This savory and sweet bacon onion jam recipe is a flavorful spread, made with plenty of bacon, onions, brown sugar, maple syrup, coffee, vinegar, spicy serrano peppers and Tabasco hot sauce. Spread it over biscuits or cheesy toasts for an ideal snack.
If you've never had bacon jam before, I encourage you to drop everything this very moment and make yourself a batch. The name might sound a bit odd to you - I mean, bacon? And jam? - But truly, it an experience, both savory and sweet, to behold.
Bacon jam is essentially bacon that is cooked down slowly with other ingredients, particularly brown sugar and maple syrup, until it achieves a "jammy" consistency. The fats, sugars and other ingredients coalesce into a mixture that can be processed into a recipe that is infinitely spreadable.
Take a look at the stuff. YUM.
It is sticky and fatty and sweet and rich from the combination of those savory-sweet flavors. Let's talk about the ingredients and how to cook this up, shall we?
While we obviously have bacon, and I've already mentioned brown sugar and maple syrup for the sugary sweet element, we're also including onions, fiery serrano peppers and garlic, all of which lend craveable savory flavors, but also caramelize and break down into the overall mix. Strongly brewed coffee adds a huge amount of earthy flavor, while the mixture of vinegars brings along a nice level of tang.
Let's talk about how we make bacon onion jam, shall we?
Bacon Onion Jam Ingredients
- Bacon. Use 1 pound bacon for this recipe.
- Pepper and Vegetables. Use 2 small onion, 3 cloves garlic and 2 serrano peppers. You can use other peppers if you'd like, such as jalapeno pepper for milder heat.
- Sweetness. I use 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Honey is a nice addition as well.
- Coffee. Use 3/4 cup brewed coffee - brew it strong!
- Vinegar. Use 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
- Tabasco Hot Sauce. Use 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce original recipe, or more to your personal tastes.
- Chili Powder. Use 1 teaspoon dark chili powder. A superhot powder is nice! I used Scotch Bonnet powder this time, but really just go with your favorite chili powder blend.
How to Make Bacon Onion Jam - the Recipe Method
Cook the Bacon. Heat a large pot to medium heat and add bacon. Cook until nearly crisp and brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Do not drain the bacon grease.
Onions, Peppers and Garlic. Add the onions in the pot with the bacon fat about 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic and serrano peppers and stir. Cook about 2 minutes.
Simmer the Onion Bacon Jam. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil reduce heat to a simmer. Chop the bacon and add it into the pot.
Cook Low and Slow. Cook low and slow for about 2 hours, stirring every now and then. A thick jam will form. Also, you can use a slow cooker to achieve the same results.
Process the Bacon Onion Jam. When it is nice and gooey and consistent, transfer it to a food processor and process until jammy.
Cool and Serve! Cool then transfer the jam into a jar for serving or storage.
Boom! Done! What do you think? Great stuff, isn't it? Add in some extra hot sauce for me, please.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- The Flavor. Dark chili powder delivers a bit of extra heat, color and taste, and it's all rounded out with a couple tablespoons of the original Tabasco® hot sauce. Of course you can use one of their newer flavors - chipotle might be interesting - but the original does a perfect job here, so I'm not changing it. Let me know if you decide to do so.
- Chunkiness. Cooking it simple. You essentially cook everything down in a large pot and let it sit over low heat for a couple hours until a jam-like consistency forms. You'll see when it's ready. At that point, you can process the whole thing in a food processor to achieve a thick jammy consistency, or you can process part of it and keep it a bit more chunky. The choice is yours. It works both ways.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Bacon Onion Jam in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 2-4 weeks (2-3 months in the freezer). To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate the jam promptly.
What Can You Do With Bacon Onion Jam?
Bacon jam is ultimately a spread so it works for parties. I recently served this with Homemade Cheddar-Jalapeno Biscuits and honey for a party. SO. GOOD.
It's also outstanding paired with cheese, especially a grilled cheese sandwich. Consider it as part of a cheese tray appetizer or served alongside a charcuterie plate.
You can also make bacon jam in a slow cooker. Try this Sweet and Savory Bacon Jam Recipe.
I hope you enjoy it! Let me know how yours turns out.
If you enjoy the combination bacon and sweet, try our Ghost Pepper Candied Bacon Recipe. Wow! No joke about this stuff. Total fave.
Seriously. Just make this stuff. You can ask questions later. You won't regret it.
Try Some of These Other Popular Recipes
- Slow Cooker Bacon Jam
- Ghost Pepper Candied Bacon
- Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- Bacon Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Bacon Wrapped Armadillo Eggs
- Pimento Cheese
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Bacon Onion Jam Recipe
- 1 pound bacon
- 2 small onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 serrano peppers chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee brew it strong!
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce original recipe
- 1 teaspoon dark chili powder A superhot powder is nice! I used Scotch Bonnet this time.
- Heat a large pot to medium heat and add bacon. Cook until nearly crisp and brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Do not drain the bacon grease.
- Cook the onions in the pot with the bacon fat about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add garlic and serrano peppers and stir. Cook about 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil reduce heat to a simmer.
- Chop the bacon and add it into the pot.
- Cook low and slow for about 2 hours, stirring every now and then. A thick jam will form. Also, you can use a slow cooker to achieve the same results.
- When it is nice and gooey and consistent, transfer it to a food processor and process until jammy.
- Cool then transfer to containers for serving or storage.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 10/19/20 to include new information and photos. It was originally published on 8/18/17.