Caramelized Onions

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian & Vegan, Condiments & Canning
The rich and sweet flavor of caramelized onions comes from cooking them slow in olive oil, salt, pepper and their own juices until they’re a rich, golden brown. You can flavor them by using various liquids to deglaze the cooking pan and-or sweeteners to change the taste and sugar levels. When I’m making Whole 30 compliant, caramelized onions I only use olive oil and water or stock to deglaze the onion pan and no sugar of any kind.


  • 1 pound of onions, sliced in 1/8” rounds (Sweet onions like Vidalias, Mauis or Walla Walla work best.)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or butter
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Liquid: water, stock, juice, wine, vinegar, etc.
  • Sweetener: sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, etc. (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, over low heat, heat the olive oil or melt the butter, then add the onions seasoned with salt.
  2. Cook the onions slowly, stirring every five to ten minutes to cook them evenly and make sure they’re not sticking to the pan, for about one hour until the onions are rich, golden brown.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of liquid to onions while scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze it and pick up and incorporate the caramelized onion juices into the onions.
  4. If you want your onions to be sweeter, add a tablespoon or two of one of the sweeteners to the onions. Add 1/4 cup more liquid to the onions if you’re using granulated sugar so it melts.
Total time:
Yield: About 1 cup


I keep a stash of caramelized onions in the fridge to add to quiche, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, pizza, pilafs, etc.