This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
This easy Apple Chutney recipe adds a burst of sweet and tangy flavors to everything from chicken or pork chops to a holiday charcuterie platter or cheese board. Much like a relish, this festive twist on the Indian-inspired condiment is simple to prepare and gives off a warm, seasonal aroma as it simmers on the stove.
Delicious Details at a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: Indian-American fusion
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free
Skill Level: Easy
With its roots in Indian cuisine, chutney is a sweet and savory condiment often paired with roasted or grilled meats, breads, and snacks. Similar to relish or jam, this version combines a mixture of apples, cranberries, and thyme with the characteristic tangy flavor of vinegar, plus a splash of apple juice or cider for a seasonal bit of sweetness.
Apple Chutney is a simple and festive recipe that has a million uses, which we will talk about shortly. But first…
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple to prepare. A few minutes of chopping, a little bit of simmering, and then some chilling is all you need to make apple chutney.
- Flavorful and versatile. It has a sweet and savory blend of flavors with just a bit of tang that pairs well with so many dishes. You can brighten up a weeknight dinner or add it to the appetizers or main course at a holiday meal.
- Allergy-friendly. This recipe has no gluten, dairy, or nuts. Using an alternative to honey, such as maple syrup or agave, makes it completely vegan too.
- Make-ahead. Chutney can be stored in the fridge for several days or weeks so that you have it on hand for a last-minute addition to dinner or to prepare in advance for parties and celebrations.
Apple Chutney Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this recipe and how to customize it to your tastes. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.
- Olive oil.
- Shallot. You can also use minced red onion.
- Apples. Peeled and chopped. I used Fuji apples, but you can experiment with everything from sweet to tart apples, or even try pears.
- Sparking apple cider or apple juice. I used Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider but you can use a Sparkling Apple-Pear Juice or just your basic apple juice.
- Honey. For a vegan option or a different flavor profile, try maple syrup.
- Apple cider vinegar.
- Dried cranberries. Or try it with raisins.
- Fresh thyme. You can use dried if that’s all you have, but you will only need a pinch. You can also try other herbs, such as sage or rosemary.
- Kosher salt. Makes all the flavors pop.
How to Make Chutney
This simple relish comes together in a snap. Just prep your ingredients, grab a saucepan, and get started.
- Saute the shallot. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and saute the shallot for a minute or two until translucent.
- Simmer the chutney. Stir in the chopped apple, cider or juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, and dried cranberries. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the apples are soft and the mixture has thickened.
- Season and chill. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in thyme and salt to taste. Transfer to a container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Tips for Success
- Cut consistently. Try to ensure your apples are chopped to similar sizes to ensure they cook evenly.
- Watch the cooking time. Depending on the type and freshness of your apples, you may have to adjust the cooking time. You want them to become soft, but not turn to applesauce.
- Let cool fully. You’ll want to enjoy your chutney chilled, but this also allows time for the flavors to fully develop.
- Feel free to experiment. As noted in the ingredients section, this recipe lends itself to trying different flavor combinations to find what you like the best.
How to Store Apple Chutney
Before you store your homemade apple chutney, you’ll want to cool it completely. Also be sure to store it in an airtight container, such as glass jars with tight-fitting lids or plastic food storage containers. Then keep it refrigerated, to enjoy in the shorter term, or can it in jars or freeze it for long-term storage.
How Long Will Apple Chutney Last in the Fridge?
Because the sugar and vinegar act as preservatives for the fresh ingredients, chutney can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 to 4 weeks. Just be sure to keep it cold, and not leave it out for extended periods of time. If you notice any mold or it starts to look or smell off, discard it immediately. Throw out any chutney that has been left at room temperature for more than an hour or two.
Can I Freeze Chutney?
For longer-term storage, you can freeze chutney for up to two months. Just be sure to remove as much air as possible, and ensure it is fully chilled before freezing to minimize the formation of ice crystals. Freezing and thawing can slightly affect the texture, but it will still be tasty and safe to eat.
Be sure to thaw the apple chutney in the refrigerator and then keep it chilled.
What to Eat With Apple Chutney
With how versatile it is, you can pair this chutney with so many different dishes. Use it to top grilled chicken or pork chops or even a pork tenderloin. Spoon it onto your day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich pile high with roast turkey. Or even stuff it into an epic grilled cheese.
Here are some serving suggestions:
- French Bread. Spoon onto toasted baguette slices with crumbled blue cheese or a slice of Brie along with a sprinkle of chopped pecans.
- Crackers. Pour the apple chutney over a block of cream cheese and spread it on crackers, or just add a slice of cheddar with the chutney.
- Cucumber slices. Add some crumbles of goat cheese on a slice of cucumber with a small dollop of chutney.
I’m sure you can come up with even more tasty combinations!
For the chutney:
- Add oil to a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the shallot and saute for a minute or two until translucent.
- Stir in the chopped apple, Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider or Juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, and dried cranberries, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes or until the apples are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove mixture from the heat, and stir in thyme and salt to taste.
- Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Serve according to the serving options above, create your own, or use to top chicken, pork, etc.