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TIP OF THE DAY: Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions rock a burger, sandwich,
eggs and more. Photo courtesy


Caramelized onions are a great culinary treat that few people enjoy often enough.

You can caramelize any type of onion. Sautéeing slowly brings out rich, sweet onion flavor as the natural sugars in the onions caramelize. Start with standard yellow onions, then try other varieties to see which you prefer (red onions add more color).

FOOD TRIVIA: Standard onions actually have more sugar than the more expensive sweet onion varieties. Sweet onions seem sweeter because they contain fewer acrid sulfur compounds.

Slather caramelized onions on burgers and sandwiches, on pastas and pizzas, as a condiment with egg, fish and meat dishes or as a garnish for soups. Garnish mashed potatoes and rice. Toss them into a green salad or grilled vegetable plate with some goat cheese.


Try a small batch with oil and another batch with butter. Then, vary the types of onions, to see which recipe you prefer. You can vary the recipe by adding sliced mushrooms.


  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter, olive oil or other cooking oil
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch fresh-ground black pepper
  • Pinch sugar (optional)
  • Splash balsamic vinegar (optional)
    1. Slice the top off the onion, peel, halve and slice into half rings.
    2. Add butter/oil to a large, heavy skillet and turn heat to medium-high until it begins to bubble. If you are using butter, note that it can burn if overheated, so keep an eye on it.
    3. Add onions to skillet and stir to coat with fat. Add salt, pepper and optional sugar.
    4. Stir constantly until the onions begin to darken and soften, about 5 minutes. Some slices will stick to the bottom of the pan. If you are having difficulty scraping them up as you stir, deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water, broth, wine or beer. You can deglaze as often as needed
    5. Continue stirring until the onions are golden brown, translucent and the texture you desire—from al dente to soft—up to 20 minutes.
    6. Remove from stove and add optional splash of balsamic vinegar.

    Enjoy them and make another, much larger batch immediately—you’ll definitely want more!

    To make large quantities, take a look at this cooking video.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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