Sweet Red Pepper Chutney

This chutney recipe came about when we had a glut of green tomatoes in the garden last year. It had been a fantastic year for our tomato crop of 3 plants in each of the two Belfast sinks outside our back door, but when autumn came, we still had loads of green tomatoes. I was loathed to throw them away, as I was sure there was something I could do with them. After much research online, and reading of other chutney recipes, I came up with something which would not only use up some of the green tomatoes, but also some of the courgettes and red peppers from the garden, and some of the cooking apples from the old apple tree.


  • 1kg diced courgette
  • 1kg diced green tomatoes
  • 500g peeled, cored and diced cooking apple
  • 500 g diced red onion
  • 500g sultanas
  • 500 g light soft brown sugar
  • 700g or about 6 large red bell peppers, deseeded and cubed
  • 600ml white wine vinegar
  • Spice bag consisting of – 12 cloves,  2 inches of bruised root ginger, 2 tsp black peppercorns, 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • Pinch of salt

This is a really simple recipe to put together, but it does take some time to cook through.

Into a very large pan (I have to use a large, deep saute pan, and a large saucepan until they have reduced enough to combine in the saute pan) put:

The courgettes.

The diced green tomatoes.  Some recipes call for the tomatoes to be skinned, but I have never found that to be necessary.  Most of our tomatoes are Plum tomatoes, but we have some Beefsteak ones in the mix too.

The peeled, cored and diced cooking apple.  Ours is Bramley, as that is what we have growing in the garden.

The diced red onion.  I prefer to use red onion to white spanish onions as it is sweeter.

The sultanas.

The light soft brown sugar.

The white wine vinegar.

Next, you need to assemble the spice bag(s).  I made 2, splitting the amounts listed above between them, one for my Saute Pan, and one for my large saucepan.  Both then went into the saute pan, when the chutney was reduced enough.  I chopped the ginger into chunks, and place the spices onto a square of muslin.

Tie the muslin bags up securely, and then placing them on a chopping board, give them a bit of a bashing with a rolling pin, or in my case, the back of my cooks knife, taking care not to hurt yourself, those around you, or your kitchen!  This will help release some of the juices from the ginger.

Nestle the spice bag in the pan, and stir everything well.

Put on the heat and bring to the boil stirring frequently.  Gently simmer for about 1- 2 hours with the pan lid in place, stirring from time to time.

Then remove the lid and allow the liquid to evaporate continuing to stir from time to time. This can take quite a few hours.

The chutney will turn quite jewel-like in appearance when it is nearly ready.

The chutney is ready when it is thick enough so that when you draw a spoon through the chutney you can see the bottom of the pan.

Turn off the heat and allow let the chutney cool for 5-10 minutes before bottling-up in preheated jars.  I put the jars though an extra hot wash in the dishwasher to sterilise and pre-heat the jars.  The jars must still be hot when you put the chutney in them.

Clean the rims of the jars with a damp cloth, and seal the jars when still hot.

Turn the jars upside down until they have cooled, and store for 6-8 weeks to mature.

This recipe made 7 1/2 1lb jars of chutney for me!  The half filled jar could not be stored, but was very nice with some cold roast beef.

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3 Responses to Sweet Red Pepper Chutney

  1. Vivien Lloyd says:

    Curious to see you turned your jars upside
    down to cool. Does this method leaves chutney on the inside of the
    lid and prevents the creation

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi Vivien – I have always got an airtight seal – and the accompanying “pop” when I open the jars if I work this way with them while they are still hot. The chutney does not get left on the lid, as I then store them the correct way up.


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