Rhubarb Chutney

March 26, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Makes 3 half pints
Author Notes

Perfect on a grilled cheese sandwich or tossed with brown rice and sautéed greens, this small batch of chutney is a tasty way to preserve one of spring's first fresh things.

This recipe is heavily adapted from the one found in the 1972 edition of the New York Times Heritage Cookbook, edited by Jean Hewitt. —Marisa McClellan

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb (about a pound)
  • 1 cup minced onions (1 small onion)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  1. Combine all ingredients in a wide, non-reactive pot (give yourself at least 4 quarts of space to work with). Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it bubbles, reduce heat to medium and simmer gently, stirring regularly, until slightly thickened.
  2. As the chutney gets closer to done, make sure to stir every minute or so to prevent scorching. You’ll know the chutney is finished cooking when you can pull your spoon through the chutney and the space you’ve created doesn’t fill in immediately.
  3. Sink three half pint jars into filled stockpot and bring it to a simmer.
  4. When the chutney is finished cooking, remove the jars from stockpot and place them on a folded kitchen towel. Fill the jars with the chutney, leave 1/2 inch of headspace.
  5. Wipe the rims of the jars to remove any errant chutney. Apply the hot lids and screw on the bands until they just hold (not too tight!).
  6. Place filled jars into the stockpot of hot water and bring to a boil. Once the pot is bubbling vigorously, reduce the heat a little so that it maintains a gentle boil and set a timer for ten minutes.
  7. When time is up, remove jars from the canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. Once the jars are cool to the touch, remove rings and test seals. You should be able to grasp the outer edge of the lid and lift the entire jar while the lid holds fast.
  8. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated. Sealed jars can be kept in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
  9. When it’s time to eat your chutney, make sure to open a sealed jar at least half an hour before you want to eat. I’ve found that chutneys need a little time to air out, otherwise all you taste is vinegar.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mward
  • Gail 🐝
    Gail 🐝
  • MelanieinSegur
  • Happygoin
I'm a food writer and canning teacher. I write the blog Food in Jars. My first cookbook, also called Food in Jars, is now available. My second cookbook will be out in spring 2014.

6 Reviews

Happygoin June 11, 2021
This is a terrific chutney recipe when you have a glut of rhubarb in your back yard as I do. I doubled the recipe, and it took a good 40-45 minutes to cook down and thicken. It didn’t start to need constant stirring until about the 35 minute mark, so not a ton of hands-on time after the prep.

Excellent with almost any cheese.
mward June 30, 2016
Hi, Marisa,
I've made this before and loved it. I recently doubled your strawberry rhubarb recipe and came up short of a full 6 jars, so would like to sterilize a 4 oz. jar to have on hand in case this happens again. Would the chutney in a 4 oz. jar go for the full 10 minutes in the boiling water? Thanks!
Gail 🐝. June 17, 2016
Number 6
Does the water go up to the neck of the jar or cover the jar in the water bath.
Thank you ?
tracey S. June 9, 2013
Just made this with an arm full of rhubarb. It is very flavorful. Im about to slather it on a goat cheese bruschetta . I did not have fresh ginger but some crystallized instead and it worked well. It was spicier than I had thought it would be but I assume it will disappear pretty fast in my house!
mward May 22, 2012
This looks great! I asked a question about the amount of sugar, and as soon as I get the answer I'm going to make this.
I've read your blog, Marisa, and really enjoy it!
MelanieinSegur April 8, 2012
Wow - this looks fabulous I can't wait to make this. It would be so nice to have some preserved rhubarb!