How to Caramelize Onions

Share this post

Adapted from

Caramelizing onions is a bit labor- and time-intensive, but the results are so worth it! Note that the onions will lose as much as two-thirds of their volume as the water they contain evaporates and they slowly brown.

  • Start with 2 onions, peeled and halved. Put cut side down and cut thin, even, lengthwise slices.
  • Heat a pan (preferably nonstick) or skillet over medium heat, then add approximately 3 tablespoons of olive oil or a combination of olive oil and butter (enough to coat all the onions).
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add onions and a good pinch of salt. Stir to coat all the onions, and keep stirring around every 30 seconds so the onions cook evenly. After about 5 minutes, reduce heat to low and stir every minute or so. If the pan gets dry, add a little more oil.
  • After about 10 minutes, you’ll see the first hints of amber. You may stop now or continue cooking to achieve a deeper color—another 10 minutes is optimum, but keep going a bit longer if desired—just don’t burn them!
  • When finished, transfer the onions to a cool plate or bowl to stop them cooking. You may add them to a recipe as soon as they’re done or store them covered in the fridge for several days. Enjoy!

Comments (1)

  • anon
    Laura22 (not verified)

    This is what I do to my onions and they come out perfectly

    Mar 10, 2012

Sign up for our monthly newsletter


Recent Recipes articles:

September 19, 2016
February 16, 2016
January 11, 2016
August 11, 2015
Adapted from
June 24, 2015

More recent articles:

Keep your workouts outdoors this winter
September 28, 2016
Exploring the meaning of work in America
September 28, 2016
How to find your favorite variety of one of fall’s best fruits
September 25, 2016
Office etiquette for the election season
September 21, 2016
Will the king of the road finally lose its throne?
August 24, 2016
Profiles of the men and women of the fruit world
August 24, 2016
Easy lunch-box meals for kids and grown-ups
August 24, 2016
Tips for taking a break from politics
August 24, 2016

About Us

Our monthly online magazine features articles about fitness, health, food, and work, as well as recipes featuring farm-fresh fruit!