Red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and onions all come together in this spicy jam.

red pepper jam

Transforming summer vegetables into jam is great fun, and this is one I make every year. It’s actually almost equal parts sweet red peppers and tomatoes, so technically I suppose it’s a spicy red pepper-tomato jam. But whenever I make it, I’m more aware of the peppers and the heat from the garlic, so I tend to omit mention of tomatoes in the title. It feels misleading.

I actually got the recipe from a chef at an event I was running for the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. As part of the meal served that day, he and his restaurant staff at Nick’s Cove whipped up some little goat burgers topped with this jam. Even though the event was centered on goats, with the rancher in attendance, the buzz that afternoon was all about this jam.

red pepper jam

There’s a bit of prep work that can’t be omitted or shortcut, I’ll be honest. But squirrel away the time to do it and then just let it bubble on the stove until thickened. That one hour of prep time will reap the rewards of enough of this special jam to last a month.

I should also mention,  it packs heat from lots of garlic. If you want to cut back on that, go ahead. There’s a lot of vinegar too, to balance the sugar. If you don’t have sherry vinegar, which the recipe calls for, I’ve made it with apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegar too, and haven’t noticed any real difference.

Red Pepper Jam

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 1½ cups

This is a spicy jam designed to be spread on soft cheese and crackers, or use it to top off turkey burgers or sausage.
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped (about 2½ cups)
  • 3 large tomatoes (2 cups when grated)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (1 solidly packed tablespoon when minced)
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped (2/3 cup when chopped)
  • 1 cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ⅛ -1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Put a very wide-mouthed pot on the stove. I used a Le Creuset large casserole pot that's about 12" in diameter. This is important, otherwise the mixture won't boil down very well.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and grate them on a rough grater to remove the skins. You should get about 2 cups grated tomatoes when done. Throw them the pot with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to an active simmer and cook until thick and syrupy (about 45 minutes).
  3. The jam will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

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40 Responses to “Spicy Red Pepper Jam” Subscribe

  1. Choc Chip Uru August 10, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    Mmm I love spicy jam, it really wakes me up in the morning 😀
    Delicious looking photos!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..CCU Undercover: Pukka Teas ReviewMy Profile

  2. Stacy August 10, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    This is my kind of jam, Susan! I can see what all the buzz was about. Never mind the cheese and crackers, just hand me the bowl and a spoon, please.
    Stacy recently posted..Candied Habanero Bacon #BaconMonthMy Profile

  3. Renee August 10, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    It’s the first time I’ve seen tomatoes in pepper jam. I’m so intrigued. Now if only I could make a smaller batch…
    Renee recently posted..Refrigerator Pickled Jalapeños with Herbs for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  4. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers August 10, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Your jam looks incredible and I love the crackers you have it on!! Yum!!!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. Amanda Boyarshinov August 10, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    My husband is Russian and loves a good spicy tomato sauce, will have to try it soon.

  6. cheri August 10, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Hi Sue, this jam looks wonderful, love the color. The crackers look like they are the rain coast crackers. Wondering if you made those yourself?
    cheri recently posted..Coconut LoafMy Profile

  7. Tara August 10, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Love this sweet and spicy combination. I could eat it out to the jar!!
    Tara recently posted..Classic Freezer Tomato Sauce #SundaySupperMy Profile

  8. Liz August 10, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Your spicy tomato-pepper jam is gorgeous! And I’d definitely be happy to shovel in a LOT of your lovely canapes :)

  9. Linda @ForkandForage August 10, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Susan, your jam looks delicious! Adding this to my list to try. :)

  10. Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate August 10, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Mmmmmm the spicier the better! Love the looks of this jam!

  11. Deanna Samaan August 10, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Red pepper jam is so good! I love doing an appetizer with brie with it. I love this!
    Deanna Samaan recently posted..#SundaySupper Pineapple Mango Moscato JamMy Profile

  12. Isabel Laessig August 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    I just want to take a big bite of one of those crackers with cheese and the spicy red pepper jam!

  13. Laura Dembowski August 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    This combination of flavors sounds great and versatile. It would make a great sandwich spread or pair well with meat or fish!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..How To Freeze Cherries #SundaySupperMy Profile

  14. Shaina August 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

    Red pepper jam is my jam. Sorry, had to do it. I absolutely love it…exactly how you served it in your picture. Crackers, cheese (goat is my preferred) and red pepper jam on top. YUM!
    Shaina recently posted..No-Dehydrator-Need Dried Fruit #SundaySupperMy Profile

  15. Katy August 10, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    That jam and your photos are absolutely beautiful! I can’t think of a better afternoon snack than that!

  16. The Ninja Baker August 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Mmmm. I can see how the balance of the fiery garlic and peppers would contrast well with a soft cheese. Now I’m ready for appetizers and a cocktail! Tee her.

  17. apuginthekitchen August 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Love the jam and I love how you presented it on those wonderful crackers. I really would love it with cream cheese on one of those crackers.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..A Simple Bread Salad For Fiesta Friday #28My Profile

  18. Kimberly August 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Oh my goodness … I love everything about this recipe!

    What I wouldn’t give to be able to slather some on a crusty piece of bread right now!
    Kimberly recently posted..How To Freeze Herbs for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  19. lizthechef August 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Love this, Susan – I will leave out the cayenne for my non-spicy-loving husband. Making after a visit to the farmers market tomorrow. Hear my printer?
    lizthechef recently posted..Quick Zucchini Bread-and-Butter PicklesMy Profile

  20. Sarah August 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    I’m so slow getting to canning this year, this jam might be the kick I need!

  21. Norma Chang August 11, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Great pairing with the cracker and cheese, not a jam person but this is a jam I could love.
    Norma Chang recently posted..Harvest Monday, August 11, 2014 – Windowbox GardeningMy Profile

  22. Cindys Recipes and Writings August 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    I’d serve this at any party1 Very classy, Susan!

  23. Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets) August 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    This is a great recipe. I can see this working with a number of yummy appetizers I make. Can’t wait to try it!
    Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets) recently posted..Gluten Free at Saturn Cafe in Berkeley, CAMy Profile

  24. Kim - Liv Life August 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    Simply fabulous!! Funny… this is something that I would never have tried some 15 years ago, but today? I want a jar all to myself!!
    Kim – Liv Life recently posted..Piña-vocado Smoothies from Kathy Patalsky’s 365 Vegan SmoothiesMy Profile

  25. Michelle @ The Complete Savorist August 12, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    I can’t get over how delicious this looks. I want this now with the crackers and cheese I have waiting for me.

  26. Rachael @ Set the Table August 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    This looks amazing! I’d love to have this with cheese & a nice baguette for dinner any night!

  27. Oui, Chef August 13, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    I am SO making this jam, it sounds like a perfect condiment with so many uses!
    Oui, Chef recently posted..Peach and Blueberry CobblerMy Profile

  28. Tammi @ Momma's Meals August 14, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    I bought a jar of this at the local farm up the street last year and I my husband loved it! Now I can make my own! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere August 14, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    This sounds absolutely delicious! The best things in life to take a little time!
    Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere recently posted..Water Bath Canning BasicsMy Profile

  30. Claudia August 15, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Consequently tasty! That appears amazing.
    Claudia recently posted..Smoking BBQ GrillMy Profile

  31. Alice August 15, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    LOL, I’d be lucky to get it to last one month! : ) Sounds fab!
    Alice recently posted..Blue Ribbon Apricot-Amaretto Jam!My Profile

  32. Mary @ Fit and Fed August 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    Looks really good! And so do those rustic seeded crackers in your pictures! I like that it’s all stovetop with no actual canning. The one part of the recipe that intimidates me is grating the tomatoes, I’m wondering what that would actually be like in practice and whether the skin would just come off (and what would happen to the rest of the tomato, I can’t imagine it actually becoming grated). Well I guess there’s one way to find out, by giving it a try!
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..OkroshkaMy Profile

  33. mjskit August 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    A girl after my own heart!!! Love this jam and crackers and feta are perfect accompaniments!
    mjskit recently posted..The Quintessential Green Chile CheeseburgerMy Profile

  34. Missi February 1, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Yummy yummy….I did not have good fresh tomatoes, so I substituted canned tomatoes and blended slightly. I also substituted white wine vinegar. Turned out beautifully

  35. Amy April 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    Looks wonderful! What kind of crackers are those?

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