Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam


Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam:

Some years ago in Chicago, I had the pleasure of working with Chef Joyce Goldstein, cooking some of her recipes. One of those recipes was her Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam, which is still one of my favorites in my kitchen. The layers of flavors are amazing.

Chef Joyce’s recipe for the sweet and spicy tomato jam includes only a few simple ingredients: canned whole peeled tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, honey, garlic, cinnamon, and ground ginger. However, when combined, they create an explosive flavor profile.

The tomato jam is easy to cook. Once the onions and garlic are sautéed, the spices, tomatoes, and honey are added, and everything is simmered until thickened into a jam-like consistency.

If you like a smokey flavor profile, add a pinch or two of smoked paprika to the jam. Smoked paprika adds a deep, rich flavor that complements the sweetness and spiciness of the jam.

A renowned chef, lecturer, and author, Joyce has authored 28 cookbooks, many of which have garnered prestigious awards. The James Beard Foundation has recognized her culinary expertise through a coveted James Beard Award, solidifying her place among the culinary elite. Her knowledge encompasses the cuisines of Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa.

If you love to preserve fruits, have you checked out her cookbook Jam Session: A Fruit Preserving Handbook? The photos and recipes are fantastic and showcase the true beauty of the product and the preserves.

A perfect Meatball is not just about the Meatball

Check out my Recipe for

Here are some additional ideas for how to use Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam:

  • Cheese and Charcuterie Boards: Spread it on crackers alongside a variety of cheeses and cured meats for an impressive appetizer.
  • Grilled Cheese: Elevate your grilled cheese by spreading the jam on the bread before adding cheese.
  • Cream Cheese: Pair it with cream cheese on toast, bagels, or cucumber slices for a delightful snack or breakfast.


  • Burgers and Sandwiches: Use it instead of ketchup on burgers, or spread it on sandwiches for a burst of sweet and spicy flavor.
  • Eggs: Dollop it on top of omelets or scrambled eggs for a unique twist.

Sauces and Glazes:

  • Roasted Meats: Brush it onto roasted chicken, pork, or salmon during the last few minutes of cooking for a flavorful glaze.
  • Vegetables: Use it as a dipping sauce for roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or sweet potato fries.
  • Pizza Base: Spread a thin layer of jam on a pizza crust before adding your favorite toppings for a gourmet twist.

Using canned vs Fresh Tomatoes

In the off-season, using canned tomatoes works perfectly well. However, during the local tomato season, I use fresh Roma tomatoes. If you prefer fresh tomatoes, you’ll need about 2 pounds of Roma tomatoes. Blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin, it will make a smoother jam.

How to blanch fresh Tomatoes:

  • Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
  • While the water heats, core the tomatoes (optional) and score a shallow “X” on the blossom end (opposite the stem) of each tomato.
  • Once boiling, carefully lower the tomatoes into the water in batches. Blanch for 10 to 15  seconds, or until the skins begin to split.

Peel and Cool:

  • Transfer the tomatoes immediately to a prepared ice bath (large bowl filled with ice water) using a slotted spoon.
  • Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes, then peel off the skins with your fingers.

Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam

The Taste

One of my favorite condiments that can be enjoyed in a variety of foods.
The jam has a complex flavor profile that is both sweet and savory, with a bit of a kick from the spice.
The tomatoes provide a natural sweetness, while the sugar helps balance the acidity. The spices add depth and complexity to the flavor.
If you like a smokey flavor profile, add a pinch or two of smoked paprika to the jam.
Smoked paprika adds a deep, rich flavor that complements the sweetness and spiciness of the jam.

         The Process

To cook sweet and spicy tomato jam is as easy as it gets.
The tomatoes are simmered until they become thick and jammy, and the spices add depth of flavor.
Beware, the Tomatoes tend to splatter more when cooked at high heat.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and let your sauce bubble gently. If you have a splatter screen placed over the pan.

         The Verdict

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful condiment, sweet and spicy tomato jam is a great option.

Tomato Jam

Chef Norbert
Sweet and Spicy Tomato Jam is one of my favorite Jams in my kitchen.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Better for you, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 24
Calories 42 kcal



Sauté the Onions and Garlic

  • Heat your saucepan to a medium, and add the butter. Add the shredded onions and garlic and sauté until tender over medium heat, or about 7 to 10 minutes.
    3 tbsp butter, unsalted, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic

Cook the Jam

  • Add the cinnamon, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomato and honey and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes until thickened into a sauce-like consistency. 
    Stir the jam often during the cooking process. Gently stirring the tomatoes can help break up bubbles before they burst and send tomato jam flying. If you have a splatter guard, I suggest that you use it
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground, 1/2 tsp ginger ground, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 28 ounce whole peeled tomatoes, 1/2 cup honey, 1 pinch sea salt, 1 pinch black pepper, ground


  • Homemade sweet and spicy tomato jam is not shelf-stable and needs to be refrigerated after it cools down. Properly stored in the refrigerator, it will typically last for up to two weeks.

Chef Notes

  • The sauce can be made ahead of time. Warm the sauce just before serving.
  • In the off-season, using canned tomatoes works perfectly fine, however during the local tomato season I use fresh peeled Roma tomatoes.


Serving: 1 ounce | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Jam, Tomato Jam
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your custom text © Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.