Simple, easy and quick homemade caramelized onions. Step by step recipe that is so easy to follow and only requires four ingredients. Perfect addition to burgers, pizzas, quiches or mix with some mayo to make a yummy dip.
You’re sitting on your couch, looking for how to make caramelized onions at home and you come across hundreds of recipes right away… Forty minutes of cooking and some call for an hour. Are you sure you are ready for that? I am not! Its either the trick of using red onions over white or yellow (because red is all I have available in India!) or adding some honey to the onions while I caramelize them, something definitely worked in my favour that made me successful with caramelizing onions in just twenty minutes.
We’re talking about sticky reddish brown sweet onions that are cooked in butter and wine. It will require a lot of constant stirring and sautéing, that prevents the onions from over-browning (burning) or frying. I promise, they are unbelievably addictive (almost like buttery onion jam) and great addition to burgers (these corn fritter burgers could use some, or make a yummy french onion pasta with blue cheese -> my fav! or may be wait a couple of days when I publish a delicious caramelized onion dip recipe that is so creamy and so easy to make.
How to caramelize onions quickly in twenty minutes
Ingredients for quick caramelized onions recipe:
- Onions -> RED Onions. Almost all recipes on google call for white or yellow onions. I could only try making caramelised onions at home with red/ pink onions as they are the only kind available in India (where I live)
- Butter -> Regular salted butter to cook the onions.
- Honey -> Okay yes caramelized onions should need you to let onions cook for an hour to release natural sweet flavour of the onions, but I promise, adding honey does the trick and does not compromise on taste at all. Adding honey will make the mixture a little liquid-y in the beginning, but that is just honey and butter mixing so do not freak out as the liquid vanishes in just a couple of minutes.
- Wine -> I have tried making caramelized onions with both: red wine & white wine. I personally loved the variation with white wine – does not make them super dark/ pink/ red and adds just the right amount of flavour. Wine is added towards the end of the recipe to deglaze the pan, just when the onions begin to fry, – which we want to avoid – you could replace it with water but of course, wont taste as fantastic.
Start by adding butter to a large pan. Let melt on medium low heat, just until the cubed butter starts to slide in the pan (just a few seconds). Add onions, honey and salt.
Now begin to stir. Keep sauteeing until the thinly sliced red onions are fully covered (and sinking…) in the liquid: honey and butter. It is totally okay, if it looks runny. The liquid will evaporate as the onions cook. We are basically cooking onions in salted butter and honey. This is fine.
You will notice after a few minutes, that the onions will begin to get softer and start sticking and all of that honey butter liquid has almost evaporated.
Keep stirring every few minutes on medium low flame. They will begin to change colour after about 8-10 minutes.
Just when it begins to seem that the onions are turning brown, add half of the wine -> this will help with deglazing.
Sautee and let onions continue to caramelize for a few more minutes. Just when the onions begin to stick again to the pan, add the remaining wine and cook until they are nice and jammy. Now transfer them to a bowl and they are ready to be added to burgers, in pastas or making some brie and onion puffs.
Caramelized Onions FAQs
- What kind of onions are best to make caramelized onions? I live in India and do not have the choice to pick white or yellow onions, hence this recipe is only tested with red onions (they look like shallots, but are regular pink onions). If you try this recipe, try doing this with red onions. If you get successful with white or yellow onions, do leave a comment/ feedback for others to follow.
- How to caramelize onions faster/ quickly? This recipe would take 20 minutes for caramelizing onions start to finish. Instead of slow cooking the onions in their natural sweetness, we are adding some honey that makes the onions sweeter and also makes them more sticky. The sweetness, however, is very well balanced with salted butter and the flavour of wine, making it extra yummy! I hope you enjoy this version, even if it seems non-traditional.
- How to cut onions for caramelized onions (or dip)? I prefer to cut them just regular thin, not very thinly sliced. The onions will take longer to cook if they are cut too thick or chunks, and will burn if you cut them too thin or chop them. See the second image in the post for reference.
- Can you freeze caramelized onions? Yes! For upto 1 month. When ready to be added to your burgers/ pizzas/ dips, simply thaw at room temperature and microwave for a minute or two to let them soften up.
- How sweet are caramelized onions? In addition to the natural sweetness thats released from onions, this recipe calls for honey. You could also add some brown sugar instead, adding honey will make them stickier and just the right amount of sweet.
Simple, easy and quick homemade caramelized onions step by step recipe that is so easy to follow and only requires four ingredients. Perfect addition to burgers, pizzas, quiches or mix with some mayo to make a yummy dip.
- 3 cups or 320 grams onions
- 1/4 cup of 4 tbsp or 57 grams butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 cup wine
- To a large pan, add cubed cold butter and let melt on medium low flame just for a few seconds, until it becomes soft (not liquid and not brown butter). Add onions, honey and salt. Mix well until all onions are nicely coated with honey butter mix.
- Let cook for about 7-8 minutes until all of that honey butter liquid is evaporated. The onions will begin to soften up. After about 10 minutes, you would notice the onions to change colour, get stickier and begin to pan fry/ stick to the pan. Add half of the wine at this point to deglaze.
- Let cook until all the wine has evaporated (roughly 5 minutes). Continue cooking without wine for 2 more minutes. It will start to stick to the pan again, add the remaining wine to deglaze completely and continue stirring the onions (roughly 4-5 minutes)
- At this point, the onions will have reduced completely, texture would be sticky and jammy and completely soft and caramelized. Serve over burgers, in sandwiches, mix with mayo and enjoy as a dip! YUM!