Recipe, Onion Marmalade

Here in Spain you will often see red onion marmalade (mermelada de cebolla), served as a tapa with goats cheese,  its delicious and can also be served with burgers, wraps, steak or just with crusty bread or with cheese and crackers.

This is made with thinly sliced onions, (normally red) which are slow cooked and caramalised in oil, butter, garlic and red wine, there are several different recipes so try them all and find your favourite.

Recipe 1  Spanish Onion Marmalade (simple)


5 medium sized red onions, thinly sliced

25grm butter

2 - 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons, light soya sauce

1/4 cup good red wine

2 - 3 tablespoons of cranberry sauce/jam or juice

Juice of half a lemon

Recipe, Onion Marmalade


In a heavy based pan melt the butter add the olive oil, turn the heat down and wait until the butter starts to foam.

Add the thinly sliced onions.

Cook slowly until the onions start to sweat and become transparent, stir frequently.

Add the Garlic and soya sauce, red wine and cranberry sauce, continue to cook, until most of the juices have been absorbed or evaporated.

Finally once the onions are fully soft add the lemon juice and season to taste.

Recipe 2 Onion Marmalade

Soft, sticky onion marmalade - great with pâtés and terrines or a ploughman's lunch

Total time 

Ready in 2¼ hours, plus cooling time

Fills about four 500ml jars


2kg red onions or regular onions

4 garlic cloves

140g butter

4 tbsp olive oil

140g golden caster sugar

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf

pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

75cl bottle red wine

350ml sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

200ml port


Halve and thinly slice the onions, then thinly slice the garlic. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter. Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme leaves, chilli flakes if using and some salt and pepper.

Give everything another really good stir and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated, they’re really soft and sticky and smell of sugar caramelising.

They should be so soft that they break when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Slow cooking is the secret of really soft and sticky onions, so don't rush this part

Pour in the wine, vinegar and port and simmer everything, still uncovered, over a high heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the onions are a deep mahogany colour and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds. It’s done when drawing a spoon across the bottom of the pan clears a path that fills rapidly with syrupy juice. Leave the onions to cool in the pan, then scoop into sterilised jars and seal. Can be eaten straight away, but keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Recipe 3

This recipe is also worth trying, its quick and easy and just as tasty

3 tbsp olive oil or enough to lightly coat your saute pan


2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar


In a medium-sized saute pan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat.

Add onions and stir frequently until they begin to change color.

Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.

Reduce to medium-low and saute for about twenty minutes or until fully caramelized, stirring periodically.

Recipe mermelada decebolla


Get some jars wash them in boiling water, dry them, and put them in the oven at 100C for 10 minutes.

The lids of the jars you put in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes not in the oven

Make sure this is the 10 minutes before serving so that the jars are still very hot when your pour in the Onion Marmalade


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