Recipes

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! 

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal!

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Caramelized onions don’t take much effort and are one hundred percent worth the time! They’re an elegant dish to add to your Christmas dinner that doesn’t ask too much of you in the making.  

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Caramelized onions have this fantastic deep flavor; sweet but somehow also savory. They lose their sharpness as they cook down.  

They’re so good it seems a shame to call them a condiment – think of them as an all-purpose side dish. You can add them to whatever you’d add gravy to: turkey, steak, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables whatever. (They don’t taste like gravy but work similarly by providing some richness and contrasting flavor.) They’re great as toppings for sandwiches or burgers too. 

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose
Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose

Keep in mind that if you’re trying to feed a crowd, make more than you think you’ll need: eight medium-sized onions filled up my largest pan, then shrunk down to less than two cups of the finished product. Better to make too much than too little here. 

Real talk, though: last Thanksgiving I made a batch for the table and then completely forgot to set them out. So I spent the following week jazzing up leftovers! And y’all, a ham and cheese panini with caramelized onions is AMAZING. Definitely a step up from the sandwhiches I packed for lunch in high school. 

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal!

I like them sliced as thin as possible for a stringy effect! 

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal!

After about 20 minutes, when you add the butter.

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose

Twenty minutes later.

Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose

The finished product! I cooked mine for a total of about an hour. They can definitely get darker than this, but be sure to do it on low to not burn.

The cooking can be to your preferences: taste them every so often. The longer they cook, the sweeter they get from the caramelization. Cook them long enough, and you’ve got onion jam. 

Tools you’ll need: a large skilletgood knife, & cutting board.

Caramelized Onions

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: garnish, topping, vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 8 medium-sized onions
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Slice the onions thinly and put into a large skillet over medium heat. Cook covered for about 20 minutes until they’re nearly dry, stirring every five minutes or so.
  • Stir in the butter, salt & pepper and turn heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered for a long time, until the onions have reached your desired consistency, flavor and color.
  • Stir only occasionally. The goal here is to stir just enough to let the color build up evenly: not so much that they never caramelize or so little that they burn. I cooked mine about 40 minutes more in this step, stirring every 8-10 minute or so.
  • When they’re done, add more salt if needed. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose
Caramelized onions make the perfect side dish slash condiment for your next big meal! | Teaspoon of Nose

See? They take such little effort! Only requires you to stay nearby. For holiday dinners or hosting grill outs, I make a batch a day in advance and stir every so often while I’m making the pies. Just don’t forget them in the back of the fridge for the meal itself! 

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