A Glorious Tangle: Carmelized Onions

Carmelized Onions

Carmelized Onions

Sometimes there is nothing more beautiful than a glistening delicious tangle of sweet carmelized onions.

On Friday, I realized that I had several large yellow onions in the fridge.  Knowing I wasn’t going to be able to use them up over the weekend, I didn’t want them to go to waste.  Feeling in a frugal mood, anticipating entertaining over the next week and with an afternoon working at home, I came up with a plan.

The carmelization comes from cooking the onions for a long time over a low heat, which releases the sugars in the onions – it is a very easy process but the onions do need  fairly constant attention over a few hours.

Carmelized Onions (based on two large yellow onions)

Peel and slice the onions thinly.

Over medium-low heat, melt about 1 tbs of butter along with several splashes of good olive oil  in a deep wide pan.  I used my biggest cast iron pan (of course!).

Add the onions and cook – stirring frequently.  I cooked this batch for about 1.5 hours and really saw the carmelization (softening and browning) happen in the last 30 minutes so it is definitely worth being patient.

Once cooked, turn the heat off and allow to cool.  You can store the onions in the fridge for about a week.

I have read recipes that include adding balsamic vinegar or sugar to aid in the carmelization process but if you just give it enough time, you should get the same result with no additions.

Not only does the house smell amazing during the cooking process but the options once you have the bounty seem endless:  as a crostini topping, on pizza with goat cheese, mixed with pasta and sun-dried tomatoes…

Have I missed any favourite ways to use these onions?  Please share if I have.


About kate magee

I am a lifelong foodie who lives in Toronto and spends much too much of my time thinking, preparing, eating and writing about food...
This entry was posted in Cooking, Recipes, Vegetables / Herbs / Salads and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Glorious Tangle: Carmelized Onions

  1. One of my most favorite things on earth!
    I posted a few recipes using caramelized onions, and have to hold myself from posting more for a while… 🙂
    If you feel like it, check out these links and see what you think:


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