It's for Dinner

Caramelized onions recipe

Tags: onions

Caramelized onions are one of our all time favorite toppings. Sandwiches, pizza, burgers, salads, crackers... You name it and caramelized onions will probably make it better. The secret is to go low and slow—too much heat and you'll be quickly left with scorched onions entirely unfit for consumption.

We usually take over an hour from start to finish, but the process can be somewhat truncated if you don't mind a drop in quality (they will still however be vastly superior to what is typically passed off as caramelized onions in restaurants).

Caramelized onions

We find it easier to make a large batch and then utilize leftovers later in the week. Your brown beauties will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. They freeze well too, but they don't typically last long enough here for that to be necessary.

Caramelized onions -



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds of sweet onions, halved and sliced thin (about twelve cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)


  • Melt butter in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat
  • Add onions, salt and sugar to pan. Stir to coat
  • Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring several times
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for an hour, stirring about every 10 minutes (a heavy bottom pan helps here as it will reduce hot spots and promote even cooking)


  • Onion variety isn't of great importance, but if Vidalia onions are in season they are hard to beat.
  • Onions are mostly water, so you will have a lot less final product than you'd think. Twelve cups of onions to start with will turn into about a cup of caramelized onions. Adjust recipe accordingly so that you end up with the right amount for your needs.
  • The darkened color should come gradually, if you stir the onions and notice only the bottoms show color, your heat is too high or you should be stirring more.
Posted on March 16th 2009 and last updated on April 22nd 2009