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Growing Good Food at Home

Caramelized Onions

There’s something so satisfying about the smell, taste, and texture of caramelized onions. They’re the focal point in French onion soup, and they can add a whole new dimension to your cooking. Use them to top a pizza, make a rich onion dip, or wherever your culinary imagination takes you.

Caramel comes from cooking sugar. Onions are naturally sweet; as you slowly cook them, they’ll release their own sugars, which will begin the caramelization process. You may see recipes that call for adding sugar to the onions; if you’re using sweet onions, you don’t really need any extra sugar.

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Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

There’s something so satisfying about the smell, taste, and texture of caramelized onions. They’re the focal point in French onion soup, and they can add a whole new dimension to your cooking. Use them to top a pizza, make a rich onion dip, or wherever your culinary imagination takes you.

Caramel comes from cooking sugar. Onions are naturally sweet; as you slowly cook them, they’ll release their own sugars, which will begin the caramelization process. You may see recipes that call for adding sugar to the onions; if you’re using sweet onions, you don’t really need any extra sugar.

  • Author: Norann Oleson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sides & Sauces

Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 large onions (the sweeter, the better)
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, depending on the type of onions you’re using)
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar or wine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut a half inch off the stem end of the onions.
  2. Cut the onions in half from stem end to root end.
  3. Remove outer skins.
  4. Lay the onion halves, cut side down, and slice into the onion from the stem end toward the root end. Don’t cut into the root end; you’re using it to help hold the slices together until you’re done.
  5. Once you’ve made all your slicing cuts, cut a V into the root end of the onion to release the slices. Put the slices into a bowl and continue the process with the rest of the onions.
  6. Heat a wide, thick-bottomed pan (or a broad cast iron skillet) on medium-high heat and add olive oil and butter,
  7. When the butter is melted and the oil starts to shimmer, add your onions and stir to coat.
  8. Spread the onions out so they all get equal contact with the bottom of the pan.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium or medium-low; this is a slow cooking process. You don’t want the onions to burn.
  10. After about 10 minutes, add a little salt to the onions. This is where you can also add about a teaspoon of sugar, if you really want to. If you’re using sweet onions, don’t bother. Add a tiny bit of water to the pan to keep the onions from sticking. Stir every few minutes.
  11. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook the onions for another half hour, stirring them every few minutes. When the onions start sticking to the pan, leave them there for a few minutes so they can brown, then stir them again. Don’t let them burn!
  12. Add a little olive oil if the onions are sticking too much.
  13. Scrape the browned bits of onion on the bottom of the pan as you go. Continue this process as the onions turn a richer, deeper brown.
  14. When the onions look about done, you can add a splash of balsamic vinegar, wine, or even just a little water to deglaze the pan and scrape up the last bits of tasty caramelized onions.
  15. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Have you tried this recipe? Caramelized onions can add rich flavor to your cooking. Please tell us how these onions turned out for you.

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Caramelized Onions

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Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Addie Gundry
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sides & Sauces

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup rosé wine
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and sprinkle with the salt and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften, stirring so they don’t crisp or brown in spots.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and continue to cook, stirring the onions after 10–15 minutes.
  4. Deglaze with wine and return to a simmer. Allow the onions to absorb the wine and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat steps 3 and 4.
  5. The onions will reduce and become more golden and jam-like as they cook. If the onions look like they’re beginning to burn or crisp, stir in water and scrape the caramelized fond from the bottom of the pan for the onions to absorb.
  6. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.
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