Seasonal Recipes

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Red Onion Marmalade with Balsamic Vinegar

Ideal with local English cheeses, grilled goats cheese or baked hallomi.

At a glance
Extra Ingredients
about 600g
Calories in 25g serving
32 cal (approx)

2 large red onions (about 550g) thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil or butter
120g brown sugar
125 ml red wine vinegar
50ml (about 3 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper


In a large, non reactive saucepan, heat the oil or butter. Add the red onions and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and cook over moderate heat for about 25 mins or until the onions begin to caramalise.

Stir in the vinegar and the rest of the sugar, increase the heat and stir often, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and pot in sterilised jars.

Keeps for 3 months.

Recipe Source

Comments (41)

Could you please confirm that this is the correct amount of vinegar, 175ml, for approx 550g of onion? Its just that I want to make onion marmalade for the first time, and most recipes are for 100 - 150ml of vinegar to 1kg of onions. Many thanks, Chris. PS: Lovely site, just found it!
chris , February 02, 2010
Hi Chris
I'm glad you liked the site and thanks for commenting.
Yes - this is the correct amount of vinegar, just make sure you very slowly caramalise the onions to get them really sweet, then reduce the marmalade to a thick consistency. A good guide is to stop cooking when the bottom of the pan stays visible after drawing a wooden spoon through it. There's a picture on this blog post about green tomato chutney. http://www.pickleandpreserve.c...utney.html
Let me know how you get on with the recipe.
ben , February 05, 2010 | url
how many jars will this recipe make? this site is amazing!
jen , July 27, 2010
sorry i just noticed the amount at the side! so excited about this site ive forgotten how to read!
jen , July 27, 2010
Hi Jen

I'm glad you like the site, let us know if you try out any of the other recipes.
ben , July 27, 2010 | url
3rd time I've made this with a glut of red onions and it is a fantastic recipe. I add half a dozen cloves to the onions but you need to fish them out before the marmalade is ready for the jar. I don't add salt and pepper as I don't think it needs it.
bobi , August 01, 2010
Red onion marmalade
Thanks you for the recipe but I am a novice here and this is my first try at preserves. I see that the recipe lasts 3 months but do I have to leave it to mature before eating like other chutneys and does it need to be stored in the fridge?
Thanks, Carol
Carol , September 27, 2010
Hi Carol
You don't need to leave the onion marmalade to mature, it's good straight away.
I'd keep it in the fridge once opened, a cool dark place will be fine until then.
Happy cooking.
ben , September 27, 2010 | url
What kind of brown sugar should you use? Is demerara sugar ok?
Laura , November 15, 2010
when does the red wine go in? As not mentioned on the recipe
loobybucks , November 17, 2010
Brown Sugar
Hi Laura
Yes demerara sugar will work well.
ben , November 22, 2010 | url
Red Wine
Hi loobybucks
I think you may have misread the recipe?
It uses red wine vinegar, which you put in with the balsamic vinegar after you have caramalised the onions.
Hope this clears it up!
ben , November 22, 2010 | url
Would it be possible to please post this recipe on my blog? I have used it a few times now and it is fantastic.
Karol-Ann , February 09, 2011 | url
Hi Karol-Ann
Please go ahead and post the recipe on your blog, I'm glad you've found the recipe useful!
A link back to this page would be great if you can.
Ben , February 09, 2011 | url
Thanks for the great recipe!
Thank you! You can read my post here:
Karol-Ann , February 09, 2011 | url
This recipe is sublime - I have just potted it and cannot wait to consume!

What I really liked was the fact that it didn't include ingredients you wouldn't normally have in your store cupboard - a recipe to make and go.

Thankyou - I'm saving this one smilies/smiley.gif
Jane , March 11, 2011
Yum Yum
Hi Folks - I live in Calabria, the home of the Tropean Red Onion and have tried this recipe with these fantastic onions - works a treat and I am going to try it out on some of my Italian neighbours smilies/wink.gif
Wendy Girtley , June 06, 2011
Hi Wendy
I wasn't aware of the Tropean Red Onion, but have just gone and looked it up and it sounds very special. I'm glad it made a good marmalade, let us know if it's a hit with the locals!
Ben , June 06, 2011 | url
I really want to try this recipe and the amounts qouted would appear to be the least worth doing. Is there any way of extending the time this could be stored. I live alone and don't want to eat the same pickle too often just to use it up. Thanks - love the site by the way, very informative.
Ann , June 14, 2011
Freezing Onion Marmalade
Hi Ann

I can't see any reason why you can't freeze the onion marmalade once you've made it.
Try freezing portions in an ice cube tray, then pop them in a freezer bag when frozen.
Defrost in the fridge when needed and then keep in the fridge while using.

Hope that helps.

Ben , June 14, 2011 | url
Well you'll be pleased to know that the marmalade has gone down well with the locals - just about to make another batch - us a little less sugar (the Tropean Onion is very sweet already) and a little more Balsamic. Good stuff smilies/cheesy.gif
Wendy Girtley , August 01, 2011
Batch cooking
Hi, I want to make this as gifts for Christmas (along with some chilli jam and lemon curd) Anyway, I get a bit confused with jar sizes so please could you tell me approx. how many batches of this recipe I would need to fill 6 standard jam jars. Thank you (and can't wait to try it) :-D
Victoria , October 12, 2011 | url
Jar sizes
Hi Victoria
This recipe should make about 600g (it can vary according to how long you simmer it for)
600g should just fill 3 x 227g (½ lb) jam jars, although you might need to increase the ingredients a bit to ensure they are full to the top.
Have you thought about using smaller jars for gifts? You can get a good selection online.
You might also like to look at the labels section of the site for some presentation ideas. http://www.pickleandpreserve.c...php/labels
Ben , October 13, 2011 | url
Hi - your recipe doesn't mention if the onions are initially cooked in oil or butter? Thanks
Katy , November 09, 2011
Oil / Butter
Hi Katy
Well spotted!
I've amended the recipe to include the use of either oil or butter when cooking the onions.
Ben , November 09, 2011 | url
It's the first time I have made any kind of chutney and in making this easy recipe I have ended up with only one small jar. Where did I go wrong??
belinda beynon , November 11, 2011
Pretty tasty!
Tried this a couple of weeks ago and was planning to save it for nearer Christmas but I couldn't wait! Just had the first sample on a sausage sandwich and it was very good

It seemed to take a lot longer than 15 mins for most of the liquid to evaporate probably nearer 45mins. Worth the wait though and I'll be making some more
Jack Newsome , December 01, 2011
Just made this, and it is FAN TAS TIC. As good as, if not better than the expensive brand I normally swore was the best ever. Will definately be making this again and again....
Helen R , December 12, 2011
Just about to have a go at this recipe in preparation for Christmas day ...wish me luck! smilies/smiley.gif
Sho Mac , December 21, 2011
Took much longer to reduce than the recipe & there isn't as much as I expected but it tastes awesome smilies/grin.gif. What to try next?
Sho Mac , December 21, 2011
Red Onion Marmadade
Made this several times now, I add a couple of dried chilli's to give is a bit of bite. :-)
Wendy Harris , September 14, 2012
Red Onion Marmadade
Made this several times now, I add a couple of dried chilli's to give is a bit of bite. :-) Also double it up.
Wendy Harris , September 14, 2012 | url
Red Onion Marmadade
Made this several times now, I add a couple of dried chilli's to give is a bit of bite. :-) Also double it up.
Wendy Harris , September 14, 2012 | url
Hi just a wee note on how good this red onion marmalade is, I made some a few months ago and gave some to friends,yesterday my friend Elaine called with 3 bags of red onions and asked if I would mind making some more it was a big hit at a family gathering. She also asked if I would be interested in making it for some members of her family. So go on folks give it a go don't think you will be disappointed.
Linda McClintock , September 21, 2012
Thank you!
Just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I have been making this recipe for around 2 years now... And it has made me very popular with friends, family and work colleagues. I always make a big batch at Christmas as gifts and I am always getting requests during the year. No shop bought marmalade can compare! - Thank you! smilies/cheesy.gif
Amie Kemp , October 13, 2012
A Hint of Port!
Hi again from Calabria - I too have now made several batches of this and have done several variations, including adding the local firey chillies and garlic. Am just making another batch for Christmas and have added drop of Port this time around - yummeeeeee!!!! Thanks again for a brilliant recipe. smilies/grin.gif
Wendy Girtley , November 02, 2012
I've tried many a marmalade recipe but this is the one I've made more than once. That in itself is praise indeed. Lovely smilies/smiley.gif
helenld , November 29, 2012
I made a batch of this yesterday and loved it! Already had some on cheddar for my lunch today. I would love to share the recipe (and obviously a link-back to your site) on my food blog - I hope that's ok! Many thanks! Kirsten
Kirsten , May 01, 2013 | url
smilies/grin.gif This is absolutely delicious - thanks, it looks like I will be trying some of your other recipes now
Caroline , February 24, 2014
I've been using this recipe for a while and it's a big hit with all who've sampled the results, and the simplest recipe I've found. If you have a really good cask aged balsamic - I've got a 12-year matured one - you will need a little less than the recipe as it's so sweet. I've just spotted the suggestion about adding port and am about to give it a try.
Annette , May 26, 2014
If you boiling water bath this after you have put it in the jars it will keep longer. Just Google how to do it.
Very good recipe, I spent a while trying to find one without wine and I came across this one.
Judith , May 29, 2014

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