The Greatest Caramelized Onions


Onions are just amazing, and when they are caramelized they are even better 🙂 Caramelizing onions is a wonderful way to pull flavour out of the simplest of ingredients. I recently catered for an event where I had to make homemade burgers for 30 people, I had to make 4 kg of caramelized onions and there were none leftover.


5 onions
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup water
1 sprig of thyme
1 tsp sugar/xylitol
Olive oil
Knob of butter
Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking time 45 minutes

Thinly slice the onions in a food processor or on a chopping board. Place a large and wide, thick-bottomed sauté pan on high-heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a knob of butter.


Add the onions and garlic making sure they are evenly coated with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let them cook, stirring occasionally. Depending on how strong your stove is you may need to reduce the heat to medium or medium low to prevent the onions from burning or drying out.

After 10 minutes, sprinkle some salt and sugar over the onions and add the thyme sprig. Then add water to the pan to stop the onions from drying out.

Let them cook for 30-40 minutes on a medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes. 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 30 minutes you may want to add more oil, you will find that the onions will start sticking to the pan and you will have to stir more often. Once they are soft and brown, add a little balsamic vinegar to help deglaze the pan and bring some additional flavour to the onions.

PS: The pictures are from when I catered.


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