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Kumquat Chutney

Ever see those cute little kumquats in the grocery store and wonder what to do with them? Should you eat them out of hand, cook them, bake with them? Well, the answer to all three of those questions is, yes! I’ll get you started with this simple and versatile Kumquat Chutney recipe.

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You can eat kumquats out of hand, skin and all. In fact, the skin of the kumquat is sweeter than the flesh so when you eat the whole fruit you get the full sweet/tart flavor. Kumquats are also wonderful to cook with because the sweet/tart flavor works in both sweet and savory dishes.

I was always aware of chutney as an accompaniment to spicy Indian food. When I worked in a British tea shop I was introduced to chutney as a condiment for sandwiches and as a component of a “Ploughman’s Lunch”. I created this Kumquat Chutney recipe to go along with our Easter dinner. We were serving both ham and turkey and I thought the chutney could liven up the turkey and compliment the smokey flavors of the ham.

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Chutneys are great to have on hand because they are so versatile. Use chutney to dress up a simple grilled chicken breast or piece of fish. I like chutney on a grilled cheese sandwich or as an accompaniment to a cheese platter.

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Chutney is wonderfully easy to make and Kumquats are a great choice for chutney because the sweet and sour fruit is perfect with the strong flavors. For this recipe I used carrots because I thought the sweetness of the carrots would work well with the kumquats and, frankly, that’s what I had in the refrigerator. Dried apricots added texture and sweetness and I threw in a few dried cranberries for color and to add another sweet-tart component.

You can improvise the mixture of fruits, vegetables and spices based on your taste and what you’ve got available. I left the Grains of Paradise whole because I love the little burst of flavor when you bit down on them. You can use whole peppercorns or cracked pepper instead. (Check out my Rum Raisin Bread Pudding recipe for another way to use Grains Of Paradise.)

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Like a jam or relish, chutney will keep for several months in the refrigerator.

Kumquat Chutney

Kumquat Chutney

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Sweet, sour, spicy and delicious.


  • 2 dry pints (1 pound, 448g) kumquats, sliced- seeds removed
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1 cup shredded)
  • 1/3 cup dried apricot halves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 small chili (optional), minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 240ml) cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoons grains of paradise (use black peppercorns as a substitution)


  1. Combine kumquats, carrots, apricots, cranberries, chili, onion, garlic and vinegar in a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add the sugar, honey, salt and spices and return to a boil
  4. Reduce the heat and keep the chutney at a steady simmer for 45 minutes until the kumquats are quite soft and the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a jam.
  5. Add a little water if the chutney gets too thick before the fruit is cooked
  6. The chutney will continue to thicken as it cools
  7. The chutney will keep for several months in the refrigerator (I store it in a mason jar)

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

kumquat chutney pin


Sunday 26th of February 2023

Hello from California! My mom has 2 kumquat trees and after 2 years of making marmalade, which is delicious, I was ready to try something new. I came across this recipe last year and made it exactly as written- was completely blown away, this is absolutely INCREDIBLE. We will be making this every year with our harvest. I may never eat a grilled cheese without this chutney. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!


Friday 14th of January 2022

I made this last year and it was delicious. This is kumquat season in Egypt. Can you freeze the chutney once made, as I want to make a double batch of your recipe?

Eileen Gray

Friday 14th of January 2022

Sure, I'm sure it could be frozen.


Saturday 1st of January 2022

Hi there, i have just made a batch of your kumquat chutney. I was given the kumqats and i am finding when i taste test the bitterness of the kumqats is very prominent. Is there a way of adding something to take a bit of the tartness away.

Eileen Gray

Saturday 1st of January 2022

I like chutney that isn't as sweet as a jelly, but rides the line between sweet and savory. You can try a little extra salt and/or sugar to balance out the bitter flavor.


Monday 5th of April 2021

I chutneyed the half pound first harvest from my kumquat plant and I'm delighted with the result!


Monday 11th of January 2021

Kalispera Eileen, Happy New Year!

The small kumquat tree in my yard (I live in Crete/Greece) is carrying some 6-7 kg of ripe fruit right now and I was looking for inspiration or an alternative to marmalade, confit, etc.

This is how I found your recipe which I followed with the ingredients available at home. I cut 1 kilo of kumquats in thick slice and replaced the cranberries with raisins, the carrots and dried apricots with some apples and otherwise followed precisely the ingredients in your recipe. The result is excellent! Thank you very much for sharing it!

Eileen Gray

Monday 11th of January 2021

Lucky you to have a kumquat tree, and to live in Crete!

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