If you love caramelized onions, the sweet and buttery flavor of this slow cooker caramelized onions recipe is one you’ll be craving in future meals, especially when you see how easy they are to make.
When cooked the traditional way, these have been cooked on the stovetop with lots of standing and stirring happening in the process. You can skip sticking around in the kitchen for this simple crockpot recipe. Making caramelized onions has never been easier!
Can I Make Caramelized Onions in the Slow Cooker?
It may not have crossed your mind before using the slow cooker for cooking caramelized onions, but yes, you can! The prep time is so short and easy that you’ll wonder why you haven’t taken this route sooner. Not to mention, the onion only needs to slow for just a few hours.
Cooking caramelized onions in the crockpot doesn’t require any extra ingredients and not nearly as much stirring as the saucepan option. You can thank us later!
- Sweet yellow onions – typically known as Vidalia onions- are the best for frying and caramelizing. They are large onions, have thinner skin, and usually break down fairly quickly, creating a golden brown color when caramelized.
- Butter – melted butter serves as both a cooking oil and flavor booster for this caramelized onions recipe.
- Seasonings – salt and sugar are both used for added delicious flavor. We particularly use white granulated sugar, which is known to compliment the onions’ natural sweetness. You can use balsamic vinegar if you want a touch of sweetness and a punch of flavor.
Step One – Add sliced onions and quartered butter into the crockpot.
Step Two – Top with salt and sugar. Cover and cook on High for 5 hours. At this point, you will have a lot of liquid in the onions. Stir and set the lid ajar—Cook for 2 more hours on high. Serve and Enjoy!
How to serve:
- Barbecued Main Dishes – Hot dogs, steaks, burgers, grilled chicken, etc. are the perfect meat bases for a caramelized onion topping.
- Onion Dip – Make an onion dip. When you caramelize onions, save some for making this yummy dip.
- Pasta – adds a deep flavor to any pasta dish.
- Soups & Sandwiches – caramelized onions add a fantastic flavor and condiment choice to soups and sandwiches. We often make French Onion Soup.
- Pizza – adding these onions as a pizza topping will take your meal to a new level.
If you’d like to make more, simply double or triple the recipe. You will have to add an additional few hours.
Absolutely. They actually freeze quite well and defrost to taste as though they were just cooked. We recommend freezing them in small portions according to how you think they’ll be used. Be sure to use freezer bags or containers to maintain freshness. You can also freeze the onions in ice cube trays. The onions will last three months in the freezer.
Red onions (also known as purple onions) would be the choice in line for caramelizing as they can also be on the sweeter side than other options. You won’t necessarily have that walnut color but more of a grayish color. Overall, you’ll want to stick with the sweet onions.
Yes. 4 tablespoons of butter is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of oil.
Although we recommend granulated white sugar, you can use brown sugar. It may change the taste just slightly.
You can, though your onions will have a lighter color, for they won’t be able to brown as much in the extra liquid. But it will be very buttery and delicious.
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Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
- 10 cups sliced sweet yellow onions (1/4 inch thick) 2.5-3lbs. of onions (weighed before peeling).
- 4 Tbsp. salted butter sliced in pieces or cubed
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. white sugar (or use 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar)
- (Note this has a 7 hour total cooking time)Peel and slice onions, about ¼ inch thick.
- Place onions in a slow cooker.
- Place the cut butter on top of the onions.
- Sprinkle salt and sugar.
- Cover and cook on High for 5 hours.
- At this point, you will have a lot of liquid in the onions. Stir and set the lid ajar. Cook for 2 more hours on high.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
Trying this recipe tonight – for crock-pot caramelized onions – with a few variations. Only had white onions, so I added a bit more sugar. Used a crockpot liner, and set on LOW for an 8-hour (overnight) cooking time. Wish me luck!
This is similar to how I make my french onion soup recipe: but I place a tea towel over the crock pot before placing the lid. It absorbs lots of moisture. I will have to try your way of leaving the lid ajar. Great recipe
Would this make good french onion soup and do you have a recipe for french onion soup?
Sarah Olson says
You can turn this into french onion soup by adding broth and cooking longer. Here is my french onion soup recipe, though the onions for it are made on the stove top.