Red onion chutney

  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1¼ hours


  • 8 medium red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded, finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200g/7oz brown sugar
  • 100m/3.5fl. oz balsamic vinegar
  • 200ml/7fl. oz red wine vinegar
  • 25ml/1fl. oz olive oil
Red onion chutney

Red onion chutney has a deliciously tangy flavour and makes a great accompaniment to goats cheese, cold meats, barbecued meat, or even as a relish for beef burgers. This recipe does contain a lot of liquid, but these reduce during cooking and any remaining at the end with thicken in the jar.

Some recipes use fewer ingredients, or use an equal mix of balsamic and red wine, but good balsamic vinegar can be expensive and I find the taste is still great.

The flavours to will intensify over time, so try and make this well in advance, or make enough to keep some left over for future use – stored correctly it will last months – providing a healthy way to add some tang to cold meats and cheeses.


  1. Cut your onions and chilli into short, thin slices and put them into a pan along with the bay leaves and the olive oil. Cook gently over a medium-low heat until the onions go dark and sticky - this should take about 20 minutes.
  2. Add brown sugar, and the red wine and balsamic vinegars to the pan and simmer these 30 minutes, or until the chutney is thick and dark.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and pour the chutney into hot, sterilised jars and let it cool.
Chopped red onions provide allicin, a potent health-promoting compound that is found in onions and other members of the Allium family. Allicin has been shown to promote cardiovascular health, prevent and treat cancer, and reduce high blood pressure.

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