Who says all jams need to be sweet? Tomato Chilli Jam breaks all the rules, and good thing, because this unconventional recipe will have your mouth watering as you dream of all the new ways to use this homemade condiment. Use it as a topping on cheese-smeared crackers, the base sauce on pizza, piled on toast, or add a dollop to unsweetened yogurt for a delicious and savory breakfast.
Have you ever heard someone talk about a secret sauce they love that gets made over and over again, and since everyone uses it so much, they demand spares in the back of the fridge? This homemade condiment recipe is like that, plus it's effortless to prepare!
Since this jam is savory and has a similar texture to hummus, it sits perfectly on a pre-dinner cheese board. Add some crackers and whip up my Simple Summer Caprese Salad for an easy appetizer to share. This homemade condiment also seconds as a delicious pizza topping and makes a fantastic upscaled sauce for my Homemade Pizza Rolls (Air Fryer or Oven).
In this post, I share the following:
- How to enhance the flavors with garlic paste.
- Two options: fresh tomatoes or sun-dried.
- Why do homemade condiments always score better with taste testers than store-bought?
If you want to improve your cooking skills, be sure to read my post, 14 expert tips for enhancing your culinary abilities.
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The formula? Simple, whole ingredients make this recipe glow. It's a recipe with simple steps so that you can adapt it to fit your taste needs by getting creative with the spices and garnish. Sometimes I add pine nuts, fresh mint, basil, or oregano as garnish. One of my favorite ways to use this jam is by spreading it on warm sourdough toast. I recommend topping it with juicy slices of tomato!
- Sun-dried tomatoes soaked overnight or fresh Roma tomatoes - depending on what tomato you choose, the jam will be slightly different. I felt it was important to offer an alternative in case your stock of sun-dried tomatoes are wrinkly and dry with no time to soak them back to life.
- Red chili peppers - how many? use 1 to infinity per the desired heat level
- Maple syrup - substitute with agave, brown sugar, cane sugar, etc.
- Spices - ground cumin, onion powder, ground sumac, and salt
- Apple cider vinegar - or half a lemon juiced
- Garlic paste - takes 5 seconds to make, seriously. I'll show you how!
- Freshly grated ginger - or buy already grated/minced
- Extra-virgin olive oil - organic, high-quality works best here
See the recipe card for full quantities and detailed instructions.
Scrolling for the substitutions? Stop here! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free, and so are all the swaps. I highly recommend trying this recipe with sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried bring in a dense, sweeter flavor with less liquid, while fresh tomatoes bring that authentic flavor that is reminiscent of salsa.
- Swapping sun-dried tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, then, you'll need to know a couple of things: Roma/plum tomatoes work best, and they must be roasted so that their flavor is concentrated and evaporates the extra liquid, or else the jam will be soggy.
- Swap maple syrup for cane sugar, brown sugar, or agave sugar 1:1.
- Swap apple cider vinegar for lemon juice
- Remember that you can be creative with your spices! The spice blend I recommend has been perfectly created for this recipe but get creative with your current flavor craze.
Lego instruction manual steps: Blend, simmer, bottle.
The basic steps to making this homemade jam are as follows: First, make the garlic paste and grate the ginger, then blend all the ingredients except the oil and water in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the oil and water once fully pureed. Transfer to a saucepan on medium heat until it starts bubbling, then lower the heat to simmer until it becomes a thick jam-like consistency. Serve garnished with fresh herbs like oregano or basil, pine nuts, and red pepper flakes.
Why do homemade condiments always taste better?
In a world that craves quick flavors, how can I entice you to make homemade condiments when they're already prepared on the grocery store shelves?
🌶️Fresher than store-bought, with no preservatives, it makes them the healthier option.
🌶️ You're in control of the quality and cost. Want it organic without the inflated shocking sticker price? Grab the ingredients and blend on your own.
🌶️ You can experiment with different flavor options based on your taste preference and create your new favorite sauce!
For this recipe, you'll need a food processor. Alternatively, you can use a blender. You also need a saucepan, a wooden spoon, and a jar to store it in.
Store this jam in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for 2-3 months.
Reduce garlic to a paste in dressing or sauce recipes to avoid chunks and enhance the flavor. You can do this in a few ways. (1) Place peeled garlic cloves into a mortar and pestle, add a pinch of salt, and mash with the pestle until smooth. The salt renders the garlic into a creamy, fluffy concoction that smells heavenly. (2) use a garlic press to mash the cloves, add a pinch of salt, and swipe the garlic with a fork, patting and mixing together until you have a paste.
It can be used on toast, crackers, as a tomato sauce replacement on pizza, or swirled into unsweetened yogurt for a savory breakfast.
My favorite way to use this tomato jam is by adding it to an appetizer board with vegan cheeses, hummus, a sweeter jam, crackers, and bits of bread!
The texture is the main attraction of this recipe. It's a thicker, spreadable condiment, like jam.
The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, and that's where jars of condiments live best. It's perfectly positioned to see exactly what you have while preserving your condiment's lifespan.
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Tomato Chili Jam
- food processor
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, unsalted (rehydrated overnight) See notes for an alternative option using fresh tomatoes.
- 1 ½ cups filtered warm water
- 1-3 red chilies, deseeded (per desired heat level, 1 pepper would be mild)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- ½ cup maple syrup or cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground sumac
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- fresh chopped basil or oregano, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, fresh sliced tomatoes.
- Rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in 1 ½ cups of warm water overnight. Once done, drain the tomatoes reserving the water.
- Grate the ginger then make the garlic paste by pressing the garlic cloves with a garlic press. Add a pinch of salt on top, and while using a fork, repeatedly mash and scrape the garlic and salt until you have a fluffy paste. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle.
- Add the tomatoes, red chilies (deseeded), garlic, ginger, maple syrup, sumac, cumin, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, and salt to a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Add in the oil and ¾ cup of the reserved tomato-soaking water.
- Transfer to a saucepan on medium heat and allow the sauce to boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat and simmer with the lid on, letting it sit. Stir occasionally until thick.
- Garnish and serve or store in an airtight bottle/container in the refrigerator.