Fresh Tomato and Caramelized Onion Jam

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

Caramelized onion method by J. Kenji López-Alt

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment every other Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every other Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

Fresh Tomato and Caramelized Onion Jam

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes about 1 cup
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:2 hours
This recipe appears in: Sauced: Fresh Tomato and Caramelized Onion Jam


  • 3/4 pounds yellow onions (about 2 medium), finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds roma tomatoes (about 6 medium), peeled, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. 1

    Melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed stainless steel or enameled cast iron saucepan over high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until bottom of saucepan is glazed in a pale brown fond, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and scrape up fond with wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until fond has built up again, about 2 minutes longer. Add 2 more tablespoons water and scrape up browned bits. Repeat cooking, adding water, and scraping until onions are completely softened and a deep, dark brown, about 15 minutes total.

  2. 2

    Add tomatoes, white sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes in with the onions; stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have broken down and jam has thickened and developed a jammy consistency, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat. Transfer jam to a an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, or ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal for self storage.


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