A Spicy Perspective

Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam Recipe

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Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam – This easy recipe makes the best tangy, sweet, and savory jam with tomatoes! It can be prepared as a tomato freezer jam or for canning, and is terrific to spread on sandwiches or serve as a dip.

old fashioned tomato jam recipe

Why We Love This Tomato Jam Recipe

Let me just start by saying: We LOVE making jam. There is nothing more satisfying than smearing a sandwich or cracker with a scoop of sweet and/or savory preserves that you made yourself from scratch.

And there’s no better time to jam out than summer when the fresh fruits and veggies are plentiful and perfectly ripe!

Fruity, savory, spicy, and oh-so scrumptious – there are countless varieties that you can make. A few of our favorites include this Best Easy Freezer Jam and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipes.

This Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam recipe is a classic for whenever we have a bounty (or excess) of summertime tomatoes. It’s a rare savory jam that’s brimming with deep, smoky, and slightly sweet flavors.

two crackers on a plate with cheese and tomato jam

Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam Recipe

Tomato Jam is a classic Southern condiment that’s been enjoyed for generations. It’s distinct for its savoriness and wonderfully chunky texture and is often enjoyed as a spread or dip. (Keep reading for some great suggestions for tomato jam uses!)

Not only is it a delicious jam to enjoy, but this recipe is also terrifically easy to prepare – no pectin needed! Prep time is only 10 minutes, then you can finish the Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam either in the freezer or using traditional canning methods.

bite of cracker with cheese and homemade jam made with tomatoes

Ingredients You Need

There are only 8 simple and wholesome ingredients used to make this classic Tomato Jam recipe. And no pectin!

You probably have all of these in your kitchen right now:

  • Ripe tomatoesRoma or plum are best
  • Brown sugarfor sweet, deep flavor
  • Fresh gingergrated
  • Spicessalt, ground cumin, crushed red pepper, garlic powder
ingredients needed on a board

How to Make the Best Tomato Jam

The first step is to prep the ingredients: Chop the tomatoes and remove any loose seeds. Grate the fresh ginger.

chopped veggies in a pot

Next, set out a medium saucepot. Add all the ingredients. Yup, everything goes right in there.

adding brown sugar and seasonings to the pot

Bring to a boil.

Then lower the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring regularly, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Get the Complete (Printable) Tomato Jam Recipe Below. Enjoy!

cooking down down the homemade preserves

It should cook down a bit, but not reduce to the point of no moisture. Once the tomato jam looks thick and glossy, turn off the heat.

Place the tomato preserves in jars and either can, freeze, or refrigerate.

full jar of homemade tomato jam with spoon in it

Tomato Preserves Storage Tips

Homemade jam can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Once it has been opened, keep stored in the fridge and use within 2-3 weeks.

spooning out a scoop of tomato jam from a mason jar

Tomato Jam Uses

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam!

Here is just a quick little list to get the ideas flowing:

  • Use as a savory spread on burgers and sandwiches (like grilled cheese!)
  • Include a ramekin of jam on charcuterie boards.
  • Serve as an appetizer with cheese and crackers.
  • Enjoy as a dip for crackers and chips.
  • Add a spoonful to creamy soups, like tomato bisque.
  • Serve on warm biscuits.

What’s your favorite way to get your tomato jam on? Let us know in the comments!

overhead view of plate with two crackers, with cheese and dollop of this tomato jam recipe

Recipe Variations

Want to make this recipe a bit less “old-fashioned?” Try any of these swaps:

  • Add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper for a jam with even more spicy heat.
  • Make Bacon and Tomato Jam! Add in 1 cup of crumbled cooked bacon before simmering.
  • Use this recipe and use a classic canning method for longer storage.
side view of plate, with old-fashioned tomato jam on crackers and cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tomato jam?

Tomato jam is a spread that is made out of tomatoes, sugar and spices for a deeply flavorful jam experience.

How do you know when jam is done?

You can tell your homemade tomato jam is done when most of the liquid has been cooked out of it, but not all. You want it to be a dark, jammy consistency. If you can drag a spoon through the middle of the pot and the jam just slowly filled the hole back in, then you are good to go!

How long does tomato jam last?

You can store tomato jam in the fridge for up to 2 weeks after it has been opened. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months! So you can have fresh tomato jam on hand all year long.

Looking for More Classic Condiment Recipes?

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5 from 25 votes
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Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam – This easy recipe makes the best tangy, sweet and savory jam with tomatoes without pectin or traditional canning!
Servings: 16 servings



  • Chop the tomatoes and remove any loose seeds. Grate the fresh ginger.
  • Set out a medium saucepot. Add all the ingredients. Bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring regularly, so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  • Once the tomato jam looks thick and glossy, turn off the heat. Place in jars and either can, freeze, or refrigerate.



This recipe makes 2 8-ounce jars.
Tomato jam can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 
Tomato Bacon Jam! Add in 1 cup of crumbled cooked bacon before simmering.


Serving: 1oz, Calories: 51kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 225mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 492IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Dip, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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42 comments on “Old-Fashioned Tomato Jam Recipe”

  1. I’ve never tried this before, might be my next way to use up all our tomatoes.

  2. Tried it and turned out great will be doing it again thank you for a great recipe!

  3. Can you use frozen tomatoes 

  4. Also, you you cover when simmering?

  5. Want to do this today — do you blanch and peel the tomatoes?

  6. I am trying this recipe today, but I will cook it in my crockpot on high with the lid off.  I don’t like recipes that require standing in the kitchen stirring a sauce for 1-2 hours.  I use this method to make tomato paste, and it works well.

  7. Sounds good! If canning…do you water bath for 15-20 minutes?

  8. tangy and sweet and spicy due to the fresh ginger. cut some ginger if you don’t like heat. also very sweet but will be good on charcuterie!

  9. This is also my go to recipe.  It’s easy and delicious, we eat it in everything, goes great with all proteins and great on cream cheese and crackers!

  10. Pingback: 25+ Amazing Tomato Canning Recipes - Yellow House On Yale

  11. This is delicious and spicy BUT I have an important question. Can I put it in sterilized jars and then into the refrigerator WITHOUT going through the canning process. Is this what you mean when you say it will last 2 months in the refrigerator?

  12. This is my go to recipe. We love it, it is so versatile as well as tasty.

  13. Pingback: 25+ BEST Sauces for Hot Dogs (Easy Recipes) – Char-Bett Drive In

  14. Replace the tomato on a BLT with tomato jam!

  15. Love this recipe – I make it regularly and use it most days – delish!

  16. Can you leave out the ginger?  What can you substitute for the ginger?  Also, has anyone tried green tomatoes instead of red?

  17. Very tasty. I used it with garlic confit and it was a hit

  18. It’s delish! A bit watery but hoping it will gel up as it cools. One thing is there are a lot of detached tomato skins in it–is this normal? I don’t want to put thru a sieve bc the consistency may be affected but is there a quick way to get rid of them or should I have done something different (ie blanching them prior to cooking)? Thanks!

    • Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water until the tomato skins split.  They should slide right off.  Another way to remove skins is to cut tomatoes in half, put them cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet covered with non-stick foil.  Bake 30 min. At 400 degrees.  The skins pop right off when you pinch them, and the tomatoes have roasted flavor that probably would enhance the jam.

  19. Wow!!! My new favorite recipe! Thanks so much!
    Of course, I tweaked it a bit – I doubled the recipe, but used 2/3 c brown sugar and 2/3 c maple syrup, added 2 capfuls of basalmic vinegar, and used chipotle and Aleppo pepper in place of the cumin and pepper flakes.
    Toast some baguette slices and smear with goat cheese and jam – heavenly!!! The whole family is raving about it, so I’m going to have to make more next week….

  20. AMAZING! I am immediately making some more with my fresh tomatoes. I added half a lemon rind and all and some paprika and I have never tasted anything so good! Thank you!

  21. Made it today with my garden fresh Roma tomatoes and threw in a few beef steak tomatoes. This recipe is awesome and will stay on my list from now on. Thank you for sharing 

  22. Great jam, I’m not a person who puts ketchup on hotdogs but this jam is delicious on them. I use the jam along with my homemade sweet pepper relish. I didn’t use crushed red pepper flakes but did substitute it with chipotle powder but about a little less then a quarter teaspoon, it really does need this little kick of spice.  I made my first batch with the skin on the tomatoes but we ended up picking the skins out before eating do subsequent batches had the skins removed, and I used regular garden tomatoes and had to cook it longer to get it jammy!  It’s a definite keeper!!

  23. Yes I blanched and removed skins. Any idea?

  24. I love this recipe but will someone please tell me why I can’t get it to freeze solid. It’s in freezer for days but is soft. Someone please tell me why. It’s not my freezers. I checked them both. It just won’t freeze solid!

  25. I processed the jam 15 minutes in a hot water bath method.

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  27. I am in love with this recipe! I admit, I can never leave a recipe entirely alone so I did tamper with it just a bit. I used half of a diced onion and a diced jalapeño in addition to the crushed red pepper. Soooooo good on a cracker with cream cheese or on a grilled cheese sandwich. Not all of my people like it but I don’t mind that one bit!!!…as it does cook down to be less than you think when you start.

    • I am planning to make this – or could only be good!
      Some of the tomatoes have been stored in the freezer – has anyone tried this from frozen tomatoes and if so is there anything else I need to do to the recipe?

  28. Made as directed, using my overflow of garden cherry tomatoes. Delicious! The first time I ever made (or tasted) tomato jam, it will not be my last!

  29. I just made a batch, in fact it’s my first time making any kind of jam!  Read many different tomato jam recipes and this one seemed the best as far as seasoning and the amount of sugar. Not liking spicy heat I did cut back it on the red pepper, I actually used chipotle pepper. Once it’s cooled I will be able to taste it. I tasted it just before putting it in jars but it was still too hot to actually enjoy it.  I’ll leave another review once others have tried it. It was extremely easy to make especially since everything goes into the pot at the same time. However, I did not peel the tomatoes but if I make it again I will remove the skin.

  30. This is absolutely delicious! We use it in place of ketchup. Thanks for a great recipe!

  31. Hello,wow what a simple and easy recipe to follow.
    So tasty .
    Ended up with over 500mls in a jug
    Bottled .

  32. Excellent.  I made a sugar free pectin recipe and was disappointed.  I found this old fashioned , slow cooking recipe and it was what I was looking for! 

  33. Love this recipe!  Easy and so delicious. Will plant a couple more tomato plants next year so I can make a larger batch. Thank you!

  34. This is the first time I’ve tried anything like this, but I will definitely be making it again! The ingredients come together to make such a deep flavor!

  35. This is just like the spread that my grandma used to make to smear on sandwiches! So yummy!