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Bacon Jam

An easy Bacon Jam recipe that requires just 6 ingredients and is so fun to make! Serve it up on crackers or toasted bread for a delicious appetizer, or incorporate it into your sandwiches, burgers, and more, this is a bacon lover’s dream! This refined sugar-free bacon jam recipe is paleo-friendly!

Top down photo of bacon jam in a mason jar

The concept of bacon jam may sound strange when most jams and preserves are made with fruit, but it’s actually quite magical.

I read bacon jam was the #3 most searched for recipe in 2021 (immediately following Birria Tacos) and received rave reviews on social media so I figured, “Heck, I’ll give it a shot.”

After doing a bit of research on various ingredients and methods used to make bacon jam, I landed on the recipe you’re seeing today. 

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s go back to the basics.

What is Bacon Jam?:

Bacon jam is a sweet and savory spread consisting of bacon, onions that have been sautéed to caramelized perfection, sugar, garlic, and vinegar. 

The result?: Sultry, sweet, tangy, rich melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

It is a quick jam recipe requiring zero canning or preserving experience and makes for a delicious spreadable jam for bacon lovers.

Traditionally, bacon jam is made using brown sugar, but I go with coconut sugar and pure maple syrup.

Bacon gets crisped up in a pan, then the fat is used to caramelize onions. The crispy bacon is added back in along with sugar (I use coconut sugar), pure maple syrup, and vinegar for a jam that is sweet, savory, and just overflowing with amazing flavor.

Bacon jam is typically served on crackers, toasted bread, or a hot biscuit with brie cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, ricotta cheese, or other cheesy deliciousness. 

Hand holding a biscuit with bacon jam on top.

What To Do With Bacon Jam:

Homemade bacon jam is a perfect addition to your cheese board! Incorporate it into my Legit Charcuterie Board for serving guests!

Personally, I’m all about the idea of smearing it all over my Keto Everything Bagels, Gluten-Free Bacon Cheddar Biscuits (as seen in the photos), or incorporating it into my Pear Apple Cheddar Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Bagel Sandwich with a fried egg, Roasted Veggie and Avocado Breakfast Burrito, or my Roasted Beet and Herbed Vegan Ricotta Crostini.

Some people use bacon jam to serve on top of green beans for Thanksgiving dinner.

I mean…I’d even eat it on cake…or muffins…or brownies. I’m not fibbing. 

Just imagine caramelized onions and bacon giving each other a very special hug engulfed in sweet stickiness in a torrent of bliss. What could possibly go wrong?

Jar full of freshly made bacon jam on top of a golden-brown napkin

Ingredients for Bacon Jam:

Bacon: Choose a quality bacon for this recipe, as it is the star of the show! I use bacon that is both uncured and sugar-free. Get creative with your bacon selection by using peppered bacon or smoky bacon.

Yellow Onions: The bulk of bacon jam is actually caramelized onions. We use the bacon fat rendered from cooking the bacon in order to sauté the onions until they are deeply golden-brown. This is what creates the soft, luscious, melt-your-taste-buds effect.

Garlic: Some recipes are garlic-free, and some use shallots. While I haven’t come across a recipe for bacon jam that uses garlic, I felt it was paramount in this application. You can leave it in or take it out.

Coconut Sugar & Pure Maple Syrup: Just like any good jam should be, we must add sweetness to this condiment! I use coconut sugar and pure maple syrup or molasses. You can also use regular brown sugar if you use cane sugar in your cooking or sugar-free brown sugar to make Keto Bacon Jam.

Balsamic Vinegar: There is just enough vinegar added to bacon jam to add depth of flavor and a slight tang. You can use apple cider vinegar instead, sherry vinegar, or even strong-brewed coffee.

Let’s make it!

How to Make Bacon Jam:

Chop the bacon and cook it in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a bowl and set it aside. Discard the majority of the bacon fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons to cook the onions.

Transfer the sliced onions to the skillet and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Sauté the onions for 10 minutes on high heat until they begin to turn golden-brown, then reduce the heat to medium heat and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions are very soft, caramelized, and golden-brown. Note: I cover the skillet to get the cooking process going faster and remove the lid from time to time to stir the onions well. If at any time the edges of the onions begin to turn too dark, lower the heat slightly and add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan. 

Add the garlic, reserved bacon, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until much of the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a thick, sticky soft mixture, about another 10 minutes. 

Finished bacon jam in a skillet

Transfer the bacon jam to an airtight container such as a mason jar or a Weck jar and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve the jam on crackers with cheese or on toasted bread with cheese or butter.

Jar of caramelized onions and bacon for bacon jam

Tips for Amazing Bacon Jam:

For me, the key to amazing bacon jam is to be patient with the onions and allow them to fully caramelize. This deepens the flavor and also allows the onions to soften up such that they have a buttery texture. 

I’ve always found caramelizing onions properly takes about 45 to 60 minutes, although some folks say 20 to 30 minutes is plenty. Go with your gut and aim for buttery goodness!

You can customize your bacon jam by adding ¼ to ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, or add red pepper flakes or jalapenos for a little kick. 

Is This a True Preserving Recipe?:

This homemade bacon jam recipe is not designed for canning for long-term storage. It is a small batch jam and is meant to last in the refrigerator for up to 7 days in an airtight container. In this sense, treat this recipe as any other sauce, spread or condiment.

If you love simple delicious jam recipes like this easy bacon jam, also try my Raspberry Chia Jam and my Strawberry Chia Jam!

Biscuit on a white plate with bacon jam on top

I hope you love this caramelized delight! Let me know what you use it for!

Jar full of freshly made bacon jam on top of a golden-brown napkin
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5 from 1 vote

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam is a sweet and savory spread perfect for enjoying on crackers, toasted bread, and including in your charcuterie boards.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 Servings
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large yellow onions sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup**
  • cup balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar*

Instructions

  • Chop the bacon and cook it in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crispy, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
    Chopped bacon cooking in a skillet
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked bacon to a bowl and set it aside. Discard the majority of the bacon fat, leaving about 1 to 2 tablespoons to cook the onions. Note: Don't leave too much bacon grease or it will solidify in the jam in the refrigerator.
    Sliced onions sautéing in a skillet
  • Transfer the sliced onions to the skillet and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Sauté the onions for 10 minutes on high heat until they begin to turn golden-brown, then reduce the heat to medium heat and continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the onions are very soft, caramelized, and golden-brown. Note: I cover the skillet to get the cooking process going faster and remove the lid from time to time to stir the onions well. If at any time the edges of the onions begin to turn too dark, lower the heat slightly and add a few tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan. 
  • Add the garlic, reserved bacon, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until much of the liquid has evaporated and you’re left with a thick, sticky soft mixture, about another 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer the bacon jam to an airtight container such as a mason jar and refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve the jam on crackers with cheese or on toasted bread with cheese or butter.
    Finished bacon jam in a skillet

Notes

*You can also use strong brewed coffee for a unique flavor
**Use molasses as a replacement for pure maple syrup if you like the flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Sugar: 10g
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Collage for pinterest for bacon jam

Recipe Rating




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Debi

Sunday 29th of October 2023

I made this to go with my brisket and it was a huge hit!!! I didn't have coconut sugar on hand, so substituted brown sugar. I also did half apple cider vinegar and half balsamic. It still was awesome! Thanks so much for the recipe.

Julia

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

Ooh, bacon jam on brisket sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Debi! xo

Judy

Saturday 5th of March 2022

Oh this is so good and addicting. I made 1/2 a recipe, next time it will be 2x. Thank you! Judy

Julia

Saturday 5th of March 2022

I'm so happy you enjoy it, Judy!! It's been a fun one for us too :D xo

Shirley

Friday 4th of March 2022

OMG! A cheese biscuit with brie and bacon jam....the taste can't get any better!

Julia

Friday 4th of March 2022

It's just so flavorful!! We're obsessed. xoxo

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