Caramelized onions are a welcome addition to almost any dish. And learning how to do them properly is definitely a skill worth acquiring. It’s not so difficult. With just three ingredients and a proper pot, you can rule the table.

Caramelized Onions

recipe from Garlic & Zest


  • 1 5-pound bag yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Special Equipment: large dutch oven with a tight fitting lid


  1. Peel and thinly slice the onions. (save the roots and peels for making vegetable stock).
  2. Heat the dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and cook gently, stirring for about 5 minutes to separate the rings of the onion and get them coated in the oil.
  3. Sprinkle on the salt and stir to combine. The salt will draw out the moisture in the onions. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low to continue cooking.
  4. Stir the pot every 15-20 minutes to assure that nothing is sticking to the bottom. If you see the onions browning — the pan is too hot and you should reduce the heat. You want the onions to slump over the course of cooking. When they’ve given up all of their liquid, only then do they start to caramelize. Don’t confuse “brown” with “caramel”.
  5. Continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the onions take on a deep golden hue. The onions should be so tender that they almost fall apart and should be sweet.
  6. The cooking time will vary on the pot your using and the stove. Just keep checking on it regularly, stirring when necessary and not letting it stick to the bottom of the pot.
  7. 5 pounds of onions reduces to about 2 cups of caramelized onions. If you’re not using it all at once, portion out and freeze the remainder in small containers until ready to use.

Once you know how, you can whip these up any time to heap on top of meat, potatoes, fish, vegetables, bread, pizza, soup, and more. Caramelized onion make everything better!

Take a look at our recipe archive for more delectable onion recipes.