This recipe is a culmination of a summer obsession. I know tomato jam is not a novel concept; over the years I’ve been gifted several, delicious homemade jars of the spread. I just never realized how easy it is to make!
Here’s why I love this recipe: it’s dead easy, it’s relatively fast, it tastes phenomenal, and it’s endlessly customizable—this version has a bit of a savory and spicy Southwest vibe, but you could change the combination of spices to take your jam in any global flavor direction.
I can think of dozens of uses for this condiment. It’s a star on a cheese board (a schmear of goat cheese and a dollop of jam on bread is so good!) It’s a perfect sandwich spread. We’ve added it as a sauce on top of grain bowls all summer. I want to try glazing roasted chicken with tomato jam in lieu of barbecue sauce; and I have an idea brewing for gourmet sloppy Joes using this recipe as a base. You might consider me the Benjamin Buford Blue of tomato jam.
♥ Related: Sweet & Sour Braised Red Cabbage
It’s a perfect recipe to use when you want a pop of tomato flavor in winter, spring, or fall. Since the jam cooks down, the flavor concentrates (and is helped out by added sugar), so even fairly “meh” tomatoes will become very tasty.
This recipe comes together very quickly from just a few ingredients; cooking takes an hour with occasional stirring, but it’s mostly hands off time and you can work on another kitchen project while the jam simmers.
Smokey Chipotle Tomato Jam
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot roughly diced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce minced
- 1 tbsp adobe sauce from chipotle pepper can
- 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 lemon zested & juiced
- Over medium heat, saute the shallot in the olive oil and salt in a medium sauce pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the shallot softens.
- Meanwhile, core your tomatoes but cutting into quarters and cutting off the core end. Add chopped tomatoes to shallots.
- Add the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar, lemon zest, and half of the lemon juice (you will only need half of the lemon juice total.)
- Bring all of the ingredients to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, until the jam has cooked down to a thick consistency. You'll be able to run a spoon along the bottom of the pot and the jam won't immediately run together.
- Once the jam is appropriately…jammy, move into an airtight container (a pint-sized mason jar works well!) and refrigerate until cool. Spread on everything.
- You can use more or fewer chipotle peppers depending on your heat tolerance. I thought 1 chipotle pepper was spicy but not scorching. If you’d like a milder heat level, use half of a chipotle pepper and 1/2 tbsp. of the adobo sauce.
- Make sure you use sweet smoked paprika instead of hot smoked paprika; a hot paprika will upend the heat balance.
- Any type of tomato will do. Roma, aka plum, tomatoes tend to be the most consistent year round, but any decent tomato you can find should do here.
- I found that 2/3 of sugar to 2 pounds of tomato is the right sweetness balance. I tried a full cup and the jam was a bit too sweet (though, I won’t lie, still pretty tasty); half of a cup was not sweet enough and tasted more like sauce than jam.