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Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are magical. This one simple ingredient can transform any recipe from ordinary to spectacular.  Pizza, pasta, frittata, soups, salads, focacia…are you getting what I’m saying?  They give that extra hutzpah to everything you slip them in or spread them on! Caramelized onions are magic I tell you!

Caramelizing onions does take some forethought, but it’s actually super easy.  Just fill a large pan full of onions, turn your stove on low and before you know it you’ve got yourself a pan full of beautiful and flavorful caramelized onions that will last up to 10 days in your refrigerator or 6 months in your freezer!



To get started get out your cutting board, a sharp knife, and if you used them some onion goggles.  I don’t use them.  I welcome the snot dripping tears that come fast and furious when I slice up 6-10 onions at a time.  I should have taken a selfie here to show you just how beautimus I become while chopping onions.


I prefer Vidalia onions, or a any sweet variety of onions when caramelizing.  First cut off both ends, slice knife through first layer, and peel it off.  I once watched a onion peeling contest on the Food Network, this is where I learned my mad onion peeling skills.  It was fascinating, really….


Now for the slicing I prefer to cut the onion in half and then slice the onions into thin, short pieces as in the photo to the left.  However if you prefer to slice your onion into rings this works too.


Turn your burner on low…even lower than this to start.  How low can you go?

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet, over low heat.  Olive oil can also be used or a combination of both works too.  I think butter adds an extra richness and it seems to speed along the caramelization of the onions.


Pile sliced onions in the pan, sprinkle with kosher salt, and relax.  Stay close but relax…from start to finish this will take 45 minutes to an hour.


Every now and then move the onions around, after about 20 minutes when you finally start to see the onions turning color, sprinkle in 1/2-1 teaspoon granulated sugar over them.  You can skip this step if you want, your onions will still caramelize, but again I think, like with the butter, it helps speed along the caramelization and you get a deeper golden color in the end.


Is that not a thing of beauty?!!

Continue to move the onions around,  if you feel the need to you can up the heat just a bit to cook off any excess fluid that may be in the pan in the beginning, but then crank it back down to extra low and chillax.


HominAH HOMinah nom nom nom!  I can’t keep my hands out of the pan, they are so good!  Like candy!


Caramelized Onions

6 medium Sweet Onions
2 tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil or a combination of both
sprinkle of  kosher salt
1/2 – 1 teaspoon granulated Sugar

Peel onions, and cut into thin strips. Turn stove top on low, melt butter in a large skillet, add onions to pan, sprinkle with salt. Continue to cook on low moving around every 5-10 minutes or so. If there is excess liquid in pan, turn temperature up to cook it off, but then turn heat back down to low again. When you start to see a color change sprinkle in sugar. Continue to cook over low heat moving around until onions are a deep golden color. Near the end if pan seems too dry you can add in a teaspoon of water and scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan, mixing them in with the onions.



There you have it!   This ones a life changer.  Use them right away or store them in an airtight container for up to 10 days in your refrigerator.  You can freeze them in 1/2  cup increments in freezer bags or you can also fill your ice cube trays with the caramelized onions once they are frozen pop them out in to a larger bag and just grab them out by the cube as you need them.  Add them to casseroles, crumble on to pizza, or in to scrambled eggs.

The skies the limit baby!!

While I was caramelizing onions recently I was also making cinnamon rolls…go figure, and well I had an epiphany…..


I promise to share the recipe for these rolls soon….until then here are a few other recipes you can use Caramelized Onions in.

Naan Bread Pizza

Michigan Harvest Salad

Rice Pilaf stir some caramelized onions in at the end to kick up the flavor.

Come to momma!  Stir a half of a cup of caramelized onions in your Risotto at the end.

Chocolate Stout Beef Stew also a delicious place to add in these babies!



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  1. thanks for the tip about freezing caramelized onions. I never knew you could do that. do you just let them cool after cooking and then store them in an airtight container? what do you do when you want to take them out and use them? thaw it out and use it like normal? does the freezing and thawing cause the onions to become mushy?

    1. I have to admit the consistency is a bit different, but they are still wonderful in soups, stew and even on panini’s etc. Yes I let them cool and then portion them out into zip loc baggies. Thanks for stopping by! xoxo Sheila

  2. I have been trying for years and they are eatable but your way is so easy. Vidalia Onions candy to my way of thinking. Use to have a friend bring them back from his home state for several years. Much better than the ones in our Kansas stores.
    I found some Chef’s Crispy Onions (Garlic Pepper flavor) that I sprinkle on salads and put in soup.
    Deliious. Have never seen then before. Similar to potato chips.l
    Love you blog, keep it coming..

    1. Thanks Dorothy! MMM those crispy onions sound fabulous. I buy Frenches French Fried Onions by the can and my littlest eats them for snack…ooo they make her breath wonderful! I bet the brand you get would be amazing on homemade macaroni and cheese! Thanks so much for stopping by! xoxo Sheila

  3. I love caramelized onions – now I get to add sugar (!) – they will just be exceptionally wonderful. And Vidalia onions are now in our stores and they are my favorite. I am going to have a feast.

    How are you all doing with all the flooding in Grand Rapids? We’ve been watching the pictures on the news coming from your area…and more rain is on the way. Hope you are all keeping your feet dry.

    1. It has been non stop rain. And yes the water they say is on its way down, but it rained all day today and is still raining so I’m not sure how it can be going down. The 5 day forecast looks good though. Really we Michiganders can’t complain, the lakes have hit an all time low in the past years so we really needed this.
      Thanks for inquiring ; ) Hope you are well too!

      PS you don’t have to add the sugar ; ) xoxox