How to Make Tomato Jam

When life gives you wonky tomatoes, make this easy tomato jam! This rustic recipe does not require peeling, de-seeding or any of that nonsense.

Enjoy this sweet and savory tomato spread with crackers and cream cheese, take a BLT to the next level or as a delicious glaze for tempeh.

How to Make Tomato Jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Enjoy this rustic Tomato Jam with crackers and cream cheese, take a BLT to the next level or as a tasty glaze for tempeh. Adapted from Mark Bittman's recipe
Serves: 16 servings
  • 1 pint ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2T lime juice
  • 1T smoked paprika
  • 1tsp minced ginger
  • ¼tsp ground cumin
  • ¼tsp ground cloves
  • ½tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • Equipment
  • Food Processor
  • Large Saucepan
  • Optional- Canning jars, large stockpot
  1. Pulse tomatoes in food processor until they are the consistency of salsa.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the consistency is a thick jam, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or follow my canning process in the video tutorial.


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  1. I have made pretty much this same recipe every summer for the past 3 years – I try to make and can enough to last through the year. It is soooooo good! I like to use it in place of ketchup for a lot of things.

    • Aloha Diana! Do you have any secret ingredients to make it more delicious? And yes, it makes a perfect sub for ketchup πŸ™‚

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever had tomato jam before. This looks so tasty! And the video shows how easy it is to do too. Nice!

  3. Hey Cobi, do you have any suggestions for when the jam simply will not thicken up? I think I used too many tomatoes and I don’t want to add a ton more sugar. ( …I may I have already done that)

    • Hey Candice- For jam, the fruit to sugar ratio is pretty important so you either have to add more sugar or turn the heat up a little bit and reduce the mixture longer. Please keep me posted on how it turns out!

    • I doubled the mixture & ended up reducing it for almost double the recipe time before it thickened up enough – but it still turned out perfect, and delicious! Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

  4. By any chance is a lb of tomato’s pulsed down ~ 1 pint? I have a lot of tomatoes and am trying to double the recipe…thanks for any suggestions. Can’t wait to try it! Great video!

    • Hi Sandy! I’m not sure what the weight of the tomatoes were once pulsed down. I realize now that a pint is a volume measurement,but I’m an “eye-baller” cook most of the time. Since the sugar:tomato ratio is important for it to gel properly, I always measure 1 pint whole tomatoes (the little square containers from the farmers market) to 1 cup sugar. I’ll be making it again soon and will be sure to get out my food scale and weight next time! Please let me know how it works out for you πŸ™‚

  5. Grerchen Jolly says:

    Oh my gosh this is so good on crackers with cream cheese. I have shared it with so many people. Not liking the hot and smoky taste so have cut those 2 spices in half and added chopped walnuts the last 10-15 minutes for a thicker jam .I 4 times this recipe as long as I have the mess and get between 6-7 pints of finished product.

  6. Antonella says:

    Hi Cobi! I am going to try your recipe but I have a question about how much spices I should add. I’m using 9lbs of tomatoes (I was planning on using a different recipe until I saw your video!) and I figured out the tomato to sugar ratio but I’m stumped as to how much of the spices to add. Should I triple the amounts?

    • Hi Antonella! Yes, you should be able to triple the amounts…maybe use a little less cloves to start and work up from there πŸ™‚

  7. How long does the jam last with out the pectin? Where do I store it? Can I add the pectin if I want to ?

    • Hi Rena! Once properly canned, you can store it for 6 months unrefrigerated. Once I open it, I try and use it within 3 weeks and store in the fridge. I would not recommend adding the pectin to this recipe unless you like your jam REALLY firm. The natural pectin makes this quite thick πŸ™‚

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