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Red Onion Jam

This easy vegan red onion jam is a delightful, and versatile, condiment that can take a sandwich from ordinary to extraordinary.

It also can be an unexpected player alongside roasted vegetables or a charcuterie board. To be honest, we keep finding uses for it, like in vegan grilled cheese sandwiches, or on crackers with soft vegan herb cheese. So good.

red onion jam on crackers
Sweet, colorful, and delicious, this jam is a hit!

This Red Onion Jam Started with a Gift

This recipe was inspired the same way many of my recipes are: out of necessity. This time, I received a big bag of red onions from a friend. My friend, Whitney, mentioned that she was harvesting her organic red onions and asked if I wanted some. We always have red onions in the house and use them all the time, but I said sure, why not. The bag she gave me weighed about 6 pounds!

raw red onions sliced and ready to be made into jam
When life gives you red onions…

Some Days My Kitchen is like a Cooking Show

You have to understand that something happens to me when I receive a big bag, or a bushel basket, of produce. I am challenged as if I am on some cooking show where I have to create a recipe using this feature ingredient. It is embarrassing how much pleasure I get out of this. Sometimes I open my cookbooks for inspiration, take a look around for what other ingredients are available (just like on those cooking shows!) and boom, I am rolling.

My challenge is to create something easy, delicious, and using only the readily available ingredients. While the first attempt is not always the finished recipe, it is where the process begins for me and it is a blast (to me).

Making This Red Onion Jam is Relaxing

While looking at recipes for onion relishes, chutneys, and the like, I found a lot of them to be fussy. While mine takes longer than a lot of them, it doesn’t require a lot of attention. Once the onions are peeled and sliced, the actual work is minimal. Kitchen tip: I suggest that, once you have measured out the cup of red wine, you pour yourself your own glass of wine from the bottle. At that point, the recipe is pretty easy. 🙂

red onions cooking down into jam
The fun part: as it bubbles and cooks down the kitchen smells amazing!

Let’s Appreciate Red Onions

Before I get to the recipe, let me say a little something in celebration of red onions. According to our go-to resource, Dr Greger’s “How Not To Die“, raw red onions have 76% more antioxidant capacity than white onions. It’s the pigment that is the antioxidant. (More info here) Not only are they wonderful raw in salads and sandwiches, but they are also great for you. In many recipes, subbing the red for the white or yellow just gives you a nutritional boost. Keep them on hand and, if someone offers you some from their garden, definitely say yes!

OK, let’s make some Red Onion Jam (and don’t forget your glass for the red wine)! And consider making our Soft Herb Cheese – they are amazing together!

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vegan red onion jam on crackers and cheese

Red Onion Jam

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  • Author: Georgia @ Full of Beans
  • Category: condiment
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy vegan red onion jam is a delightful and versatile condiment that can take a sandwich from ordinary to extraordinary.

It also can be an unexpected player alongside roasted vegetables, in grilled cheese sandwiches, or on a charcuterie board.

Let’s celebrate red onions with this delicious Red Onion Jam!


Units Scale
  • 2 Tbs neutral oil
  • 2 pounds organic red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red wine (I like a shiraz)
  • 1/3 cup organic white sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a deep skillet or large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. When shimmering, add onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Add in the wine, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
  5. Let it simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. The liquid will thicken in the pan a little but will become much thicker once the jam has cooled.
  6. Transfer to an airtight container or mason jar and refrigerate.

The yield is approximately 2 cups. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 weeks.


This Red Onion Jam pairs beautifully with roasted veggies, on top of baked potatoes, in grilled cheese sandwiches, or on crackers with herb cheese. We suggest our delcious dairy-free Soft Herb Cheese:

Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

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