One-Hour Sweet with Heat Tomato and Pepper Chutney

Summer’s bounty of fresh produce is such a wonderful gift. Usually.

But if the season has been a little too bountiful, all at once, and you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with, chutney to the rescue.

I’m a dip, spread, and condiment lover. I can make a meal from grazing on various salsas, guacamole, hot pepper jelly, mango chutney, homemade honey mustard, crackers and chips.

But normally when I want some dip, I want it sooner rather than later. With this, there’s no canning required and it’s ready in one hour.

There’s a creeper heat because in addition to 4 tomatoes, I used 1 large red pepper and 1 small yellow banana pepper. They’re mild peppers and I took most of the seeds out.

Make the chutney spicier by using a serrano or habenero if you’re brave, or sprinkle in cayenne pepper.

I didn’t want to sweat too much while I was eating, so kept the heat at a mild level. But like most spicy food, that the more you have, the more you want.

The brothy liquid is so full of flavor that I wanted to eat it like soup, and did.

It’s made with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, molasses, cloves. I love all those spices and flavors, but use whatever spices and seasonings you have on hand from curry to cayenne.

I didn’t add any salt because we’re a low-sodium house, and because I don’t think it needs salt. If you do, add salt to taste.

Make it in one hour by roughly chopping the veggies, tossing them in a pot, and let it boil with the lid cracked at a fairly strong boil for 30 minutes.

I removed the lid and let it boil on high for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid volume as quickly as possible. I didn’t have time or desire for slow-cooking and hours of simmering.

I was craving tomatoes and wanted to dig in as soon as possible. I eat one tomato every day like many people eat an apple a day.

Technically-speaking I’m not sure where chunky tomato soup, salsa, and chutney intersect.

Un-technically speaking, I think the intersection is in this jar.

What can you use it for? Put it on bread and let the juices soak in. Or make bruschetta. Use it to marinate your favorite protein, serve it with chips like a salsa, use it as sandwich relish, or on crackers with a hunk of cheese.

Mix it into a brown rice salad, use it over noodles like pasta sauce, make Vegetable Lasagna (vegan, GF) with it, or eat it like chunky Tomato Soup.

If your garden overflows or your eyes are bigger than your stomach when you see all those gorgeous tomatoes for sale in the markets this time of year, now you know what to do with them.

I’ve been happily eating my vegetables.

One-Hour Sweet with Heat Tomato and Pepper Chutney (vegan, gluten-free)

If you have an abundance of tomatoes to use, this chutney will take a pound off your hands. It’s easy, ready in one hour, can be made with vegetables on hand, and seasoned to taste with your favorite seasonings and herbs. It’s the intersection of a chunky tomato soup, a juicy salsa, and a flavorful chutney. In the body of the blog post I gave serving suggestions. Cooking times are approximate since the water content in vegetables varies as well as taste preferences.

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4 medium tomatoes (I used vine-ripened) about 1 pound, diced large & chunkier
1 large red pepper, seeded and diced medium
1 medium yellow/sweet onion, peeled and diced small
1 small yellow banana pepper, seeded and diced fine (removing seeds reduces heat. For spicier chutney, use serrano, habenero or your favorite pepper with the appropriate heat level, to taste)
2 teaspoons ground ginger (fresh ginger may be substituted)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar (white vinegar may be substituted)
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons light or medium molasses, optional
2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey, optional
salt, optional and to taste


  1. Place all ingredients except molasses and salt in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to combine.
  3. After mixture has come to a boil, put a lid on the pot but keep it ajar with a few inches of opening for steam to escape. Allow mixture to boil quite rapidly for about 30 minutes. I did not check on the mixture or stir it during those 30 minutes. I left it alone to boil.
  4. After 30 minutes, if desired, add molasses, bourbon, salt to taste (I didn’t salt it), and stir to combine.
  5. Allow mixture to boil uncovered for 5 to 15 minutes, or as long as desired so that the liquid volume has reduced by at least half, or has reduced to desired level. It will not get thick like a sauce; but it will have reduced.
  6. Transfer mixture to heat-safe jars or containers. I filled two 12-ounce jars to the brim. To make filling the jars less messy, I first poured the chutney from the pot into a large glass measuring cup, then filled the jars.
  7. Allow jars to cool on counter before putting lids on and refrigerating. Chutney will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Although it’s possible to can this with a water bath, I did not and don’t know how long the processing time is. I’d follow similar processing times for canned or stewed tomatoes. I have frozen the chutney in re-purposed plastic butter and yogurt containers for about 1 month, thawed when ready to eat, and it was just as good as fresh.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Only Eats

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Tomato fan? What are you making with seasonal summer produce?