Delicious Sweet and Tangy Tomato Chutney Recipe (2024)

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This tomato chutney recipe is one of my favorite methods for preserving an abundant tomato crop from the vegetable garden. Add it to your homemade pantry!

Originally published August 2011; this post has been updated.

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Tomato Chutney Recipe

My friend Claudette is a personal chef. She cooks professionally for people who can afford such things. When Claudette cooks, people pay attention. My kids love to have dinner at her house because it is guaranteed to be a noteworthy meal.

She makes some amazing sausage rolls and serves them with a green onion tomato chutney that is to die for. I enjoy the sausage rolls, but I have to admit, I’m fully prepared to forgo the rolls and resort to a spoon for the tomato chutney. Seriously. That good.

When I raved (over and over again) about the chutney, she shared her recipe with me. I modified it to assure that it’s safe for canning and now I try to keep some in my pantry at all times!

Chutney is commonly served with Indian dishes, but I make no claim that this is a traditional Indian tomato chutney.

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Tomatoes – Start with tomatoes fresh off the vine for the best flavor; Roma tomatoes are great, but beefsteak varieties will work, too. Chop the tomatoes by hand aiming for a quarter-inch dice, or use your food processor and pulse the tomatoes and peppers to chop them.

Do you need to peel the tomatoes? The National Center for Home Food Preservation suggests peeling; they’ve tested their recipes without peels, presuming that people don’t like the peels in them. (Based on a conversation with an extension agent.) I don’t peel mine; if you prefer to, here’s how to peel tomatoes like my mom does it.

Vinegar – This recipe calls for two different kinds of vinegar, red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar. It’s what makes this a sweet and tangy tomato chutney.

Sugar– Use granulated sugar for this recipe. I prefer to use an organic cane sugar to avoid genetically modified ingredients, but your favorite brand will be just fine.

Red peppers – Using red peppers adds flavor and sweetness to the chutney recipe. You could probably use orange or yellow bells, too, but I definitely wouldn’t use green bell peppers.

Green onions – Instead of bulb onions, this recipe calls for milder sliced green onions.

Seasonings – Along with salt and pepper, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes offer up flavor and spice. While this recipe is a slightly spicy tomato chutney, it’s not terribly hot. If you’d like more heat, you can safely double the red pepper flakes.

Making the Chutney

You’ll start by heating the vinegar, sugar, and spices. While that’s heating, chop the vegetables. You can do this by hand or use a food processor as I do.

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Core and quarter the tomatoes and put them in the bowl of the food processor. Use a pulsing method to reduce the tomatoes to a chunky pulp.

Repeat with both the peppers and the onions.

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Combine the chopped veggies with the vinegar and seasonings and cook for a couple of hours, until the chutney is thick and reduced by about half.

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Canning this Tomato Chutney

If you’re new to home food preservation, be sure to read this for an understanding of canning equipment and how it works.

Once the ingredients are chopped and cooked, you’ll ladle the chutney into pint jars. Fill seven jars; that’s how many will fit in a standard canning pot. I have a canning funnel for this purpose, that makes it easier to transfer the chutney into the jars without a lot of mess.

Do you have questions about home canning? First time canner? Check out this list of 101 frequently asked canning questions!

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Use a damp cloth to wipe the rim of each jar; a little bit of food on the jar rim can prevent the lids from sealing properly. Set the lids in place and screw the bands on firmly tight (but not too tight). Use a jar lifter to transfer jars into the gently boiling water. As stated above, the water in the pot should cover the jars by about an inch. If necessary add more water to the canner.

Hot tip:Boil some extra water in a saucepan or electric kettle as you’re working. If you need to top off the water in the canner, you won’t cool down the water too much.

Process jars for the recommended time. (See below.) When time is up, use the jar lifter to transfer jars to a flat surface that’s padded with a kitchen towel. Allow jars to cool completely. As they cool, you’ll begin to hear a canner’s favorite sound: That lovely littletink!that indicates a successful seal.

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Once jars are thoroughly cooled, check the seal on all of the jars. The lid should be concave and solid. If it flexes at all, it’s not sealed. (Place any jars that didn’t seal in the refrigerator and use them first. They are not shelf stable.)

Remove bands from cooled jars and rinse the jars. Store jarswithoutthe bands.

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Making gifts? Grab a free download of these cute printable canning labels — complete with a gentle reminder to return the jar!

🍅 Safety First!

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. The recipes on this site have been made following safe canning procedures by a certified Master Food Preserver.

  • Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety.
  • Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. I highly recommend investing in pH paper to test your products for acidity level when canning. Note: For safe water bath canning, the Hawaii Master Food Preserverssuggest a pH of 4.2 or lower in the tropics. In other regions, the recommended pH is 4.6 or lower.
  • Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler or Harvest Right hard plastic lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here.
  • Want to learn more? The National Center for Home Food Preservation is the go-to resource for safe canning information.

This tomato chutney is a good beginner recipe for novice home canners. (Find more easy canning recipes here.)Canning chutney at home is not hard. It’s basically a lot of chopping.

If you want to make this amazing tomato chutney but don’t want to do any canning, you can simply make it and store it in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.

Be sure to try this delicious salsa recipe for canning, too. Read this for more on canning tomatoes.

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Serving this Tomato Chutney

This chutney is delicious served with sausage rolls, as Claudette does. But it’s also a great topping for burgers or hot dogs. Stir some into egg salad or potato salad. Mix it with cream cheese for a sweet and zesty dip, or simply pour it over cream cheese to serve with crackers.

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★ Did you make this tomato chutney recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!★

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Tomato Chutney Recipe

Yield: 7 pints

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Process Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

This tomato chutney is one of my favorite recipes for preserving an abundant tomato crop from the vegetable garden. It's spicy and sweet and full of fresh tomato flavor. It is really very easy and so worth it!


Vinegar, Sugar, and Spices:

  • 2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated organic cane sugar
  • 5 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


  • 5 pounds chopped tomatoes
  • 5 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 3/4 cup sliced green onions


Prepare for Canning

  1. Wash the jars you'll use, making sure each is clean and free of nicks in the rim, which could impede sealing.
  2. Wash the lids and rings in hot soapy water. (If you're using non-Ball brand lids, prepare as suggested by manufacturer.)
  3. Place empty jars in a canning pot or large stock pot with enough water to cover by an inch or two, cover pot, and set on high heat when chutney nears completion.

Making the chutney:

  1. Combine red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and spice ingredients to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add vegetables. Simmer all ingredients over medium heat for about two hours or until thickened and reduced by half. As the chutney thickens, you'll need to stir more frequently (and watch out - it can get a bit volcanic as it bubbles away).

Canning the chutney:

  1. Ladle hot chutney into pint or half-pint jars, leaving 1/2" head space. A canning funnel makes this easy.
  2. Wipe jar rims to remove any chutney that may have spilled. A clean rim is essential to a good seal.
  3. Set jar lids in place. Screw bands on finger tight, firmly, but don't crank the rings on.
  4. Use a jar lifter to gently submerge jars into boiling water in canning pot. Water should cover the top of the jars by an inch. The water will cool somewhat in reaction to the addition of the jars. Return the water to a low boil and set the timer.
  5. Process for 15 minutes; 20 minutes for elevations above 6,000 feet.
  6. Allow jars to cool overnight.
  7. Check for seal: the lids should feel solid and slightly indented. If they flex, they are not shelf stable and should be refrigerated and used first.
  8. Wash jars, remove rings, and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.


This recipe tested at a pH of 3.0 making it safe for water bath canning.

Boiling lids or heating above 180°F as once recommended can damage the sealing compound.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 42Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 95Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g

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Here are some more canning recipes to try!

Try canning nectarines or peaches to preserve the sweet flavor of a summertime harvest.

Applesauce is easy to make and preserve with a water bath. Here’s how.

Did you know you can make your own shelf-stable chicken stock? Or ready-to-use canned beans?? Talk about a time saver. (You DO need a pressure canner to make either of these.)

Delicious Sweet and Tangy Tomato Chutney Recipe (2024)


What's the difference between tomato sauce and tomato chutney? ›

The texture of this condiment is what primarily distinguishes it from a sauce. Because it is made from slow-cooking fruits and vegetables, chutney often has a chunky yet spreadable consistency and is created similarly to jam. Sauce, on the other hand, is typically much thinner.

What's the difference between chutney and relish? ›

So how does a relish differ? Generally, they are thinner in consistency with more “pickled and vinegary” flavours. They usually contain vegetables rather than fruit and only one variety whereas chutneys are mostly fruit and often a mixture of fruits.

How can I thicken my tomato chutney? ›

Add cornstarch: Mix a small amount of cornstarch with cold water to create a slurry. Gradually add the mixture to the chutney while stirring. Cook for a few more minutes until the chutney thickens. Add ground nuts: Add some ground nuts like almonds or cashews to the chutney, which will help thicken it.

Why is my homemade chutney not thickening? ›

If the chutney seems too runny, cook it for another 5-10 minutes and test again. You may also like to give the chutney the odd stir as you cook it, to prevent the mixture at the edges of the pan from catching.

Why is my tomato chutney bitter? ›

I find the seeds of fresh tomatoes to be the cause of the bitterness. Try to remove as many seeds as possible by squeezing tomatoes after blanching and peeling. Its hard to get them all but that is okay. Then a bit of cane sugar.

Why is my tomato chutney too runny? ›

Our answer. When you make chutney its consistency is determined by the evaporation of liquid as the chutney cooks. So if possible you should use a wide pan as this has a larger surface area which means that liquid will evaporate more quickly and should help to prevent the fruit in the chutney from becoming too soft.

What is chutney called in America? ›

Relish. Chutney and relish are two popular condiments, and the names are often interchanged. The confusion is understandable because chutneys can be savory, and relishes can be sweet. In general, chutneys have a chunky spreadable consistency much like a preserve and are usually made with fruit.

Which is sweeter relish or chutney? ›

Relish is a flavouring, usually sweet and sour, which consists of finely chopped vegetables or fruit, vinegar and sugar. Whereas chutney is more sweet and fruity, relish usually contains cucumber, courgette, tomato, rhubarb or onion, and the pieces of fruit or vegetables are somewhat coarser and crunchier.

What is chutney called in English? ›

(ˈtʃʌtni) noun. a sauce or relish of Asian origin, often compounded of both sweet and sour ingredients, as fruits and herbs, with spices and other seasoning. Also: chutnee.

How do you reduce bitterness in tomato chutney? ›

Add a pinch of sugar

Similar to the baking soda method, you can try adding a small pinch of sugar to your finished tomato sauce to help mellow out any unsavory or bitter notes. Natural Gourmet Institute suggests starting with just ¼ teaspoon of sugar at a time until the sauce reaches your desired acidic level.

How do you reduce sourness in tomato chutney? ›

Cinnamon and nutmeg to eliminate tomato sourness

If you use canned or bottled peeled tomatoes, you can "soften" the sourness by adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg while cooking.

How do you reduce the sweetness in tomato chutney? ›

Adding lime juice can to your dish can balance out the sweetness.

Which vinegar is best for chutney? ›

Vinegar used in making chutney must be good quality and have at least 5% acetic acid content. Any good brand white, malt, wine or cider vinegar should possess the correct qualities. Brown sugar is used for darker coloured chutney but where a lighter colour is required granulated sugar is recommended.

How do you sweeten chutney? ›

I sweeten my tamarind chutney using soaked pitted dates and a little bit of brown sugar. The soaking makes it much easier to blend although this is optional. Spices I like to include in my chutney to make it flavorful are: Cumin powder.

Why does my chutney taste bitter? ›

Adjust the Herbs and Spices: Bitterness in chutney can sometimes be caused by an excessive amount of certain herbs or spices. Consider reducing the quantity of bitter ingredients such as fenugreek leaves (methi), mustard seeds, or certain greens like spinach.

Is chutney and sauce the same? ›

Sauce is a generic term, and includes many different possibilities. Ketchup is a tomato-and-vinegar based thick, pureed sauce. Chutneys are usually very thick sauces that contain pieces of fruit and/or vegetables instead of all being pureed together.

What is a substitute for chutney? ›

You can substitute mango chutney with apricot preserves or jam. Some peach marmalade can also do the trick. And another option is that you can try to mix some lightly cooked cranberries with a hint of lemon juice.

What are the uses of tomato chutney? ›

Ideas on What to do with Chutney
  • Mix with sour cream for a dip.
  • Add to barbecue sauce.
  • Add to mayonnaise and use with sandwiches.
  • Serve over a block of cream cheese or goat cheese as a appetizer.
  • Spread on bread in grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Add to stuffing for turkey.
  • Add to chicken salad.

What is tomato chutney made of? ›

The tomatoes can be diced, mashed or pulped, and additional typical ingredients used include ginger, chilli, sugar, salt, aam papad, raisin, dates and spices and additionally onion, garlic and peanut or dal for the south Indian version. It can be prepared using ripe red tomatoes or green tomatoes.

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