Tomato Jam Recipe

Tomato Jam is a fun and flavorful way to jazz up grilled bratwursts or Italian sausage. Think of it as a really delicious, chunky, homemade ketchup!

tomato jam on bratwursts on a wooden board

Burgers and brats are my go-to for easy dinners in the summertime. They’re quick to make, crowd-friendly, and the leftovers taste great.

I’m always looking for a way to jazz up a classic, and this Tomato Jam Recipe is a fun twist for topping either brats or burgers.

Ketchup fans will love it, and ketchup haters (that’s me) will adore it even more. Everyone will want to know what the red condiment is on the table along with the ketchup and mustard!

bratwursts on buns topped with tomato jam, sitting on a white platter

Ingredients for tomato jam

ingredients for tomato jam on a white background
  • I used roma tomatoes for this. Tomatoes on the vine would work, too.
  • Fresh thyme adds a light, fresh herb flavor to the jam.
  • Sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the tomatoes.
  • Apple cider vinegar adds a little bit of acidity. You could use white vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.

How to make easy tomato jam

Combine the chopped tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, fresh thyme, and sea salt in a dutch oven or large pot.

tomato jam ingredients in a dutch oven

Cook the mixture on the stove for 40–50 minutes on medium low, or until the tomatoes turn into a rich, delicious jam-like consistency.

The mixture should be thick but can be a little runny in places (it’ll continue to thicken slightly as it cools).

tomato jam in a large white dutch oven

That’s it! The tomato jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

What do you do with tomato jam?

Wondering how to use up all of that delicious tomato jam? Here are a few ideas:

  • Put it on bratwursts or spicy Italian sausage.
  • Spoon it on hamburgers.
  • Add it to a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Serve it on top of grilled chicken or grilled fish.

I paired the tomato jam with spicy grilled bratwursts. The lightly sweet jam was the perfect complement to the kick of heat from the spicy brats! Mild or hot Italian sausage would be delicious, too.

bratwursts on buns topped with tomato jam, sitting on a white platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take the seeds out of the tomatoes?

There’s no need to remove the seeds from the tomatoes, though you will want to remove the tough area where the stem meets the tomato.

Can I use another herb instead of thyme?

Yes—fresh basil would be tasty.

Do I have to use apple cider vinegar?

Nope! You could use white vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar.

Can I make this with out-of-season tomatoes?

Definitely. You’ll still get loads of fresh tomato flavor even if it’s not tomato season.

Can I freeze tomato jam?

Tomato jam can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

The jam will keep in the refrigerator for at least 7–10 days.

tomato jam on top of bratwursts in buns, on a white serving platter

Side dish ideas

True confession: when I make burgers or brats for just my family, I serve frozen tater tots on the side. I’m such a sucker for them! I recently started using an air fryer to cook the tater tots—they get SO crispy in less than 15 minutes and I don’t have to heat up the oven.

If I’m doing a cookout for guests, I’ll stick with potato salad (Grandma’s German Potato Salad or this Best Ever Red Potato Salad). For a sweeter side dish, I love Taffy Apple Salad.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

bratwursts in buns topped with tomato jam on a white rectangular platter

Tomato Jam Recipe

Published by Kate
Tomato jam is a fun way to jazz up burgers or brats. Try it with spicy brats or sausage—the sweetness complements the heat nicely!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Entree
Cuisine American
Servings 5 servings
Calories 42 kcal


  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes, cored and chopped into ¾-inch pieces (about 6 large or 8 medium sized)
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Combine tomatoes, sugar, apple cider vinegar, thyme, and sea salt in a saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the mixture is thick, about 40–50 minutes. Set aside to cool (it will continue to thicken as it cools). 
  • Serve tomato jam on top of bratwursts or Italian sausage on buns.


The jam recipe makes enough for 8–10 servings. It will keep in the refrigerator for 7–10 days.
Nutrition facts below are for the jam only.
If you don’t have roma tomatoes, you can make this with tomatoes on the vine.
White vinegar can be substituted for the apple cider vinegar, if you’d like!


Serving: 1/4 cup jamCalories: 42kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 98mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10g
Keyword cookout, grilling, tomato jam
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!


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