This Bacon Onion Jam with bourbon is the perfect addition to a crostini, pimento cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich, or even roasted vegetables!
Bacon. Bourbon. Jam.
Really, what could possibly be wrong with this? It’s meaty, sweet, tangy, salty… And its bacon! Some of my favorite places around town have been using bacon jam to top their breakfast sandwiches or their pimento cheese appetizers and I just can’t get enough of it.
Anyone who knows me knows that if I love something I have in a restaurant, I have to get in the kitchen and figure it out.
Before making this recipe, I had never tried bacon bourbon jam, but just as bacon makes everything better, I believe the same is true for bourbon. The bourbon just gives it a little something extra that sets it over the edge and makes this stuff downright addictive.
Smear a little of our Cheeseball with Pimento Cheese on a cracker and top it with this bacon jam and you’ve got absolute perfection.
Know someone else who loves bourbon? Check out our Bourbon Lovers Gift Guide
The key to a good bacon jam is extra thick bacon, cooked extra crispy. I managed to find some in my neighborhood grocery store, but next time I think I’ll head to my local meat market to find some that is even a little thicker.
You want to cook it a bit past the point that you typically would.. not burnt, but done enough that it crumbles easily when cooled and most of the fat has cooked off.
Once you have the bacon cooked and crumbled, the rest of the bacon bourbon jam process is really pretty easy!
Set aside the bacon and drain off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon grease. Toss in the minced shallots and onions. (Hint: cut the onions and shallots into chunks and pulse them a couple times in a food processor. Instant mince.) Cook them on medium high heat until the onions caramelize (about 10 minutes). Add in your garlic and cook for a minute longer.
Next, add your spices, bourbon, and maple syrup and let it boil. Be sure to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all that bacon goodness. Let it boil for 3 minutes, stirring. Then, add your balsamic and brown sugar and stir for another 3 minutes.
Add the bacon back to the pan and lower the temperature to low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and you’re done! The only question now is what to put it on…
The Possibilities with Bacon Bourbon Jam Are Endless
We tried this bacon bourbon jam on crostini with melted cheese… delish. On top of pimento cheese? Perfection. My friend Ken got a jar from me and put it on top of some homemade Mexican Cornbread… out of this world.
How about on top of our Pimento Cheese Stuffed Burger Sliders? That sounds like heaven.
I’ve seen it in restaurants served on top of roasted brussel sprouts and avocado toast… why not? The sky is the limit. It’s also an ideal addition to any charcuterie board.
If you’re reading this no doubt you love bacon like we do. You’ll also love this Baked Brie topped with Apples and Bacon.
What are you going to do with your bacon bourbon jam?
First and foremost – it makes a perfect from-the-heart gift! Just like Homemade Chocolate Covered Pecans and Homemade Pineapple Preserves your Bacon Jam will be full of southern flavor and love!
Southern Food Then and Now is all about traditions, regions and the origins of our favorite cuisine!
FYI: Stored refrigerated in a mason jar, this jam will keep for up to 2 weeks, but if you don’t use it by then I hear it freezes well too! I can’t imagine not eating it before then, though…
If you’re like us and think bourbon and bacon are a match made in heaven you’ll want to check out this recipe for Butternut Squash with Bourbon, Maple and Bacon.
If you make this or any of our recipes we’d love for you to leave us a comment and star rating. If you’re into sharing your creations, snap a photo and tag us when you post it to Facebook or Instagram.
Bacon Bourbon Jam
- 2 lbs thick cut, hickory smoked bacon
- 3 shallots minced
- ½ sweet onion minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup bourbon
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 dash cayenne
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Cook bacon over medium heat, allowing it to get crispy and for almost all the fat to cook away. Lay on paper towels and blot to remove excess oil. Crumble when cool.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from pan and discard.
- Put minced shallots and onions in pan with bacon grease. Cook on MH heat 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Add bourbon, syrup, and spices. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, stirring to scrape pan.
- Add vinegar and brown sugar. Continue to stir for 3 minutes.
- Add crumbled bacon back to pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to jars and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
Oh my, this looks insanely delicious!! As a bacon lover myself I can’t think of anything better than this sweet, tangy, salty combo. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks so much, Chris!
Elaine @ Dishes Delish says
I literally couldn’t read anything past the words bacon, bourbon and jam. I know you wrote the directions but I can’t seem to see them, because I keep thinking of bacon, bourbon and jam. I can’t concentrate until I try your delicious recipe with the delicious photos!! I will be making this real soon!
Awww, thanks so much Elaine. Hope you enjoy it!
Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C says
Wow!! This sounds incredible! I’d put this on everything. Hello, pancakes!
Pancakes! Would you believe we hadn’t thought of that? Perfect idea.
Ali from Home & Plate says
I bet this would be delicious on pancakes and waffles too. I would love to get a jar of this sweet jam in my Christmas stocking. Yum!
Thanks, Ali. Wish we were close by. We’d slip a jar to Santa for you.
Wowza so a awesome combo – bacon and bourbon! 😀 Definitely happening this weekend. Thanks for this awesomeness – you have made me a very happy girl 🙂
We think so, too, Joyce. Thank you!
I think this would be good on a spoon 😁 think I might have an idea for Christmas gifts now too 😊
Great! Hope so.
About how much do you get from one recipe? I have three (or maybe more) people I would like to do this for as Christmas presents, want to be sure I buy enough ingredients to make enough to give and some to keep 😉
Cat, it made about 32 ounces. Sara put it in the little short mason jars (I think they’re 6-8 ounces) so if you do that it should be plenty to share and keep.
Excellent!! Thanks so much ❤️
This looks delicious! How many little jars does it fill up?? I am thinking of making this as Christmas gifts for friends! 🙂
Oh, good question Alma… I don’t remember exactly. I’d say at least 6 but it may have been as many as 10… I can’t believe I didn’t make a note of that when I made it!
I’m going to give this a shot myself. Sounds so yummy. Anyway, if a single recipe makes 32 ounces and you have half-pint (8 ounce) jars, then you should get 4 jars.
Sounds right to me! The tiny jars we used were more like 4 oz., so it must have been 8 of those!
The recipe sounds wonderful! Could you please tell me how much it makes? I am guessing by the photos that you used 1/2 pint jars but I’m not sure how many I would get out of the recipe.
Hi Donna! The recipe made about 32 ounces.
Can you use a canning process to preserve this?
Hi, Becky! I did a little research on this and couldn’t find any trusted method for canning bacon jam. It will keep in the freezer, though!
I made this recipe and it is fabulous. The only issue I had is that the jam became very thick and stiff, making it difficult to spread. What can I do differently to prevent this from happening with future batches?
Hi there! It does thicken up a lot when refrigerated. If you just heat it up a little (just 15 seconds in the microwave) before you use it, it is much easier to spread! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I can’t wait to try this, I just know my bacon-loving, bourbon-drinking husband will love it. Is this one of those things that really tastes better a day or two after you make it, or is it just as good right away?
It really is good as soon as it cools off! As a fellow bacon-loving bourbon drinker, I’m sure he’ll love it 🙂
Tanya Moore says
Even better to get together with a friend to make this! Turned out wonderful.
That’s great to hear, Tanya. Bringing people together over food is good for the soul!