You’ll be beggin’ for this bacon jam. Slow-simmered bacon and caramelized onions meld together into a smoky, sweet condiment that completes any breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s simply the BEST recipe!
Anything that involves bacon, count me in. Anything that involves slow cooked onions? Count me in. So you could say that I’m obsessed with this bacon jam and spread it pretty much on anything I can think of. It’s that good.
What is Bacon Jam?
Bacon jam is a savory condiment or topping made primarily from bacon, onions, and various seasonings. It has a rich and indulgent flavor profile that combines the smokiness and saltiness of bacon with the sweetness of caramelized onions. Bacon jam can be used in so many ways, as a topping for burgers, sandwiches, or grilled meats, a dip for Crostini or Baguette, or a flavor enhancer for breakfast dishes like Omelettes or even Mini Pancakes!
What does bacon jam taste like? Bacon jam is sweet, savory, smoky, tangy, and salty. Basically – it’s hard to resist!
Why You’ll Love This Bacon Jam Recipe
- It is SO, SO delicious.
- Make it up to 3 weeks ahead.
- There’s endless ways to use it.
- It’s easy to make.
- It’s a crowd-pleaser (who doesn’t love bacon?)!
- Bacon – good quality bacon is essential. You can use any flavor of bacon you’d like. I really like applewood smoked!
- Yellow onion – yellow onion adds flavor, sweetness and moisture. They caramelize in bacon drippings and in a bath of other ingredients.
- Garlic – garlic…because garlic.
- Real maple syrup – maple syrup adds sweetness and smoky, vanilla-like complexity.
- Apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar is tart and fruity.
- Brewed black coffee – black coffee adds complexity, not coffee flavor. Trust me on this!
- Dark brown sugar – dark brown sugar, helps to thicken the jam and adds molasses undertones.
- Black pepper – black pepper adds a bit of heat if you like it!
How to Make Bacon Jam
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
Cook bacon in a medium pan until crispy. Transfer bacon to a separate bowl.
Drain the bacon fat, leaving the drippings in the pan.
Sauté onions and garlic in the pan for 3 minutes.
Add maple syrup, cider vinegar, black coffee, brown sugar, bacon, salt, and black pepper. Stir.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to a syrupy, chunky jam consistency.
Ways to Use Bacon Jam
Bacon jam is a versatile and flavorful condiment that can be used in a variety of dishes to add a sweet, savory, and smoky twist. Here are some delicious ways to use bacon jam.
- Burger topping: spread bacon jam on a burger bun before adding your cooked patty. It adds a burst of flavor and richness to your burger.
- Sandwich filling: use bacon jam as a condiment or spread on sandwiches. It pairs well with turkey, chicken, grilled cheese, or a classic BLT. Try this Turkey Sandwich recipe!
- Breakfast: spread it on toast, bagels, or English muffins for a savory breakfast treat. It’s also great alongside Scrambled Eggs or Omelettes.
- Appetizer: serve bacon jam as a dip with crackers, Crostini, or Baguette. It pairs beautifully with cheese boards and charcuterie platters.
- Grilled cheese: add a layer of bacon jam to your grilled cheese sandwiches for a sweet and savory twist.
- Pizza topping: use it as a pizza topping along with your favorite cheeses and vegetables. Bacon jam complements pizza flavors so well.
- Chicken or pork topping: top chicken or Air Fryer Pork Chops with a spoonful of bacon jam.
- Salad dressing: mix a spoonful of bacon jam with olive oil and vinegar to create a unique and flavorful salad dressing.
- Quesadilla filling: spread bacon jam on tortillas before adding cheese and other fillings for a gourmet quesadilla.
- Potato or sweet potato topping: use it as a topping for baked or mashed potatoes, or Baked Sweet Potatoes.
- Savory pastries: fill puff pastry dough with bacon jam and cheese for a quick and delicious appetizer.
- Stir into sauces: incorporate bacon jam into barbecue sauce, pasta sauce, or gravy to add depth and smokiness to your dishes.
- Gourmet hot dogs: elevate your hot dog game by topping with bacon jam!
- Use a medium pan if possible. If the pan is small or large, the jam will require a different cooking time.
- The finished product won’t taste like coffee! You can use bourbon, beer, red wine, or beef broth instead of coffee if preferred, but keep in mind the flavor profile will change.
- Bacon jam is NOT the texture of traditional jelly. “Jam” is a loose term; it’s a topping.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Bacon jam lasts 2-3 weeks, if kept in an airtight container after cooling completely in the refrigerator.
No, canning is not recommended since bacon jam doesn’t have enough acid to help prevent botulism.
Yes, you can! Store in an airtight container in the freezer, after cooling completely, for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving at room temperature or warm.
I recommend serving bacon jam at room temperature or warm. You can easily heat it in increments of 30 seconds in the microwave!
Don’t pour the bacon grease down the sink! It’s best to pour the grease into a plastic bag or wait until it’s cooled and hardened to toss it in the trash.
More Bacon Recipes You’ll Love!
- Million Dollar Candied Bacon
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts With Candied Bacon
- Cheesy Bacon Mini Quiche Recipe
- The Ultimate Pasta With Bacon and Peas
- Medium pan
- 1 pound good-quality bacon diced
- 1 medium (roughly 1/2 pound) yellow onion chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup real maple syrup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brewed black coffee
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar packed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crispy (typically about 10-15 minutes depending on fat content).
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a separate bowl. Drain the bacon fat out of the pan, leaving the drippings (the tiny bacon pieces in the bottom of the pan).
- Add the onion and garlic. Sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes until fragrant.
- Add maple syrup, cider vinegar, black coffee, brown sugar, the bacon, salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Stir occasionally. Jam is ready when the mixture thickens and resembles a syrupy, chunky jam. Keep in mind that the jam will thicken more when cooled, and you want some liquid so the jam isn’t dry! Serve warm or room temperature.
- Pan size matters! Use a medium pan if possible. If the pan is small or large, the jam will require a different cook time.
- Coffee adds a depth of flavor; the finished product won’t taste like coffee! You can use bourbon, beer, red wine, or beef broth instead of coffee if preferred. Keep in mind the flavor profile will change.
- Bacon jam is NOT the texture of jelly. “Jam” is a loose term; it’s a topping.