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How to Caramelize an Onion

caramelized onion

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are the BEST!  It takes an ordinary, every day onion, to the extreme flavor end of the scale of extraordinary!  Worth every bit of effort and time.

How to Caramelize an Onion


Per Onion –

1/2 – 1 Tbl. butter

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar


The first step is to caramelize the onion(s).  You can do as many as you’d like at a time; keep in mind they shrink way down when cooked. 

Caramelized onions will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.  They are great on sandwiches, pizza, about anything….ok, maybe not cereal.

Thinly slice onion(s), remember they shrink!Per onion onion you will need:  1 tbl. butter, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1/4-1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar. 

In a large pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. 

Add in the slices of onions.Sprinkle in the salt.  This draws out the moisture to help the onions cook.

Continue to cook, the onions will brown nicely as you can see.  About 15 minutes or so, depending on how many onions you are cooking.

Add in the sugar to help the caramelization along.  You want to stir the onions, but not too much.  Enough to keep them from burning, but not so much that they can’t brown up.Continue to cook the onions to a deep golden brown, another 15-20 minutes, or until dark and wonderful sweet. 

Add in a bit of water during the cooking process if the onions begin to stick to the pan.


Now add in the balsamic vinegar and cook another 2-3 minutes, just enough to allow the flavors to marry.

Use immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To see a few ways to use these wonderfully flavored onions, click HERE [1] 

Carrie’s recipes, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014

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