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Caramelised Red Onion Chutney Recipe (Easy and Tangy)

Say goodbye to over-sweetened and unhealthy chutneys. This red onion chutney calls for a mindful amount of sugar, allowing the flavourful spices and caramelised onions shine through to make a deliciously sweet but savoury spread, side dish or dip!

Red Onion Chutney with table spoon are in the jar that is on the chopping board with pieces of bread | Hurry The Food Up

We’re not yet called ‘currythefoodup’, but the thought certainly crossed my mind as we came up with this red onion chutney.

We’ve now got numerous dips, chutneys, and don’t even get me started with the curries. What can I say? Variety is the very spice of life, and the abundance of these recipes means there’s something on our site for just about everyone. 

This red onion chutney is particularly excellent as it goes well with virtually any curry – or can be eaten as a simply-made but tastily-complex condiment to breads, cheeses or sides of your choice.

Of the various dips and sides available for curry (including this tomato chutney and cucumber raita), onion chutney is probably my all-time favourite. 

Tangy yet sweet, tart and soft, it’s good with basically anything, elevating almost any dish it’s paired with. 

Chutney ingreadients: red oinions, dark brown sugar, garlic, chilli pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar etc. | Hurry The Food Up


Vinegar and Olive Oil

These two are some of the most important pantry staples every kitchen should have, but if you happened to have emptied your bottles right before stumbling on this must-try recipe, no worries. 

For the balsamic vinegar, an equal volume of red wine vinegar with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey will suffice, and for the olive oil, peanut or almond oil should do.

Spices and Sugar

This recipe uses a pinch of salt and pepper, and two tablespoons of dark brown sugar. If you don’t mind some extra moisture, agave nectar, honey or maple syrup are great dark brown sugar alternatives

Otherwise, mix two tablespoons of molasses with a cup of granulated white sugar for a rich caramel flavour similar to that of some dark brown sugar.


The sharp, tangy and mildly sweet flavours of the herbs are what really make a caramelised onion chutney the perfect accompaniment it is. 

This chutney calls for red onions but you can try this recipe out with white or yellow onions, and for the chilli pepper, use a jalapeno, cayenne or even a serrano if you really want to bring the heat. 

Health Benefits

One serving of our onion chutney contains:

1 serving contains:

kcal 185kcal
Carbs 21g
Fat 10g
Protein 1g

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This chutney was made low-sugar intentionally but I’m no sourpuss. I sternly believe in the real and totally not made-up saying; 

A little sugar never hurt nobody” by… someone, probably. 

But, some chutney recipes are filled with a sickly amount of sugar, and that’s not very ideal. That’s why we decided to go for a balance with ours, so it’s just as savoury as it is sweet.

Being low in sugar isn’t the only upside though. 

Packing antioxidants and offering an immunity boost, there are numerous health benefits of red onions, the main ingredient, as well as the rest of the ingredients and spices, present here.

Plus, this tangy delight is completely plant-based, so if you’re vegan, congratulations because you’ve just hit the jackpot! 

This caramelised red onion chutney, alongside the delicious ideas in our free 7-day vegan meal plan are pure gold and the perfect addition to your menu.

Red onions and chilli pepper are cooking in the large pan | Hurry The Food Up

How to make the best onion chutney

  • Dice the red onions and chilli pepper, grate the garlic cloves and set those aside.
  • Heat up a little oil in a pan then add the chilli pepper and chopped onions to the hot oil.
  • Cook on medium heat for about fifteen minutes and for best results, stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan or turn brown.
  • Add the garlic, salt, sugar and pepper. Keep stirring for an extra five minutes.
  • Pour in the vinegar and continue stirring as it boils on high heat until all the vinegar has evaporated. 
  • Turn off the stove and let the chutney sit at room temperature to cool for another five minutes.

And it’s really that easy! Slather it on some bread and take a hearty bite for a taste of your next favourite dip.

The ingredients with balsamic vinegar are cooking in the large pan | Hurry The Food Up


How do you store red onion chutney?

A red onion chutney can be stored in a nice glass jar and will keep well in a fridge for weeks or even months. Although that tangy vinegar works well to preserve the chutney, I wouldn’t recommend keeping a jar for that long, but what the heck. 

What is the difference between onion marmalade and onion chutney?

The recipes out there and the ingredients used for both are incredibly similar, so it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly makes a red onion marmalade and onion chutney different. Although the name marmalade is tied to citrus, both onion marmalades and onion chutneys are basically relish-like spreads.

How long does it last?

It should last over a month in the fridge. We’ve never tried freezing or canning it (because we eat it so fast we don’t need to), so we can’t recommend how long it would last with those approaches.

Does it need to sit after being cooked?

Chutney is supposed to be a cold condiment! There’s no harm in eating this red onion chutney fresh off the stove (other than maybe burning your tongue), but it’s so much better after it’s cooled off and been spread on some crusty bread. 

What do you eat with onion chutney?

I hear you! If you aren’t used to eating chutney with every meal, don’t worry. We’ve got tons of recipes that pair perfectly with this delicious red onion chutney.

If you’re just after the recipe, feel free to skip to the bottom.

Vegan chickpea curry – our true queen of curries. The most popular curry on the site, animal-friendly, quick and very tasty.

Banana curry – a creamy, smooth curry. Exceptionally quick and with sweet tones, it’s hard to slip up with this one.

Pakistani roasted cauliflower curry – a nutritious beast with a tomato and lemon twist; it shouldn’t be missed.

Vegan coconut curry – this curry stands out for its sheer simplicity. A better effort vs quality ratio just can’t be found – it’s so good!

Easy cauliflower curry – learn the art of curry as lime mixes with maple syrup for a wonderful balance of sweet and sour. See for yourself.

Thai green curry – waste not, want not with this Asian-inspired curry that uses up all leftovers. It’s good to be green.

Onion Chutney is in the jar that is on the chopping board with pieces of bread | Hurry The Food Up

More Chutneys and Dips

Tomato Chutney
Persian Cucumber Dip
Black Bean Lime Dip
Cucumber Mint Raita

What our readers are saying

Made this couple of weeks ago to go on a gourmet tri-tip sandwich. Absolutely delicious with rave reviews! I had a little bit left over and had my chef friends try it. They loved the depth of flavors, and I’ve noticed how the flavor keeps developing more over time. Great recipe Jennifer! Excellent on sandwiches and burgers, as well as crostinis with goat cheese! Can’t wait to try it with pate!

Cathy Shank⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This recipe is amazing. We made 4x the amount to give people for Xmas presents. This made 6-7x small jars…. so probably 4-5 jam jars (and more for scooping up with cheese hot out the pan)The quantities are perfect, the ingredients are easy (as is the method) and affordable. thanks for the great recipe.

Maisie ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Red Onion Chutney
4.76 from 57 votes
This red onion chutney calls for minimal sugar, allowing the flavourful spices and caramelised onions shine through to make a sweet but savory spread, side dish or dip!
Cuisine:Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:35 minutes
Servings:4 people



  • Finely dice the red onions and chilli pepper. Grate the garlic.
    4 red onion, 1 red chili pepper with seeds, 2 cloves garlic
  • Heat up the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions and chilli pepper for fifteen minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently so it doesn't stick or go brown.
    3 tbsp olive oil
  • Add the garlic, salt, sugar and pepper. Cook for another five minutes.
    2 cloves garlic, 1 pinch Salt and pepper to taste, 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
    Red Onion Chutney - Sweet and Sour gives us Power - diced red onion in a large pan #dark brown sugar #vegan |
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to the boil on a high heat. Stir well and consistently until the vinegar has evaporated.
    ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
    Red Onion Chutney - Sweet and Sour gives us Power - onions are cooking in the large pan #garlic #appetizer |
  • Turn off the stove and let the chutney sit and cool for another five minutes.
  • Done!
    Red Onion Chutney - Sweet and Sour gives us Power - Red Onion Chutney is ready #olive oil #sweet |


We’ve tested many onion chutneys over the years, and a big shoutout has to go to Holly at The Little Blog of Vegan for her version. 
We modified it only very slightly as we found it almost perfect to begin with. Thanks for the inspiration, Holly, you rock!
Ever tried a chickpea flour pancake? No?! You’re missing out. Rectify that today 🙂


Nutrition Facts
Red Onion Chutney
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Ditch the butter and throw out the mayo because this red onion chutney recipe is the only spread you’ll ever need. I hope you’ll enjoy this dip just as much as I do. And, I’d love to know how yours turned out, so leave us a note telling us how it went in the comments below!

4.76 from 57 votes (46 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    this is DELICIOUS. i toasted our home made foccaccia, rubbed it with garlic clove, topped it melted gruyere cheese, your fabulous chutney, pickled jalapenos, and some arugula. my eyes were rolling in the back of my head, it was THAT good! thanks for a simple, quick yet tasty condiment – i envision putting this on everything!

    1. That is so good to hear! It does sound like a delicicous foccaccia bread I have to admit!

  2. I would like to try this recipe but could you provide a weight for the red onions, please.

    1. Good question! We added the note! 1 red onion weighs about 4 oz = 115g 🙂

  3. 3 stars
    Just made it with 5 medium red onions. Tasting along the way wanted a little
    zip, so lol I added 3/4tsp minced ginger, about 5 tbs Italian dry rose, and 1/2tsp curry powder. Aromatics filled the kitchen. Yumz Thz

    1. Good to hear you could make it fit your taste! 🙂