Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (2024)

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You are going to love the complex flavors of this bacon onion jam recipe. This versatile condiment can be used to top everything from burgers to bagels, and is the basis for an incredible appetizer. This recipe features a full pound of tasty bacon, caramelized onions, brown sugar, a dash of spicy mustard, and a splash of sweet-tangy balsamic vinegar.

Can’t you imagine countless jars of bacon jam lining the shelves in Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon’s refrigerator? They probably don’t even use ketchup!

By the way, if you love discovering new ways to use bacon, be sure to check out our recipes for bacon butter, bacon onion dip, bacon salt, bacon vodka, bacon jerky and bacon gravy!

Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (1)

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Want to get right to the good stuff? Click any of these headings to jump ahead:

  1. What is Bacon Jam?
  2. Why You’ll Go Hog Wild for this Recipe
  3. Recipe Inspiration
  4. Ingredients and Substitutions
  5. Equipment Needed
  6. Step by Step Instructions
  7. Recipe Variations
  8. What to Serve with Bacon-Onion Jam
  9. Storing, Freezing and Reheating Leftovers
  10. How Long Does Bacon Jam Last?
  11. More Popular Bacon Appetizer Recipes
  12. Bacon Onion Jam Recipe
  13. Save for Later

What Is Bacon Jam?

Bacon Jam is a sweet-savory condiment or relish made from bacon, onions, sugar or sweetener, vinegar, and other ingredients. It’s slow cooked until it develops a jam-like consistency.

The ultimate spread for bacon lovers, it can be served as an appetizer with crackers and cream cheese, on a charcuterie board, or as a spread or topping for dozens of foods. See more ideas below!

Why You’ll Go Hog Wild for This Recipe

  • Amazing sweet-savory-salty-tangy flavors that will make your tastebuds so happy!
  • Easy to make.
  • Versatile.
  • Can be prepared ahead of time.
  • Homemade bacon jam makes a great food gift!

Recipe Inspiration

After preparing the New York Times recipe for bacon jam, I was inspired to create a new recipe that would especially highlight the incomparable flavor of bacon. During testing, I made several updates for this onion bacon jam recipe:

  • Reduced the number of onions from 4 to 3, for a more balanced ratio of onions to bacon.
  • Increased the amount of bacon (are you surprised) from 3/4 pound to 1 pound.
  • Omitted the mustard seeds, and opted for a spicy prepared mustard instead.
  • Slightly increased the amount of brown sugar.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (2)

Shown above, from the top, here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe. (The printable recipe below has detailed directions.)

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard – You can also use stone-ground mustard if you prefer.

3 yellow onions,such as sweet Vidalia onions. You can also use white or red onions if you prefer.

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar – For the best quality and flavor, look for a bottle marked Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale with a D.O.P.(“Denominazione di Origine Protetta”) stamp or seal.

3 tablespoons brown sugar – Light or dark brown sugar works equally well in this recipe.

1 pound sliced smoked bacon – Regular or thin-sliced bacon, your choice! You can also use English back bacon in this recipe.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste preference. You’ll add this at the end.

Equipment Needed

A sharp chef’s knife to cut up the bacon and chop the onions.

A cutting board, like our favorite pig-shaped maple cutting board from J.K. Adams.

A large, heavy-bottomed pot to cook the jam. We cooked this batch in our favorite red Le Creuset Dutch oven.

A cooking spoon or wooden spoon to stir the jam.

A tightly sealing container to store leftovers. Small wide-mouth Mason jars are perfect for this.

Step by Step Instructions

Chop the bacon and put it in a heavy bottomed pot or large skillet.

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Cook over medium heat until it’s nearly browned and the fat is rendered.

Pour out all but 3 tablespoons bacon drippings. (Save that tasty fat! Here’s what to do with bacon grease.) Add the chopped onions.

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Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned and caramelized. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and mustard, and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and jammy, about 30 to 40 minutes.

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Remove from the heat, cool for 15 minutes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish.

Cool to room temperature and transfer to a tightly sealing container or glass jar if you’re storing it.

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Recipe Variations

Spicy bacon jam – Add a little kick of heat by stirring in 2 or 3 chopped, seeded jalapenos when you cook the onions. Alternately, you can add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

Bourbon bacon jam – Add a splash of bourbon when you add the balsamic and brown sugar.

Maple bacon jam – Add 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup when you add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.

What to Serve with Bacon-Onion Jam

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This bacon jam recipe is extremely versatile, and can be used in so many ways:

  • As a cheeseburger topping
  • As a topper for Brie cheese with crackers (shown above) for an appetizer
  • Drizzled on beer cheese soup
  • Spread on a sandwich (It’s the perfect condiment with grilled cheese!)
  • As a crostini topping with goat cheese
  • With hot buttered biscuits
  • As a topping for pizza

For more ideas, check out 25 Best Ways to Use Bacon Jam.

Storing, Freezing and Reheating Leftovers

Put any leftover bacon jam in a tightly sealed container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To store it longer, freeze it in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

To reheat, spoon the jam into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat, cool for a few minutes and serve.

How Long Does Bacon Jam Last?

Is bacon jam shelf stable? In a word, no. As a fresh meat product, bacon onion jam needs to be refrigerated or frozen.

Tightly sealed and refrigerated, the jam will stay tasty for up to 4 days. (It may technically be safe to eat for up to a week, but in our test kitchen the flavor started to change after 4 days and wasn’t as fresh and tasty.)

Frozen bacon jam that’s been stored in a tightly sealed container in the freezer will stay fresh for up to 1 month.

More Popular Bacon Appetizer Recipes:

Want to be the most popular person at the party? Bringing bacon appetizers is almost too easy. We promise you won’t be bringing any of these tasty small bites home:

  • 20 Game Day Appetizers with Bacon
  • Mini Quesadillas with Bacon and Jalapenos
  • Bacon Heart Appetizers
  • Mini BLT Sliders
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates

We Live for Your Ratings and Comments!

If you enjoy this recipe, we’d bethrilledif you clicked on the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and left a rating! We love reading your comments, too!

Here’s the full, printable recipe:

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Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (9)

Bacon Onion Jam

Eliza Cross

The ultimate bacon lovers condiment, Bacon Onion Jam is savory, sweet and so delicious! Enjoy it on crackers, burgers, cheese boards, sandwiches, pizza and much more.

4.95 from 17 votes

Print Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe Save Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr

Total Time 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Course Bacon Appetizers

Cuisine American

Servings 12

Calories 230 kcal


  • 1 Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed pot

  • 1 Sharp knife

  • 1 Cutting board

  • 1 Heatproof cooking spoon


  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 3 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Put the chopped bacon in a heavy bottomed pot or large skillet.

  • Cook over medium heat until it’s nearly browned and the fat is rendered.

  • If there's excess fat, pour out all but about 3 tablespoons bacon drippings. Add the chopped onions to the pan.

  • Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are browned and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard, and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is thick and jammy, about 30 to 40 minutes.

  • Remove from the heat, cool for 15 minutes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy! (If making ahead, cool to room temperature and transfer to a tightly sealing container or glass jar and refrigerate.)


Makes about 2 cups, which will fill 2 half-pint (8-ounce) Mason jars or 1 pint (16-ounce) Mason jar.

Leftover bacon jam should be transferred to a tightly sealed container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Bacon Onion Jam may be frozen in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

To reheat, spoon the jam into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture starts to bubble. Remove from heat, cool for a few minutes and serve.


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Calories: 230kcalCarbohydrates: 6.3gProtein: 14.4gFat: 15.9gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 933mgPotassium: 270mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 3.8gCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Information Disclosure

Keyword bacon jam, balsamic, caramelized onions, condiment

Did you make this recipe? We love seeing what you made! Be sure to leave a review, and show us your bacon creations on Instagram! Tag us at @BensaBaconLovers!

Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help. If you post your creations on social media, tag #BENSABaconLovers so I can share! Thank you for your support. – Eliza

Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.

You might also enjoy the Bacon Onion Jam web story for this recipe.

Save for Later

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Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (10)

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  • 52 Best Bacon Appetizers
  • 4 Ways to Cook Bacon in the Oven (Easy Recipe)
  • Best Bacon and Beef Recipes
Bacon Onion Jam Recipe (2024)


What is the bacon jam made of? ›

Crisp salty bacon is simmered for hours with onions, maple syrup, brown sugar, and a couple of secret ingredients to create a soft, spreadable jam that's divine on crackers, toast, crostini or bruschetta, fresh vegetables, pita bread, new potatoes... the list goes on and on!

How long will bacon jam last? ›

Bacon jam can be safely refrigerated for two to four weeks. Any amount that you keep in the fridge will need to be used within that length of time. You can store bacon jam in any refrigerator-safe container. Many bacon jam enthusiasts choose to use mason jars for aesthetic reasons.

What goes well with bacon jam? ›

“Bratwursts, cheeseburgers, grilled fish, sauteed vegetables.” This makes perfect sense, since the apple cider vinegar in bacon jam hits in much the same way as a barbecue sauce with tart cherries. It might sound redundant to pair bacon with these other grilled meats, but the resulting flavor is anything but one-note.

Why is my bacon jam not thickening? ›

To achieve a thick texture, all of the liquids need time to reduce. Make sure you're cooking your bacon jam without a lid over your Dutch oven, so your bacon jam can evaporate. If it's still not thick enough, it just needs more time.

What is Carls Jr bacon jam? ›

The jam combines bacon pieces, balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions and molasses, and according to Brad Haley, the chief marketing officer for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, the bacon jam is the true winner of the new burger.

Does homemade bacon jam need to be refrigerated? ›

For safety, we strongly recommend that bacon jam be refrigerated for times suggested by the recipe (2-4 weeks) or that it be frozen for longer storage. Why is botulism such a big deal? Botulism is as serious as food poisoning gets. It can result in respiratory failure and death.

Where is bacon jam popular? ›

The Bacon Jams, a gourmet food producer in the Philadelphia area, which sells at festivals and nationwide online.

What does bacon jam taste like? ›

The taste of bacon jam is supreme. Depending on which bacon you use, it may taste like barbecue sauce. But it's usually a little sweeter. The taste of bacon jam is fantastic because, although it is salty, it is also sweet at the same time.

Do you heat up bacon jam? ›

Bacon Jam should be warmed before use, to bring out the flavours. A quick zap in the microwave or toss in a pan is all it takes. 4 fresh red chillies, de-seeded and finely diced. Put the bacon into a pan and cook over medium heat.

Can you reheat bacon jam? ›

Store and reheat if needed

Use immediately, or spoon it into an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to four weeks. Serve warm.

What makes bacon go bad? ›

As soon as a package of bacon has been opened, it is exposed to bacteria in the air. This bacteria instantly begins a chemical reaction on the meat that leads to it going bad. Even if you are able to reseal it well, chances are it will be bad after about a week.

What bread is best with jam? ›

Bread. Let's start with the most obvious choice and certainly one of the favorites: jam on bread. Literally, any kind of bread becomes delicious with a touch of jam. Make your jam sandwich with white bread but also try challah or French brioche.

What is uncured bacon jam used for? ›

Spread it on a burger, brie or crusty bread. PBJ, BLT, grilled cheese. Mix it into a potato salad. You'll see.

How to make crispy melt in your mouth bacon? ›

I preheat my oven to 400 degrees. Lay a cooling rack (or any wire rack) over the top of a sheet pan, and lay the bacon across the wire rack (this allows the fat/grease to drain off as it cooks). I bake it for anywhere from 15 or 20 min-ish, depending on how crispy and well done I want it.

How do restaurants make perfect bacon? ›

They cook it the best way possible, on a sheet pan in the oven. The bonus is while it takes longer to make this way, you can make more at once, the pieces are more or less flat and they come out crispy. Or they throw it in the deep fryer once it's done.

How to make buffet bacon? ›

Don't bother with racks, crimped foil, or stacked baking sheets; just lay out your bacon strips on a rimmed baking sheet and bake them in a 425°F (220°C) oven until they're as crisp as you like (about 20 minutes was right for me). Drain on paper towels, and you've got a big pile of perfectly cooked bacon on your hands.


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