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Patience is a virtue, especially when caramelizing onions
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Patience is a virtue, especially when caramelizing onions

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Making caramelized onions takes time; patient cooking is needed to draw out the onions natural sugars. As the onions cook, they soften and their sugary juices caramelize, making them sweet, succulent and tender.

It will seem like a lot of sliced onions when you start, but as the onions cook and lose their juices, they’ll cook down to a MUCH smaller, sweeter amount. When finished and cooled, store them in the fridge, covered, for about a week and use them to enhance your favorite recipe.

Personally, I love lending their sweetness to a savory scone recipe or breakfast hash. As a topping on a mushroom burger or on any plant-based pizza. And you can never go wrong adding caramelized onions to bitter sauteed greens; they are a match made in heaven — veggie heaven.

Caramelized Onions

Makes 1 cup

  • 1 tablespoon oil (optional)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2 large or 4 small onions)
  • Salt
  • Water

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a small pinch of salt; cook and stir until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to med-low; cook, stirring occasionally until onions become golden and sweet, about 30 to 40 minutes. If the onions stick to the bottom of the pan, or if the bottom of the pan begins to brown too quickly, stir in (with a wooden spoon) a few tablespoons of water.

Tasty tips

  • You can use sweet, cooking, red or white onions for this recipe; each will yield a slightly different flavor.
  • This is a great way to use up old onions
  • A pinch of sugar, a drop of balsamic vinegar, a hint of black pepper, a few leaves of thyme and a splash of white wine are all tasty additions to caramelized onions.

(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at )

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