December 9, 2023

As caramel is made by cooking sugar, onions are naturally sweet. The sugars caramelize by slowly cooking them over a long period, and the result is intensely delicious.

Use caramelized onions

This onion can be used to top steaks, onion soup or tarts. You can also use it for pizza or onion dip. You can eat the onions straight, as I did. What are some of your favorite recipes that include caramelized onions? Comment and let us know.

By the way, I made a video showing the caramelization of onions over an hour. Enjoy!

There are other options for deglazing onions

It’s suggests you deglaze your pan using wine (red or whitish) or balsamic vinaigrette in Step 3. This is not required but will give the dish a little extra flavor. These liquids can also be used to deglaze.

Stock with chicken or vegetables


Marsala wine

Port wine

Light beer (dark beer might add too much flavor)

How to store caramelized onions

Store caramelized onion in a tightly-covered container for up 1 week.

Freeze caramelized onions in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container for up to three months. Suggestion: Freeze caramelized onion portions in ice-cube trays. Once frozen, remove the pieces and place them quickly in a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Then put the bag back into the freezer. You can grab the needed amount, as they won’t stick together.

How to use caramelized onions

The quantity you need depends on the caramelized onions you want to make. In this example, five large raw onions will yield about two cups of caramelized onions.


One or more large yellow, white or red or medium onions

Extra virgin olive oil

Butter, optional

Kosher salt

Sugar, optional

Balsamic vinegar, optional

From the root to the tip, cut off the onion

Cut the root ends and stems of the onions in half. Place the onions, cut-side down, on the cutting board. Cut the onions in half at the root end. Peel the onion peels.

Cut the onion almost to the root, but not all the way. Cut the onions to the desired thickness.

It will be easier to cut the onion if you use the root end. Cut a V at the root end of the onion to remove the hard root that holds the slices together.

Add the onion to the olive oil after heating it

Use a large, thick-bottomed pan to ensure maximum contact between the pan and the onions. Use olive oil or butter to coat the bottom of your pan (about one teaspoon per onion).

Heat the pan to medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Stir the oil into the onion slices. Spread the onions evenly in the pan, and cook them while stirring occasionally.

You may have to lower the heat depending on the strength of your stovetop burner to avoid the onions burning or drying.

You can sprinkle sugar over the onions to aid in the caramelization. You can add more sugar if you want. I add about 1 teaspoon for 5 onions. Add a little water to the pan to prevent the onions from burning.

Stir the onions every few seconds:

Stirring every few minutes, let the onions continue to cook for another 30 minutes or 1 hour. Once the onions begin to stick, allow them to brown and stick some more, but stir them as soon as they start.

It’s important to let them brown but not burn. If you notice the onions burning, you can lower the temperature and add more oil after the first 20-30 minutes.

As the caramelization progresses, a metal spatula can help you scrape the brown bits off the bottom of your pan. You may need to squeeze your pan more frequently as the onions cook.

Continue to cook, scrape and cook, scrape and scrape until the onions are rich brown. Add some balsamic or wine at the end to deglaze and give the onions more flavor.

Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

The nutrition information calculated is based on an ingredient database. It should be regarded as an estimate. Nutritional information is calculated based on the first ingredient listed in cases of multiple alternative elements. The nutrition of optional components and garnishes is not included.

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