Quick Caramelized Onions

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4.5 from 87 votes
How to Make Caramelized Onions has never been easier with this ingenious trick to make them perfect every time. These golden sweet beauties will enhance any dish. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU FOLLOW THE RECIPE EXACTLY!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Caramelized onions in a white dish with tan napkin

These quick Caramelized Onions are ready in 10 short minutes. I use a little trick to speed up the process. Now you can have this sweet condiment in minutes!

Caramelized onions in a white dish with tan napkin

This is an expert way on How to Caramelized Onions. They are a sweet addition that brings another level of flavor to almost any dish.

What does caramelized mean, anyway? Find out here.

  • 10 Minutes: just a few minutes to perfection
  • Easy Ingredients: Only four pantry staples to make.
  • Family Friendly: Even finicky eaters love this sweet addition.
  • Adaptable: Amazing on anything.

What You Need to Make Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • vidalia onions or red onions
  • canola oil or olive oil
  • baking soda
  • salt

Equipment

How to Make Caramelized Onions – Step by Step

Onions chopped before cooking in the pan cooking and the finished onions.
  • Peel and Slice: First, peel onions and cut in half lengthwise and then slice onion halves into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Skillet: Second, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and then add onions and sprinkle with baking soda.
  • Cook: Third, cook onions, stirring periodically, for 10 minutes until golden brown and soft.
  • Salt: Finally, stir with spatula in salt just before removing from the pan.

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Common Questions About This Onion Recipe

HOW DOES THIS WORK?

Baking soda helps onions to caramelize much faster by raising their pH level which is responsible for the browning of the sugars in food.

RECIPE BE HALVED OR DOUBLED?

Of course, I love to have this handy topper on hand so make extra, however, if you have a small family simple reduce amounts.

USING A VEGETABLE SLICER?

The vegetable slicer is so handy for many things but absolutely the best for slicing onions evenly and quickly.

BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?

Above all, this is an easy caramelized onions recipe so yes!

HOW DO I STORE THIS RECIPE?

I love to store it in a mason jar in the fridge, any airtight container will do.

SERVE WITH RECIPE?

As a base for french onion soup, on top of steak, pizza or burgers. Great for 30 Easy Mexican Recipes or Caramelized Onion Penne.

Carmalized onions on a fork from round white dish

Expert Tips for Making the Best Caramelized Onions

  • Recipe Can be Doubled: A great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately.
  • Store: Lasts up to four days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Feel free to freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Variation tip: More sugar for a sweeter caramel taste or hit it with a dash of your favorite spice for a little heat.
  • Alternate ingredient: Try a little acid, use your favorite vinegar to up the flavor. I like Balsamic vinegar and champagne.

⭐⭐⭐ RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐⭐⭐

If you’ve tried this recipe, please rate it in the comment section below.

Caramelized onions in a white dish with tan napkin
4.5 from 87 votes

Quick Caramelized Onions in 10 Minutes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
How to Make Caramelized Onions has never been easier with this ingenious trick to make them perfect every time. These golden sweet beauties will enhance any dish. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU FOLLOW THE RECIPE EXACTLY!
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups white or yellow onions
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  • Peel onions and cut in half lengthwise.
  • Slice onion halves into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions and sprinkle with baking soda.
  • Cook onions, stirring periodically, for 10 minutes until golden brown and soft.
  • Stir in salt just before removing from the pan.

Video

Expert Tips

  • Recipe Can be Doubled: A great recipe for a crowd.  Simply increase the ingredients proportionately.
  • Store: Lasts up to four days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Feel free to freeze for up to 4 months.
  • Variation tip: More sugar for a sweeter taste or hit it with a dash of your favorite spice for a little heat.
  • Alternate ingredient: Try a little acid, use your favorite vinegar to up the flavor. I like Balsamic and champagne.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.2mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Other
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramelized onions, onions

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47 thoughts on “Quick Caramelized Onions”

  1. The tiniest amount of baking soda is all you need. 1/8 of a tsp is no joke. I tried winging it and my first batch of onions turned to mush. Tried again and they turned out great. Remember, teeny tiny amount of baking soda!

    Reply
  2. 1 star
    As much as I enjoy kitchen short-cuts and caramelized onions, I’ll have to pass on this one. One thing I retained from my one and only food science course is that baking soda should NEVER be used in cooking vegetables as it totally destroys so many nutrients found in vegetables. Kind of defeats the purpose of eating veggies if you’ve destroyed the vitamins.

    Reply
    • The point of the onions is not really the nutrients involved but more about the flavor that they impart to the food. As you would need to consume a great quantity to receive any real benefits from a caramelized onion but thank you for your imput.

      Reply
      • Hmmm. the only reason that they may might have done that is if they were cut too thin. I suggest watching the video. This really does work:)

        Reply
  3. This recipe ought to come with a large disclaimer: WARNING, DO NOT ATTEMPT WITH ONLY ONE ONION IN HOUSE. I am running late for dinner, company is on the way over so I was searching for a way to save time. Great! I thought, I can really cut down on the time it takes to caramelize the onions for my caramelized onion and mushroom quiche! Wrong, almost instantly my poor onion turned into a watery, mushy mess with absolutely no redeeming flavor. I guess I will serve a mushroom quiche now. And I hope whoever invented this “quick trick” reconsiders leaving this recipe posted for the tragedy that will inevitably befall many other dinners.

    Reply
    • This is definitely a recipe where you need to follow the recipe EXACTLY. There’s a bit of science going on behind the scenes so you really can’t tweak the measurements at all. If you used one onion and the listed amount, it most certainly will not turn out.

      Reply
  4. 4 stars
    So as to avoid yellow, watery “mush” as previously posted, CRANK UP THE HEAT AND WATCH CLOSELY! And watch the amount of oil used; you can always add more if necessary.
    I think this is an amazing trick to fast, caramelized onions…there was no such thing prior to trying this recipe.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure how to rate those recipe because there was definitely user error involved. I eyeballed the oil and maybe used 1/2Tbsp. Only used one onion and then sprinkled a medium pinch of baking soda. I abandoned ship after about 5 minutes when I had something that looked like baby pooh in my pan. Definitely not blaming the recipe, but did want to share that maybe it’s more of an exact science than I need myself to believe. I’ll try again and see how it goes. #wingingit #fail

      Reply
      • You need to follow this recipe EXACTLY. If you eyeball any part of it, it won’t turn out correctly. There is science going on behind the scenes and so the measurements need to be exact.

        Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Wow! I loved it. I cannot believe how quickly it was done. GREAT tip. From now on I will always do the baking soda tip. I live caramelized onions, but because they usually take so long, I avoid making them. But this… this is totally do-able! And I love the taste too! Fried mine with some coconut oil and added balsamic vinegar. They were delicious! I have no idea why the other people are not having success? Mine came out PERFECT 👌. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  6. I think part of the problem is that your blog steps say the heat should be at medium high but the recipe says medium. I think the onions steam morw and turn yellow at the lower heat. Once I turned up the heat they started to brown.

    Reply
  7. 1 star
    I’m sorry but this was foul. It was a science experiment gone bad. The liquid emitted from the onions sort of congealed and onions were flavorless. I would not recommend. The below reviews were not actually based on trying the recipe!

    Reply
  8. 1 star
    Definitely will NOT be doing this again! My kitchen now stinks and the onions were TERRIBLE. I’m obsessed with onions but whatever chemical reaction the baking soda causes makes the flavor DISGUSTING. I strongly encourage the author and anyone who uses this recipe to try making caramelized onions the old fashioned way just so you can see the difference in FLAVOR. Sometimes there’s no reward for using a shortcut and this is one of those times. Now I have to throw out an onion! I never throw out onions!

    Reply
  9. 3 stars
    For some reason this recipe turned my onions highlighter yellow. I’m still cooking them so I hope it works out but it’s weird seeing onions the color of bananas.

    Reply
  10. 1 star
    Onions turned to mush and were very watery. Thank god I had more onions so I did it over my own way and they turned out great. The taste of the mush was good just couldnt use on anything. Going to try as an ‘onion jam’. Hate to waste it.

    Reply
    • So sorry to hear that it did not turn out well. If you have any suggestions to make this recipe better please let me know!

      Reply
  11. 1 star
    Wasted my onions.
    Tried the recipe because it was fast and 5 stars. Wish I read the reviews first –
    there were lots of people saying how good it looked and the only person who actually tried it saying they were horrible. I too ended up with a gross yellow mush rather than caramelized onions. Sites like this need 2 sets of reviews: one for fans saying they look good, and separate for people who actually cooked it and found they were good. Unfortunately this was not good.

    Reply
  12. Horrible! I cannot believe anyone liked this ! I did exact same thing- and it just made water come out and turned them to tasteless mush I threw them out – 5 people in my home and not one liked

    Reply

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