The precise origin of onion marmalade is not well-documented, but it likely developed as a culinary creation in European cuisine. The process of slow-cooking onions with sugar and vinegar to create a sweet and savory spread is reminiscent of traditional preserving methods used in various cultures.

Onion marmalade shares similarities with onion jams and chutneys, which have been part of European culinary traditions for centuries. The slow caramelization of onions, combined with sugar and sometimes vinegar, has been a method used to enhance flavors and create condiments that complement a range of savory dishes.

While the exact origin remains unclear, it’s safe to say that onion marmalade, like many culinary innovations, likely evolved over time through regional variations and personal adaptations in home kitchens. Today, it has become a popular and versatile condiment enjoyed in various cuisines around the world.

Onion marmalade is a condiment made by slow-cooking onions with sugar and other ingredients until they caramelize and turn into a thick, sweet, and savory spread. The term “marmalade” might be a bit misleading, as it traditionally refers to a preserve made with citrus fruit peel, but in this case, it’s used more broadly to describe a jam-like consistency.

The basic ingredients for onion marmalade typically include onions, sugar, vinegar (often balsamic vinegar for a rich flavor), and sometimes additional seasonings like thyme or bay leaves. The slow cooking process allows the onions to break down and caramelize, creating a rich, sweet, and tangy flavor profile.

Onion marmalade is versatile and can be used in various ways. It’s often used as a topping for savory dishes such as grilled meats, burgers, or sandwiches. It adds a depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness to a variety of dishes, making it a popular condiment in many cuisines.

Onion Marmalade

Onion marmalade is a great flavouring addon for any meat meals, or simply paired with any kind of cheese on a sandwich. Onions become sweet and tangy when cooked slowly. It's a real game changer for burgers or any meat dishes.

Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 70 mins Total Time 1 hr 15 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 20 Calories: 91



  1. Melt the butter in a deep saucepan over medium heat; add onions, sugar and salt. Cook slowly over a low heat, stirring every so often, until the onions have softened and most of the juices have evaporated, about 40 minutes.

    You can use normal onions.
  2. Add red wine, red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Stir to mix, then continue to cook for another 30 to 40 minutes or until the onions have caramelised and the sauce is like a syrup

  3. Remove from the heat. When it has cooled down, spoon into sterilised jars and seal with a lid.

    It will stay fresh for about 3 months in the fridge.
Nutrition Facts

Servings 20

Amount Per Serving
Calories 91kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3.1g5%
Saturated Fat 1.9g10%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 141mg6%
Potassium 94mg3%
Total Carbohydrate 12.7g5%
Dietary Fiber 1.1g5%
Sugars 9.8g
Protein 0.6g2%

Vitamin D 11 IU

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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