Onion chutney recipe

(1907 ratings)

Make this classic onion chutney with our quick and easy recipe. Perfect paired with a variety of breads...

Onion chutney
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories21 Kcal1%
Sugar3.8 g4%
Fat0.4 g1%
Saturated Fat0.03 g0%
Salt0.03 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein0.1 g0%
Carbohydrates4.2 g2%
Salt0.03 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Make our onion chutney to serve with cheese and crackers, cold cuts or packaged up as a thoughtful food gift.

This sweet, tangy, chutney is easy to make and our recipe produces three 500g jars of rich, glossy, onion chutney. The jars can be kept in your kitchen cupboard for up to a year, so it’s worth considering making a big batch in one go. If you’re after a milder, sweeter flavour, opt for red onions over their yellow counterparts and remember, when softening the onions don’t overdo it, as you do want them to retain a slight bite. Just like our easy tomato chutney recipe, this is one of our most popular chutney recipes.


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5kg onions, peeled
  • 300g muscovado sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200ml wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3x 500ml jars, sterilised




  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions over a low heat for 10 mins until softened but not browned. Stir in 3tbsp sugar, increase the heat and cook for 3-4 mins until the onions are browned and caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.
  2. Add the remaining sugar with the vinegar, mustard and salt. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is dark and thickened.
  3. Spoon into clean sterilised jars and seal. Store for up to 6-12 months.

Top tips for making onion chutney

To make sure your jars are sterilised before using, wash them thoroughly in soapy water and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes. Find out more about sterilising jars by following our step-by-step how to sterilise jars and bottles guide.

If your chutney isn't quite the consistency you'd hoped for, mix together some cornflour with a little vinegar in a ramekin and slowly add to the mixture. It will help thicken it up.

What should I eat my onion chutney with?

Anything you like, but these are some of our favourites. It makes a great addition to a cheeseboard, especially with hard cheeses like cheddar and red Leicester. Add it to hot dogs instead of fried onions, and other sandwiches with ham, cheese or hummus. Serve it with roasted meats like pork, gammon or turkey, or with sausages and mash. You can also have it as an addition dip with Indian spreads, alongside mango chutney and raita. Finally, if you're home-making sausage rolls, add a line of this alongside the sausage meat to make them even better. 

What's the difference between a chutney and a jam?

Not a whole lot really, they are made in a similar way, and the names are often used interchangeably. In generally a chutney has a tangier, spicier flavour, and contains vinegar to make it more of a savoury side than a sweet one.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to kitchen appliances, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends some of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family including her two lucky children.