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A filet mignon recipe with homemade caramelized onions on top.
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5 from 8 votes

Sautéed Onions for Steak

It's so easy to make Sautéed Onions for steak with this simple and foolproof method! Thinly sliced sweet or Vidalia onions are cooked in a skillet with oil and butter until golden-brown. But you don't have to stop at steak! They make a sweet and savory addition for burgers, chicken, dips, and so much more!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Author: London


  • 2 lbs. sweet onions about 4-5 small onions
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • sugar optional*
  • water optional*


  • Prepare the Onions: Thinly cut onions into ¼-inch slices.
    2 lbs. sweet onions
  • Cook in a Skillet: Add olive oil and onions to a large stainless steel skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions for 30-50 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.* (In the beginning you can wait a little bit longer between stirs. Towards the end you will want to keep a close eye on the onions, to prevent burning.)
    2 tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt
  • Add Butter: After about 25 minutes, the onions will start to become a light yellow color. Add butter and stir to combine. You’ll know the onions are done cooking when they reach a caramel color and have a natural sweetness to them.
    1 tbsp. butter, sugar, water
  • Serve sautéed onions with your favorite filet mignon, baked chicken, or recipe of choice.



Prep-Ahead Instructions
Onions can be pre-sliced and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. 
Storage Directions
Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Or, they may be stored in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. An ice cube tray or muffin tin can also be used to make individual portions before freezing. When frozen it is recommended to put the onions in the fridge to thaw at least an hour ahead of use. Once thawed, the onions can be reheated over low heat in a skillet, or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.
Recipe Tips
  • Select steel. A large stainless steel skillet is the ideal tool for caramelizing onions because it conducts heat the best and helps food brown more easily than a non-stick pan. 
  • Give them room. Use a big enough pan that the onions aren't crowded before they've started shrinking down, to ensure they all cook at the same rate.
  • Use more than butter. While butter adds a lot of amazing flavor to caramelized onions, it tends to burn, so a normal cooking oil should be used for the initial cooking process.
  • Quicker caramelization. A pinch of baking soda added to the onions can help them caramelize faster by encouraging browning, but remember that doing so will break them down and give them an almost jam-like consistency.
  • Remember to deglaze. There is a TON of flavor packed into the brown bits at the bottom of the pan, so be sure to deglaze with water, stock, or even alcohol like white wine for a bit of extra flavor when making this caramelized onion recipe.


Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg