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A zoomed in image of a small skillet filled with bacon onion jam.
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5 from 1 vote

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

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Condiments
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: bacon jam, bacon onion jam
Servings: 40
Calories: 172kcal




  • 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.


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


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg