A Simple, Anytime Tomato Jam You'll Want to Eat on Everything

Plus, it's the key to our favorite easy holiday appetizers.

October 22, 2018
Photo by Rocky Luten

We've partnered with Muir Glen to celebrate the season with recipes, tips, and videos that make holiday entertaining easy, elegant, and totally stress-free. Here, we're sharing our holiday party secret weapon: an endlessly versatile tomato jam.

Tomato jam is an A+ way to preserve summer tomatoes. The only catch is that you have to remember to preserve summer tomatoes. (And between you and me, I never do.) But instead of skipping out on making the bright and tangy condiment come sweater season, this year I'm making jam with Muir Glen canned tomatoes.

This isn’t a new idea. Just think about tomato sauce. If I had nickel for every time I used canned tomatoes to make my favorite tomato sauce, I’d be as rich as butter. But if I had a nickel for every time I used fresh tomatoes to make sauce, I’d have—let’s see—zero nickels.

Why? Canned tomatoes are picked at peak ripeness, which is more than you can say about any fresh tomato you’d find in the supermarket most times of the year. They’re also reliably flavorful and relatively low-effort.

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What’s more: When it comes to jam, I actually like the texture better. While making jam with fresh tomatoes inevitably yields a super-soft spread, diced tomatoes hold their shape better, creating a chutney-style texture.

Now that I’ve convinced you to make jars and jars of tomato jam—I have, haven’t I?—you’re probably wondering what to do with all of it. One word: holidays. Consider this sweet-and-savory condiment your secret weapon; it's versatile enough to serve alongside cheese plates or on top of flatbread, and extra easy to batch up if you want to make a bunch at once and save some for later (it'll last for up to three weeks in the fridge).

As a sweet bonus, it makes a thoughtful (and budget-friendly!) homemade gift, especially when you put it in a mason jar wrapped with a bow. Here's a bunch of ideas to get you started:

Jam Out With These Recipes

In partnership with Muir Glen—makers of premium, organic tomato products grown in California's Sacramento Valley, aka our go-to canned tomatoes—we're excited to share all the ways we holiday. From make-ahead appetizers to dinner table show-stoppers, you can look forward to party-ready recipes that are even easier (and tastier!) when you bring a few cans of Muir Glen tomatoes into the mix.

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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.