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a bowl of caramelized onions

How to Caramelize Onions


This staple recipe will be one you use time and again to add flavor and flair to different recipes in your kitchen. You can’t go wrong with perfect caramelized onions!


  • 2 pounds onions, halved and thinly sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or butter, plus more as needed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the onions in a large, dry skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cover and cook, stirring infrequently, about 20 minutes. The onions will seem dry and will almost be sticking to the pan.
  3. Stir in the oil or butter and about 1/4 teaspoon salt and turn down the heat to medium low.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are done to your preference. (See notes)
  5. Taste and add more salt, if necessary, and pepper.


Total Cooking Times and Results

20 minutes: color will be ivory; the onions will be soft and still have a slight onion flavor.

25-30 minutes: color will be golden; the onions will be wilted, sweet, and with a slight onion sharpness.

40-45 minutes: the onions will be browned and starting to melt; the flavor will be sweet without onion flavor.

60 minutes: the onions will be a deep golden brown, the texture will be jam-like, and they will be quite sweet.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: recipes
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 154
  • Sugar: 9.6 grams
  • Fat: 7.2 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 21.6 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Protein: 2.6 grams

Keywords: how to make caramelized onions