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Perfectly golden, sweet, and savory caramelized onion recipe to add to steak or chicken.
5 from 5 votes

How to Caramelize Onions

Caramelized Onions are a naturally sweet and savory addition to your favorite steak, chicken, or dip recipe.  Learn how easy it is to caramelize onion slices by sauteeing them in a pan with only a few simple ingredients.

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 onion
  • 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. (About a 4 out of 10.)
  3. Cook onions for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.*

  4. (In the beginning you can wait a little bit longer between stirs. Towards the end you will want to keep a pretty close eye on the onions.)
  5. After about 30 minutes the onions will start to become a light yellow color. Add butter and stir to combine.
  6. You’ll know the onions are done cooking when they reach a caramel color and have a natural sweetness to them.
  7. Serve caramelized onions with your favorite filet mignon or baked chicken recipe.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe yields 1 cup of caramelized onions.
  • To reduce the cook time by about 10 minutes, add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet full of onions and cover with a lid.  Cook the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Continue cooking uncovered for an additional 20-30 minutes or until caramelized.
  • Too high of heat can end up scorching your onions and evaporating off all of their natural liquid.  If this happens simply add a couple tablespoons of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen up the bits that are stuck.
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.