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overhead shot of gold spoon digging into a pan of caramelized onions

Homemade Caramelized Onions

These homemade caramelized onions are sweet, sticky, soft and delicious. Better still, they couldn't be easier to make!
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5 from 5 votes
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Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Universal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Chris
Cost: £1 / $1


  • Large Non-Stick Pan
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Wooden Spoon


  • 2lb / 1kg Onions, peeled & sliced (white, sweet, red or yellow onions all work great)
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter (or a 2nd tbsp olive oil)
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper


  • In a large non-stick pan over medium heat add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Give it a stir and when the butter melts add in your onions. Fry for 15-20mins, or until they start to soften. If they start browning/charring at any point turn down the heat, this step is merely to soften the onions and try and get out some moisture. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn heat down to low-medium and continue frying for another 20mins or until the onions start turning golden. Again, don't let them catch and start crisping/charring. Add in 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp brown sugar.
  • Turn heat to low and continue gently frying until the onions turn a deeper golden colour and start to become sticky. The onions should be soft and gooey.

Quick Demo


a) Onion Size - I recommend using the biggest onions you can find (4 pomegranate sized onions are approx 2lb/1kg). This will reduce chopping time and in turn, the amount of time you spend crying over a chopping board of onions!
b) Low 'n' Slow - The aim of the game with caramelizing onions is to fry them low and slow. This is to tickle out the natural sugars in the onions and bring them to the surface so they caramelize. Timings will depend on the size & depth of your pan, as a lot of the initial cooking is steaming the onions to get out all the moisture. I have spent the best part of 2 hours caramelizing onions on a low heat before and they were incredible! Remember, low and slow. Don't rush this.
c) Storage - Allow the onions to completely cool then store in the fridge for 3-4days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months! Just thaw in the fridge and use as necessary.
d) Calories - based on 1 serving (1/8th of recipe):
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Caramelized Onions
Amount Per Serving
Calories 70 Calories from Fat 25
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.81g4%
Saturated Fat 0.855g5%
Trans Fat 0.001g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.219g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.547g
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 242mg11%
Potassium 147mg4%
Carbohydrates 10.68g4%
Fiber 1.1g5%
Sugar 7.58g8%
Protein 1.02g2%
Vitamin A 32IU1%
Vitamin C 5.6mg7%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 0.38mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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