:

    Oh my gosh this is awesome! I love the tomato jam at Bad Daddy’s burger bar, and it is just not something you find in a store. I had sacks full of unripe tomatoes before the freeze due to weird weather, so I ripened them inside in paper sacks, and they all ripened at once of course. I had enough to make 2 batchs of this jam. I really don’t want to share it, but I suppose I will take a jar to Thanksgiving dinner. I followed the recipe exactly mostly except I used something like 4.8 lbs tomatoes, and canned it afterwards in a water bath, and it made 4.25 cups. This recipe is a keeper and I will make it again next year!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the jam Charlotte!

  • Cheri wrote:

    Is there a way to print your recipes without the photos?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Cheri – I don’t think the software we use to format our recipes gives that option. Sorry. What I sometimes do in similar situations is I’ll copy and paste the info into a Word document and delete info I don’t want to print. Hope that helps!

  • Cathy Imray wrote:

    I just found this recipe and so glad I did. I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, but our local grocery store had canned plum tomatoes on sale, so I thought why not. I drained the juice and tried to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. I used the sweet onion as listed, but also added a bit of fresh garlic. The fresh basil looked pretty sorry in the store, so I used the stuff in a tube. I mixed half brown sugar and half coconut palm sugar, and used the indicated amount of white sugar. I added some fresh lemon rind as well as a smudge of Tajin Clasico seasoning since I love the pop of lime. It’s still simmering away, but I tested it to see if it needed any more seasoning. It’s absolutely delicious and has such a fresh pop in your mouth taste. This is a keeper recipe for sure! It’s going on a charcuterie board this weekend!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cathy – glad to know that you can use canned tomatoes for this recipe!

  • Liz Otte wrote:

    I have never even heard of tomato jam before my elderly neighbor told me her grandmother used to make it. I decided I should try it out, and my trusty Pinterest to the rescue! This recipe is AMAZING. I can eat it by the spoonful, but I imagine I’ll spread some on biscuits or a sliced baguette. I am definitely adding this one to my summer tomato recipe repertoire.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you enjoyed the jam Liz! (We eat it by the spoonful too!) 🙂

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