Caramelized Onion Relish

This week is the 4th week in the canning link-up Allie and I are hosting.

I almost made brandied cherries…next time….maybe.

I had a busy cooking weekend.  I bought a small army of onions and jalapenos on Saturday.   I made more Jalapeno Relish and Candied Jalapenos.  I also made Slow-Cooker Caramelized Onions via Andrea- From the Bookshelf-‘s recipe.

15 small jars of jalapeno-ey goodness

Busy, busy and boy did my eyes water a lot over the weekend with all the onion and jalapeno slicing.

Since I had more onions than I needed to make the Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions (which I separated into 4 meal sized serving portions and froze).

I decided to look for an onion canning recipe.  Easier said than done.    Onions and canning can be tricky business.  Without something acidic in the recipe (like vinegar) you need to pressure can the onions.  Pressure canning is not something I have ventured into yet.  The pressure canning cook times are LONG, and I am concerned about the issue of Botulism.

I wanted to do something a little different this week.  Something with wine, something with onions.

I decided on a sweet, savory onion relish.

Since this relish has balsamic vinegar in it, it is water bath can-able.

To see our canning link up from previous weeks… Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3

I’ve had Onion relish as an appetizer.  It’s great on burgers or with steaks.  According to My Pantry Shelf  (where the recipe I used came from) it is great on pizza too.

Caramelized Onion Relish

adapted from My Pantry Shelf and The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

My adaptions are in purple

Here is what you will need to make Caramelized Onion Relish:

4 large red (I used yellow) onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of celery seed

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

2 cups dry red wine

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)

Place the onions in a pot, over a medium heat.  Add the sugar, celery seed, turmeric and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir the sugar and spices into the onions.


Cook the onions for 30 minutes or until onions are soft, browning and caramelized. Mine took 45 min to cook down.  My onions were very moist.

Once the onions are cooked down until most of the liquid has evaporated, add the wine, vinegar, salt and pepper.


Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced and it begins to thicken. Mine took about 40 minutes to reduce and thicken, but I made a double batch, so that might be why it took longer.

Prep your canning jars: sterilize the jars and warm the lids. 

Ladle the relish into the hot jars, making sure to leave 1/2 inch of head-space.


Wipe the jar rims and place the lids onto the jars.

Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (for half-pint jars) or 15 minutes (for pint jars).

Allow jars to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the them from the water bath.  Place the jars on the counter top to rest overnight.

Check the seals on the jars and store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.

Now it’s your turn!  Link up your canning post.  New post, old post it matters not.  Allie and I would love to see what you’ve been canning!



  1. Your relish looks delicious.

    • Thank you! It’s a great recipe, thanks for posting it!

  2. Okay, yum. I’d eat these onions!

    • They are really tasty!

  3. Brandied cherries? Okay, definitely looking forward to that! And I’ve got to make some of those slow cooker caramelized onions–love the idea of putting them on burgers (veggie-style). Might have to get all the roommates together for an end of the season grill out, burger/hotdog toppings included 🙂

    • That sounds like a lot of fun Allie!

  4. Those look amazing! Brandied cherries also sound really good.

    • Thanks Greg. 😀 Brandied cherries next canning link up…hopefully!

  5. Yum!

  6. Wow, this looks superb! I have just made my onion marmalade which I will be posting about soo. I love the idea of pumpkin pie spice in with these. Superb.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Thanks Mandy! Onion marmalade sounds great!

  7. Looks gorgeous – bet that would be good with my stinky cheese! Am going to post my Green Tomato Chutney tonight or tomorrow, so will link up with you!

    • Yay! Awesome! Your stinky cheese sounds good.

  8. Than onion relish sounds amazing! Just made yummy peach butter with organic peaches. Spicy, not too sweet but delicious!

  9. I would gladly eat this plain, but I’m sure it’s even better on burgers and steaks, as you mentioned. You’ve got enough to last you all winter now–jealous!

    • 🙂 It was pretty easy to make, I’m thinking it might be good for homemade holiday gifts.

  10. looks like something I would really enjoy! I love brandied cherries 🙂

  11. that looks so yummy, thanks for sharing! never even thought to try to make my own!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love making and canning lovely condiments!


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