Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 40 mins

Caramelizing onions changes their flavour from sharp and pungent to sweet and complex. You cook them until they're deeply coloured and jam-like. The onion jam will keep for weeks when refrigerated. Use it to thicken soups and sauces, garnish grilled meats, poultry & seafood, fill omelets and sandwiches, stir into dips, toss with pasta... The prep time doesn't include the time to peel and chop the onions. This recipe was found in How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. This is a wonderful cookbook filled with simple tips and recipes for just about anything you can think of .

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 680.38-907.18 g onions (6 to 8 medium, halved and thinly sliced or chopped)
  • 29.58 ml extra virgin olive oil or 29.58 ml butter, plus more as needed
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Place sliced onions in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring infrequently, until they are dry and almost sticking to the pan (about 20 min).
  3. Now stir in the oil or butter plus a large pinch of salt.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally and adding oil or butter as needed to keep them from sticking without getting greasy, for 40 to 60 minutes, depending on how you want them.(See Notes at end on directions).
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  7. Notes:.
  8. After 20 minutes the onions will be ivory coloured, softened and onionly tasting.
  9. After 25 to 30 minutes the onions will be golden in colour, wilted and sweet with a bit of onion sharpness.
  10. After 40 to 45 minutes the onions should be brown and starting to melt. They will now be sweet.
  11. After 60 minutes the will have the colour of maple syrup and the consistency and flavour than is something like a jam.
Most Helpful

This is by far the easiest way to make caramelized onions. This is now my go to recipe. Thanks Dorit fo such a wonderful recipe.

Papa D 1946-2012 August 27, 2011

Great recipe! I got a great deal on local sweet onions and this was a perfect way to use some up. Delicious!! Made for PAC Spring 2012.

nemokitty April 10, 2012

Great to eat along with sausage subs. Easy and so pleasing to the palate!

BillieJoeUtah August 13, 2009