Caramelized Onions


June 27, 2012 by Lauren

I love food.  That’s like saying “I like music” these days.  I think lots of food is great, but there are some things that are just perfect to me.  Things like a perfect medium-rare steak or grilled asparagus.  Caramelized onions hold a spot even above those.  They’re simple, fuss free and while not quick, they are worth it.  It starts out with lots of onions.  You can cook down Vidalias, sweets, yellow or even just plain white.  I find most grocery stores don’t have them labeled correctly anyway. You’ll start to sweat them and before you know it you’ll have this sweet onion jam like stuff in your pan and your house will smell so good I wouldn’t be surprised if your neighbors dropped in unannounced (oh, and good luck trying not to eat them all as you’re cooking them, ‘but I just need one more taste…’).

I like to make them while I’m doing something else like cleaning the house or answering emails.  I walk by them every 10 minutes or so, check in and stir, then walk away.  These things give you a lot of flexibility that way.  I also always have a tub of them in the fridge.  I put them on everything from pizza to bratwursts to burgers and I think soon you will too.  They keep well and are beyond delicious.


Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play:

Caramelized Onions

Active Cook time: 15 minutes
Inactive Cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 1 cup
  • 6 medium to large onions
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  1. Cut the root and tip ends off of each onion and peel away the skin and any outer “tough” flesh.
  2. Cut each onion into 1/3″ thick rings.  Using your hands slightly separate the stacks of rings so they’re loose.
  3. Place saute pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium heat and add oil.  Once oil is warm and slides easily in the pan add the onions and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Toss in pan so the oil and salt is evenly distributed.
  4. Continue to cook over medium, checking in every 7 or so minutes to stir.  Do not stir too frequently or you won’t be able to get them brown.
  5. If you start to see parts of your pan that are getting too dark as you cook (brown stuck to the pan is good, but not black) simply turn the heat down, add a few tablespoons of water and stir.
  6. Continue cooking, watching the heat, for about 45 minutes.  After the 30 minute mark I usually turn the heat down a little and let them continue to cook.


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