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An image showing golden-brown caramelized onions.
5 from 7 votes

How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelized Onions are a sweet and savory staple which can be used in countless recipes for burgers, steaks, chicken, dip, and so much more! Thinly sliced onions are sautéed in oil and butter over medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes, until golden-brown and rich in flavor.

Course Appetizer, Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 82 kcal


  • 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*


  1. Thinly cut onions into ¼-inch slices.

  2. Add olive oil and onions to a large stainless steel skillet over medium-low heat.

  3. Cook onions for 40-50 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.)

  4. After about 30 minutes, the onions will start to become a light yellow color. Add butter and stir to combine.

  5. You’ll know the onions are done cooking when they reach a caramel color and have a natural sweetness to them.

  6. Serve caramelized onions with your favorite filet mignon, baked chicken, or recipe of choice.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Onions can be pre-sliced and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. 
  • To Store: Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.
  • To Freeze: Leftovers 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.
  • To Reheat: Depending on storage method and intended use, when frozen it is recommended to put the onions in the fridge to thaw at least an hour ahead of use. The onions can be reheated over low heat in a skillet, or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until warmed through.

Nutrition Facts
How to Caramelize Onions
Amount Per Serving
Calories 82 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 142mg6%
Potassium 135mg4%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 46IU1%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.