- Food: Caramelized Onions
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Learn how to create excellent caramelized onions every time! They provide richness to pasta, soups, and other dishes by being rich, sweet, and deep golden brown.
I was preparing caramelized onions for this French onion dip a few weeks ago when Jack came into the kitchen for lunch. He usually returns to his office immediately after making himself a sandwich, but that day he lingered in the kitchen.
He responded, “I should go work, but it smells so wonderful in here.”
CaramRoasted Carrotselized onions, like roasted garlic, are one of those magical, flat-roasted Carrotsor-booster ingredients that can transform practically any dish – dips, pasta, soups, you name it.
They’re rich, silky smooth, and sweet, and they smell amazing, as Jack can verify.
Caramelized onions, fortunately, are simple to make. However, manufacturing them takes time. When you’re looking for a quick, pantry-friendly topping for a pizza or veggie burger on a weeknight, don’t rush the procedure.
Simply said, caramelized onions take a long time to prepare. The natural sugars in the onions take at least 45 minutes (and typically more than an hour) to caramelize over low heat.
Nonetheless, the time spent is well worth it. Caramelized onions provide richness to savory meals with their seductive umami flavor. Knowing how to caramelize onions is essential if you enjoy cooking.
Recipe Ideas for Caramelized Onions
- Make the entire dish. You might as well make a bunch of caramelized onions if you’re going to spend an hour or so doing it! They’ll last a week in the fridge if kept in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to two months. Caramelized onions freeze well in ice cube trays. That way, I can quickly thaw enough for a single meal while saving the remainder for later.
- Select the appropriate pan. Non-stick pans are great for pancakes and eggs, but they’re not ideal for caramelized onions. I propose using a cast-iron skillet instead. A wonderful fond will form on the bottom of the pan as the onions cook. It will enhance the flavor of the onions if you scrape them up and stir them into them. The size of the pan is also important. It should be broad and wide so that moisture may evaporate while the onions cook. A 12-inch or larger skillet is required for 4 onions. A 10-inch skillet is adequate for 3 onions.
- At the very end, turn up the heat. To prevent the onions from burning before they have a chance to soften and caramelize, keep the heat moderate or medium-low for most of the cooking time. However, once they’re brown and soft, I prefer to increase the heat to medium and stir regularly, scraping up the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan, to obtain a little more caramelization before removing them from the fire.
Onion Caramelization Techniques
My method for caramelizing onions takes a little time, but it’s pretty easy. This is how it works:
Begin by slicing the onions. To ensure that the slices cook at the same rate, try to make them as even as possible. Separate the onion layers before adding them to the pan.
After that, sauté! In a large cast-iron skillet, heat olive oil (I use 2 teaspoons for 4 onions) over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and simmer, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, or until the onions soften.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring every few minutes, until all of the onions have softened.
Reduce the heat to low if the onions begin to burn or cling to the bottom of the pan. If the pan begins to dry out, you can add a dash of water.
The onions will need 50 to 80 minutes to turn a rich brown, soft, and caramelized color. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the size of your pan, the size of your onions, and the temperature of your stove.
Suggestions for Serving
Your caramelized onions are ready to eat when they resemble the ones in the photo above. There are a plethora of applications for them, but here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
- In a dip! They give this French onion dip a delightfully sweet and salty flavor.
- In a soup For a reason, rich, delicious French onion soup is a classic.
- As a topping for burgers or sandwiches. Add them to your next veggie burger or portobello mushroom burger, or to a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Served with eggs. They can be folded into an omelet or added to a frittata. They’d be great in these single-serving frittata muffins as well!
- In a pasta dish. Make roasted vegetable pasta, pesto pasta, or conventional mac & cheese with them. They’d also be delicious in this creamy vegan pasta or vegan macaroni and cheese.
- On pizza, to be precise. You’ll never go back after trying caramelized onions on pizza. Pile them on top of my cast-iron skillet pizza or a homemade pizza with your favorite toppings.
|Time to Prepare: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Learn how to create excellent caramelized onions every time! They’re excellent in soups, dips, pasta, and more because they’re rich, sweet, and deeply golden brown.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced
- In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 50 to 80 minutes, or until the onions are very soft, golden brown, and caramelized. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on the size of your onions and the temperature of your stove.
- Reduce the heat to low if the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan at any time. If the onions aren’t deep brown after 50 minutes and you want to speed things up, increase the heat to achieve additional caramelization. To avoid burning, keep stirring constantly.
- You can make this dish in a 10-inch skillet with 3 onions and 112 teaspoons of oil.