Mary Berry's Christmas chutney

Mary Berry's Christmas chutney

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(110 ratings)

Takes about 2½ hours

More effort

Makes about 2.5kg/6lb
A perfect match for cheese and cold meats, and delicious in turkey sandwiches

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 900g tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 3 red peppers, 1 large aubergine and 1 green pepper (total weight of about 900g/2lb)



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 700g onion, peeled and fairly finely chopped, by hand or in a food processor



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 fat cloves garlic, crushed



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 350g granulated sugar
  • 300ml/½pint white wine vinegar or distilled malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Peel the tomatoes - prick them with a sharp knife, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for a few seconds then drain and cover with cold water. The skins will now come away easily.

  2. Chop the tomatoes and aubergine and seed and chop the peppers. Put in a large heavy-based pan with the onions and garlic and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and gently simmer for about one hour, stirring occasionally, until tender.

  3. Tip the sugar, vinegar, salt, coriander, paprika and cayenne into the pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil for 30 minutes or so, until the mixture achieves a chunky chutney consistency and the surplus watery liquid has evaporated. Take care towards the end of the cooking time to continue stirring so that the chutney doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.

  4. Ladle the chutney into sterilised or dishwasher-clean jars (Kilner jars are ideal) and top with paper jam covers. Seal the jars while still hot. Leave to mature for at least a month in a cool dark place.

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Comments (198)

MatildaSK's picture

This is my second time making this delicious recipe and i have found that adding the salt to the vegetables crom the start and uncovering the pan for the second half of the simmering brings the final cooking time down somewhat.. however do plan closer to 3 hours from startbto finish!
I have also only made half the expected jars so dont hesitate to double the amounts if you are relying on this for Christmas presents!!

clumsmum's picture

I make this every year as part of family hampers - it is absolutely delicious. I find ALL chutneys take longer to simmer than stated despite investing in a Maslin pan, I just keep an eye on it and simmer until less watery and thickened, stirring often to prevent sticking

kizzyliddington's picture

My first time making chutney and have now popped away until Christmas time! I found that it took a lot longer to reduce than the timings suggest, closer to an hour than only 30 minutes. I bought 9 150ml Kilner Jars but only managed to fill 6 but i had a little taste and its delicious. Will definitely make this again and will try with smoked paprika!

GreyMalkin's picture

I make this every year and my family love it. It works with cheese, cold's just fabulous! If I stick to the recipe exactly I manage to get 2 medium and 2 small kilner jars so I think the end quantities are a bit off. It also takes a lot longer to reduce down but you dont really need to keep an eye on it until the end so just let it bubble away while you get on with other things.

I've just finished making this year's Christmas batch and have used smoked paprika as per someone's, further down, recommendation.

fluffysmum's picture

I made this beautiful chutney and put it away to mature for 18 months. Now it is the most fabulous spicy, delicious chutney ever. I recommend leaving it to mature x

staceystoke86's picture

I made this the other night and it was fairly straight forward. Just keep stirring when you first put all the veg in and when reaching the very end. It took a long time to reduce enough to get it into the jars. I stuck to the recipe exactly and I just managed to fill 9 x 190ml jars so I made 1.71 litres. Hoping everyone will like it at Christmas.

Cookadoodledo's picture

I've just made this chutney for the first time. Despite all suggestions, I found it very difficult to stick to the recipe to the letter... i put a bit more of the veg and tomatoes in than specified.

It makes a lot less than specified - I had 24 280ml jars to fill with chutney. I doubled the recipe to make about 5kg - as specified (which should fill around 17 jars, if the quantities are right). However, I have only filled 11 - so the quantities are a bit off.

It is absolutely delicious - but i would be careful of adding all that cayenne pepper. I like spicy food, but WOW. Because I doubled the recipe, I ended up adding around 4tsp of cayenne pepper and it really blows the head off!

I also used (as someone else suggested) Italian chopped tomatoes rather than fresh ones. It took me around an hour to prep all the veg so not having to prep the tomatoes as well was really helpful!

The timings - It has taken me the best part of 2 days to make. Once i started to reduce the mixture, it took the best part of about 3 hours to reduce. Yes, i doubled it so there was more liquid, however it did take a lot longer than expected. It should be worth it (i hope!) as i'm making these as gifts.

Delicious and spicy, but took a long time to make less than I hoped!

Claire_coll's picture

Just made a huge batch of this ready for another Christmas. This has become a firm family favourite, they're all asking for it!!! Follow the recipe exactly for best results, although i do find mine takes a lot longer to thicken :)

shereen82's picture

I make a batch at Christmas time as these make excellent gifts. However, this time I chose to work smarter, not harder and it saved me a lot of prep time (and money too!) especially as I double up on all the ingredients.

This time I used Tesco’s frozen diced onions, frozen sliced mixed peppers and 2 large cartons of Italian chopped tomatoes – all other ingredients were freshly prepared.

Tastes better than previous batches I’ve made before – I’m sure it’s the Italian tomatoes :-)

colin1429's picture

Made this over the weekend, and had a little taste which I liked. All seemed good, and bottled it up, but once cooled it looks a bit funny in the jars. Can it be reheated to thicken it a bit more?

robets746d's picture

Third time making this recipe. Used smoked paprika this time- delicious!

princessdaisy's picture

What an excellent idea, thank you.

sarakay63's picture

This recipe went down really well as gifts last Christmas. You really do have to follow the recipe to the letter to get the best results. Mine wasn't a particularly thick chutney, but I have nothing but compliments from colleagues about it.

shinjinku's picture

This is a great recipe. My family loves Mary Berry's recipes. Tried getting my hands on the jars in the picture but they aren't very good for hot filling. If you want your chutney to last and look amazing buy some Le Parfait jars as they are the best. I found this great company selling them cheap for Christmas - amazing as gifts too -

Hayleybobs91's picture

I have never made a chutney before and found this recipe really easy to follow. I added twice as much cayenne chilli powder just because we like a lot of spice and for me its just the right balance of spice and sweetness..The end product has turned out very well! Great sticky consistency. Extremely tasty, will definitely be making it again:-)

Bird's picture

I am very very grateful for all the reviews on this chutney and I am very very sorry to have to write a tepid review on Mary Berry's Christmas Chutney. I know how many people rate it and I am sure my effort will be fine (fingers crossed!). But as so many people have said it takes absolutely AGES to reduce, 30 mins turned into 2 and a half hours (I fully accept the pan I was using was probably not the best shape). But I was beginning to despair. It also made me wonder if Mary Berry has actually made this chutney herself or has simply put her name to it? By the time the liquid had reduced, so had the contents so it absolutely did not yield 6 lbs. I managed to fill two 1lb kilner jars, and two small jars that once contained mint sauce or something like that. So I now have four of the cleanest, most sterilised 1lb kilner jars in existence with nothing to do!! It would be good to hear from Mary Berry herself but am quite certain she has better things to do than pat me down!!

laura_hearts's picture

I have just finished making some. I know already that it is going to taste lovely once stored, but I DOUBLED the recipe and only got 6x 500ml Kilner jars. I wasn't even able to fill them to the brim either. Bit of a shame because of all the work involved. I will have to do another double batch to get what I originally wanted.

robets746d's picture

First time making chutney by myself. I only seemed to be left with 3 and a half jars. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong?! Delicious!

climbup's picture

I've just popped this wonderful chutney away until Christmas, but not without saving a tiny jar for myself now! This recipe worked beautifully, the prep was time-consuming but easy and worth it. I left out the aubergine and used a tad more onion and pepper, and as for the cayenne pepper I went with 1 1/2 tsp after reading other comments, which was perfect. This chutney is fairly sweet, but no more than a shop-bought one, and the spices are perfect. I left the lid off for the first boil which meant that the final boil was much quicker- about 45 mins. I managed to make 3 quite big jars, which were just recycled ones that I'd saved. You do have to be really careful on the final boil not to burn it, which is what I did, but I quickly rescued it and put it in another pan, and it was fine, I just had to spend a while scrubbing the original pan! A really great recipe, which I'm sure the whole family will love when they receive it as presents on Christmas day!

estie83's picture

I liked the recipe but wouldn't call it outstanding. Used half the cayenne suggested. The final boil is over an hour. I would also recommend making more than the recipe suggest as it is quite a long process for only 4 jars.


Questions (26)

kjozzie's picture

Made this yesterday, but have a few concerns now: Im a newbie to the preserving world so launched into this recipe without looking at the technique very much before hand, so I'm not sure I've done enough in the way of sterilisation.
I bought brand new 300ml screw top jars, gave them a rinse under the hot tap and let them dry on the draining board. Then followed the instructions to add the mixture piping hot to the jars and screwed tightly closed. Looking at this more online, it seems I've probably not done enough here. Question is - can I decant the mixture from the jars, sterilise the jars the properly, and reheat the chutney so it's hot again, then redo? Or should I just bin the lot? Or will it be fine as is?

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your question. Yes, that sounds like a good plan. Reheat the chutney until bubbling and piping hot the whole way through, then sterilise the jars. We have a feature here, explaining exactly how to do it.

chaileyg's picture

Do I have to use a preserving pan for best results? I have a large aluminium stock pot I was planning on using?

goodfoodteam's picture

HI there, you don't have to use a preserving pan if you don't have one but we'd recommend using a heavy-based pan to prevent sticking and provide a more even cook.

TinyAsianCook's picture

Hi there,

A couple of questions:

1. Must I leave the chutney to mature, or can it be eaten almost immediately? I am hoping to make this as Christmas gifts so don't have enough time for the maturing process.

2. I live in the tropics which means the hot climate can be troublesome, therefore can this be stored (and left) in the refrigerator after making?

Many thanks for your help.

goodfoodteam's picture

Chutneys are left to mature, because over time the vinegary flavours and spices start to mellow, but to be honest you could eat it straightaway, it will still be delicious. It is probably a good idea to keep this in the fridge, even unopened, if you don't have anywhere cool to store it, but you will still need to sterilise the jars.

Bryony25's picture

I just made one and a half batch of chutney this week. This was my first attempt at making chutney.
Now it's made and stored away in little "Le Parfait" jars, I'm starting to worry I didn't do enough to sterilize them. I have a very small kitchen, so I put each jar in a pan of boiling water for a few minutes and did the same with the rubber seals. Now I've seen that they should be put in the oven for 20 min (according to some web sites).
I've reading lots of scary stuff on the internet about botulism and so on. Should I start over?
I hope not, it took a whole afternoon to make...

Thanks for your help.

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Bryony25 so long as the jars were submerged when the water was boiling and the chutney was hot when it went into hot jars this should be fine. However, if you're at all worried it might be worth heating the chutney up again in a pan whilst you sterilise the jars - here's a handy video for future reference hope this helps. 

Taylormade79's picture

How many average sized jam jars does this make?

goodfoodteam's picture
It will make about 12 jars, thanks.
Selinarp's picture

Mine did about 4 8oz jars

fionabaldwin's picture

Can you use passata in place of fresh tomotoes?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Fiona,

We would suggest sticking to fresh tomatoes as passata will change the consistency.

Best wishes. 

GrumpyofEssex's picture

Try again. In what liquid are the ingredients simmered given that the vinegar is supposed to go in later?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, 

The vegetables will give off liquid while cooking, especially the tomatoes.

jamiesleigh's picture

Literally just making this now and had the same question. Soon realised that the liquid comes from the juices in the vegatables, just pop on the lid as the recipe suggests and it soon starts to fill up.

GrumpyofEssex's picture

Try again - what liquid is used to simmer the ingredients given the vinegar goes in later?

GrumpyofEssex's picture

Why can't I post a question?

GrumpyofEssex's picture

In what liquid are the ingredients simmered given that the vinegar goes in later?

GrumpyofEssex's picture

Given that the vinegar goes in later, in what liquid are the ingredients simmered?


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