Caramelized Onion Jam

Total Time

Prep: 50 min. + cooling Process: 10 min.


about 3-1/2 pints

Updated: Sep. 14, 2023
This savory caramelized onion jam is very good served with meats—we especially like it with venison. People who enjoy garlic and onions think it’s terrific. —Vanessa Lambert, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Caramelized Onion Jam Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 whole garlic bulbs
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 5 cups chopped sweet onions (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Remove papery outer skin from garlic (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut top off garlic bulbs; brush with oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy-duty foil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake until softened, 30-35 minutes. Cool 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until softened, 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Squeeze softened garlic into Dutch oven. Stir in cider vinegar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, ginger and cloves. Bring to a rolling boil. Gradually stir in sugar. Return to a boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pectin. Continue to boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat; let stand for 3 minutes. Skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into 3 hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  5. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Caramelized Onion Jam Tips

Can you use other kinds of onions to make caramelized onion jam?

You can definitely use other types of onions to make this delicious jam. Sweet onions tend to lend the best flavor here, but yellow onions caramelize very easily and can be used instead. Here's a primer on how to caramelize onions for best results.

Can you cut back on the amount of sugar in this caramelized onion jam?

Canning is all about safely creating a precise pH level inside the jar, so you’ll want to stick to approved recipes. Otherwise, your shelf-stable goods could make people sick. If you prefer a lower-sugar option, look for low sugar pectin and follow the manufacturer's guide as directed. Read up on some common canning mistakes and how to avoid them.

How do you serve caramelized onion jam? How do you store it?

Serve this caramelized onion jam with cheese and crackers, on crostini, or mixed into cream cheese and spread on baguette slices. It’s also particularly tasty on one of our classic burgers. Once your jam is canned, store it in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. Read more Test Kitchen tips for successful canning at home.

Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Associate Recipe Editor/Tester

Nutrition Facts

2 tablespoons: 104 calories, 1g fat (1g saturated fat), 2mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.