Onion chutney recipe

(1918 ratings)

This onion chutney recipe requires eight ingredients and takes under an hour to make.

onion chutney
(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories740 Kcal37%
Sugar129.8 g144%
Fat16.5 g24%
Saturated Fat1.3 g7%
Protein5.9 g12%
Carbohydrates141.2 g54%

Our onion chutney only takes 50 minutes to make and can be enjoyed in sandwiches and burgers, as an accompaniment to cheese and so much more. 

This sweet, tangy, chutney is easy to make and our recipe produces three 500g jars of rich, glossy, onion chutney. It is a fantastic recipe to make at any time of year but the jars also double up as lovely homemade gifts. Attach a handwritten label and package up with some crackers and an artisan cheese if you really want to push the boat out. 

Our recipe is Please note the nutritional information is per 500ml jar of onion chutney. A 50g serving is approximately 74 calories. 


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




  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions over a low heat for 10 minutes until softened but not browned. Stir in 3tbsp sugar, increase the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are browned and caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the remaining sugar with the vinegars, mustard and salt. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is dark and thickened.
  3. Spoon evenly between three 500ml clean sterilised jars and seal. Store for 6-12 months in a cool dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within a couple of weeks.

Top tips for making onion chutney

You can enjoy the chutney straight away but leaving it for at least a week or two will help the flavours mature and intensify. If you hope to store the chutney for a while, or gift it, it’s important that you sterilise the jars properly.

You can read all about how to sterilise jars and bottlesin this simple guide. As a rule, it’s generally best to spoon the warm chutney into warm jars as it prevents the jars from breaking. For more tips and serving suggestions, continue reading below. 

What should I eat my onion chutney with?

Onion chutney is very versatile and can be enjoyed with lots of different foods. 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 additional dip with Indian spreads, alongside mango chutney and raita. Finally, if you're making sausage rolls, add a line of this alongside the sausage meat to make them even better. 

Food writer Jessica Ransom says: ‘I love a spoonful of onion chutney in my Friday night burger or on the side of an omelette. It’s also an excellent alternative base for your pizza topping and pairs wonderfully with cheese and some crumbled crispy bacon or fried pancetta.’ 

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 savoury compared to a jam. 

What onions do you use for onion chutney?

You can use red, brown or white onions to make this chutney. All the onions have a slightly different flavour and will result in a different coloured final result but all will taste great. You can also use a mix if you prefer.

For thin slices of onion we recommend using a mandoline as it's much quicker and will result in an even consistency which means the onions will cook evenly too. 

OXO Good Grips Handheld Mandoline Slicer - View at Amazon

OXO Good Grips Handheld Mandoline Slicer - View at Amazon

Slicing onions and other vegetables is so much quicker when using a mandoline. It produces even slices and helps ensure the onions will cook evenly. 

Always take care when using a mandoline as they are incredibly sharp but food writer Jessica Ransom says: 'This mandoline comes with a really useful safety guard which makes me feel confident using it.' 

For more delicious recipes that can be packaged up as edible gifts, consider making this tomato chutney or our plum chutney is a great dip if you've run out of mango chutney. If in season, this damson jam is a must make too.