Christmas Chutney Recipe

Christmas Chutney Recipe

This delicious Christmas Chutney is the perfect easy chutney recipe which is a must at this time of year! It wouldn’t be the holidays without indulging on leftovers with a side of homemade Christmas chutney. The below recipe makes four 250g jars so is a great recipe gift. For jar decoration, I use a label maker, tie around some ribbon and add to your hamper. This recipe is vegan & gluten free made with apple, cranberry and full of Christmassy spices like nutmeg.

This recipe is part of our Christmas Hamper recipes as it is a great home made gifting idea. Check out more of our Christmas Hamper ideas for homemade gifts here!

Chutney Meaning

Chutney originates from India and is a relish made from fruits and spices made as a method of preserving fresh food (read more here on natural ways to preserve). Following the colonial era, the British brought the dish to the UK and adapted it to a more broader sense. Chutney’s in the UK now relate to a variety of ingredients preserved in sugar and vinegar. Being from the UK myself, chutneys are a staple condiment to have in the cupboard ready for a rainy day. Made with fruits and vegetables, they are boiled then slow cooked with sugar, vinegar and spices to become a thick syrupy consistency, it can then be decanted and sealed and left to preserve.

Ingredients in christmas chutney

Ingredients in Christmas Chutney recipe

Apple chutney and cranberry chutney in the UK is very popular at this time of year. However I like to put as much flavours in my chutneys as possible with a balance of sweet and savoury ingredients. This Christmas Chutney recipe includes shallots, apples, dried cranberries, dates & oranges and sugar. I use red wine vinegar here to contribute to the deep caramelised colour of the chutney but apple cider or white wine vinegar will also work well here.

Add in 2 teaspoons of Christmas Spice Mix, this is an essential homemade seasoning I will make sure to have in the cupboard at this time of year. See the post below how to make it & other recipes to use it in.

Christmas Spice seasoning

Ingredients for the Christmas Spice Seasoning Mix

How to make Christmas Chutney recipe

The vegetables and fruits are chopped into small pieces. I like to keep it small here as to really create the amalgamated syrup consistency. Some chutney recipes require a food processor but here dicing is enough.

Slow cooking chutney

As this recipe uses dried dates and cranberries, I like to leave them in a bowl with a dash of boiling water whilst I prepare the other ingredients. This re-hydrates them and really plumps them up ready for cooking however you can skip this step. Combine all the ingredients in a pan or a dutch oven and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat down and leave to simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally and you will see the mixture will darken and thicken.

Burnt or Runny Chutney?

If your chutney remains quite runny. I suggest to bring it back up to boil again then leaving it to rapidly simmer for about 10 minutes before slowly reducing the heat again. The key is to evaporate the liquid. Once the heat is off, the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

Be sure to stir ever now and again to avoid the mix catching the pan (I’ve done this far too often!). If it catches, immediately remove the pan from the heat, transfer the non-burnt mixture into a new pan or decant to your jars. Any burnt ingredients used will give a burnt taste to the chutney. So just salvage what you can and discard the burnt mix and leave the pan to soak in hot soapy water.

How Long to Leave Chutney to Mature

For this chutney, leave it for at least 3 weeks before eating. Leaving it longer the better! I try to make this 2 months ahead to give a good time to mature. Chutney makes such a delicious preserve so if you can resist, it can last unopened for 2 years. Once opened, chutney should stored in the refrigerator and be eaten within 2 months. You can even store unopened chutney in the freezer for up to a year to extend it’s life further. Chutney is pretty obvious if it goes bad, you’ll see mold formation or have an ‘off’ smell and taste to it.

Christmas Chutney in jars

Christmas Hamper Gifting

This recipe is perfect for gifting this Christmas! We have more great recipe ideas to build your own Christmas Hamper this year to give to your loved ones. Check out all our recipes here!

Christmas Chutney in jars

Christmas Chutney

How to make this deliciously indulgent Christmas Chutney, it is easy to make yet needs time to allow the flavours to mature. See demonstration video below
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Time to Mature 21 d
Servings 4 250g jars


  • 150 g Dates pitted & chopped
  • 100 g Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Shallots can also use 1 onion
  • 2 medium Apples
  • 3 Clementines
  • 250 g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 50 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 300 ml Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Christmas Spice Mix See how to make in post


  • Put the dates and cranberries in bowls and add a dash of boiling water to each bowl, just enough to cover the fruits. This allows the fruits to re-hydrate as you prep the other ingredients (skip this step if preferred).
  • Peel, core and dice the apples. Peel and dice the shallots and add to a deep saucepan or Dutch Oven.
  • Zest and juice the clementines and add to the pan along with the pulp.
  • Add in the sugars, red wine vinegar, cinnamon stick, Christmas spice mix & cinnamon stick. Then add the cranberries & dates along with their liquid and stir well to combine.
  • Place the pot over a medium heat and bring to a boil. Once reached boiling, give it a good stir and leave for a 2 further minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low, allowing the mixture to simmer away, uncovered for 1 hour. The goal is to evaporate the liquid and reduce down to a thick, syrup consistency (if it is still runny after an hour, see tips in the post to help).
  • Once the consistency has thickened, turn off the heat and decant & seal into sterilized jars whilst the chutney is still hot. The heat will create a vacuum seal and the mixture will thicken further as it cools.
  • Store in a cool, dark, dry place for at least 3 weeks – 8 weeks to mature. It can be left unopened for 2 years. Once opened, store in the fridge and eat within 2 months.

Christmas Spice Mix

  • Mix 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1 ground clove.



For the full Christmas Spice Mix recipe, see the details in the post and add 2 teaspoons.
Keyword apple, christmas, christmas hamper, chutney, cinnamon, condiment, food gift, gifting, gluten free, vegan

Like this recipe? Try our caramelised onion chutney below!

red onion relish

Red Onion Relish

This easy and delicious recipe is marmalade inspired and can be added so many dishes like homemade burgers, on breakfast eggs and in even to bring more flavour in sandwiches.

Did you try this recipe? Let us know in the comments below!


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