Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney Recipe

Last updated on April 28, 2024

Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney
Yields: 6 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 50 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Jamie Oliver’s Caramelised Onion Chutney is a delightful condiment that adds a gourmet touch to any meal. This chutney combines the natural sweetness of onions with a hint of acidity from vinegar, creating a perfect balance of flavors. It’s an excellent addition to cheese platters, and sandwiches, and even as a glaze for meats.

This recipe makes about three cups of chutney and can be prepared in about an hour, plus cooling time.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of making Jamie Oliver’s Caramelised Onion Chutney, providing detailed steps and helpful tips to ensure you get the perfect result every time.

What is Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney?

Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney is a savory jam-like condiment made by slowly cooking onions to bring out their natural sugars, which are then preserved with vinegar, sugar, and a blend of spices. This process enhances the onions’ sweetness while adding a complex flavor profile that complements a variety of dishes.

Best Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Versatile Use: Perfect as a spread, a side, or a glaze, this chutney is a fantastic way to elevate everyday meals.
  • Rich Flavor: The deep, sweet flavor of caramelized onions is enriched by the tangy vinegar and the subtle warmth of spices.
  • Simple Ingredients: Made with common ingredients that are easily sourced or found in your pantry.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: Perfect for preparing in advance, as the flavors deepen and improve with time.

Ingredients Needed to Make Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney

  • Onions: 1 kg (about 2.2 lbs), finely sliced
  • Brown Sugar: 200 g (about 7 oz), enhances the natural sweetness of the onions
  • Red Wine Vinegar: 150 ml (about 5 fl oz), adds a necessary acidity to balance the sweetness
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 50 ml (about 1.7 fl oz), for a rich, complex flavor
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 teaspoon, adds texture and spice
  • Bay Leaves: 2, for an aromatic infusion
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste, for seasoning


To make Jamie Oliver’s Caramelised Onion Chutney, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

  • Large Heavy-Bottomed Pan: Essential for even cooking and preventing the onions from burning.
  • Wooden Spoon: Ideal for stirring, as it won’t react with the acids in the vinegar.
  • Jars: Sterilized jars for storing the chutney, ensuring it keeps well.

Instructions to Make Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney

Step 1: Prepare the Onions

  • Peel and finely slice the onions. This will help them cook evenly and absorb the flavors thoroughly.

Step 2: Caramelize the Onions

  • In your heavy-bottomed pan, add the onions with a bit of oil on a low heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and soft. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

Step 3: Add Sugar and Vinegar

  • Once the onions are caramelised, add the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine.

Step 4: Simmer

  • Add the mustard seeds and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until thick and jam-like. Remove the bay leaves before storing them.

Step 5: Store

  • Transfer the hot chutney into sterilized jars and seal. Allow to cool at room temperature before storing in the fridge.
Easy Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney Recipe
Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney


What Goes Well With Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney?

Caramelised Onion Chutney is a versatile condiment that enhances a variety of dishes with its rich, sweet, and tangy flavors. Here are some excellent ways to enjoy it:

  • Cheese Boards: This chutney pairs beautifully with a range of cheeses, from sharp cheddar to creamy brie, adding a delightful contrast to your cheese platter.
  • Sandwiches and Burgers: Elevate your sandwiches and burgers by spreading a layer of this chutney on the bread or bun. It works particularly well with grilled chicken, roast beef, or a classic cheeseburger.
  • Grilled Meats: Use the chutney as a condiment or a glaze for grilled meats such as pork chops, lamb, or sausages. Its sweetness complements the smoky flavors beautifully.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle over or mix in with roasted vegetables like carrots, parsnips, or Brussels sprouts for added depth and sweetness.
  • Pies and Pastries: Incorporate the chutney into savory pies and pastries, such as a goat cheese tart or a puff pastry turnover, to balance the richness with its tangy flavor.
  • Breakfast Dishes: Add a spoonful to your breakfast dishes, like omelets or scrambled eggs, for a burst of flavor that starts the day off right.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney

  • Low and Slow: Keep the heat low to avoid burning the onions; patience is key to developing the deep, sweet flavor.
  • Stir Regularly: Prevent sticking and ensure even caramelization by stirring the onions frequently.
  • Taste and Adjust: Depending on your preference for sweetness or acidity, adjust the sugar and vinegar as needed during cooking.
  • Proper Reduction: Allow the mixture to reduce until it reaches a thick, jam-like consistency. This concentrates the flavors and ensures the right texture.
  • Sterilize Jars: Properly sterilizing your storage jars can prevent contamination and extend the shelf life of the chutney.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: The better the quality of your onions and vinegar, the tastier your chutney will be.
  • Balance Your Spices: A pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon can add a warm depth of flavor, but be careful not to overpower the natural onion taste.
  • Let It Mature: If possible, let the chutney sit for a few weeks before using. This waiting period allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.

Variations of Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney

  • Spicy Kick: Add chili flakes or fresh chilies to introduce a spicy element.
  • Fruity Twist: Mix in chopped apples or raisins for a fruity version that complements the onions.
  • Herbal Notes: Incorporate thyme or rosemary for a herbal flavor that pairs well with meats.

How Do I Store Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney Leftovers?

  • Refrigeration: Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  • Cool and Dark: Keep the jars in a cool, dark place to maintain the best quality and flavor.

How Do I Reheat Jamie Oliver Caramelised Onion Chutney Leftovers?

  • Room Temperature: Often best served at room temperature to enhance the flavors.
  • Gentle Warmth: If you prefer it warm, gently heat in a saucepan over low heat until just warm.

Nutrition Value (per serving):

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Sugar: 24 g


What is the shelf life of homemade caramelised onion chutney?

Homemade caramelised onion chutney can last for up to 3 months when stored properly in airtight jars in the refrigerator. Ensure the jars are sterilized and the chutney is stored in a cool, dark place to maintain its quality and flavor over time.

Can caramelised onion chutney be frozen for longer storage?

Yes, caramelised onion chutney can be frozen. To freeze, place the cooled chutney in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and store for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.

How can I thicken my caramelised onion chutney if it’s too runny?

If your caramelised onion chutney is too runny, continue cooking it over low heat, allowing more liquid to evaporate. Stir frequently to prevent burning. For a quicker solution, you can add a small amount of cornstarch mixed with water (about 1 teaspoon cornstarch to 2 teaspoons water) to the chutney while simmering.

What are some common spices to add to caramelised onion chutney for more flavor?

Common spices that can enhance the flavor of caramelised onion chutney include mustard seeds, which are traditionally used, as well as ground cloves, cinnamon, or a pinch of nutmeg. These spices complement the sweetness of the onions and add warmth and depth to the chutney.

What is the best type of onion to use for making caramelised onion chutney?

For making caramelised onion chutney, yellow onions are ideal due to their natural sweetness and robust flavor. They caramelize well, enhancing the overall taste of the chutney. However, you can also use red onions for a slightly milder flavor and added color.

Final Words

Creating Jamie Oliver’s Caramelised Onion Chutney at home is a delightful culinary journey that rewards you with a versatile condiment perfect for a variety of dishes. From cheese boards to roasted meats, this chutney adds a gourmet touch that enhances any meal. Remember, the secret to perfect chutney lies in the slow caramelization of onions and the careful balancing of flavors. So, take your time, follow the tips provided, and enjoy the rich, deep flavors that only homemade chutney can offer.

Happy cooking!

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