Difference Between Chutney and Pickle

Main Difference – Chutney vs Pickle  

Making chutney and pickle are two methods of preserving perishable food. Both include mixing fruits and vegetables with vinegar. Due to this similarity, many people assume that chutney and pickle are different names for the same food. But chutney and pickle are two different dishes. The main difference between chutney and pickle is that chutney is made with pieces of fruits or vegetables whereas pickle can be made with the whole fruit or vegetable.

What is Pickle

Pickle is food that has been in brine or vinegar.  Pickling is usually done to fruits and vegetables. The main purpose of pickling food is extending its shelf life. The pickling process also affects the flavor and the texture. There are basically two ways of pickling: clear pickle and sweet pickle. A clear pickle is a customary way of preserving vegetables and fruits; this dates a long way back in British history. The vegetables and fruits used for pickling are often left raw and whole. Vinegar, salt with sugar and extra ingredients like herbs, spices and honey are then added to this vegetable.

Sweet pickles are made by mixing lightly cooked vegetables with sweet vinegar. The vegetables are usually cut into large pieces. Spices like ginger, cloves are also used for additional flavor.

Sweet pickles are made by mixing lightly cooked vegetables with sweet vinegar. The vegetables are usually cut into large pieces. Spices like ginger, cloves are also used for additional flavor.

Difference Between Chutney and Pickle

Pickled Olives

What is Chutney

Chutney is also a way of preserving food. It is a spicy condiment which has Indian origins. The main ingredients in chutney are fruits or vegetables and vinegar, spices, and sugar. 

Although chutneys can be kept for some time, they do not contain any preservative. Chutneys can be served fresh or cooked. Fresh chutneys contain crunchy pieces of fruits and vegetables whereas cooked chutneys contain smooth pieces.

Chutneys have a blend of sweet and savory flavor. Their consistency can vary from smooth to chunky jam-like. The dominant flavor of a chutney may be sweetness since a certain amount of sugar is also added to the chutney. But the underlying sourness is a result of tangy liquids such as lemon juice and vinegar.

Main Difference - Chutney vs Pickle

Coconut chutney

Difference Between Chutney and Pickle  


Chutney has smaller pieces of vegetables/ fruits.

Pickle has larger pieces of vegetables/ fruits.


Chutney is cooked for a longer time.

Pickle may be lightly cooked.


Chutneys have a smoother consistency.

Pickles do not have a smooth consistency.

Whole Fruit

Chutneys are made with pieces of fruits or vegetables.

Pickles can be made with whole fruits or vegetables.Difference Between Chutney and Pickle - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Pickled Olives” By Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA – Olives, via

“Coconut Chutney” By Ramnath Bhat – Flickr: Coconut Chutney,  via 

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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