Caramelized Onion Gravy

October 27, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by Julia Garland. Prop Stylist: Molly Fitzsimons. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • makes 2 cups
Author Notes

This scrumptious gravy will take your Thanksgiving—or any dinner, really—to the next level. Thanks to glossy caramelized onions, it has a wonderful sweet-savory flavor that works well with pretty much anything (yes, especially roast turkey). It’s the perfect binder for a copious holiday plate. You cook down lots of onions until they turn a deep amber—this is the foundation for our sauce. Simmer these caramelized onions with some stock, thicken with flour or starch, and just like that, you have a luscious golden gravy.

Because it hinges on pantry staples, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen. You can also make this recipe a few days ahead of time. Just gently reheat on the stove before serving. I highly recommend making a double batch: Throw it in a sandwich, over eggs, on top of rice, in a savory porridge... —Carolina Gelen

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions (about 1½ pounds), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups hot vegetable, turkey, or chicken stock, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or 1 tablespoon cornstarch)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat as needed to prevent burning. After 20 minutes, the onions should be soft and translucent, with a light amber color.
  2. Increase the heat to medium, then gradually incorporate 1 cup of the stock: Add a splash to deglaze the pan, then cook down until the stock has mostly evaporated. Repeat this until you have incorporated the 1 cup of stock and the onions are soft and sort of mushy, with a dark amber color.
  3. Using a fork, mix the flour with ¼ cup of hot water or cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water in a bowl. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture over the onions to prevent any clumps in the sauce. Vigorously stir to incorporate and cook for about 1 minute to remove the raw flour/starch taste. While stirring, slowly add the remaining 1½ cups of stock to the onions. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until it’s as thick as you like. (If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add more stock to loosen it up.)
  4. Season with black pepper to taste and salt if needed. This gravy can be made ahead—simply store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in a pot right before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • rpsalinas14
  • JLPaulsen
  • Julie Buyon
    Julie Buyon
Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

3 Reviews

rpsalinas14 November 13, 2022
It was kind of flat. I added some apple cider vinegar and sage at the end it before cooking it all the way down. It made a huge difference in the flavor.
JLPaulsen November 24, 2021
Absolutely delicious with an incredible depth of flavor. It is a great change of pace from our typical gravy with the drippings to add another layer of flavor to our meal and allow us to check some things off our our to-do list by making ahead. This was easy to make and the recipe follows like a dream.
Julie B. November 3, 2021
I just layer several sliced onions under the turkey, below the rack. They caramelize during the roasting and I keep adding stock to the bottom of the pan to keep them from burning, using this to baste the turkey. While the turkey is resting, I strain the pan juices to remove the onion then return the juices to the pan and deglaze, adding additional stock if needed. Finally the pan juices and half the roasted onions are puréed using a stick Blender. The roasted onions are added back in. Easy and always delicious