Caramelized onions are a thing to be marveled. They are sweet and complex and made with the patience of your sweet dear grandmother. Here’s the how-to and if you’re interested, I’ll explain what caramelizing is and you choose if you’d like to keep reading or not.


  • Take one white onion, 1ish tablespoon of oil (maybe a little more), and a sautee pan.
  • Get your pan warmed up as you slice your onion to the desired thickness. I shoot for less than half an inch. Like a fourth of an inch thick ribbons.
  • Put your oil in your pan and let it get warm as well and then add your onions. If it seems like there’s a lot, don’t worry, they’ll cook down.
  • The key is low and slow. You don’t want them to get crispy and this process should take 45+ minutes so keep them over low heat and keep them moving around the pan.
  • They’ll start solid and white and then slowly become opaque before taking on a lovely golden brown color.
  • When you get them to the desired sweetness sprinkle just a pinch of salt over them to help pronounce the flavor.

So what is caramelization? It is the process of drawing out the sugars in the product and then caramelizing those sugars to get them more complex and produce a sweeter vegetable. This can be done with bread products as well but it is called maillard (my-ard) browning.

Caramelized onions are great additions to salads, sandwiches, sauces, soups… basically they are sent from heaven and we should rejoice and eat them. But do yourself a favor and make them ahead of time so you have them on hand.

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