Open Jars: Transform Your Jams Into Spicy Dipping Sauces

November 5, 2010(updated on October 3, 2018)

spiced peach jam

I’ll admit it. I really like ketchup. While I was never one of those kids who would only eat meals that were liberally drenched in the red stuff, I’ve always been a fan of it with things like scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and hamburgers. Typically, I buy the kind without HFCS or I make it myself. Recently, I’ve been eating tomato jam in place of ketchup to great success.

sriracha sauce

Last night for dinner, we had little oven-broiled steaks, steamed broccoli and roasted vegetables for dinner. I went to the fridge searching for something in which to dip my coins of roasted sweet potato and came up sort of empty. No open jars of tomato jam and an empty ketchup bottle. I got to thinking. What is ketchup, really?

spiking the spiced peach jam

It’s a condiment that consists of chopped fruit that is sweetened, spiced and cooked down with an acid of some sort, in order to give it zing. Oddly enough, spiced peach jam is essentially the same thing, only without the acid. So I spooned a bit of spiced peach jam into a small bowl and stirred in several squirts of sriracha, which happens to contain vinegar (along with the heat).

spiked peach jam

Stirred together, the jam and sriracha became the ideal roasted sweet potato (and parsnip!) dipping sauce. Truly, it was better than any ketchup I’ve ever tasted.

roasted sweet potatoes

I do believe you could do this with many of those jams you’ve got squirreled away. And, if you’re not a fan of the spicy, you could skip the sriracha and go with a hit of vinegar or lemon juice to add the necessary tang. I’m imagining a plum jam with a bit balsamic vinegar would be quite nice with any manner of roasted root vegetable as well.


What jam/vinegar combinations do you think would work well together?

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30 thoughts on "Open Jars: Transform Your Jams Into Spicy Dipping Sauces"

  • Plum jam and a little good mustard is a fabulous dipping sauce for ham and cheese turnovers 🙂 (Diced ham and shredded cheddar, baked in a biscuit-dough pocket)

  • i eat a salad every day for lunch and i really like making a salad dressing with jam, jelly or chutney in it instead of honey. so a tsp or so of jam, some vinegar, some olive oil and a little water to thin it out. super yummers!

  • Seriously! I kind of detest ketchup, but sometimes you just want something a little sweet, a little tangy. Oooh, this is PERFECT. We, sadly, never can jam because we just don’t eat that much of it…but methinks I’ll start!

  • This is a great idea! I also love to take what I have canned over the summer and during the winter pair it with balsamic vinegar in a pot and simmer and make a reduction. Over veggies or meat it is divine! Thanks for yet another great idea to utalize our canned goodies on something other than the ol’ toast!

  • I’m a huge ketchup fan, but I’m open to new condiments! A friend makes peach jam for me every summer, and I don’t really eat much jam, but I love the idea of mixing it with Sriracha.

  • Apple. Apple and a little cider vinegar go a long way with a pork chop. I always add cayenne as well (because I end up with 1000) dried quarts every year and pretty much add it to anything). I will report back on whether quince works well, I was gifted with a jar yesterday.

  • Love this idea! I have an opened bottle of Trappist Monastery Hot Pepper Jelly that is too thick to spread. But it’s already hot enough…wonder what would happen if I tried to stir/smash it into a little mayo for a dip?? Hmmnnn

  • I made half a dozen jars of peach-ginger jam, and one of my brothers makes his own barbeque sauce (from a Steve Raichlen recipes). Mixed together, I used them all summer long over salmon and grilled shrimp, chicken and pork chops.

  • What a great idea! I see much experimenting with “rooster sauce” in our future. I wonder if you could also use a few spoonfulls of the brine from a jar of chilis? As soon as I typed that sentence deviled eggs popped in to my head. Wow.

  • Tomato peach ketchup has been the favorite jar around here this year. But a squirt of sriracha? That might just make it the most perfect thing…

  • I looove sweet n’ sour sauce!
    So I’ll be exploring this idea. Thanks!
    At home we often add a spoon of jam to a classic vinagrette, it’s also a real nice tweek on a staple.

  • I made a strawberry balsamic and black perpper jam that is amazing! I also love the interesting fig jams like fig ginger or fig sesame – they could both be mixed with something spicy as a marinade.

  • Meant to write this on a previous post but am pretty sure I didn’t: your blog is so awesomely informative. I love it. Seriously. Every new post is a gem. So, thank you!

  • Tart Plum jam works well for this. I used plum jam plus a little bit of soy sauce or maggi, a drip or two of fish sauce, salt, pinch cinnamon, and a tiny pinch of clove, and a clove of garlic, crushed.

  • The tomato jam I made from your recipe has been fabulous as a foundation for really yummy salad dressing. Just add vinegar, oil, lemon/lime/orange juice. So easy and really delicious. Apricot jam works well for this too – try rice vinegar, mirin and sesame oil for a more Asian flavored dressing.

  • This is a brilliant idea. not sure how well it would work with mint jelly. (That’s what I have sitting in my fridge now. Hrm….. Could be …. interesting. Hot Mint Dipping Sauce. Why not. I’ll give it a go tomorrow.

  • I’ve put it off way too long – complimenting you! I wait for each of your emails to arrive with anticipation. Everyday is a surprise, a treat, and a joy to read what you’ve been up to. When I see things like the old fashioned pointed sieve that you used for quince jelly (I used for grape jelly) or the way you store your jars in old fashioned cupboards, or how you teach me new ways to be creative in the kitchen, show me ways to can that I never tried before, I get so excited. I wish we were close because I wiould come to visit you. Linda of Long Island NY

  • I mix equal parts of sugar-free raspberry jam (hubs is diabetic) and balsamic vinegar to top chicken cutlets. So, so good!

  • When my mil died we inherited 20 or so jars of peach jelly – which no one really cares for (the strawberry we fought over). I sometimes add it to the sauce for porkchops or pork roast. I love the idea of spicing it up with sriracha. I often add a bit of strawberry or raspberry jam to my vinaigrette. I am pinning this post so I can remember all the different ideas – in the post and the comments.