Flour dusts the floor, laughter fills the air, tomatoes stain white aprons, and music shouts through the speakers—it’s pizza night at our house!
We all love pizza night because it’s simply fun; and how can you not enjoy spending time together as a family, listening to music, and creating something you can eat? That’s a win-win in my book.
I didn’t grow up cooking with my family. It just wasn’t something that we did. When talking with my friends about the subject, I found it wasn’t common in their families either. As a working mom, I completely understand the need to get dinner on the table quickly without a mess to clean up. Scraping cheese off the ceiling doesn’t sound appealing after a long day. I get it, but with all things considered, the moments I spend in the kitchen with my family makes me enjoy them that much more. Plus, my daughter is a healthier and stronger eater because she’s learning about food and enjoying cooking for herself – a trait I’m happy to teach.
One of our favorite nights in the kitchen is pizza night. It’s perfect because it’s all hands on and completely customizable! Topping choices are endless and I’ve even found that my daughter actually chooses the colorful veggies to create hers. My husband is full on carnivore, while I tend to get a little creative. We usually have many fresh options available and always use fresh dough. I mean really, where’s the fun if you can’t try to spin pizza dough in the air? Yes, it might end up on the dog but it’s completely worth it. The point is to let go, have fun, and enjoy the time together while eating some really delicious grub.
Now, on to one of our favorite pizzas–Bacon Jam “Pizza.” This isn’t one we cook often, because it is a bit on the indulgent side and is definitely an adult topping, but it is completely worthy of every bite. This slightly sweet and savory pizza topped with sharp cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, and peppery arugula is a flavor combination not to be missed!
NB. This jam is far too salty for kids so we keep this for an adult pizza night.
Bacon Jam Pizza (serves 4)
For the bacon jam
- 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until it’s crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate, reserving the remaining bacon fat. Add onions and sauté, until softened, about 10 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot along with maple syrup, water, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour or until it has reached a jam-like consistency.
Allow to cool. Transfer to a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times, being careful not to over puree, to achieve a thick yet chunky consistency. Add additional salt or pepper to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For the pizza
- Pizza dough for 1 medium pizza
- ¼ cup bacon jam
- ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
- Handful fresh arugula
Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a 13-inch circle (it doesn’t have to be perfect). Place the dough in a cast iron skillet, and with your fingers roll the edges of the dough to form a crust. Spread the bacon jam evenly onto the dough. Top with an even sprinkling of cheese and tomatoes.
Place the cast iron skillet on the stove over high heat. Heat the skillet for 3 minutes, then carefully (use oven mitts) transfer to the oven. Heating the pan before cooking will ensure a crispy crust. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a pizza stone or baking sheet — just skip the stove step.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Top with arugula, slice, and serve.
Sausage and Bacon Jam Pizza
Johnsonville® Smoked Rope Sausage makes pizza preparation quick and easy&hellip just slice, assemble and bake or grill.
This recipe is also found in
package (13.5 ounces) JOHNSONVILLE® Smoked Rope Sausage, cut into coin-slice pieces
package (8.8 ounces) Naan bread
cup quartered yellow or red cherry tomatoes
cup shredded Cheddar cheese
cup shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese
Balsamic glaze, to garnish
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Top each Naan with bacon jam, Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, sausage and remaining cheese.
Grill for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sausage is heated through.
Sprinkle with arugula and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
Oven Preparation: Preheat oven to 375°F. Follow step 2 above. If desired, crack eggs over top of pizza sprinkle evenly with additional cheese. Bake pizza until golden brown and eggs are set about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with arugula and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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It's amazing what can be made with just bacon, onions, and bourbon. This Bacon Jam is a multipurpose flavor explosion! Serve it on your next burger, pizza, stirred into roasted brussels sprouts, in a grilled cheese sandwich, or alongside a cheese board as an appetizer. The options might just be endless.
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2. Whip Up a Sweet and Savory PB&J
The humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich boasts a heavily sweet profile, but you can amp up the savory with a smidge of bacon jam.
Use any jelly you’d like to achieve a sweet, tangy and savory meld, or forego the jelly and opt for bacon jam and peanut butter for a nutty and salty snack.
Get really inventive with a riff on the Elvis sandwich, and pair bacon jam, peanut butter, and banana with your favorite toasted bread.
Making jam doesn't always involve cooking down seasonal fruit. Sometimes it involves caramelizing onions and shallots in bacon fat, maple syrup, and brown sugar for a sweet and savory spread that tastes incredible with cheese 🤤. You can probably find jarred artisanal bacon jam at a specialty story, but it's crazy easy to make your own. Here's how to do it:
- Cook bacon until crispy. We chop the bacon before cooking because it's faster!
- Sauté onion and shallots in bacon fat. You want both the onion and the shallots to be chopped very finely so they cook and caramelize quickly. (They'll take about 15 minutes.)
- Simmer with maple syrup mixture until jammy. To the skillet with maple syrup, onion, and shallots, we add garlic, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar (for some acidity), and chili powder (for some spice).
Start to finish, the process only takes about a half hour. We recommend serving it on a cheese platter, in a grilled cheese, or in a cheeseburger.
Storage-wise, yes! You need to refrigerate it. Let it cool completely before transferring jam into a jar. It's best eaten with a few days.
Bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza
Pizza is always going to be popular in our house, as I'm sure is true for many. While my toddler may not be open to any more than one kind, at least the rest of us are so if I make pizza, I often make a few toppings.
This bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza may be a bit different from your average pizza, but it's a delicious taste of fall. The smooth butternut squash pizza base, topped with sweet-savory bacon jam, slices of pear and gently sharp pecorino. It's a great combination.
Pizza on the menu
Despite my resolution after I posted the beet, blue cheese and bacon pizza earlier in the year, I have a confession: we haven't had pizza at home very often. You see, we've got in a bit of a habit of going out most weekends to either the local pizza restaurant or other place for dinner and my toddler invariably has pizza.
I don't mind that once a week, especially when it's generally pretty good pizza, but I don't really want to make it at home as well. Finally, though, he's started going for other things when we're not at the pizza place, so pizza at home has come back on the menu.
Our local pizza restaurant often has seasonal pizzas alongside their standard list which, this time of year, often include some with a butternut squash base. I decided on our last pizza-at-home night to make my own version with this bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza, making use of some of the delicious apple bacon jam I made recently. It's a relatively simple but delicious combination.
How to make this butternut squash pizza
True, you need to think ahead a little on this by roasting the squash for the base and making the dough and leaving it to rise. However those both have very limited hands-on work and it's still not all that long.
When you come to put this butternut squash pizza together, it's all pretty quick and easy. You simply:
- Spread the squash puree over the pizza base.
- Top it with pieces of pear and dots of the bacon jam.
- Grate over some pecorino.
- Bake and enjoy.
This bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza has a lovely balance of sweet and savory flavors. It has a definite comfort factor, perfectly fitting given the fall ingredients. My husband said it was tasty but it wasn't pizza, more of a flatbread. Maybe he's right. But if you can put aside being a little traditionalist, this bacon jam, pear and butternut squash pizza is definitely worth a try.
Pizza Night | Bacon Jam+Gruyere Cheese Burger+Hot Honey
Ever have a hard time deciding between bacon cheeseburgers and pizza? Tough decision, right? Tonight we’re making the ultimate compromise combining our favorite cheeseburger fixin‘s and ready-to-make pizza crust.
My boys have always loved bacon. I don’t think any of them will ever make good vegetarians for this reason alone. Bacon + burgers makes them even happier. Today I am changing it up a bit and using homemade bacon jam as the sauce for pizza, topping it with chunks of caramelized ground beef, mozzarella and Gruyere cheeses, then topped with peppery baby arugula and vine ripe tomatoes. Then, drizzled with balsamic glaze and Hot Honey. Every single bite is an amazing combination of flavors and textures.
There are two things that go great with this meal. First, a glass of portugese red wine brings out the buttery cheese flavors deliciously. The shelves are stocked at Heinen’s with wines from Portugal. We enjoyed CRASTO Superior red Douro 2014. Aged for 12 months in French Oak. With flavors of wild berry and hints of cocoa, it’s beautifully balanced and perfectly complements grilled meats and cheeses.
Second, Have you tried hot honey? On a recent trip to Washington D.C. my son and I ordered grilled cheese sandwiches from Ooey, Gooey Crispy in Union Market. (The name says it all.) They serve their grilled cheese sandwiches with a side of Mike’s Hot Honey from NYC. Hot Honey is a chili pepper-infused honey. It is unbelievable with melted cheese and I am now putting it on literally everything. Go get some!!
For the Bacon Jam
- 1 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 2 large vine ripened tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- In a cast iron or other heavy skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat, stirring often, until crispy, about 10 minutes. Line a large plate with paper towels and transfer the bacon to the paper towels to drain.
- Pour the grease out of the skillet and return it to medium high heat. Add the pork belly and Frey on all sides until crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the paper towels to drain.
- In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until well browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the reserved bacon and pork belly, tomatoes, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is flavorful and code to the back of a spoon, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before using.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
For The Pizza
- Ready made pizza dough (2 packages)
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese sliced.
- 8 ounces of Gruyere cheese Shredded
- 5 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved.
- 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic glaze
- 1/4 cup hot honey optional
- 1 1/2 cups bacon jam (see recipe above).
Preheat oven to 450°F
- Let your pizza dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile add olive oil to the skillet.Brown your hamburger. I like to make a giant hamburger patty the size of my pan pressing it into the pan very thin and let it get really caramelized on one side. Once it gets a nice searing caramelization I break it into chunks and toss it around until all is cooked through. This gives you some little caramelized bits on your burger that add texture and great flavor.
- On a floured surface roll the pizza dough out to your desired size and shape.
- Spread 1/4 cup bacon jam on to the pizza dough.
- Add crumbled burger, add slices of mozzarella cheese and Gruyere cheese.
- Cook until the cheese is melted and the dough is toasty brown, about 10 minutes. Once out of the oven top with arugula fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of either hot honey or balsamic glaze.
There are so many uses for this delicious bacon jam. The combination of bacon and caramelized onions slowly cooked with brown sugar and vinegar results in a tangy and sweet but savory thick bacon spread. It's perfect on cheese boards, baked potatoes, burgers, steaks, eggs, sandwiches and so much more!
What is Bacon Jam?
Bacon what?? That’s right. Bacon Jam. A jam doesn’t always have to be made of fruit, but it does usually mean sticky and that stickiness usually comes from sugar. Think about the saying “I’m in a jam” – a sticky situation. Bacon jam is a sweet-savory spread that combines the sweet flavors of caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and combines it with salty bacon and tangy apple cider vinegar. It’s similar to tomato jam, another sweet-savory spread.
How to Make a Savory Jam
Bacon jam is very easy to make and the whole thing can be done in about an hour. There are very few ingredients so do try to use the best ingredients you can find. Delicious thick cut bacon will give you bigger chunks of bacon in the final jam, but regular sliced bacon will work too. Sweet Vidalia onions will add a gentler onion flavor than Spanish onions, but again use what you have.
Rendering the Bacon Fat
The goal of the first step is to render the fat out of the bacon, letting it crisp up. This will happen just by letting the bacon cook over medium heat, but if you’d like to speed the process up, there are a few tips that can help. Start with the bacon in a cold pan and then turn on the heat – that will render the fat out more completely. Also, drain the fat off the bacon as it cooks – if the bacon is sitting in fat, crisping is inhibited and will take longer. You can read all about the different ways to cook bacon here.
Caramelize the Onions
Caramelizing the onions is an important step to making bacon jam as well. This is probably the part of the recipe that will take the longest, if you caramelize the onions properly. I use a piece of parchment paper over the onions to ensure that they don’t dry out. For a complete lesson in making caramelized onions, click here.
Bacon Jam Goes With…
Once the ingredients have been combined and you’ve let them reduce into a thick syrupy spread, you’ll want to know how to serve the bacon jam. Most importantly, you need to know that bacon jam should always be served warm. It is inevitable that the fat in the jam will solidify in the refrigerator, so warm it a little before serving. (If you’re smart, you’ll store the jam in a jar without metal clips (unlike the one I used) so that you can pop it into the microwave to warm it before serving.) Warm bacon jam is delicious on a burger (like the Bacon Blue Burger pictured below), in any sandwich (but especially an egg sandwich), on a grilled steak or chicken breast, on pan-fried pork chops, in a baked potato or on mashed potatoes and especially on a cheese board where it pairs perfectly with a sharp Cheddar.
How to Store Bacon Jam
Bacon jam will keep nicely in your refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks. This recipe makes about 2 cups of jam and trust me, it won’t take long to move through that amount. Because it needs to be heated before being served, store the jam in a container that can be easily microwaved for a few seconds.
This delightful jam is sweet, salty, deep, rich and yes, sticky. It’s got everything. That’s the kind of “jam” I’d like to be in!
- 2 pounds bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup bacon drippings
- 2 large yellow onions, cut into very thin slivers
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup bourbon whiskey
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- ½ cup sherry vinegar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup ketchup
Cook and stir bacon in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until bacon starts to brown, about 10 minutes drain grease, retaining 1/4 of the drippings. Stir onions into bacon and drippings cook and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar cook until onions are sticky and browned, about 5 more minutes. Mix in garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cook and stir until garlic is soft, about 5 minutes.
Mix in bourbon whiskey, coffee, sherry vinegar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook until the bacon jam is thickened but not completely dry, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, about 35 minutes. Mix in ketchup and cook 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat, let the bacon jam cool, and pulse in a food processor to a slightly chunky, spreadable consistency. Bacon jam will store in the refrigerator, covered, up to 2 weeks.
Bacon-and-Sweet Onion Jam Recipe
We Southerners know our jams&mdashblueberry, strawberry, blackberry, fig&mdashif there&rsquos a succulent fruit or berry out there, you know we&rsquove tried to make it into a jar of sweet, sticky jam. But there&rsquos another realm of jam, too. It walks the line between sweet and savory&mdashpractically dances on it&mdashand this jam genre includes one of our favorite jam recipes ever. What&rsquos the flavor profile of this beguilingly salty-sweet jam, you ask? Bacon and sweet onion. Ok, stick with us here. This bacon jam is the perfect condiment for a savory breakfast. It&rsquos a fantastic spread for fluffy biscuits and even fresh waffles or pancakes. Don&rsquot believe us? Gather the ingredients and follow our bacon jam recipe. You&rsquoll need a few, including Applewood-smoked bacon, butter, sweet onions, shallots, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and kosher salt, plus some chopped fresh chives and thyme. Follow the method, and you&rsquoll find yourself with jars full of this fragrant, jammy delicacy. Bacon and sweet onion: A match made in heaven.
How to Use Onion Bacon Jam
Since you have to get the Onion Bacon Jam eaten, why not try it a few different ways? It’s really up to you what you use it for, but here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Use a dollop on a cracker, with a slice of cheese.
- Spread it on your grilled cheese sandwich before you grill it.
- Substitute Onion Bacon Jam for the bacon on your BLT’s.
- Add it to your scrambled eggs.
- Use it as a topping for a hamburger or cheeseburger.
- Spread in on toast and add an egg for a delicious breakfast.
These suggestions will help you fall in love with this jam. Let me know if you found other flavorful ways to use Onion Bacon Jam!