Onions naturally contain sugar and when cooked for 15 minutes over medium-high heat, those natural sugars caramelize, and the onions become sweet and soft. These will keep in the refrigerator for a week and are a welcome addition to scrambles, tacos, sandwiches and flatbreads.
Learn how to properly caramelize onions.
Level Ups (optional)
Add 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar near the end for a sweeter flavor.
Large saute pan
- 2 yellow, white or red onions, sliced one-third of an inch thick using the root-to-tip method
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup water to steam and soften
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Slice ½ inch off the stem ends of the onions and the roots off the root end. Place the onions cut side down on the cutting board. Cut them in half through the root end. Peel back the peels from the onions.
- Lay the onions cut side down and make angled ¼ inch cut into each onion, aimed at the center, cutting almost all the way, but not completely through the root end. Make the cuts to your desired level of thickness.
- The root end will help hold the onion together as you cut it, making it easier to cut. Then cut a “V” in the root end to cut out the tough root holding the slices together.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, occasionally stirring them. The trick is to leave them alone enough to brown (if you stir them too often, they won't brown), but not so long so that they burn. After 4 minutes of cooking, splash the pan with 2-4 Tbsp water. This will stop the over-charring process while steaming and softening the onion. Continue cooking until onions are brown and soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.