Why it’s so good!

If you’ve never tried chilli and tomato jam, you’re in for a treat. This homemade condiment pairs beautifully with so many dishes and adds a slight kick that will instantly elevate your meals! A delightful balance of sweet, tangy, spicy, and savoury flavours, there’s also a hint of citrusy brightness thanks to the lime zest.

  • Sweet, spicy, and so delicious.
  • Easy to make and ready in just about 35 minutes.
  • Wonderful addition to charcuterie and cheese boards.
  • Also a good option for gifting.
  • Full of complex, rich flavours.

Homemade quick condiments like this chilli tomato jam are so much better than store bought options. In fact this recipe for chilli jam is actually very easy to make, preservative free and I love the free rein you have over flavours when you make your own. Don’t miss my easy pickles recipes like pickled red cabbage and quick pink pickled onions too.

A jar full of tomato and chilli jam.


Ingredients for tomato chilli jam on a tray.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

  • Cherry tomatoes: I use cherry tomatoes in this spicy relish for a few different reasons. They’re very easy to work with, and boast a sweeter, more intense flavour than some other varieties. As you go, don’t discard the tomato seeds — they contain pectin that helps the jam set. This can be very helpful if you don’t quite reduce your chilli and tomato jam enough. You can use other tomatoes like plum tomatoes or roma tomatoes, just make sure they have a great flavour before you start. Whichever you choose, make sure to use ripe tomatoes.
  • Red chillies: This kind of chilli usually has a moderate level of spiciness and a bit of sweetness, making it ideal for chilli tomato jam. The heat of the jam depends on the type and quantity of chillies. I used 3 long red chillies, which provided a nice level of heat and resulted in a medium spiciness. Of course, it’s subjective, so it’s best to test your chillies beforehand and adjust to your own liking. If you’re a hot chilli lover, go ahead and use those.
  • Brown sugar: Adds even more sweetness to complement the tomatoes and chillies. Don’t be tempted to cut down the sugar or you’ll reduce the shelf life of your sweet chilli jam.
  • Shallot: Typically a bit milder and more complex in flavour as compared to onions, shallots pair wonderfully with the other ingredients.
  • Garlic: An extra touch of savoury flavour comes from a few roughly chopped garlic cloves.
  • Lime: All you need is the zest — I recommend using a microplane to get nice thin slivers and leave the pith behind.
  • Red wine vinegar: Adds a tangy acidity to the sweet chilli jam, which balances out the sweetness of the tomatoes, sugar, and shallots. Alternatively, you could use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead.


Try adding some ginger for more zing and a little sweetness. Thai fish sauce is great if you want to give it a little salty kick with an Asian vibe or you could just add a pinch of salt. Want a green version? Swap to green tomatoes, green chillies or jalapenos and white wine vinegar. Just note it won’t turn out as bright green as the chillies though – the colour will dull off. Feel free to add a little curry powder too — it gives an amazing background flavour to my recipe for chilli jam.

How to make chilli jam

Before you get started, make sure your jars are sterilised to help your chilli and tomato jam keep for as long as possible. You can also easily double this recipe so that you have more jam on hand (or to give away). That said, the cooking time will be slightly longer.

Tomato chilli jam makes a great gift for hosting, a housewarming, or any other special occasion. It’s great for the vegetarians and vegans in your life. It’s also naturally gluten free so it can be enjoyed by everyone who loves a bit of spice.

Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.

1. Prepare the tomatoes and chillies

Add the shallot, garlic, chillies, and half of the tomatoes into a high-powered blender and blend to a very smooth purée.

Dice the remaining tomatoes and add them to a large saucepan along with the purée, lime zest, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar.

Ingredients in a saucepan.

2. Boil

Mix to combine the chilli tomato jam ingredients. Heat over medium-high to dissolve the sugar, stirring regularly. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until it reaches about 105°C/220°F.

The jam just coming to a boil.
The jam bubbling along about halfway through.

3. Reduce to your liking

Reduce the chilli and tomato jam to your preference. You can thicken it as much as you’d like, but be sure not to let it catch on the bottom of the saucepan. You’ll also want to stir it regularly in the last 10 minutes and stir almost constantly for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Remove the jam from heat and cool for at least 10 minutes, stirring every once and a while to prevent the solids from sinking to the bottom. Transfer the hot jam to your sterilised jam jars and seal with the lid. Let your chilli and tomato jam cool completely before storing in the fridge.

The jam at the end of the process in the pan, showing the consistency.

Tips and tricks

  • You’ll know your recipe for chilli jam is ready when it’s reduced, thick, glossy, and has a “jammy” consistency. Use your spatula to test for doneness: drag it through the jam to see if it leaves a clear spot that doesn’t cover up immediately. If it’s too lumpy for your taste, you can use an immersion blender to blend it to a smoother consistency.
  • When you blend the shallots, garlic, chillies, and tomatoes, make sure to purée until very smooth. This helps distribute the flavours evenly and create a more consistent texture.
  • Use a candy thermometer to keep a close eye on the chilli tomato jam temperature, and remember to aim for around 105°C/220°F. This will give you that jammy consistency I mentioned without overcooking the sweet chilli jam.
  • You can increase the number of chillies if you want more heat.
  • Homemade chilli jam will keep longer in sterilised glass jars.
A knife scooping jam from a jar.

What do you use chilli jam for?

There are so many options. It’s wonderful served with cheese — I like to add it to a grazing platter, cheese board, or even on a grilled cheese sandwich.

Try stirring a little into soups, stir fries, or sauces like my bolognese to add a kick of heat. It’s also delicious served with grilled meats or fish. Or, you can spread some over a pizza base, a little like how I use the mango chutney in this tandoori chicken pizza recipe.

Try it on burgers – a little mayonnaise, some chilli jam, cheese, onion and a beef or chicken pattie are amazing – or serve it with sausage rolls. Yum!


How do you thicken tomato chilli jam?

The pectin in the tomato seeds (that’s why it’s important not to discard them) and reduction time will thicken your jam. If it’s not thick enough after chilling, you can always transfer it back to the saucepan and reduce it further. If you leave out the tomatoes or replace them with something else like capsicum (red bell peppers), you’ll lose the pectin. In that case, you’ll definitely need to reduce it down enough to create the right texture. However, keep in mind it will have a different consistency and flavour as compared to using tomatoes.

What do I do if the jam is too runny?

If your chilli tomato jam is too runny, you can add more brown sugar or powdered pectin and bring it back to a boil on the stove. Reducing it down may help as well. Experiment until you get the texture you’re after.

Is chutney the same as jam?

Chutney and jam are similar, but jam contains more sugar so is sweeter. Chutneys often have other spices added too.

Is chilli jam the same as chilli sauce?

No. My recipe for chilli jam is much thicker than a sweet chilli sauce. That said, you can certainly add chilli jam to sauces if you’d like.

More storing information

Stored in a sterilised jar, keep your sweet chilli jam recipe in the fridge for up to 3 months and use within 1 month of opening.

As a note, if you use a proper canning method (simmering the filled and sealed jars in water for about 15  minutes — see this article from Green Living Australia for details), this jam could comfortably last in your pantry for 12 months or more, unopened.

Tomato chilli jam with brie on crostini.

Did you try this tomato and chilli jam? Show it some love in the comments below.

Hungry for more? Subscribe to the newsletter for free recipes straight to your inbox. Also, follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Closeup of a glass jar filled with tomato chilli jam.
5 from 4 ratings
Spicy and sweet, this tomato and chilli jam is so tasty. It's so easy and great mixed into sauces, served on cheese boards or sandwiches and even for gifts.


  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 long red chillies, roughly chopped (deseeded, if you prefer less heat)
  • 600 g cherry tomatoes (~1 ¼ lb)
  • 1 lime, zest only (using a microplane)
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar (315g/11oz)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar (125ml)

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Place the shallot, garlic, chilli and half the tomatoes into a blender and blend to a puree as smooth as possible.
  • Dice the remaining tomatoes into 6 or 8 (depending on their size) and add them to a medium saucepan. Add the chilli-tomato puree, lime zest, sugar and red wine vinegar. Mix well.
  • Heat over medium-high heat, stirring regularly to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil. Boil for 25-30 minutes until it gets to about 105C/220F. Then it’s all by eye and to your preference. You can thicken it as much as you want, just don’t let it catch on the bottom of the pan. You want to stir it regularly in the last 10 minutes and be standing by the pan stirring very often for the last 5 minutes.
    When is the jam ready? It should be reduced, thick and glossy. It shouldn’t look watery at all and it should have a jammy consistency (remembering it will thicken further on cooling). When you drag your spatula through, it will leave a clear spot that doesn’t cover up immediately – taking a good 5-6 seconds or more to close over again.If it’s too lumpy for your taste, you can use an immersion blender to blend it to a smoother consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes, giving it a stir every so often to stop the solids from sinking straight to the bottom.
  • Transfer to a warm sterilised preserving jar and seal with a lid. Allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge for 3 months. Use within 1 month of opening.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. If your jam sets and is too thick, you can add a little filtered water to thin it out, though you will need to now consume the jam within 1 month.
  3. You can use whatever chillies you like, according to your taste. I use long red chillies but sometimes find their heat can vary. I would call this recipe with 3 chillies a medium heat. It’s spicy but it’s not going to blow your head off with heat. 4-5 chillies would make it a medium-hot heat. More than that would be hot and spicy. You can also add in birdseye chillies for more heat.
  4. Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Tomato Chilli Jam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1041 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 0.1g1%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Sodium 127mg6%
Potassium 1581mg45%
Carbohydrates 261g87%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 246g273%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 2814IU56%
Vitamin C 224mg272%
Calcium 272mg27%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.