How to Make Caramelized Onions

How to Make Caramelized Onions

Caramelized sweet onions have a rich sweet and smoky flavor with a melt in your mouth texture. The slow cooking process with a touch of oil brings out the natural sweetness of the onion to bring a complex flavor to any dish that is nothing like the original onion in flavor. Vidalia or Texas Super sweet onions create the best caramelized onions due to their smooth flavor and higher sugar content however generic sweet or white onions work well as alternatives.


Makes 2 – 3 servings.

  • 1 large sweet (Vidalia or Texas Super sweet) onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (butter, bacon or beef fat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt



  1. Peel outer layer from onion and slice into medium width slices.
  2. Preheat skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add oil / fat followed by onions and salt.
  4. Mix to coat all onion slices in oil.
  5. Stir every few minutes for 5-10 minutes or until the onions are compltely limp.
  6. Reduce heat to medium low, cover loosely with lid so some moisture can escape and allow to cook for the next 30-45 minutes, stir onions every 4-6 minutes to allow them to caramelize evenly. Too much moisture in the pan and the onions will turn into mush by the end of cooking, too little moisture and they will become dry and crispy and easily burn.
  7. Once onions have a deep brown color remove from heat.
  8. Add carmelized onions to pizza under toppings as they will burn easily in the oven or slightly undercook them if they will be on top as they will finish caramelizing in the oven

Photos of Making Caramelized Onions

[Sweet onions have more of a squashed round shape to them as not to be confused with the more evenly round appearance of yellow onions] caramelized-vidalia-onions-2
[Preheat pan; add oil / fat, onions and salt. Stir and cook initially on medium heat] caramelized-vidalia-onions-3
[Onions have cooked down enough that they should be covered loosely to prevent too much moisture from evaporating and reduce to medium low heat] caramelized-vidalia-onions-4
[Place lid adjar when cooking | stir every 4-6 minutes to prevent burning on any sides of the onion slices and cover back ] caramelized-vidalia-onions-skillet
[Fully cooked caramelized onions. Remove from pan if you will not use immediately  as onions will continue to cook from the residual heat in pan]