Tomato Red Chile Jam

Tomato chile jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile

[Jump to recipe]

This Tomato Chile Jam has been my favorite sweet and savory jam for several years now.  I was tempted to keep it to myself but it’s just too good not to share.  It’s not a PB&J jam nor a jam for toast. It’s more of  a jam to eat with crackers, pour over baked brie or use as a marinade.  My favorite use is as a marinade for pork, such as these pork kabobs with tomato chile jam marinade.

There are only four ingredients to this tomato chile jam:  tomatoes, red chile sauce, lemon juice and sugar. No pectin. If you don’t already have some red chile made up in the refrigerator or in the freezer, then you will need to make a red chile sauce from powder and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.  Since so little of it is used in the jam (3 tablespoons), the rest can be used for burritos or enchiladas. (See Kitchen Notes to know why I use the sauce rather than just powder or flakes.)

For the tomatoes, it’s best to use fresh, homegrown, meaty tomatoes.  They don’t have to be red tomatoes, just good firm, meaty tomatoes.  However, you really can use any type of tomato.  Just a warning…the more watery the tomato, the longer you’ll have to cook the jam to get a good consistency.  But whether you cook for 30 minutes or an hour, this tomato red chile jam is SO worth it.

Tomato Red Chile Jam

Tomato chile jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile

Tomato jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile
Print or Save Recipe
Tomato Chile Jam Recipe
10 mins
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Before starting you might want to review my Kitchen Notes on Making Quick &Easy Jams

This is a refrigerator jam and not intended to be sealed and stored in the pantry. All you need is a very clean jar. Once the jam has cooked to consistency, pour into jar, let cool and refrigerate. This jam will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

You should read through the Kitchen Notes before starting this jam. 

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Jams and Preserves
Cuisine: New Mexico
Yields: 1 pint
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 1 ½ pounds cored and coarsely chopped tomatoes*
  • 3 Tbsp. New Mexico red chile sauce*
  • Juice from one lemon or lime
  • 12 ounces sugar
  1. Wash and rinse a pint jar. Do not dry. Place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Let cool until you're ready to use.*
  2. Transfer the chopped tomatoes to a sauce pan. Using an immersion blender, pulse the tomatoes a few times to eliminate larger pieces and break up the skins. Don’t be tempted to puree’ unless you want to stand at the stove stirring for an hour. The tomatoes become watery enough with a few pulses.
  3. To the tomatoes, add the red chile sauce, sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar has thoroughly dissolved.
  5. Increase the heat to medium high until the mixture starts to boil.
  6. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. (If you can’t get it to a full boil, then increase the heat a bit more.) A full rolling boil is a boil that can not be stirred down.
  7. At full boil, stir very frequently for 15 to 20 minutes, scraping the sides and keeping the mixture from boiling over or burning. If the boil is too vigorous, lower the heat.
  8. Once the mixture starts to thicken (after about 15 minutes), stir constantly for another 10 to 15 minutes*.  If using a candy thermometer, cook to 205ºF.  Since I use this jam primarily as a marinade, I leave it a little thinner than other jams.

  9. When the jam becomes thick and glassy, pour into the pint jar, place the lid on the jar, and let cool. Once cool - refrigerate.

Kitchen Notes

Red Chile –  Red chile sauce works better in this jam than powder or flakes.  With the sauce you get other flavors such as garlic, onion, toasted cumin/coriander, and oregano.  All of these ingredients help to give this jam its savory element.  As I mentioned before, you can quickly make a red chile from powder using this recipe.  OR, prior to making the jam, you can make red chile from dried pods.


Amount of Red Chile - Don’t be tempted to add more red chile because you think it’s not hot enough or because you can’t really taste it when you first start the cooking process. The chile heat and flavor intensify as the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates.


Tomatoes – As I mentioned earlier, you can use any type of tomato for this jam or a mix of tomatoes; however, the meatier the better.  Watery tomatoes will increase the cooking time to possibility as much as an hour.  The main criteria are that the tomatoes are ripe and that you like the flavor.  This isn’t hard to come by if they are homegrown.


Cook Time and Consistency – As with any jam, the longer you cook the jam, the thicker it becomes.  The same is true here, but it does take a very long time to get a stiff jam because of all of the water in the tomatoes. I have found 30 to 35 minutes and a temperature of 205ºF (for an elevation of 5000 feet) yields a nice consistency. At sea level, look for  a temperature of 215ºF or just cook until it becomes thick and glassy.  Remember that it will thicken up a bit once it sits overnight in the refrigerator.


Sterilizing the jar – Because this jam is refrigerated, I don’t worry about boiling the jar.  I just clean it really good, place it in the microwave still wet and cook on high for 2 minutes. Believe me, the jar gets really, really hot!  I’ve never had any problems with this method as long as I keep the jam in the refrigerator.



Tomato chile jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice |


If your palate craves sweet and spicy like mine does, you’ll be tempted to just grab a spoon and eat this jam right out of the jar.  That is a great way to enjoy it, but be sure to keep a little for other uses that I mentioned earlier like these scrumptious Pork Kabobs.  Of course you can always make another batch. 🙂  Enjoy!

If you enjoy this Tomato Chile Jam, then you should check out these two other red chile jams.

Red Chile Strawberry Jam

Raspberry Mole’ Jam


Tags: , , , ,

56 Responses to “Tomato Red Chile Jam”

  1. Carole from Carole's Chatter May 11, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    Just fabulous! Thanks for bringing it on over. Cheers

    • mj May 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

      You bet Carole! And thanks for sharing each week! You’re the best!

  2. April J Harris October 27, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    MJ, your Tomato Red Chile Jam is making my mouth water! What a wonderful condiment! Thank you so much for sharing it with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    • mj October 27, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks you so much April!

  3. swathi October 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    Looks delicious, love to taste this one. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

    • mj October 26, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

      Thank you Swathi and happy to have shared!

  4. Jean Orton September 1, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    looking forward to more recipes!

    • mj September 2, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by Jean!!! Hope to see you back.

  5. wok with ray August 31, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Oh I can’t wait for the future post on marinating pork with this jam. I’m sure you know by now that I am a pork person and I will try any marinade for my pork especially the belly part. Oh yum! Thank you, MJ and I hope you have a good week! 🙂

    • mj August 31, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      Yes, I do remember that you are a pork lover. I’ll have that recipe for you soon. 🙂 This jam has become my standard marinade for pork kabobs. You’re going to love it! Thanks Ray and hope you’re having a great week as well.

  6. Nancy/SpicieFoodie August 30, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    I’m reading a book called Maya’s Notebook, and last night it was talking about making tomato jam — what a coincides. I’ve never made tomato jam, now I have to try our your spicy-sweet recipe. Thanks MJ!

    • mj August 31, 2015 at 7:59 pm #

      I had to look up Maya’s Notebook and saw is was written by Isabel Allende. I’ve never read any of her books but I have her “House of Spirits” on hold. Can’t wait to read her. Now you’ve peaked my interest even further. 🙂 Tomato Jam is amazingly good stuff! I hope you give this a try! Thanks for your comments Nancy!

  7. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz August 28, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

    Tomato jams I know actually, did it twice and posted. But I think none of mine had a lovely added kick like yours with the red chile. Will have to try next time!

    • mj August 30, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      I need to go back and check out your tomato jams. I’ve been making this one so long, that I’m “might” be ready to try something different. 🙂 I’m sure yours are awesome! Thanks Evelyn!

  8. Bam's Kitchen August 28, 2015 at 2:18 am #

    I bet this is totally addictive like Thai Sweet chili sauce! Oh boy can’t wait to try this! Do you think I could use some bird chilis in this recipe, cooked…? I can see all kinds of culinary opportunities with this sauce!

    • mj August 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

      Actually Bobbi, that’s a good comparison….It is that addicting. 🙂 Thanks and hope you’ve had a great weekend!

  9. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl August 27, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    You’re a genius! I have to try this! Perfect for some crackers with my candied jalapenos! YUM!

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

      Candied Jalapenos – WOW – those sounds fabulous! Are they on your blog? Thanks for the nice comments Pamela!

  10. Abbe @ This is How I Cook August 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    I have no problem making the red chile sauce. Love leftovers. This sounds right up my alley. Thanks for sharing with us! Sounds like it would also be great on grits! Love the tip on sterilizing. That might explain why when I made a refrigerator plum jam last year that it crystallized so quickly?

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

      I’m with you on that Abbe. I can always find something to do with red chile sauce. 🙂 Love the idea of putting it on grits! I love honey on grits and red chile, so why not this. YUM! Give the microwave sterilization a try. It hasn’t failed me yet. Thanks for your comments Abbe!

  11. Sissi August 27, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    Wonderful idea, MJ. I have been making lots of tomato experiments for my pantry but recently limit myself to ketchup and Indian tomato chutney (my number one!). Now I’m wondering if I should add this beauty to my collection…. Thank you for sharing this precious recipe with us.

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

      Is the Indian Tomato chutney on your blog? I’ll check. I have more tomatoes to work with. 🙂 Thanks Sissi!

  12. Shashi at RunninSrilankan August 27, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    MJ – I simply love the color of your Tomato Red Chile Jam! It is gorgeous and luscious and only 4 ingredients?!?! Wow!

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

      Between the tomatoes and the red chile you do get a rich red! Thanks Shashi!

  13. Katerina August 27, 2015 at 3:20 am #

    I can picture this jam over warm homemade bread or with game as main course! Looks delicious! Pinned!

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

      This jam and quail…YUM! Great idea Katerina! Thanks for the idea and for pinning!

  14. Amy (Savory Moments) August 26, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    I make a savory tomato jam every year and we love it on chicken, potatoes, meatloaf, etc. I like this version with the chiles though – I bet it’s terrific!

    • mj August 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks Amy! I’m going to have to try this on potatoes. That sounds good!

  15. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles August 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    I know I would love this NM spiced jam on crackers but I think I would also really enjoy it as a marinade… a little experimentation might be in order :D. And, is it just me, or would a tablespoon or two of this red chile jam not work deliciously over some Greek yogurt? mmm…. licking lips over here. Meanwhile… do you know the blogger ‘some the wiser’ she (Allison) is also in New Mexico and just posted Hatch Green Chile Raspberry Muffins… what can I say, I thought of you dear MJ. I love seasonal cooking/baking and you ladies have it goin’ on! 🙂

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! Yes, we snacked on crackers and jam last night. 🙂 Thanks for telling me about Allison!! No, I didn’t know of her so I just left her a comment. She has a beautiful blog! A great find!

  16. Judy @Savoring Today August 26, 2015 at 6:40 am #

    Mmm, baked brie or goat cheese was exactly what I was thinking when I saw this post! Sweet and spicy is a favorite for us, gotta try this. 🙂

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Goat cheese – that’s another good one!! Thanks Judy! Hope you’re doing well!

  17. Ramona W August 26, 2015 at 5:30 am #

    I would love to top of any sandwich with this jam… turkey especially! Looks amazing!

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      This does sound good on a turkey sandwich. Thanks Ramona!

  18. Debra August 26, 2015 at 4:38 am #

    Oh, my. If the tomatoes finally kick in this fall, I am so going to make this.

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      Are your tomatoes slow as well? Last year I was getting tons of tomatoes by now, but this year, it’s been slow. Good luck and thanks for your comment!

  19. Tessa August 25, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Looks fantastic!

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 9:09 am #

      Thanks Tessa!

  20. Hotly Spiced August 25, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    I love how brilliantly red this is. I used to make a tomato jam to serve with savoury foods but lost the recipe! It’s great that this is so simple to make and requires so few ingredients and you don’t even need a sterilised jar xx

    • mj August 26, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Thanks so much Charlie! I do have to admit, after reading your comment I realized that I had forgotten the step on prepping the jar. I don’t really “sterilize” it in the normal way, but I do prep the jar by cooking it in the microwave. So please read the new step 1 of the instructions! Thanks for your comments as always!

  21. Your SIL August 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    I have no idea what you’re talking about!! This jam is awesome on toast – trust me!! I’ve used the jar you gave me on toast for breakfast more times than I can count!! ?

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

      I stand corrected. 🙂 Thanks Darlin!

  22. Nads August 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    This looks and sounds AMAZING!!!! If I still have tomatoes left on Friday I will make up a batch before we leave. If not, I will buy more tomatoes and make some when we get back next week. Can’t wait!

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm #

      Thanks Nads! I think you’ll love it! 🙂

  23. Zsuzsa August 25, 2015 at 2:26 pm #

    on cracker and cream cheese YUM

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

      You bet cha! YUM! Thanks Zsuzsa!

  24. Raymund August 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    Wow, I think this will go well with Marmite sandwich

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

      I’ve never had a Marmite sandwich. Sounds like something I need to investigate. Thanks Raymund!

  25. Deb|EastofEdenCooking August 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    Totally summer in a jar! A fantastic recipe to make now and savor as the season begins to change.

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

      Thanks so much Deb! Definitely a jar to savor, that’s why I usually make about 3 of them for the winter/spring. 🙂

  26. John@Kitchen Riffs August 25, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh wow, this looks great! I make a green tomato jam, but the flavor you’ve added to this is much, much better. Terrific recipe — thank you so much!

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      I’ve never made a green tomato jam, green tomato pickles, but not jam. Sounds yummy! Thanks John!

  27. Angie@Angie's Recipes August 25, 2015 at 11:58 am #

    This is not only great for the crackers, it would be fantastic to spread on some toasted artisan bread or even 100% rye bread! Thanks for sharing, MJ.

    • mj August 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      Love the idea of the Artisan bread and the rye bread sounds especially enticing. Thanks Angie!


  1. Pork Kabobs with Tomato Red Chile Jam | MJ's Kitchen - September 28, 2015

    […] few weeks ago you were introduced to my Tomato Red Chile Jam, a sweet, spicy, and savory jam.  There are several ways to use this jam, but one of our favorites […]

  2. Tomato Red Chile Jam - Yum Goggle - August 29, 2015

    […] GET THE RECIPE […]

I love hearing from my visitors, so please leave a comment. Thanks for dropping by!