Tomato Basil Jam

by Cathy Walthers, Private Chef and Cookbook Author

So simple, so yummy, it’s the perfect condiment for grilled cheese sandwiches, burgers, charcuterie, a cheese plate, or as a glaze over meat. This is a basic recipe, you can also add hot chili peppers, cinnamon, cloves, or ginger to spice it up.


  • 5 pounds or approximately 12 cups of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar*
  • juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup loosely chopped basil
  1. Wash and slice cherry tomatoes, or chop large tomatoes.
  2. Toss and massage with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to let juices from tomato flow out. Sterilize your jars and lids in hot water while you wait.
  3. Discard the juice, and dump strained tomatoes into a large, wide, shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer with lid off on medium-low heat. Check and stir occasionally.
  4. Once tomatoes start to thicken, watch and stir more often that it doesn’t burn.
  5. When it’s thick to your liking, anywhere to between a syrup or jam consistency, remove from heat and stir in the basil.
  6. Transfer to sterilized glass jars and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or use a hot-water canning bath for 15 minutes for long-term storage.

*original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar.