Condiment/ Freezer Friendly

Caramelized Onions

August 15, 2015 (Last Updated: October 12, 2020)

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Slow Cooked Caramelized Onions are one of the great miracles of the cooking world.   You take an ordinary onion and just simply by slooooooow cooking them, you make a truly amazing ingredient that is unlike anything you started with!  These onions are caramelized only by cooking them…and not by adding any sugar.  Many recipes try to speed up the process by adding a bit of sugar.  I’ve tried it.  I didn’t care for it.  The caramelized onions were too sweet and the onions lacked a depth of flavor.  I think this is one time you need to take the time to really cook something without any short-cuts!

A plateful of caramelized onions with whole onions in the background.

I started with Walla Walla Sweet Onions.  Any sweet onion will do.  In fact, just about any onion will do.  I think I’d steer clear of red onions just because of the color, but they’d still probably turn into this deep golden brown too!  The number of onions you use is up to you.  I always figure, you might as well do a bunch while you’re at it.  Your only limitation; size of your pan and the amount of onions on hand!

An overhead shot looking down at a plate of caramelized onions and three whole onions.

I used four large onions.  It seems like a huge amount, but once these were cooked down, I was left with about two cups of caramelized onions.  Caramelized onions are perfect for adding to pizzas, sandwiches, appetizers, dips….the list is endless.  The onions can also be frozen.  Just portion the onions into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, put cubes into a freezer bag. When ready to use, you can simply remove as many cubes as needed and let thaw.

Slice onions in a pan.

Onions cooked down by to half the original amount.

Onions starting to caramelize.

Onions cooked down and caramelized.

This whole process took about two hours.  That is a long time, but I was already in the kitchen doing other cooking and the onions didn’t require a ton of attention.  They just need to be stirred every so often because you absolutely don’t want them to burn!  I cooked on the lowest heat possible on my stove.  You could probably decrease the cooking time by increasing your temperature by just a bit….I didn’t want to risk a higher temp so mine took a long time.

Caramelized Onions on a white plate.

Caramelized Onions

Slow cooked caramelized onions
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Condiment
Servings 2 cups


  • 4 large Sweet Onions.
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Water


  • Slice onions lengthwise, not into rings.
  • Melt butter in heavy duty saute pan.
  • Add onions.
  • Cook over low heat.
  • Stir every few minutes to prevent burning.
  • When onions have achieved a golden brown color ( approx 90-120 min.) add water to de-glaze the pan.


You can use any type of onion on hand.
Amount of onions used can be adjusted to the amount you need.
Caramelized onions can be frozen.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


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  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    August 19, 2015 at 6:34 am

    carmelized onions sure are one of the great culinary delights! So easy, yet Super flavorful and absolutely delish! I love that you used walla walla onions, those are my favorite for carmelizing too! Yours look perfect and have me craving a big ole batch for breakfast! Cheers, my dear!!

    • Reply
      August 19, 2015 at 7:01 am

      Walla Wallas are great, but are only available for such a brief time.

  • Reply
    Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    August 18, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Mmm! I so love caramelized onions, Kathy!! I bet these taste awesome. I am definitely going to try this method. Thank you for one more awesome share! Loved it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      August 18, 2015 at 4:29 am

      These did taste pretty awesome!

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    August 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I love caramelized onions! I just made some on Saturday to put in biscuits and I wish I would have had your great idea to make a bunch and freeze them. It is definitely a time consuming process!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Caramelized onions in biscuits! That’s a great idea!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2015 at 6:22 am

    I am definitely going to try this technique. Nothing tastes or smells better in the kitchen in my opinion than caramelized onions and they can be used for so many things! Yum Kathy! Why don’t they make a house spray that smells like this? I love it.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 7:07 am

      So funny! We could market a whole line of sprays featuring home cooked foods….caramelized onions, roasted chicken, baked bread….

  • Reply
    Kennedy Cole
    August 16, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    5 stars
    Mmm! I bet that these are so sweet/savory and delectable! I definitely need to try making them in the slow cooker next time! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Slow cooked on the stove top…not in a slow cooker. A slow cooker would be a good idea, but I don’t think the liquid would be able to evaporate.

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