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Caramelized Onions

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

A how-to for a flavor-boosting go-to. Keep this goodness on hand at all times!

Paleo crepes

For the printable recipe click here.

Few things deliver a concentrated wallop of flavor like sweet, salty, umami-rich caramelized onions.

I like to keep a jar of this jammy goodness in the fridge (and some mini-pucks in the freezer) so I can pull some out and punch up the flavors of any meal at a moment’s notice.

If you like to buy giant bags of onions from a warehouse store but rarely use them all before they get funky in the pantry, THIS, my friends, is the recipe for you.

You can actually do this with as little as one onion (the cooking time would be significantly shorter), but I like to use as many as I can fit in my pan (about six) so I can stock up on this versatile staple.

There are lots of ways you can create caramelized onions. Some involve cooking onions with sugar, but that is not at all necessary. After enough cooking, the sugars in the onions themselves are coaxed out and will caramelize beautifully all on their own.

My recipe simply calls for a little olive oil (though most any fat will do), several onions (I usually use yellow ones), and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

We go with a low and slow approach, cooking the onions covered over medium heat for about two and a half hours, stirring occasionally. At first it is only necessary to stir every 20-30 minutes, but the closer it gets to the end of cooking, the more frequently you will need to stir to incorporate any fond forming on the bottom of the pan and prevent burning. If your onions look like they are burning at any point, fear not unless they are actually black. Brown fond is a good thing and can be softened by taking the covered pan off the heat and letting it sit for a few minutes. The wet onions will soften the fond enough for it to be scraped up with a spatula and incorporated back into the mixture.

These caramelized onions can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks and spooned out to use in Whole30 Loaded Potato Skins, Sweet Potato Sliders, Muhammara, Whole30 BBQ Sauce, and so much more. Want to store for longer? Freeze spoonfuls of caramelized onions in a silicone mini muffin pan and store frozen pucks in a zip-top bag in the freezer!

Here's what you'll need:

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 6 medium-sized onions, cut in half and thinly sliced

  • 2 tsp coarse salt

  • 15 cranks black pepper

Here's what you'll do:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large sauté pan fit with a lid.

  2. Cook covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally and incorporating any browned bits, for 2 ½ hours. At first you can stir every 20-30 minutes; stirring will need to be more frequent (every 5-10) toward the end of cooking.

  3. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks, or freeze spoonfuls in a silicone mini muffin pan and store pucks in a zip-top bag in the freezer.

For the printable recipe click here.


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Hey Y'all!

I'm the Monster Momma.

I'm a Christ-follower, wife, mother to five sweet paleo monsters, writer, and

paleo food fiend.

Join me and my family on our paleo journey!

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