Caramelized Sweet Onion Jam with Balsamic Vinegar

I’m bored to tears.  onionThere’s only so much house cleaning and yard work  person can do each day…okay, I can do more, but I’m trying to pace myself.

So what do do with all the time I have now that the schools are closed and I’m not working?

Why, cook. Naturally.

Today’s effort is a simple one, short and sweet (literally). I’ve been hankering to cook up a batch of orange marmalade, but it turns out I have a bunch of it on the shelf (along with myriad beans, tomatoes, and sauce), and the pantry is short on chutneys and savory jams. And so, caramelized sweet onion jam with a nice shot of really fine Balsamic vinegar from Seasons Lancaster and some herbs that are growing in pots on the kitchen counter, waiting patiently for the weather to change so they can get back outside.

So I made a small batch of this wonderful condiment–it goes marvelously on grilled chicken or fish, and it’s a winner on crusty bread like the stuff Ellen has been baking the last few weeks.

So let’s have a quick course on sweet onion jam–this is a really good one. Two pounds of onions made about three pints. Doubling the recipe would make a terrific batch, and fill that hole on the pantry shelf.  A while back I made a batch of red onion marmalade, and it was terrific. But this stuff, as easy as it is, makes an absolute killer condiment for all your dinner choices.  Try this one if you’ve got a couple of hours.

I’ll bet you do!


  • 2 pounds yellow onions sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup granulated organic cane sugar
  • ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons each finely minced  thyme and rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper


1. Put olive oil and onions in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat stirring only occasionally; cook until golden, about 10-15 minutes.

2. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook until thickened and somewhat syrup-y. Add salt, pepper, and herbs.

3. Ladle into sterilized half pint jars, leaving about ½” headspace. Wipe rims clean and place prepared lids and rings on finger tight.

4. If you cannot test for pH, it is safest to freeze the jam at this point. Be sure to leave sufficient headspace for expansion.

5. Process in a water bath canner at a rolling boil for 15 minutes. After processing, carefully remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Check for seal and store in pantry for up to a year; refrigerate after opening.


About Cheff

Lancaster Eats highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

Posted on March 17, 2020, in Recommendations. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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