How to Make Caramelized Onions

How to  Make Caramelized Onions #foodscience #cookingtips #pantrystaples

Caramelized onions are one of my favorite ingredients to use, and I try to keep a container in the refrigerator or freezer at all times.  They take some time to make, which is why I caramelize at least two pounds of onions at a time – even though they cook down considerably, that makes enough caramelized onions to last me a week or two. With caramelized onions, a little goes a long way! Here’s how to make them:

Caramelized Onions

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are the mellow, sweeter brothers to raw onions. Use them on top of pizza and grain salads, stirred into soup or baked into savory scones.


  • 2 pounds sweet yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Thinly slice the onions. I use the food processor to do this, so that the slices are all even - it helps them caramelize evenly.
  2. Toss the onions with the oil and salt and put them in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot. The salt will help pull the moisture out of the onions so that they caramelize more quickly.
  3. Cook over low, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep gold color. For the first 15 minutes or so, the onions will just release a lot of liquid - they won't change color much at all. But once that liquid is evaporated, the onions will slowly and steadily turn golden and eventually to a light tan color. Once they are a deep gold, nearly brown color, your caramelized onions are done! It should take at least an hour, up to an hour and a half, depending on the onions and the heat level of your stove.

Now that you have your caramelized onions, here’s 16 ways to use them!

Barley stew with caramelized onions, white beans and spinach from Cookin’ Canuck

Caramelized onions and bacon cornbread from Baked by Rachel

Caramelized onions and carrot soup from The Tomato Tart

Caramelized onion and pepper crostini

Caramelized onion dip from Kailley’s Kitchen

Caramelized onion latkes

Goat cheese, caramelized onions and roasted red pepper tart from The Law Student’s Wife

Honey goat cheese pizza from This Week for Dinner

Pear, bacon and brie grilled cheese from Running to the Kitchen

Polenta cakes with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms

Sausage and caramelized onions pizza from The  Kitchen is My Playground

Savory scones with caramelized onions and prosciutto

Skinnier cornbread waffles with pulled pork and maple apple chutney from Food Faith Fitness

Spicier pulled pork popper sandwich from Mom on Time Out

Sweet pulled pork French bread pizza from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Warm caramelized onion and chickpea spread from An Edible Mosaic


  1. Lora @cakeduchess says

    I just made another batch of caramelized onions…tonight I added them to a frittata;)They add so much flavor to so many dishes. Great post, Julie!