We have combined some of our favourite festive flavours into this lower sugar Christmas Chutney, along with some hidden vegetables too. The perfect chutney to go with a Christmas cheeseboard. Ginger, cinnamon and a hint of chilli add tonnes of flavour to this tomato based chutney, to give it a festive twist.
About this Christmas chutney recipe
Some kind of chutney is a must at Christmas. Once that jar gets opened, you can have it on a leftovers sandwich, stirred into Greek yogurt to make a dip, use it as a salad dressing, put it in a burger, or have it with your cheeseboard. The options are almost endless.
There are so many different chutneys out there, but this festive chutney is a firm favourite in our house. We have used cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to give it a festive flavour, but also added a little bit of chilli so there is a kick of spice in there too. We have used cranberries to bulk it out, add a vitamin boost and some more colour and what says Christmas more than cranberries?
Homemade chutney is much easier to make than you might think. You just leave everything to cook in a pan.
Looking for some other homemade sauce recipes to try? Why not try our Coriander Chutney, Fruit Dip, Marie Rose Sauce (Perfect with a festive prawn cocktail), Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Easy Pizza Sauce or Healthy Teriyaki Sauce?
Ingredients and substitutions
- Tomatoes - Use a good quality can of tomatoes, as the cheaper ones tend to be really watery and you want a thick chutney. We recommend Mutti Tomatoes.
- Aubergine (eggplant) - This adds a nice chunkiness to the Christmas chutney. You could swap it for courgette (zucchini) if you prefer.
- Onion - We used a small brown onion, but you could swap it for shallots which would be sweeter.
- Red bell pepper - Any colour bell pepper works, but red peppers are sweeter.
- Garlic - Freshly crushed garlic is best, but you could use a jar of crushed garlic to save time.
- Cranberries - This is what gives it a real Christmas feel. You can use frozen cranberries if that it all you have.
- Honey - This is how we sweetened the Christmas chutney. You can use maple syrup if you want to keep it vegan.
- Vinegar - This isn't just for flavour, but it helps to preserve the chutney.
- Spices - Ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg give it a real Christmas flavour.
- Salt and pepper - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Christmas chutney - Step by step
One: Put the tomatoes, red pepper, aubergine (eggplant), onion and garlic into a pan.
Two: Smash the tomatoes with a back of a spoon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a little bit of water every 10 minutes if it gets too dry.
Three: Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, stir well and bring to the boil again.
Four: Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Five: Leave to cool and pour into a jar to store.
Delicious chutney usually falls into three categories - onion based, fruit based or tomato based. We went with a tomato based chutney so the bulk of it was fairly mild, and the Christmas flavours could shine through. But you could vary it depending on your tastes.
We kept things simple and just used a tin of chopped tomatoes (the best quality you can find will give the best flavour), but you could chop up fresh tomatoes and use those instead with a little extra liquid. You could also make the base mainly thinly sliced onions.
Not only is there lots of festive flavour in this chutney, but some added vegetables too. Red pepper and aubergine make this tomato chutney recipe nice and chunky, with some extra vitamins too. You could add other chunky vegetables like courgette (zucchini) too.
The obvious way to serve this Christmas chutney is on a cheese board, which is our favourite. However it has so many other uses. We love it in a Christmas leftovers sandwich or dolloped on a burger. We even make a dip out of it by mixing it into some Greek yogurt.
A cheese board is a must at Christmas time and deciding what cheese to have on that board is one of the hardest decisions you will have to make during the festive season, if not the hardest decision of the entire year! Yes, we take cheese that seriously! Here are some of our cheese board tips.
A mature cheddar is a must, it's a classic. I would say that goat's cheese has to be on there too, and for us a cheese board wouldn't be complete without some Stilton.
Whilst we may not totally agree on the essential cheeses to go on the board, which is probably why we end up with about 10 different cheeses on there, we do agree that chutney is a must.
Another tip when it comes to a cheese board is add lots of fruit too. Not only does it balance out the heaviness of all the cheese, but the sweet and creamy really compliments each other and fruit will add a lot of colour to the cheese board too. We went with grapes, figs, apple and pomegranate. Try to go with a few different crackers, breads and breadsticks too.
Frequently asked questions
This chutney will last in the fridge for about 5 days, but it honestly doesn't last that long with us at Christmas! If you are having guests over, you might want to make a bigger batch to share it around. If you are going the homemade Christmas present route this year, then these would make lovely gifts. Put it in a nice jar and put a bow round it and ta-da! Give it with a cheese board bursting with cheese too and you would be my best friend for life!
We wouldn't recommend freezing this as the chunky vegetables aren't great once defrosted. So, try to only make as much as you could eat in 5 days so that none of it goes to waste.
This recipe isn't gluten free because we have used malt vinegar. You could swap it for apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar - it would change the taste though.
No, this recipe isn't vegan because it uses honey. However, you could swap it for maple syrup to keep this recipe vegan.
More Christmas recipes
- 400 g (14 oz) Plum tomatoes - canned
- 1 Red bell pepper - diced
- 4 Garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 Onion - diced
- 1 Aubergine (eggplant) - small; diced
- 20 Fresh cranberries
- 120 ml (0.5 cups) Malt vinegar
- 3 tablespoon Honey
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Ground coriander
- 0.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger
- 0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- Put 400 g Plum tomatoes, 1 Red bell pepper, 1 Aubergine (eggplant), 1 Onion and 4 Garlic cloves into a pan.
- Smash the tomatoes with a back of a spoon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a little bit of water every 10 minutes if it gets too dry.
- Add 20 Fresh cranberries, 120 ml Malt vinegar, 3 tablespoon Honey, 1 pinch Sea salt, 1 teaspoon Paprika, 1 teaspoon Ground coriander, 0.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 0.5 teaspoon Ground ginger, 0.5 teaspoon Cinnamon and 0.5 teaspoon Ground nutmeg to the pan, stir well and bring to the boil again.
- Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool and pour into a jar to store.
- The cayenne pepper is added for taste, so adjust it depending on how spicy you like things.
- This chutney will keep in the fridge for 5 days. But leftovers are great in sandwiches and burgers.
- You can swap the tinned tomatoes for fresh tomatoes, just add a bit more liquid.
- Make this a vegan chutney by swapping the honey for maple syrup.
- This also makes a really nice homemade Christmas gift. Add it to sterilised jars and then put a nice square of cloth on top of the jar lid and wrap string around it. You could add it to a little homemade food hamper.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.