Caramelized Onions

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | October 29th, 2008 | Recipes, Side Dishes

As a child, I would have picked onions out of many dishes.  I wouldn’t have wanted them on a salad, in a sandwich, probably not in a soup either.  However, with age I developed a more adventurous palate.  In fact, I still am opening my mind to new foods, but that is a whole different post.

As I developed an appreciation for onions, I began to try them in different forms for a variety of dishes.  I would saute some diced onion and add it to an omelet.  Thinly sliced red onion would top a tossed salad.  Depending on whether I wanted crunch or not and a sweeter or tangier flavor would determine how I prepared the onion.

Having removed onions from my “yucky” food list, I opened myself to many more foods when dining, which led to my discovery (many years ago) of caramelized onions.  However, I remained hesitant to make them at home.  Instead, I would saute onions, but I missed that sweet flavor.  So, a few years ago, I started tinkering with a few different caramelized onion recipes, until I found a combination that worked well for me.

Although, you need about 30 minutes to prepare this recipe, most of the time is spent waiting.  It is very easy, almost fool-proof.  And for the flavor that these onions delivering, it is well worth the wait.

Caramelized Onions


  1. 1-2 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  3. 1/2 Tb. sugar
  1. Heat a nonstick skilled over medium heat. Coat pan with olive oil, and add onion.
  2. Stir to coat with oil. Allow onions to cook slowly, lowering heat if onions appear to be browning too quickly (or burning).
  3. Stir occasionally. Add sugar after the first 15 minutes of cooking.
  4. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until onions are golden brown and extremely tender.
Think Tasty

  1. […] Another item that belongs on the list of tasty, yet easy to make, list is caramelized onions.  All you need are three ingredients and about half an hour.  To learn how to master this recipe, visit our sister site, Tasty Thoughts. […]

  2. Elizabeth Sheffield says:

    I am one of those people who sincerely believe that just softening the onions – for any dish – is not sufficient to add the proper flavour. I always let them (and the garlic) brown slightly before going on to the nest step.

    If you add about 1/4 sup of good wine vinegar to the caramelized onions, and let it simmer until most of the vinegar is gone, you will have a delicious onion chutney. You may want to add a little more sugar to taste.

  3. Lil says:

    You don’t add sugar to carmelized onions. The carmelizing process is what happens when the onion’s natural sugar cooks out of the onion and “carmelizes”.

  4. […] of caramelized items in previous recipes.  I found recipes for the following caramelized items: onions, apples, puréed squash, and bananas.  While it may be a bit of an obsession, what is there not to […]

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