Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 16 servings bacon jam

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Toasty bread, melty cheese and sweet and smoky maple bacon jam make this the best grilled cheese you’ll ever have!

bacon jam grilled cheese cut open on wooden cutting board

Words cannot express the mind-blowing flavour of this sandwich.

But for you, I’ll give it my best shot.

I discovered that bacon jam was a real thing on Pinterest quite some time ago. I tucked it safely away on my Condiments board for a day when I would actually have time to spend making something as frivolous and unnecessary as bacon jam. Alas, Spring Break 2014 arrived.

bacon jam grilled cheese cut open and stacked on wooden cutting board

I was wrong, though, about bacon jam being frivolous and unnecessary.

It is completely necessary.

And amazing.

And it’s jam. Made of bacon.

Bacon. Apple juice. Maple Syrup. Brown sugar. Onions. Garlic. Balsamic Vinegar.

Are you convinced yet?

This was one of those times when I made a single batch, and kicked myself afterwards, wondering how I was possibly going to live when this jar was done and I had to wait until I had time to make another.

I probably won’t have to wait too long, though. Because it takes a mere 45 minutes. Maybe that sounds like a long time to you. But that’s only because you haven’t made this jam. Made of bacon.

The bacon jam is a big enough deal to have its very own post up here on The Recipe Rebel, but I was trying to think of things I would put this jam on. Besides a spoon. Or a ladle. Or a shovel.

two halves of bacon jam grilled cheese stacked on wood serving board

And I thought to myself, “I bet a bacon jam grilled cheese would be just about the best grilled cheese that was ever made”.  And, friends, I was right.

I used a somewhat thin rye bread, because I didn’t want this sandwich to be all about the bread. I thought the sharp taste of cheddar would complement the sweet and smokiness perfectly, but I’m sure any cheese would be absolutely wonderful. Apparently, apple and cheddar are a winning combination.

You need this jam in your life. Trust me.

Serve with my quick 20 Minute Tomato Soup from Scratch.

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Bacon Jam Grilled Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Sweet, smoky, savory grilled cheese made complete with bacon jam made with apple juice, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 16 servings bacon jam
Calories 166cal


For the bacon jam:

  • 1 lb bacon finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic about 4 cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp brewed coffee hot or cold, doesn’t matter
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For the grilled cheese:

  • Butter or margarine
  • Sliced bread of choice
  • Cheese of choice I used cheddar


  • For the bacon jam:In a medium pot, cook the bacon until nicely browned. Remove from pot, saving about 2 tbsp bacon fat. (Strain the rest off of the bacon)
  • In remaining bacon fat, cook the onions over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook about a minute until fragrant.
  • Add bacon back to the pot. Add remaining ingredients.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes until thickened and syrupy (there shouldn’t be a lot of liquid remaining).
  • Optional: Puree some or all of the jam. I pureed about ½ cup in the Magic Bullet, just to give it more of a jam consistency.
  • Serve warm or cold.
  • For the grilled cheese:Butter two slices of bread. Place one slice of bread, butter side down, into a pan preheated over medium heat. Top with cheese, bacon jam, and more cheese.
  • Top with second slice of buttered bread, butter side up.
  • Cook until golden brown. Flip and cook until golden brown.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 166cal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 94mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Donna says

    Made the bacon jam for my yearly bbq. People put it on their hamburgers, hot dogs, even a spoonful on top of their potato salad! Everyone LOVED it and asked for the recipe! Thanks for a winner!!

  2. Becca coolen says

    Hi. I had bacon jam at a wedding about a week a go and I’m so excited to try and ND are this. Have you tried to freeze the bacon jam before? I was hoping to make a large batch and freeze it for other days since it takes so long.

  3. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Ashley! Bacon jam is one of my favorite things! Down here in the South I would combine it with pimento cheese (which I make with extra sharp white cheddar cheese) for a grilled sandwich. Or just eat it with a spoon, which I also do with another Southern favorite – sorghum!

  4. Sina says

    This sounds absolutely divine and I can’t wait to try it! However, there’s one question I have to ask before I do: Do you use smoked or unsmoked bacon? Not sure if you have different kinds (I kind of think you do though, no?) but here there’s certainly lots of different kinds of bacon and I wouldn’t want to spend 45 mins on something if I possibly have the wrong ingredients on hand.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Ashley says

      Hmm, I would say definitely smoked! I’m not sure we can get unsmoked bacon here, unless what we call back bacon is unsmoked. But yes definitely go with the smoke!

    • Ashley says

      You could definitely leave it out, but I would substitute it with another liquid, even just water, or maybe apple juice.

  5. Vennessa says

    Does Bacon Jam keep? I am interested but would not want to spend 45 min each time i want to make this recipe

    • Ashley says

      I think I’ve kept it for a couple weeks in the fridge. I don’t think I would keep it more than 2-3 weeks though. It is so good on grilled cheese or cheese bread though!

  6. Joachim Gabel says

    I made it come real, I took your idea of the bacon jam with German ingredients: (Scroll a little down to Doerfleischmarmelade, in the comments you’ll find the English translation of the recipe. I stuffed a chicken breast like you, but with an inlay of Italian air-dried ham and covered with tomato slices and a cheese from Austia (The recipe above, not yet translated).

  7. AnnMarie says

    I have a recipe for bacon jam tucked away somewhere but why dig for it when you have it right here with a way to use it!! Maybe that is why I never made it….wasn’t sure what to use it for! Pinned to my Man Food board because my husband and son will LOVE this.

    • Ashley says

      It’s one of those things I had tucked away somewhere, too! Until I decided it was worth a shot and, man, do I love this stuff. Especially with cheese! Grilled cheese, cheese crostini…. so good! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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