How to Caramelize Onions

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Caramelized onions are one of my most preferred toppings. Why? Because using the caramelized onions, you can transform a regular dish into something special. I can recommend using it to all of those who are in love with sweet and sour food. By me, the best fits for the caramelized onions are using with the meat. The caramelized onions are perfect to use when you are planning to make some burgers for you and your friends.

Although, the typical usage of the caramelized onion is near to a roasted slice of bread and a delicate chicken or duck pate.

This particular taste brings us to classic french cuisine. This recipe is very easy to make, and it will help you to transform regular food into something special.

As simple as it seems, it will take you a lot of patience, because the process of caramelization it lasts a little bit. The best part here is that you can make it in a larger quantity, and to keep it at the fridge into a well-closed jar.


Caramelized onions on a plate

Quick Tip:
When you will start to caramelize the onions, close the door on the kitchen because these caramelized onions have a very strong smell that will fill your entire house.

How to Cut Onions Without Shedding Tears?

Avoiding tears at all is probably not possible, but I’ll share with you some ideas I’ve heard from others about how you can reduce the effect.

  • Leave the onions for a while in the water. Water will absorb the gas eliminated by the onions, and you can avoid the tears.
  • Wear a pair of glasses. They will cover your eyes and does not let the volatile particles from the onions come directly into your eyes.
  • Don’t use any fans while cutting the onions. A big mistake that many of us are making is that we are turning on the fans to ventilate the kitchen. In reality, the air is in constant circulation, which will lead to the spread of gas and increase the burning sensation in our eyes.
  • Refrigerate the onion before cutting. By refrigerating, you freeze the enzymes from the onions and the sulphuric acid will not be formed when you will chop the onions.
  • Light a candle or a lamp near the chopping board. Because of that, the gas that is emitted from the sliced onions will get drawn towards the flare of the burning fire.
  • Another essential thing: Use a sharp knife. Otherwise, you will press on the onions, which will cause the destruction of more cells and the elimination of more volatile substances in the air that will cause us tears.

Quick Tip: How to clean the onions easier? Put the onion for a few minutes in a bowl with water. This will make the peel soften a little bit, and they will peel much easier.

What ingredients do you need to caramelize the onions?

  • Onions. Obviously. For this recipe, I used yellow onions because I have them in the house. But, if you want to reduce the quantity of added sugar in that recipe, you can replace the yellow onions with the red ones. They are sweeter, and you can add less sugar.
  • Salt.
  • Sugar. You can replace the regular sugar with the brown sugar or honey bee. A general recommendation will be to use the sweetener that you are using daily into your food.
  • 1 tablespoon of good quality balsamic vinegar.
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Let’s get started!

How to caramelize the onions?

  1. Cho0se four medium onions, peel them and if you tear your eyes, as I said earlier, put them into a bowl with water for 10 minutes. This will help you to minimize the tears.

4 onions on a plate

2. Slice the onions into pieces of 1/8″ thick. Or, if you want, you can cut the onions into small cubes. As a result, you will get a texture that will be more like a jam.

Sliced onions on a plate

3. Take a non-stick pan and pour the extra virgin olive oil.

Quick note:

It’s important to use a cold pan because if you use a preheated one, the onions will start to fry but not to caramelize. Our main goal here is to warm gradually the onions, which will allow us to extract the natural sugar from the onions.

4. Put the onions into the pan, add the salt and pepper. By adding the salt and the pepper from the beginning, we will help the onions to eliminate quicker the juice.

Sliced fried onions with pepper

5. Cover with a lid and let it cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes. The onions should start to become succulent.

Caramelized onions covered with a lid

6. Take off the lid of the pan, and when all the juices evaporate, the caramelization process will begin. Don’t forget to mix the onions periodically to avoid burning the onions.

Caramelized onions into a pan

7. Add the balsamic vinegar sauce and mix the onions well.Caramelized onions into a pan

8. Add the sugar, and caramelize the onions for a few minutes to get an easy taste of fried onion, but do not exaggerate. We need the caramelized onions instead of burned onions.Caramelized onions macro view

9. Put the caramelized onions into a bowl and cover them with a towel or a plate. Let the onions to cool down.

Here is the result that I got:

Caramelized onion into a plate

Now you can enjoy this delicious topping that gives a french and refined taste to your favorite dishes. If you plan to use the caramelized onions for a burger, check our recipe of how we made a healthy and delicious burger at home.

Card Recipe:

Caramelized onion into a plate

How to make Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Go Cook Yummy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Toppings


  • 4 Onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar sauce.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Slice the onions into pieces of 1/8″ thick.
  2. In the non-stick pan, put the olive oil.
  3. Drop the onions into the pan and add the salt and pepper.
  4. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on low heat. It should leave juice.
  5. When all the juices evaporate, the frying process will begin — brown the onions a little.
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar sauce.
  7. Add the sugar, and caramelize it for a few minutes to get an easy taste of fried onion, but do not exaggerate. We need the caramelized onions. But not burned onions.
  8. Put the caramelized onions in a bowl, cover them, and let the onions to cool down.
  9. Now you can enjoy this delicious topping that gives a french and refined taste to your favorite dishes.

Keywords: caramelized onions

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