This easy red onion chutney recipe is so good! It goes well together with some old cheese or on any other kind of cheese board but they also work really well in other snacks such as these goat cheese bites. I totally love homemade chutneys. They’re so addictive and delicious and this caramelized red onion chutney is among the best of them!

red onion chutney recipe

Red onion chutney

If there is one downside to this delicious and easy condiment it would be the cutting of the onions. I just cannot cut any raw onion without crying my eyes out. But since it is the main ingredient of this recipe there is no way around it. I wear glasses and for some reason the only time it is less severe is when I wear contact lenses. Since you need about 8 large red onions for this recipe I actually placed them in the food processor which did save some crying. 

What you need to make the red onion chutney:

  • Obviously red onions
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • a bit of olive oil
  • cinnamon sticks
  • sugar
  • cloves

As soon as the onions are cleaned you take a large skillet and heat it with some olive oil on medium heat. Now add the onions together with the sugar, turn to low heat and briefly sauté them until they become soft and translucent. Make sure it doesn’t burn! Once the onions are soft add the rest of the ingredients: vinegar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and balsamic vinegar and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir across the bottom of the pan a few times while the onions are cooking.

Sterilizing the jars

If you want to save the red onion chutney for longer you need to sterilize some jars while the onions are cooking away. I usually do that by first cleaning them in very hot soap water, rinsing them with clean water to remove all the soap residue and then I place the jars in the oven at 160˚C (320˚F) Place them with the open side upwards. Let them in the oven for about 15 minutes, then take out and let them cool down to room temperature.

Red onion chutney

Once the chutney is completely cooked you can add the hot chutney to do the jars, screw on the lids and place them upside down on a towel for about 5 minutes or until cool. You should be able to keep it now for at least three months. A jar of homemade red onion chutney would be an a great present or Christmas present too! Before adding the chutney to the jars remove the cinnamon stick and the cloves!

Additions and variations

While the chutney is delicious all on it’s own you can change things around a bit. If this is the first time you’re making the chutney I would stick to the recipe. Once you’ve made it once you can change it up a bit and add things to it. Bay leaves would be a good addition and if you want it a little spicier consider adding some chilli flakes. I sometimes add mustard seeds, cumin seeds or black pepper to spice things up a bit. The red onion chutney is fairly sweet and could easily work as an onion jam. Instead of the sugar you could go for soft brown sugar which will give it a slightly different taste or go for something like maple syrup if you want to make this a vegan recipe instead. 

Red onion chutney


Can I make the red onion chutney with yellow onions?

Yes you can use the exact same procedure with yellow onions. The look will be different and more brownish. I love the color of the caramelised red onion chutney, but the flavor will be somewhat similar with yellow or brown onions. The yellow are less strong.

Can I use a different kind of vinegar?

Yes, I have made the red onion chutney both with red wine vinegar and with apple cider vinegar. Sherry vinegar would also work.

red onion chutney recipe

Red onion chutney

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The recipe makes about 450 grams of red onion chutney
√Delicious with old cheese √Sweet and sticky
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 15 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour

1 portion


  • 8 large red onions
  • 150 gr sugar
  • 200 ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves whole (will be taken out after)
  • 2 tbsp balsamico vinegar
  • olive oil

  • Cut all onion in rings. Don’t make them too thick but also not too thin.
  • Heat the oil in a big pan and add the onions and the sugar and softly caramelize. Don’t let it burn.
  • Put the vinegar, cinnamon, cloves and the balsamico into the mix and leave to simmer for at least ten minutes on low heat. Taste to see if it is soft enough and thickened to your liking. If not, leave to simmer a bit longer. Leave to cool and put into jars.


Nutritional value is for the entire portion

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 1016kcal | Carbohydrates: 244g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 1443mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 192g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 301mg | Iron: 4mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist