Balsamic Onion Jam

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If you’re looking for a change of pace from standard “special sauce” to add to your cookout, you need to give this balsamic onion jam a try!

The sweet and tangy combination of caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar is a must in my fridge all year round. It’s awesome on everything from burgers and grilled cheese to charcuterie boards and pizzas.

A pink porcelain bowl filled with dark brown balsamic onion jam. A wooden spoon full of the jam hovers over the bowl.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • 4 Ingredient Recipe. With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, even new cooks can whip up this gourmet condiment.
  • Versatile. Onion jam pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes — from soft cheeses to grilled meats and even a breakfast omelet.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep. Make a batch and enjoy an instant flavor boost for meals throughout the coming weeks.

Meet Your Next Condiment Crush

Have you ever tweaked a recipe on a whim and ended up with something utterly life-changing? That’s exactly what happened with this homemade Balsamic Onion Jam. What was intended to be a spur of the moment burger topper totally stole the show. It’s been a must-have addition to grilling season ever since.

The idea of onion jam might seem intimidating, and it’s definitely not the sweet type of jam that your pair with peanut butter or slather on your morning toast — although spread on a baguette with a a little goat cheese? Pure bliss. It’s supremely savory with a lot of tang and a touch of rich, deep sweetness that’s enough to make any foodie swoon.

And while it tastes dress-to-impress fancy, it’s actually super simple to make and you don’t need any special jam making skills. So go grab some onions and let’s get to it!

Ingredients needed to make homemade onion jam laid out on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Onions. Use Vidalia onions for a sweeter jam or white or yellow onions for a more savory one. Stay away from red onions for this recipe, they don’t caramelize as well and have a very sharp taste with the vinegar.

Balsamic Vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar. I use a blend of vinegars for this jam. Balsamic gives it sweetness and reduces into a delightfully jammy syrup, while apple cider vinegar adds acidity and tang to keep the flavors in check.

Brown sugar. Brown sugar helps the onions caramelize and adds rich, molasses notes to the jam to give it more depth.

Salt and Pepper.


Adding the ingredients for onion jam to a pot.
The jam after being cooked down; it reduces quite a bit.

Pro tips

  • Be patient when cooking those onions! It’s ok to start them on medium high heat, but once they start to soften you’ll want to turn it down to low to prevent burning. It can be tempting to cut the cook time a few minutes short, but that last little bit of cooking is when the magic happens.
  • Have a heavy hand with the black pepper—the warmth works wonders.
  • Use a thick-bottomed pan to help prevent burning. I like to use coated cast iron.
  • If you double or triple the recipe, it will take longer to cook. Using a larger pan with more surface area will help speed things up a little.

Commonly asked questions

How to store

This jam keep well in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months.

Dietary Adaptations

To make this jam dairy free, swap out the butter for your favorite neutral oil.

It’s not thickening, what do I do?

Be patient and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Most of the thickening happens in the last few minutes of the process. Keep in mind that the jam will also set up more once it cools. It’s ready to take off the stove when it’s thick enough to cling heavily to the back of a spoon with a glossy sheen.

It’s too Sour. Can I fix it?

This jam is definitely on the tart side, but that’s what makes it pair so beautifully with rich meats and cheeses. If the flavor is too strong for you straight from the pot, try some on a cube of cheddar cheese and see if it tastes more balanced. If it’s still too sour, you can add in more brown sugar.

Overhead view of a bowl of onion jam.

More homemade condiments and pantry staples

A pink porcelain bowl filled with dark brown balsamic onion jam. A wooden spoon full of the jam hovers over the bowl.

Balsamic Onion Jam

This sweet and tangy onion jam is delicious on burgers, grilled lamb chops or chicken breasts, or even on a grilled cheese or charcuterie board. You'll never run out of ways to use it!
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Course: Pantry Staples
Cuisine: American
Keyword: balsamic onion jam, burger jam, onion jam
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 94kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 white or yellow onions thinly sliced (see note)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften – about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegars and brown sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture reduces to a thick, jam-like consistency – about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a jar or bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.


The large you cut the onions, the more texture the jam will have. For a very smooth texture, dice them finely or cut them extremely thin. For a chunkier jam, cut the onions into 1/4-inch slices. 
Nutrition Facts
Balsamic Onion Jam
Amount Per Serving (2 teaspoons)
Calories 94 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 11mg0%
Potassium 124mg4%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 59IU1%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!
A blue cheese burger topped with onion jam.


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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19 thoughts on “Balsamic Onion Jam”

  1. Very informative and impressive post you have written, this is quite interesting and i have went through it completely, an upgraded information is shared, keep sharing such valuable information.

  2. I was so excited to make this! But, I found the proportions of Balsamic and sugar as stated were off. This recipe makes a very sour, pungent jam, too pungent for me. I halved the balsamic and doubled the sugar next time around and got a more balanced, yummy jam.

    • I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you as written, but I’m glad that you made it work! I think some brands of balsamic are sweeter than others, so playing around with proportions might be necessary sometimes. 🙂

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