Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika

September 7, 2012(updated on August 30, 2021)

orange tomatoes

Of all the ways you can buy groceries in Philadelphia, the Italian Market is the most unique. It’s a blocks long market, made up of storefronts and curbside produce stands. It was originally entirely populated by Italian-owned stores and stalls, but over the years it has become increasingly multi-cultural.

There are butcher shops, fishmongers, coffee houses, sandwich joints, kitchenware stores, restaurants and produce stalls. It is slightly dirty, prices are often fluid and, in the winter time, they still light fires in giant metal cans to keep warm.

chopped orange tomatoes

Often, the produce you find at the Italian Market isn’t local. In fact, there’s no way to know whether it’s from the US or somewhere increasingly far-flung. However, in late summer, you can occasionally find an incredible bargain on something grown just over the river in New Jersey. Such was the case for me last week.

I was in the market to pick up jars at Fante’s for a class (sometimes I feel like I’m constantly buying jars) and I walked by an enormous display of orange tomatoes. The signage proudly proclaimed that they were fresh from South Jersey and they were just a dollar for an overflowing two quart bucket. A single buck.

orange tomato jam with smoked paprika

I brought them home and riffed on my standard tomato jam (in the last hours before we left for vacation). I reduced the sugar slightly, added vinegar to compensate for the lower acid levels of orange tomatoes (in addition to the lemon juice already present in the recipe) and made it fire-y with cayenne and smoked paprika. My yield was just 2 1/2 pints and after I was done, I wished there was time to dash back to 9th Street and pick up another dollar’s worth of tomatoes.

5 from 2 votes

Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika


  • 12 cups chopped orange tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne


  • Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, gently boil the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. Cooking at a fairly rapid pace, it should take about an hour of cooking.
  • When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
  • When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

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5 from 2 votes

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68 thoughts on "Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika"

  • Coming from SJersey.. I know the Italian market. I was just there a week ago…
    Fantes is my MOST favorite store on the entire street. You got a good deal
    On those tomatoes and your recipe looks awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Are orange and yellow tomatoes less acidic than ordinary red ones? I canned a bunch of yellow tomatoes a few weeks ago and added the standard tablespoon of lemon juice per pint. Are these going to be okay? I am in tomato heaven right now at $1 per pound at our farmers market! Thanks for all the amazing advice, your cookbook has been open on my counter pretty much constantly this summer, I think I might need to go get another one soon due to all the use it is getting! Your thoughts on my yellow tomatoes would be greatly appreciated.

  • your original tomato jam recipe blew my flavor-lovin’ doors off. i can’t imagine what one with smoked paprika would do!

  • It’s always great to find vegetable and fruit bargains for canning. I made it to my Sunday market with 10 minutes to spare last week and got several $1 bags including about 20 pounds of paste tomatoes. Your recipe is very timely!

    1. Jill, I’m sure it would. I made the classic tomato jam with red grape tomatoes last year and it was terrific. Just slice them in half to prep.

  • Oh My!!!! I love your original, so this must be outstanding! I so love tomatoes and those of a different often find their way into my kitchen through the season.

    I’ve been tomato jammin’ all season, as it’s one of my favorites to keep and to give! I made a slight alteration to the original – added some bourbon to it! About a quarter cup to the 5 cups cooked down, at the end of cooking. Just another level of flavor!

    Going to have to look for some this weekend and try this recipe!

  • I know the word “orange” refers to the tomatoes, but I can’t help but think how this would be with a little orange zest grated in, too. And maybe a little bitty clove of garlic… Could turn it into something completely different, but I might go for it. I made a batch of Tomato Jam, the Original, the other day – I can always breathe a sigh of relief when I know I have enough of that in the cupboard to hold me. 🙂

  • I cannot wait to try this, I am headed to the market right now. I just returned from living in Spain and I have a ton of pimentón de la vera (Spanish smoked paprika) and I love it on everything. Needless to say, I am excited to try this one out…tomato jam is a wonderful thing to wake up to next to warm bread.

    1. Chrissy – This isn’t for your morning toast. It’s sweet but spicy. More a catsup or salsa replacement. I use the original recipe jam on hamburger, turkey burger, french fries (especially sweet potato fries), scrambled eggs, meatloaf etc.

  • How long does this take to cook to the consistency to can? I ask because I am concerned about volatile seasonings, like ginger and smoked paprika, losing their kick with long cooking. If it takes a long time for these to cook down, I’d be inclined to add them late in the cooking process. What do you think?

    1. As I wrote in the recipe, this jam takes about an hour to cook down if you’re cooking over high heat. Longer if you go more slowly. I found that the spices held their potency well, but you’re welcome to add them later if you want to ensure their kickiness.

  • This is insanely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. Could not find golden tomatoes, so made this with red “2nds” from our local farmer’s stand – Had to pay $2.50, but worth 10 times as much.

  • I *love* the Italian Market– we used to live in a cracker-box sized rowhouse on Sears Street and shlepp up there to buy peppers and tomatoes of dubious origin for a dollar. We went back recently and saw there is actually labeled organic produce now– there goes the neigbhorhood.
    My favorite thing about your tomato jam recipe is not having to skin/seed the tomatoes. Well, ok that’s my second favorite– my actual favorite is how delicious it is!!
    I missed your canning workshop here in Syracuse over the summer; any chance you’ll be back up this way?

    1. Caitlin, despite the organic produce, the Italian Market is still quite funky! Unfortunately, I don’t know when I’ll next be up Syracuse way. Probably not until next summer.

  • I just made your tomato jam last week and am loving it…I know I will want to try your new one next summer!
    A funny aside-we used to go to the Italian Market with my grandmother every Good Friday when I was little; one year a butcher gave my brother and me chicken feet to take home. I wasn’t sure what todo with it so I put it in my purse until my mother made me throw it out.

  • Would you have an adaptation to make this a freezer jam? So want to try it but would prefer to freeze rather than can. Thanks in advance! 😉

    1. You would simply funnel the finished jam into freezer-appropriate containers, leave about an inch of headspace and freeze. There’s no other adaptation needed.

  • I just made tomato jam for the first time this week and it was AWESOME- thanks for the recipe! Do you mind if I pin some of your recipes to Pinterest?

  • I’ve got the tomatoes and the kettle firing up, but it occurs to me you don’t say anything about peeling the tomatoes. I’m going to peel mine, but I just wondered if you did cook them without peeling?

    1. No peeling is necessary (I alway instruct you to peel if it needs to be done). The peel and seeds give the tomato jam substance and texture.

  • Oh, my! The only scouring powder my mother ever used in her house was Bon Ami, and I have followed in her footsteps. Shame on me for not knowing that there were other cleaners in the Bon Ami line — or, more accurately, shame on the stores where I shop for not carrying anything but the scouring powder! Having other Bon Ami products would make me very happy, and I’d like to think my mom would approve!

  • Oh my! I’ve already got a dozen half pint jars of tomato jam put up this year, but this variation sounds so good, and I have about 5 lbs of heirloom tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter right now that need to be used ASAP but I haven’t gotten a plan for yet (they were FREE, I wasn’t about to turn them down!) I don’t have any smoked paprika though, just regular. How much of a difference will that make?

    1. If you don’t have smoked paprika, just leave it out. Don’t substitute regular paprika, as it won’t offer anywhere near the same flavor.

  • I have a batch of this jam simmering on my stovetop right now! I changed the spices a little ad I was out of red pepper flakes and ginger, but it smells divine and I love the color-very autumn-like!
    By the way, I made the slow-cooker blueberry butter from your book and it is delicious! I entered it in the county fair and it won second place!

  • Adding this one to the list…Made the Original last year, and everyone I gave a jar to wants MORE. First time ever that I didn’t have to ask for the empty jars back. Several friends asked, “If I bring it back, will you refill it?”
    Guess I have to, eh? 😉

  • This sounds delicious. Do you think agave nectar might work well in these recipes? I’m trying to cut back on using white sugar. Thanks!

  • so excited! just made a batch with my homemade smoked paprika. wondering how you’re planning to use it. I love your blog so much–always my go-to canning site!

  • so your original blog post on tomato jam called for lime juice, this one uses lemon. Any particular reason for the change? Thank you!

  • Hi. Great recipe! I have a question—is the recipe as written the one that makes just 2.5 pints, or did you increase the amounts so that the recipe yielded more than your test batch? Want to guestimate how many jars to prep as it’s cooking. Thanks!

    1. Barbara, the recipe in this blog post was written exactly how I made it and the yield was 2 1/2 pints. There was no test batch, just this batch.

  • It’s funny I just made your Yellow Tomato Jam with Basil and felt like I wanted a little more flavor explosion so added some thyme and smoked paprika(since I’m addicted to the smoky flavor). It was amazing and last night I made flat bread pizza with tomato jam, caramelized onions and a fresh local soft sheep milk cheese. I can truly say it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted, my husband and I both couldn’t get enough. YUM!! Thanks for your awesome tomato jam recipes, it’s a new thing for me and it’s been an excellent way to use my bumper crop of Yellow Perfection tomatoes from my garden. I love your recipes and your instructions, I’ve made many of your recipes and have learned a ton from your blog. Thank you!!

  • I LOVE your original tomato jam — what about making this with green tomatoes? The amount of acid here should make it safe to can, no? My hardworking tom plants are going to give up the ghost anytime…..

    1. Amy, you could certainly try it with green tomatoes, though because they have less sugar content, I’m not sure how it would work.

  • This is amazing! I prepared this jam for my husband, thinking it wouldn’t be to my taste, but boy was I wrong. Now I’ve already opened up a second jar. My favorite way to use it – spread liberally on toast, with an over-easy runny yolked egg.
    You can see my review of this recipe on cookbooker. I also prepared your yellow tomato-basil jam, and I cannot figure out which one I like (love) more.

    Thanks so much – for your site and your lovely cookbook.

  • I made this tonight with the last of our red tomatoes (Better Boy) from the garden. Outstanding! It is the perfect balance of sweet and heat. Spot on with the yield as well. I got 2 1/2 pints with maybe an 1/8 of a cup leftover which I put in the fridge. Too good to throw any of it out!

  • I had to make this. This year I am finding myself in love with every kind of tomato jam I can find that has a savory lean. We don’t see a lot of yellow tomatoes these days so I used about 1 – 1/2 pounds yellow and the rest were a mix of heirlooms that were gifted from a friend’s garden. In keeping with the smokiness of the paprika, I used Aleppo pepper instead of the cayenne. Smelling really good.

  • I’ve just made your yellow tomato jam recipe.Is there any other alternative to the canning method?I don’t have canning equipment.Would it last on the shelf like other jams?

    1. Chrissy, the only way to make this jam shelf stable is to process it in a boiling water bath canner (all jam is supposed to be processed). It will not last on the shelf if it is not processed. Without a canner, your options are refrigerator or freezer.

  • I just made this with a tiny bag of heirlooms a friend at work dropped by today. It made two of those little 1/2 pint (or whatever that tiny size is) jars. I left out the ginger and divided everything relatively by 6 except the red pepper flakes and salt. I’m boiling them but have no idea why because they will be gone in about five minutes based on the one spoonful left in the pot that I ate. Delicious and spicy!

  • Just picked the 1st batch of yellow + orange tomatoes. Making the first batch of the season. Made 5 batches of this last year and hoarded some and gave some away (begrudgingly!). Was such a huge hit with family/friends. They can’t wait for more this year!

  • Inspiring! I got my hands on some giant yellow tomatoes with a hint of a sunrise! I do my usual secret trick…which if I post here will no longer be a secret but I just can’t help but share the love with yall!

    I core my tomatoes and put them cut side down in a glass baking casserole dish in a low oven for about 15 minutes. After they cool a bit there is beautiful clear liquid at the bottom I boil down…maybe for a jelly or iced summer drink and I can slip the skins off the tomatoes and have a big chunk of meaty tomato flesh that can put through the mill to take out the seeds if I wish. I used sherry vinegar that I just snagged in BCN along with some preserved lemon, fresh lemon juice, sugar, chipotle pepper powder, cayenne and flakes and French sea salt along with the smoked paprika. The color is beautiful!

  • I just finished making this. It is more of a catsup or barbeque sauce. I like it but didn’t know what to expect. I had to cut down on the peppers-my family can’t take the heat! Looking forward to trying it on a burger. Thanks for the recipe.

  • I just made this today! It’s a fantastic way to use up this bounty of yellow and orange tomatoes! I added a hint of ghost pepper flakes to the regular red pepper flakes since we like strong heat. Tasted it…amazing!!!! Thank you for this great recipe!!!

  • Oh my gosh, one of the best things I’ve ever made. I hesitated to use some gorgeous yellow/orange heirloom tomatoes I found at a farm stand in Napa, but after tasting the finished product I had no regrets. Doubled the recipe and cooked it until it got to 215 degrees F; 220 would have been too thick. Heaven in a jar. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • I have attempted this recipe a couple of times using sungold cherry tomatoes picked off the vine (amazing) but found the results disappointing. It isn’t terrible but my tasters don’t really care for it and even I have trouble liking it. The taste is flat. Fortunately, there are not a lot of jars of it. Now the red tomato jam is a huge hit and people beg for jars which I am reluctant to part with.

    1. I’m so sorry that you’re disappointed with the flavor of this jam. If you have this issue in the future, consider adding a bit of salt or additional acid to brighten the flavors. It’s been four years since I’ve made this one, so I don’t specifically recall its flavor, but I don’t believe my batch tasted flat (because I always taste and tweak prior to putting preserves into their jars!).

  • I have made this recipe several times and it is a favorite in our house!! I have requests to make it again this year, I may have to mix the tomatoes as I don’t have enough orange by themselves.

  • In 2015, I made a batch of this tomato jam – and it was wonderful! Luckily I had the prescience to freeze some away and forget about it. Spring 2020, our refrigerator/freezer died, and I was delighted to rediscover this jam. I metered it out slowly, and especially liked using it in grilled cheese sandwiches with extra sharp cheddar cheese. It was top-rank comfort food and it helped me during those extremely uncertain times of the pandemic, and helped me deal with personal losses.

  • 5 stars
    I have made this recipe many times since I first found it on your page. It is one of my family’s favorites! So simple to make, and absolutely delicious on almost anything from a burger to a piece of sharp cheese. I had an amazingly productive tomato season in 2021, and had to freeze many of my tomatoes to process at a later date. Making this jam today, with orange and yellow tomatoes.