Fried Onions Ready-To-Use!

"Use one free morning to make lots of fried onion, and freeze it in convenient amounts! During the holiday season you'll be so glad you did! So many recipes begin with: "Fry a chopped onion ..." How about taking out a bag of frozen, ready-to-use sauteed onions? It can be defrosted in the microwave, or simply added, frozen, to the dish in the pot, so skipping that "fry an onion" bit and saving quite a lot of time ... Because this is not a recipe as such, use as many or as few lbs or kgs of onions as you like, but the more you manage to chop and saute the better, as they do tend to melt away a lot in the frying process. Use a large soup pot. You'll be so glad you prepared this! Because I don't know how many pounds of onions you're going to process, I also have no idea how long it will take you, or how large or small the yield will be, but I have to put in numbers for the Zaar robot ..."
photo by Zurie photo by Zurie
photo by Zurie
Ready In:
1hr 30mins
2 lbs


  • 5 lbs onions (2 1/2 kg)
  • oil (for frying)
  • water
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (or use cider vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)


  • Sit outside where a breeze is blowing, and peel the onions.
  • Slice thinly on a wooden board. Best is to stay outside even if you need a parka, because inside you'll cry a lot over so many onions.
  • Use the largest pot you have, like a soup pot, and heat. When hot, add about an inch of oil (2 1/2 cm). Let oil heat well.
  • Slowly add onions to the pot. The good thing about a deep pot is that there is less spattering. You might have to add in batches if you peeled a very large amount, and you might have to add more oil.
  • Stir every now and then. This will take a long time, so have a nice paperback nearby --
  • Fry the onions with patience until they soften. Add a few splashes of water if they threaten to catch. You could add more oil, but you cannot keep adding oil as the end result will be too oily.
  • When at long last the onions have collapsed and actually starts to colour slightly, add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir through. This improves the flavour -- add more or less, to taste.
  • Read your book and keep stirring as you don't want to burn the lot at this late stage.
  • When the onions are done to your taste, pull off heat and cool.
  • The least bulky way to freeze them is to put them in ziplock bags. You will know how much sauteed onions you use per average dish -- rather put in too little because you can always use more than one pouch. If you freeze too much in a bag, some might go to waste.
  • Push out air, seal, label, cool completely, and freeze.

Questions & Replies

  1. I'm curious if you could use one of the large cube silicone forms to freeze these? It seems to me that if you added a small amount of liquid like beef broth or even water, you could freeze in more manageable amounts than using freezer bags. I think I'm going to play around with this idea. Then I can put the frozen cubes in a bag and pull out smaller more controlled amounts. Thoughts?


  1. what a terrific idea. Im rating it 5 stars just for the idea, easy and cozy directions :) Will be making this soon bc i hate chopping an onion for a recipe. Thanks zurie this is a keeper!


I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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