Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
There’s nothing better than farmers market Saturdays. But for me, this time of year – late summer, early autumn here in Australia – is my absolute favourite. You can find everything from stone fruit to berries, to the first apples and pears of the season, to eggplants, herbs and tomatoes of all shapes and colours. I love wandering around with my basket, picking up anything that looks exciting, nibbling on a sample of something tasty and taking an Instagram of the pretty flowers.

I find it all super inspiring and always come home with a bag full of beautiful produce and lots of great ideas of what to make. This time of year is also perfect to preserve the best of summer’s bounty. Last weekend it was the tomatoes that really spoke to me. I decided to try something I’ve never made before – a tangy, sweet and spicy homemade tomato and chilli jam.

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
A lot of people that I’ve talked to are resistant to the idea of making jam from scratch for many reasons. I know that it did take me a while to face my fear of sterilising jars, but after almost seven years of homemade jam, I’ve never looked back.

You don’t need a surplus of homegrown fruit.
You don’t need to spend an entire weekend making jam for the whole neighbourhood.
You don’t need to add a ton of sugar.
You can sterilise jars quickly, safely and easily.
You don’t have to buy poor quality overly sweet store bought jam.
You don’t have to buy expensive artisan jam. Well you can, but it’s more fun to make it yourself!

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
Until now, I have only made jam with traditional jam-making fruits like berries, rhubarb and figs. Even though I’ve been purchasing store-bought tomato relish for years, I had never made a savoury jam with tomatoes, ginger, vinegar and garlic. But the process is very similar – fruit (tomato is a fruit!), flavourings, sugar and acid simmer together to thicken up and produce a delicious result. This recipe makes about 3 jars of jam (which I think will last us about 3 months) but feel free to halve it or scale it down if you want to make a smaller batch.

Well, this tomato and chilli jam is super delicious! At first I thought it was a little bit sweet on its own but once I tried it with other foods I thought it was perfectly balanced. I think a savoury jam like this is so versatile! It would be perfect on almost any kind of burger, with bacon and eggs or on a steak sandwich or the best ham and cheese toastie of your life. I love that it’s a little bit spicy, a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet.

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
Next time I make this (because there will definitely be a next time) I want to experiment with roasting the tomatoes first to see if that gives the jam a more intense and concentrated tomato flavour. Feel free to experiment with making it more or less spicy to suit your own personal taste. I absolutely love that you can preserve the best of summer’s produce in just over an hour to give you endless opportunities for deliciousness.

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Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Homemade Tomato Chilli Jam
Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam
4.84 from 6 votes

Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam

Sweet and spicy homemade tomato and chilli jam, perfect on sandwiches, burgers, toasties, with bacon and eggs or cheese and crackers.

Course Jams & Preserves
Keyword Jam, Summer
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 3 cups


  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large lemon, or 2 small ones
  • 5 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. This recipe is best using the ripest tomatoes you can find. Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over high heat, stir without boiling until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 90 minutes or until jam is thick.
  2. Cool for 15 minutes. You can blend this jam for a smooth consistency, but I left it as is with a great relish texture.
  3. To sterilise the jars, wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water, rinsing thoroughly. Place into a 120°C (250°F) oven for 30 minutes or until they are hot and dry. Remove from the oven carefully and pour the hot jam into the jars and seal immediately.
  4. If you make jam regularly, it’s always a good idea to label and date your jars so you can keep track of when to use them. Store in a cool, dark place and refrigerate when opened. Jam will keep for about 3 months.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Women’s Weekly ‘Made From Scratch’

36 Comments on “Homemade Tomato and Chilli Jam”

  1. Pingback: What to put in your Homemade Christmas Basket

  2. I made jam this morning and it’s so good! Such a good recipe and I love that it doesn’t have tons of sugar in it – I’ll definitely be making it again!

  3. Pingback: What to put in your Homemade Christmas Basket

    1. Hi Sofie, It would depend on the size of your jars. Mine made about 3 x medium jars. My jar size was about 200ml.

  4. What is the best thing to serve with this. Would you have a slice of bread and use it like you would with Jam, or with crackers with Cheese?

    1. Hi Belinda! It is really versatile actually. It’s a little bit sweet and spicy. I love it on burgers, sandwiches and toasties. And yes, it’s really great with crackers and cheese. I must make some more soon!

    1. Hi Avril, it’s probably better to coarsely chop them, I think they will cook more evenly that way!

  5. 5 stars
    I used med sized orange chillies about 9 sliced & chopped with some
    seeds ( I had chillies in freezer) I tested just before cooked & bit too hot
    so added extra tsp. Lemon juice ,also I did blend little still leaving a good relish texture. FAB recipe – so easy and tastes SO GREAT I WILL
    BE MAKING before run out.I was wondering what would taste like if used brown sugar?

    1. So glad you love it! The best thing about making your own is you can make it as spicy as you like 🙂 Not sure how it would be with brown sugar. If you try it out please let me know!

      1. 5 stars
        Made up half the quantities as was using up some very ripe tomatoes(500 grams).
        Thought it tasted a little bit sweet whilst cooking so added juice of 1 extra lemon. Used the full 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger and full 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. Also added a diced caramelised onion at the start to boost the quantity made. Delicious! Great recipe. Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    I roasted my Italian tomatoes for about an hour, then followed the recipe… The tomatoes were so sweet that I cut the sugar down to one cup. Amazing recipe, thank you.

  7. 5 stars
    This was an isolation activity. It’s delicious, the whole family loved it! I served it with mothers day brunch and they all gave it rave reviews!
    I took on board previous recommendations and used half brown sugar and half caster sugar and I also roasted the tomatoes first because I was concerned they weren’t ripe enough and wouldn’t have enough flavour.
    Thanks for the inspiration everyone and thanks for the recipe! Im making it again today because I gave the last batch to the kids to take home.

  8. Hi, I’d really like to make this recipe but zm in the UK and wondered if you could provide the measurements in grams at all as it is never easy converting properly. Thanks

    1. Hi Zenia, I haven’t tested the jam without sugar actually! Sugar does help with balancing the flavours plus helping the jam to gel and set. You could give it a try without (or using a sugar alternative) but the end result might have a slightly different consistency. If you try it please let me know!

  9. 4 stars
    Excellent. I know caster sugar is the regular for jams, but try brown instead!
    That already enhances the flavour further as well.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this just this morning. And yummy!!
    I added a little more lemon juice, about half a lemon. Tangy, with just a hint of heat. Love it. Will be making it more often.

    1. Hi Namita, I would say that lime juice would be closer to the flavour of fish sauce than soy sauce would be. But you can certainly give it a go – let me know if it works!

  11. This recipe sound delicious with the reviews to support that. I have a lot of extremely hot chillies. They were labelled Brain Killer 1& 2- I think they are somewhere between hottest and terribly hot. Should i just use 1 in the mix at first. I like hot but not to the point it drownes out any other feeling ha ha ha. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

    1. Hi Jody, definitely start with less chilli (maybe just half of one to begin with) and taste along the way! I think all the ingredients will still work but you may have to play with the quantites of sugar and acidic ingredients to help balance out the heat until you’re happy with the taste. My thoughts always are – as long as you like the taste, it doesn’t matter if you follow the recipe perfectly or not!

    1. Hi Anne, I haven’t actually tried this but if you do try it please let me know how it went! I think your best bet would be using tinned whole tomatoes and straining most of the liquid. The cooking time would also probably reduce.

  12. Hi I will try this next time. Made nigellas a month ago and looks beautiful very clear and jelly consistency. Tonight used similar to your recipe but brown sugar & soy sauce makes it look dark. Good flavour waiting to cool to bottle but might reheat to improve jam consistency. Poached eggs with this are incredible… thank you

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