Caramelized onions are one of my favorite ingredients to turn an ordinary dish into a gourmet meal. When I’m on an onion kick, I make large a large batch of caramelized onions and keep it on hand in the refrigerator to add to grain-based recipes, pile on sandwiches or veggie burgers, scatter on pizza, or use as a flavorful garnish.
How to make caramelized onions
Yields about 2 cups
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 to 7 medium onions, halved, thinly sliced
- Generous pinch of salt
- A few grinds black pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil in a large, wide, heavy-duty saute pan over medium heat.
- Add onions, stir a few times to coat with oil, then spread out to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes then season with salt and pepper.
- Continue to cook, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If pan starts to dry out, lower heat to medium-low, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to keep onions from sticking to the pan or burning.
- Stir in sugar and vinegar. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned.
- Remove from heat and use immediately or let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Note: You may also freeze completely cooled caramelized onions. Transfer onions to a freezer bag, spreading them in a thin layer (instead of bunching them into a pile in the bottom of the bag), remove the air from the bag and seal. Onions can be frozen for up to 2 months.