Bacon & Onion jam is one of my favorite appetizers – served with some crackers and cheese, it is such a treat. The balsamic flavor is deep & rich, the caramelized onions give off such a sweet flavor, and of course, the taste of bacon is always amazing.

I love to make this bacon jam as an appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas – guests always love it and it packs really small if you have to travel with it. It is really delicious when nice and warm – spread on a cracker or flat pretzel with a piece of smoked Gouda or some sharp cheddar – perfection.

A small skillet filled with bacon onion jam with some cheese and pretzels on the side.

🥘 Ingredient Notes

The ingredients in bacon and onion jam, labeled.
  • Bacon – I like to use very thick, smoky bacon.
  • Onions – I like to use Sweet Onions to bring out a deeper sweetness – Vidalia will work as well.
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Dried Thyme
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A cast-iron pan or large skillet
  • A food processor or blender

🥣 How to Make It

Begin by cutting the bacon into bite-sized pieces. (It cooks much faster this way.)

Cook it in a large skillet (cast iron works great) over medium heat, until it is crispy, but not burnt. (Pictures 1 – 5) If the bacon is really fatty, I will spoon some of the grease out into my bacon jar.

A collage of images showing how to make bacon onion jam steps 1 - 5.

While the bacon is cooking, thinly slice onions.

Once the bacon is finished cooking, pour it into a strainer over a bowl to drain the fat out, then return 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to the skillet to cook the onions. (Picture 6)

Reduce the heat to low/medium-low and add the onions. Let them cook and cook, and cook, and cook for what seems like forever, stirring every 15 – 10 minutes. (Pictures 7 – 10) The longer the onions cook, the more caramelization and sweet flavor they will have.

A collage of images showing how to make bacon onion jam steps 6 - 10.

Once the onions basically look like a pile of brown noodles, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and scrape any crispy bits off the bottom of the pan. (Pictures 11 – 12)

Then add the remaining balsamic vinegar (Picture 13), then brown sugar (Pictures 14 – 15), followed by salt, pepper, and thyme (Pictures 16 – 17).

A collage of images showing how to make bacon onion jam steps 11 - 15.

Stir until fully mixed and let this mixture caramelize and bubble for a few minutes. It will smell like onion soup and bacon made a baby. (Picture 18)

Once it starts to thicken, turn off the heat and mix the strained bacon back in. Let this cool for about 10 minutes. (Pictures 19 – 20)

A collage of images showing how to make bacon onion jam steps 16 - 20.

Pour the cooled bacon and onion mixture into a food processor or blender and chop/puree until it is your desired consistency. I like it to be thick enough where you can differentiate what is onion and what is bacon, but you can also puree it into oblivion and make it into a spreadable paste.

Transfer the bacon jam to an air-tight container (I like to use a mason jar) and let it cool. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat before serving.

A collage of images showing how to make bacon jam.

Recipe Yield

The yield for this recipe is about 2.5 cups depending on how finely you puree it.

A small skillet filled with balsamic bacon onion jam.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What can you serve with bacon jam?

I like to serve bacon jam with a side of cheese, crackers or pretzels, or on small flatbreads. It is also really good with melty brie!


What kind of onions are best in bacon jam?

Honestly, you can use any onions, but the best onions would be sweet or Vidalia onions so you can get the added natural sweetness.

🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses

I like to serve bacon jam as an appetizer for parties – football parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or really just any evening where you want some bacon, balsamic onion deliciousness.

Bacon jam is delicious served on a plain cracker. It can really stand alone. It is over-the-top good when served with crackers, cheese, or a fancy bread. (I like to serve it with beer bread.)

A small skillet filled with bacon onion jam with some cheese and pretzels on the side.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

Once cooled, bacon jam should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It will last about a week in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer. When serving, reheat over low heat and serve warm.

A zoomed in image of a small skillet filled with bacon onion jam.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Use really thick bacon if you can find it – it will make the bacon flavor more prominent and bacon-y.
  • Be sure to use Sweet or Vidalia Onions – as they caramelize, the natural sweetness of the onions comes through.
  • Make this bacon jam ahead of time and freeze it in a mason jar. Defrost in the fridge a day before serving and heat in a small saucepan right before serving.

Other Tasty Appetizer Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

A zoomed in image of a small skillet filled with bacon onion jam.

The Very Best Bacon Jam (Balsamic, Onion, and Thyme)

5 from 4 votes
Bacon & Onion jam is one of my favorite appetizers – served with some crackers and cheese, it is such a treat. The balsamic flavor is deep & rich, the caramelized onions give off such a sweet flavor, and of course, the taste of bacon is always amazing.
Author: Kari
Servings: 40
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 35 mins

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ pounds bacon
  • 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons balsamic vinegar this is equal to ½ cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions 

  • Begin by cutting bacon into bite-sized pieces. (It cooks much faster this way.)
  • Cook it in a large skillet (cast iron works great) over medium heat, until it is crispy, but not burnt. If the bacon is really fatty, I will spoon some of the grease out into my bacon jar.
  • While the bacon is cooking, thinly slice onions.
  • Once the bacon is finished cooking, pour it into a strainer over a bowl to drain the fat out, then return 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease to the skillet to cook the onions.
  • Reduce the heat to low/medium-low and add the onions. Let them cook and cook, and cook, and cook for what seems like forever, stirring every 5 – 10 minutes. The longer the onions cook, the more caramelization and sweet flavor they will have.
  • Once the onions basically look like a pile of brown noodles, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and scrape any crispy bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Then add the remaining balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir until fully mixed and let this mixture caramelize and bubble for a few minutes. It will smell like onion soup and bacon made a baby.
  • Once it starts to thicken, turn off the heat and mix the strained bacon back in. Let this cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cooled bacon and onion mixture into a food processor or blender and chop/puree until it is your desired consistency. I like it to be thick enough where you can differentiate what is onion and what is bacon, but you can also puree it into oblivion and make it into a spreadable paste.
  • Transfer bacon jam to an air-tight container (I like to use a mason jar) and let cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Reheat before serving.

Notes

Recipe Yield
The yield for this recipe is about 2.5 cups depending on how finely you puree it.
Tips
  • Use really thick bacon if you can find it – it will make the bacon flavor more prominent and bacon-y.
  • Be sure to use Sweet or Vidalia Onions – as they caramelize, the natural sweetness of the onions comes through.
  • Make this bacon jam ahead of time and freeze it in a mason jar. Defrost in the fridge a day before serving and heat in a small saucepan right before serving.
Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating
Once cooled, bacon jam should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. It will last about a week in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer. When serving, reheat over low heat and serve warm.
Serving Suggestions & Uses
I like to serve bacon jam as an appetizer for parties – football parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or really just any evening where you want some bacon, balsamic onion deliciousness.
Bacon jam is delicious served on a plain cracker. It can really stand alone. But it is also really great when served with cheese and crackers.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 116mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Appetizer, Condiments
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: bacon jam, bacon onion jam
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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