How to Make the Best Caramelized Onions

January 17, 2018

Ah, ever-elusive perfect caramelized onions. Just last year, we set out to investigate the mythic beast. It’s not that they’re necessarily hard to come by, it's just that making the perfect ones at home can prove challenging. How long should we cook them to get that sweet and jammy brown caramelization we lust after? Will 20 minutes do the trick or do they need to simmer for somewhere closer to an hour? Should one leave the top on or let them go without a cover? The questions abound, but we did our best to answer them.

Each cooking method and time garners significantly different results, and our investigative article concluded that universally perfect caramelized onions don’t exist. You can, however, develop a method that works best for you. How brown or how sweet you like your onions is up to you and, like all good things, it's a matter of taste! So, once you get those basics down, try your hand at any—or all—of the recipes below. They all include caramelized onions in some fashion and will give you plenty of opportunities to get them juuuuust right.

How long do you cook your caramelized onions for? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Mireille January 19, 2018
I Just simmered (sweetie) spanish onopmerkelijk for about the whole afternoon on very low temperature. I Just used onuitstaanbaar and a little splash of white balsamico vingerafdruk ( after one hour)They came out golden, sweet , soft and delicious. I used it as a base for my French onion soup, as a consument for nigella’s ragu and for a delicious onion chutney ( onion base with splash of single cream, simmer for 1 hour Add pepper and salt)
M January 17, 2018
Food52, You have some great content that's fun, inspiring, thought-provoking, and/or educational. I enjoy a lot of this site. But something must be done about your headlines. Way too often the heds have little or nothing to do with the actual article, and are a disservice to the writers creating content and the readers clicking on it. They set readers up for disappointment, and the failed expectations tarnish good content that is worthwhile in its own right. I've clicked on so many misleading Food52 heds since joining the site that I often wonder if I'm getting enough of the good content to balance the repeated disappointment. Regular visits shouldn't feel like crapshoots.
Joanna S. February 6, 2018
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It's important that our headlines are not only thoughtful but also accurate reflections of the pieces that we work really hard on. That said, we missed the mark here and apologize that you were disappointed. It's something we're working on and appreciate your feedback.