Making caramelized onions is a skill that any cook should know how to make, and I’m here to help you master this versatile kitchen flavor booster. Caramelized onions are perfect for so many things. Some of my favorite uses are:
1. Salads: Thin ribbons of caramelized onions add great texture and flavor to any green salad. Caramelized onions are also great in grain or bean salads served warm or room temperature.
2. Sandwiches: A layer of tender onions are the perfect topping for both burgers and deli-style sandwiches. The deep sweetness goes a long way to making a simple sandwich into something decadent.
3. Pizza or Savory Tart Topping: If you’re feeling gourmet, try caramelized onions on top of homemade pizza! I like them best when paired with just a few other toppings like goat cheese or figs, so that the flavors of each can stand out.
4. Pasta Dishes: Onions form the base of almost all of my pasta sauces, and taking the cooking just a little further into the caramelized stage gives the same sauce just a little more depth and character.
5. Appetizers: They can be piled on top of bruschetta with a little wedge of cheese, used to jazz up a basic dip for chips and crackers, or cooked into a frittata to be served in thin wedges.
Once you make know how to make perfect caramelized onions, you’ll want to keep a batch of these in your fridge at all times.
(Makes about 1 cup)
3 large white onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt and pepper
Heat a pan to medium low heat, then add the canola oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the sliced onions, and season them with salt and pepper.
Toss them around thoroughly in the butter and oil, then get ready to wait.
Caramelized onions take 45 to 60 minutes to make, so settle in, grab a glass of wine, and grab a wooden spoon. Make sure the pan isn’t too hot, you want the onions to be bubbling gently. If they’re browning quickly, the heat is too high.
After 10-15 minutes, your onions should look like this: gently wilted, and the edges only slightly golden. Keep going.
After about 30 minutes, they’ll start looking like caramelized onions, but we’re not there yet. There’s still more sugar to caramelize in those onions, so keep going.
And now, glory! After about 45 minutes, you’ll have exactly what you’re looking for: deeply golden, sugary sweet, caramelized onions. You can keep going from here if you like them extra brown, and cook them for another 10- 15 minutes, but I like them like this.
You can pack these up into an airtight container and enjoy them on all your favorite dishes.
How to Make Perfect Caramelized Onions
- 3 large white onions peeled and sliced into half moons
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- pinch of salt and pepper
Heat a pan to medium low heat, then add the canola oil and butter.
When the butter is melted, add the sliced onions, and season them with salt and pepper.
Toss them around thoroughly in the butter and oil.
Cook the onions over low heat, stirring every 5-7 minutes.
After about 45 minutes, you'll have exactly what you're looking for: deeply golden, sugary sweet, caramelized onions.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.