Tomatillo Jam Recipe

Can it or eat it right out of the pot. It’s up to you. But I’m here to tell you – this jam is SO good.

Tomatillo jam? Really? Yes.

Tomatillo Jam recipe for purple and green tomatillos

I love tomatillos. I used to only grow them for making salsa verde or to use chopped up in burritos and etc.

But then I’ve noticed that the purple tomatillos I’d been growing the last couple of years were a little sweeter than the green tomatillos and less tomato-y. We also had about 10 times as many as we could ever use, sitting in the fridge. So, being the pragmatic housewife that I am, I decided I would find a use for them.

I thought back to the time when a new family moved into the neighborhood (they were only about 6 miles away – that’s a typical “country neighborhood” for all you city folks) and the daughter that was entering the same grade in high school as me informed me that her family’s absolute favorite toast-topping was tomato jam.

Here I was, with a ginormous pile of tomatillos, and the thought of making tomatillo jam. Given that we live in the Internet age, surely someone out there has a recipe for tomatillo jam.

Talk about disappointment of the century.

I found about 9 pins with captions that read something like, “You can use tomatillos for jams, jellies, and pies.” I’d click on it. No recipe.

Okay, fine. So I looked up tomato jam recipes. Some luck there. At least it gave me a starting point.

Out came the pH test strips, ice, spoons, pots (I always misjudge how big of a pot I need, and I end up with three pots to wash in my sink instead of one – am I the only one with this never-ending problem?), and the 3 different brands of pectin I had at the moment. After lots of testing and tasting, I produced a recipe for tomatillo jam. And it is SO good.

Before I posted this post, though, I did a screen video recording of my fruitless searches on Pinterest and the world wide web. (Wait a second… is that what the “www” in every url stands for?! How is it that this hasn’t occurred to me until now?!) Because I guarantee it – you’ll see this recipe “slightly changed and claimed” by about half a million bloggers within 7 days. *sigh* It happens every time.

The key is in the lime juice. It needs to be enough (plenty enough – I err on the side of caution) to make the jam acidic enough to keep botulism far, far away. It brings out the citrus-y flavor of the tomatillos. I love the resulting burst of flavor. And few things impress me enough to call it a “burst of flavor”.

Tomatillos jam recipe - green and purple tomatillos

The reddish jam is made from the purple tomatillos. The green jam is (obviously) made from the green tomatillos. Isn’t it gorgeous with the seeds suspended in the jelly-ness like that?

Here you go. An actual tomatillo jam recipe.

Tomatillo Jam
Recipe type: Jam, Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
You can use either purple or green tomatillos. The only difference will be the resulting color.
  • 1 lb. tomatillos
  • 1½ to 2 cups sugar
  • 4-5 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3½ to 6 Tbsp. pectin (depending if you want something syrup-y for pancakes or something more like jam for toast)
  • ¼ tsp. butter
  1. Place the tomatillos and lemon juice in a pot over medium heat. Cover and bring to a simmer. Use a potato masher to help break down the tomatillos so they'll release their juices.
  2. Once the tomatillos are thoroughly softened, blend the mixture thoroughly, then put it back in the pot.
  3. Add the pectin and mix it in well with a whisk. Bring the mixture back to a simmer.
  4. As soon as it begins simmering, immediately add the sugar and butter, and bring to a boil. Watch the pot carefully. It will likely bubble up. Reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. (The butter helps prevent foam from forming on top.)
  5. Immediately remove from heat and pour into sterilized pint jars. Clean the rims with a damp paper towel, and cover with sterilized lids. Tighten down with rings (but don't wrench them as tight as you can). Place the jars in a water-boiler canner, and make sure there's ½-inch to an inch of water over the top of each jar. Process for 10 minutes (from 0 - 1000 ft elevation), 15 minutes (1,001 - 6,000 ft elevation), or 20 minutes (6,000+ ft elevation).
I'm one of those cooks who almost always cuts out ⅓ of the sugar in a recipe as a matter of course. So the low end of the sugar amount is for people like me. For others who like things sweeter, just use a little more.

Can you imagine how lovely this jam is going to be – so much color and flavor – in the middle of the winter? I can’t wait for winter!

11 Responses to Tomatillo Jam Recipe

  1. Cheryl April 3, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    I just returned from Savannah where I had pimento spread with green tomato marmalade. I am so happy to find this recipe. I will check back when I’ve finished.

  2. Christina August 29, 2016 at 3:16 pm #

    I was just given a bunch of beautiful purple tomatillos…. now I know what to make! 🙂 thanks a bunch 🙂

  3. Christina August 29, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    Oh. My. Word! I made this as soon as I posted and WOW! so tasty 🙂

    • Anni August 30, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

      I’m glad it worked well for you! We love it. It’s amazingly delicious! 🙂

  4. Anita J September 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    Thanks so much for your experimenting, We had a surprise crop of tomatillo’s grow and I have been trying to figure out just what to do with them as it looks to be a bumper crop

    • Anni September 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

      I hope you like it! It’s a favorite around here. 🙂

  5. Pamela Peerce-Landers October 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm #


    Thx for this recipe. I have had a bumper crop of tomatillos and with 35 pints of salsa and sauce, I was looking for a sweet alternative.

    Will this a try tomorrow.

  6. Ava October 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm #


    Just wondering whether you know how many cups of diced tomatillos would be in a pound. I don’t have a scale or pH strip so just want to be able to get the right amount..


    • Anni October 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

      Hmm. I’m not sure. I’ll go pick some tomorrow (or soon), chop them up, and get back to you. 🙂

  7. Belgian Foodie December 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi, love this recipe. Just wondering if it’s lime or lemon juice I should be using. Thanks for your response!

    • Anni December 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

      I use lemon juice most of the time, but I have used a mix of half and half of each. It does give it more of a tropical flavor with a bit of lime. The acidity of the final product should be fine with either lemon or lime juice.

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