No image available
Member recipe

Caramelised red onion chutney

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(24 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 5 Jars

Sweet & Sticky Red Onion Chutney, perfect with cheese at Christmas

This recipe has been submitted by the Good Food community. Sign in or create a My Good Food account to upload your own recipe creations. Please note that all recipes will be moderated but they are not tested in the Good Food kitchen.
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 8 red onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 150ml balsamic vinegar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar


    1. Step 1: Cut your onions and chilli into short, thin slices and put them into a pan with the bay leaves and oil. Cook gently over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
    2. Step 2: Once the onions are dark and sticky, add the sugar and the vinegars and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the chutney is thick and dark.
    3. Step 3: Pour the chutney into hot, sterilised jars and let it cool. Ideally, you should leave it for a month or more before you eat it, to mature in flavour.
    4. • This recipe is taken from The SuperJam Cookbook by Fraser Doherty (Ebury, £10.99)

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
David60211's picture
20th Dec, 2019
Far too sweet, way to much sugar, had to bin the whole lot.
Helen Lewis's picture
Helen Lewis
7th Dec, 2019
I’ve just made this chutney as a fundraiser, for friends, used the list of ingredients as supplied, though onions size/weight would be helpful. It takes a lot longer to reduce the liquid to a sticky consistency, definitely not just 30 minutes. Just leave it on the low simmer and stir every now and then to make sure it’s not sticking. The yield is not massive, but I’m sure it will taste excellent and I will get lots of compliments. I do use the BBC good food recipe a lot and haven’t been disappointed yet.
24th Sep, 2019
Be aware of the horrendous smell this causes - simmering the pan containing 300ml of vinegar will stink up the kitchen for days! As others have said, this takes far longer to caramelise then reduce down than than the recipe suggests.
2nd Nov, 2017
I have made this recipe several times now and it is absolutely delicious - it is everyone's favourite chutney! I follow the recipe exactly (only adding extra chilli as we enjoy the kick), but I would agree that the timings are very out. It takes at least an hour to really caramalise the onions and then at least another hour for the simmering. I would also say that the red onions need to be the largest that you can find. It really is a delicious chutney, though, and goes fabulously with cold meats, cheeses and sausage rolls.
7th Oct, 2017
I was a bit hasty about this recipe after reading so many negative comments, but it worked out great! I took on board the advice about it taking too long to reduce and only used 100ml of balsamic vinegar (rather than 150ml) but aside from this I followed it to a t. "8 onions" isn't very specific, I used a 1kg bag and it was the perfect amount. It did only take 30 minutes to reduce down as the recipe states, so not sure where other commenters went wrong. The chutney tasted great, I sliced the chilli thinly and left the seeds in and it has the perfect amount of kick. Next time I'd maybe add a teaspoon or two of mustard seeds. In terms of yield it filled one 500ml kilner jar to the brim.
Cooking with Apples
25th Jun, 2017
Disappointing! (I see now that it is a 'member recipe' rather than a BBC Good Food "tried and tested"). I added lots more sugar and it required far longer to reduce and thicken. It then went straight from onions in a sloppy wet liquid to congealed gloop - only made 1.5 jars. The flavour is great, but if you can't get good flavour from caramelised onion you shouldn't be in a kitchen! I will try again but adding water and pectin in order to try and create something with a jam like body to it.
28th Oct, 2016
I tasted this straight after making and it tastes yummy, now waiting for it to mature. I was disappointed with the yield, but I'm making another batch this weekend. The timing is out on the recipe, and I'm going to try caramelising the onions in a frying pan, in batches, as the method suggested took forever with no real result and I ended up doing this anyway. Worth taking he time to do :)
25th Sep, 2016
I have just made some of this chutney and I'm a complete novice!!! I couldn't get it to reduce at first and added more heat and sugar (kind of boiled it for a bit), it's now setting in the jar for a month, I cannot wait!!! Yum, yum!! I only got one large jar out of it, however I did use small onions from Asda... I have to say as it is cooling it has turned a sticky lovely consistency... I'd better start hunting for a lovely string cheddar to try with it!
1st Sep, 2016
Use 1kg of onions. It makes about 2 and a half pound jars. Takes a lot longer than 50 minutes though, more like 4 hours.
17th Jan, 2016
Lovely recipe. Keep to contents shown but add more time. Makes two jars each times I've tried and outcome is lush!


joannaw4's picture
2nd Dec, 2016
Hi there, What size the red onions should be? Bit worried if I use 8 relatively small red onions from the bag - they will be too small and then it would be too v much vinegar in chutney - looking for the right balance. Could someone help? Many thanks!
joannaw4's picture
2nd Dec, 2016
What size of red onions should I use?
loopyleicester's picture
14th Apr, 2016
have just made this, followed it exactly, people asking about the onion size, i just grabbed a bag of small onions, (all bags of small onions are pretty average size lol) took longer to cook than states but i just left it longer and it went all lovely and sticky etc....tastes nice too so in a month even better! dont be put off by the negatives comments maybe they aren't great cooks lol
jojo's kitchen
24th Aug, 2015
I would like know how long the chutney keeps after its left for the month to mature. The recipes are great but we need to know the life span on these recipes. Thankyou
27th Dec, 2014
How long will this keep in the sealed jars before having to use ?
23rd Jan, 2014
Should this be stored in the fridge? Thank you
15th Nov, 2014
Not once transferred to your air-tight jar. Once opened though I would store in the fridge and only keep for 6 weeks (although I would probably keep for much longer than that).
2nd Sep, 2013
It looks delicious... does it matter what type of brown sugar is used?
13th Oct, 2013
The darker the brown sugar then the more molasses. A dark brown sugar has a more "bitter" taste (not the best description, sorry, but it's bitter in the sugar world!). It can have an effect on the end product. However this recipe doesn't state which type of brown sugar to use, so I'd say it doesn't matter, as it won't effect the overall taste.
2nd Nov, 2016
I love this recipe! I make it in October for christmas. It takes A LOT longer than the time stated and a bit more heat! I like adding an extra half chilli and a small handful of sultanas. Tasty!
11th Dec, 2013
I simmered step one (oil, bay leaves, chilli & onions) for at least an hour first (not 20 minutes) I also added a little bit of the sugar during this process to help get them "sticky" :) try turning the heat up a tiny bit if this stage is taking you too long but keep and eye on them if they start frying too much. I think the recipe is fine but you just need to extend all the timings and "play it by eye". Taste as you go! :)