Tomato Jam in a glass jar surrounded by fresh tomatoes.

Tomato Jam

Wondering what to do with fresh tomatoes? Now that summer is upon us and bushels of heirloom tomatoes are coming our way, I hope you take a moment to give this Tomato Jam a try. I love it on buttered toast, or with a smear of tangy goat cheese and wine.

Tomato Jam in a glass jar surrounded by fresh tomatoes.
Tomato Jam

Wondering what to do with fresh tomatoes? Try this recipe for Tomato Jam. It’s a delicious way to preserve the joys of a ripe tomato fresh from the garden.

Tomato Jam in a glass jar surrounded by tomatoes.

This post for Tomato Jam first appeared June 2, 2013 as part of the Simple Sundays series. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!

Home Sweet Home

There was a lovely stillness when I awoke this morning. I was cradled in a warm bed, nestled under a cloud of down, my head resting on my pillow. The sunlight streamed through the shutters and on the bedside table, steam from a fresh cup of French pressed coffee rose.

Oh, it’s so good to be home.

After several days of roughing it with my daughter on a field trip in the foothills of Sonora, it was heaven to return to the comforts of home, to my shower and hairdryer, to the coffee that my husband makes so perfectly, just the way I like it, to my kitchen filled with foods that I love. Nothing like a little camping to make you appreciate the little things.

Mystery Jam

There is one other thing I do appreciate. I have been fortunate to join my children on so many of their field trips. I am finding that I learn just as much as they do when it comes to California’s history. Around this time last year, my daughter and her class visited a local farm where they learned about the early settlers to this valley, the walnut groves and fruit trees that used to dot the hillsides, and the foods that would come out of their rustic kitchens. They tasted fresh churned butter, along with a mystery jam.

Bowls filled with a variety of fresh produce.

“Can anyone guess what fruit is in this jam?”

Tomato Jam in a glass jar.

A generation of taste buds raised on strawberry jams and grape jellies yelled out guess after failed guess. No one could pinpoint the flavor. The surprise was audible when the docent smiled and told the defeated students, “It’s tomato.”

Homemade Tomato Jam

Tomato Jam. I fell in love fast and knew I had to make my own. Now that summer is upon us and bushels of heirloom tomatoes are coming our way, I hope you take a moment to give this a try. I love it on buttered toast, or with a smear of tangy goat cheese and wine. I don’t even bother canning it, it goes so quickly.

The foods of necessity have transcended time. This simple recipe is one I wouldn’t change. Straightforward and reliant on the ripeness of a harvest, this beautiful jam is a delicious way to preserve the joys of a ripe tomato, both then and now.

Tomato jam spread on a cracker.

More Great Tomato Recipes for Fresh Tomatoes

Roasted Tomato Caprese Skewers
Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes
Avocado Corn Tomato Salad
Tomato Ricotta Galette
Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomato Jam

There’s something about a tomato jam that reminds you that it is technically a fruit. If you’ve never tried tomato jam before, I just know you will love this recipe!
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 1 quart
Calories 3372kcal


  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 1 package fruit pectin about 3 tablespoons
  • 4 cups sugar


Making the Tomato Jam:

  • Sterilize your jars.
  • Prepare a large pot of boiling water. Gently scald the tomatoes, then peel, core and quarter the tomatoes. Use your hands and a sieve to squeeze out the seeds and juice. Set aside the pulp for the jam.
  • Place the tomato pulp in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, and let it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Place 3 cups of pulp in a separate large saucepan and stir in the sliced lemons and pectin. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the sugar and continue cooking at a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off any foam from the surface. Continue to stir as it cools for 5 minutes.

To preserve in a waterbath:

  • Ladle jam into hot jars, one at a time, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars. Apply bands and adjust to fingertip tight.
  • Place filled jars in canner, ensuring jars are covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner. Bring water to gentle, steady boil.
  • Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid and let jars stand for 5 minutes.
  • Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Clean and store jars according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Calories: 3372kcal | Carbohydrates: 863g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 3390mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 837g | Vitamin A: 11359IU | Vitamin C: 244mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Kenny

    Can you tell me more about the step in which you separate the pulp from the juice and seeds?

  2. Alisa

    I am so GLAD to have found this recipe, I am pretty sure it is the exact recipe my Grandmother used as I grew up. (She passed away years ago, and so did my Mother and some how I never got the recipe and I thought that I had) Except she would add the thinly sliced lemons one slice in each jar, and boy whoever opened the jar first got the best treat to suck the yummy lemon pulp out of the lemon rind, with the tomato preserves all over it. This is the best on a buttered toasted English muffin, but goes great on other things as well. Just sucks that it is now fall and I have to wait almost a year until I can now make a batch.

  3. Steph

    Hei Liren,

    Thank you soooo much for the recipe!! I tried some tomato jam in Portugal and fell in love right away! Since then I wanted to make it myself, but here where I live we do not have this type of tomatoes you are using (the one on your pictures above, I know they used a similar type in Portugal as well) So I am wondering, can I use any tomato to make this jam?

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Steph! Absolutely, use whatever tomatoes you have. Just be sure to taste it, as tomatoes do range in acidity and sweetness, and if you feel like you need to make adjustments with sugar, then do. I hope you like it!

  4. Caroline Carbone

    I took a long time to try the jam  and now I’m sorry it took me so long. .,it delicious!!!

  5. Courtney

    Question you say separate out 3 cups of pulp to add the sugar too and add the sugar and pectin. Do you add it back in with the other tomato pulp after? If not what do you do with the other tomato pulp?


    • Liren Baker

      Hi Courtney, I am so sorry for the delay in answering your question! Forgive me. In this case, I did not include the other tomato pulp, just making the jam with the 3 cups of pulp. However, depending on how much extra pulp your tomatoes yield, you could include it, just keeping an eye on the thickness of the jam and adjusting with a little more pectin if necessary. I hope this helps!

  6. Nau

    Can you give an approximation of what constitutes “one packet” of fruit pectin or any suitable replacements/substitutions? I wanted to translate this recipe for a Japanese friend that I know would love it (she’s always excited to try new foods and “food challenges” and she comes from a family of farmers who probably have access to wonderful fresh tomatoes) but I’m not sure if pectin would be available or come in the same kind of packaging/portions… Maybe she could substitute agar or something, but I’m sure the end result would be a little off…

  7. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Liren, these photos are just lovely, especially that first one. And the tomato jam – it has been on my short list to make for way too long now. You have inspired me. I just know I will love it, and I can think of so many delicious ways to enjoy it.

  8. Norma - Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

    So easy to make …nothing like tomato jam…can’t wait to go to the market.

  9. Maria McCloud

    I keep seeing recipes for tomato jam but have had no desire to try it…until reading your post. You write so beautifully that you have persuaded me to try some this summer when I harvest my tomato plants. By the way, I loved reading through the Jammer Party posts and have marked many of those recipes to try, too. Thank you for sharing!

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