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Tomato chutney

Carlton Boyce / 19 September 2016

Use up your homegrown tomatoes in this deliciously sweet and spicy tomato chutney.

Tomato chutney
Tomato chutney

Cooking time

1 hour

Keeps for

1 year


  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 350ml cider vinegar
  • 350g soft brown sugar
  • 250g onions, finely chopped
  • 250g raisins or sultanas
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1tsp salt
  • ½tsp ground ginger or 2tsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½tsp ground allspice
  • ½tsp cayenne pepper


This year’s tomatoes are almost over, and while we all have our favourite recipe for green tomato chutney that uses up all those stubborn tomatoes that just refuse to ripen, it’s easy to overlook how delicious red tomato chutney can be.

This is so easy to make I’m almost embarrassed to call it a recipe. But it’s been honed and tweaked over the years until I think it’s absolutely perfect!

1. Sterilise your jars. Place the empty, clean jars on a baking sheet or roasting tin. Carefully place in a hot oven (130°C OR 275°F) for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, turn the oven off and leave them to cool slightly.

2. Add all the ingredients to a wide, deep saucepan.

3. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved to prevent it burning on the bottom of the pan.

4. Simmer gently in an uncovered saucepan for 45-60 minutes.

5. Leave to cool slightly before pouring into the still warm jars. Put the lid on, tightening firmly. As it cools, the metal lid should pop down; any that don’t should be kept in the fridge and used first as they haven’t sealed properly. The rest of the jars will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark place. Once opened, the jar should be stored in the fridge.

Tweaking tips

One of the many joys of making chutney is that it is almost infinitely adjustable, so feel free to add and subtract ingredients to suit your taste. The ratio of tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar should remain fairly constant – and the apples provide pectin, which helps it set – but feel free to experiment by leaving out the other ingredients like chilli or cayenne – or adding more if you want it to be a little bit hotter!

For more chutneys, jams and relishes visit our preserves section

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.