These golden-brown caramelized onions are such a tasty topping or add-in ingredient for so many things. Anything from salads to dips to burgers to sandwiches gets a flavor upgrade from these onions. The possibilities are endless!
Have you ever ordered something in a restaurant that was topped with caramelized onions and thought I’d love to try making these at home but it seems so complicated?! Well despite that thought, or what you may have heard, caramelized onions are really pretty easy to make. They simply require a nice big pan, a bunch of onions, a little bit of butter and sherry, and quite a lot of patience!! Follow these easy steps to create the perfect golden-brown caramelized onions every time!
You start with a bunch of sliced onions – I always use at least one whole onion, but usually two or three if I’m planning a number of recipes for the week that use them. The onions cook down quite a bit, so one onion doesn’t make as much as you may think it might.
Next, you melt the butter in a wide low pan – this Le Creuset is one of my favorites. I prefer an enamel coated pan so you get a nice fond – the brown bits – to form on the bottom of the pan. Scraping the fond into the onions while they cook makes them especially yummy!!
Once the butter melts you toss the onions in, give them a good stir to coat them with butter and let them start cooking. Then – this is where the patience comes in – just let them just sit and cook for about 20 minutes. No stirring! Just walk away, well not too far away, and leave them alone for those long 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they should be starting to turn just slightly brown on the edges.
After 20 minutes stir them a couple of times and scrape any brown bits starting to form off the bottom of the pan. Set the timer and let them cook for another 15 minutes. Once they’ve been cooking for a total of 35 minutes add the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly. Stir them one more time and then let cook for another 10 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the onions as they continue to cook, they will go from partially golden brown like below to fully golden brown pretty quickly.
Total cooking time is determined by what you want to do with them, and how hot your stovetop gets. I cook them for about 45 minutes, so on the lighter side for soups, dips and tarts. I cook them for about 50 – 60 minutes when I’m going to use them for burgers and sandwiches or salad toppings.
If you want various degrees of doneness, remove some of the onions from the pan after about 45 minutes and let the rest keep cooking!
If you want to make a big batch during your weekly meal prep, you can actually freeze caramelized onions. Putting them in an ice tray is a great way to keep small portions on hand!
There are so many great ways to use caramelized onions – check out these recipes for a few ideas, or let me know what you come up with!
THINGS YOU MAY WANT FOR THIS RECIPE
Le Creuset Dutch Oven – This smaller version of a dutch oven is ideal when you are cooking for two. It big enough to make four servings of soup, a nice hearty chili, braise meat or caramelized onions. The wide base is ideal for browning meats or in the case of these caramelized onions, giving you the fond you want to add that extra flavor! The coated cast iron makes clean up pretty easy.
How to Make Golden Brown Caramelized Onions
- 1 - 2 large yellow onions
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp cooking sherry
- Vertically chop the onions.
- Heat a wide-low dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add butter and cook until melted. Add onions and stir to coat. Let them cook for 20 minutes without stirring.
- After 20 minutes stir them a few times and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for another 15 minutes.
- After cooking for a total of 35 minutes add the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan so most of the brown bits are removed. Stir a few times to incorporate the fond (brown bits) into the onions.
- Cook for an additional 10 - 20 minutes depending on the desired degree of doneness.
- Remove from heat and serve as needed or store in an airtight container.