Red onion chutney

Red onion chutney
Red onion chutney has a deliciously tangy flavour and makes a great accompaniment to goat's 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 thickening in the jar.
Red onions are a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients, such as dietary fibre and potassium.
Some recipes for red onion chutney 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 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.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine British, Indian
Servings 4


  • 8 medium red onions (finely sliced)
  • 1 red chilli (de-seeded, finely sliced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 200 ml red wine vinegar
  • 25 ml olive oil


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the bay leaves and pour the red onion 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.