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2 ratings, avg : 5.00

I like onions. When they are cooked. I pick them out of my souvlaki or burger if they are raw, and try to avoid them when spooning salad onto my plate. BUT. I adore caramelised onions. I looove them. I can eat them on anything and everything. Except maybe chocolate cake. Unless, hm, has anyone done that?

Ok probably not. Moving on. Caramelised onions. Sweet and sticky. They are just so good. Have you ever made your own? The secret is to leave them alone to cook very gently over a low heat. For a long time. Now is it just me or do those words immediately scream “slow cooker”?

I’m not sure who thought of it first, but I’ve seen this method on a couple of blogs. The first was The Perfect Pantry, who very wisely suggests chopping the onions in a processor. That was when I put it on my to-do list. Then I came across another version on Gimme Some Oven, which uses sugar and balsamic vinegar as well. Shortly after seeing that one, I finally got round to trying it. The main difference between mine and any of the other recipes I’ve seen, is the cooking time. Now, you might think there is something wrong with my slow cooker, but I assure you everything else cooks in round about the same time as the recipes say they should. My onions? Well I kept trying them and thinking no, I want them gooey-er, softer, less oniony. In the end they were in there for just over 30 hours. Ahem, are you still there? It isn’t a typo. Thirty one hours to be exact. That was when I thought, yes, now they are properly caramelised. Before you click away from the page, just remember that you aren’t doing anything during this time, except maybe giving the onions a stir and a taste. So hey, 10 hours, 30 hours, what’s the difference? The appliance can handle it so don’t worry. Just find another way to cook for a couple of days, unless you have more than one slow cooker to play with!

And now you have gorgeous caramelised onions to put on burgers, hot dogs, pizza, pasta, scrambled eggs, mashed potato, soup, in salads, mac & cheese, toasted sandwiches, or on crackers with any soft white cheese. The options are endless.

Keeping in mind the time needed here, the wise thing to do is make a large batch. I mean a fill-your-crock-to-the-brim batch. They keep well, and they also freeze well. I heaped mine into an ice cube tray and made little mounds of onion yumminess which are now in a zip lock bag ready for whenever I feel like one. Go peel some onions.


1.2 kg onions, cut into half-moons (I used a mix of white and red)

3 Tbs butter, melted

1/2 tsp salt, coarse

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2 Tbs brown sugar

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

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You can use olive oil if you prefer, or if you are vegan or fasting.

Step 1

Put all the onions in the slow cooker insert and pour the butter over them. Toss with your hands so all the onions are coated. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave for at least 10 hours (I left mine for 18 at this stage), stirring occasionally, till they have reduced significantly and started to brown.

Step 2

Add the salt & pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir well and continue cooking. If you have lots of liquid you can prop the lid open with the handle of a wooden spoon till it evaporates (mine took about 2 hours to evaporate). Continue with the lid on for however long it takes to reach the desired taste and consistency (mine was on for another 13 hours – total 31), tasting frequently.

Step 3

Turn slow cooker off and let onions cool in the crock. Keep for about a week in the fridge or freeze in small portions.

Recipe slightly adapted from this one on Gimme Some Oven.

2 ratings, avg : 5.00

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment!


  • Reply

    I like the caramelized onions and had the sameonly done with BBQ sauce. Absolutely delicious.

  • Reply

    How many onions make up 1.2 kg.? I am use to cup measurements..

    • Reply

      It is very hard to say, since onions can differ greatly in size and weight. Also, between countries, vegetables may generally be different in size, for example a large zucchini in Greece is probably about half the size of a large zucchini in the States. Here, I would say a medium sized onion is about 100 grams, maybe 120 grams. So that would mean 1.2kg is about 10-12 medium onions. The best way to check though is to see what the packaging says when you buy the onions, I would assume the weight is mentioned on that. Hope this helps!