Slow cooker caramelized onions are a delicious and easy treat. The deeply sweet and savory goodness of slowly cooked onions adds next level flavor to any dish.
Does anyone out there absolutely despise cutting onions? I do! Maybe it's because I have super sensitive eyes. The minute I start slicing - the tearing and burning start.
But, I had to come up with a solution because these crock pot caramelized onions are THAT good. There is almost no limit to the delicious recipes you can add them to. Cheesesteaks, burgers, slow-cooked steak and more can be taken to a whole new level by adding perfect caramelized onions.
Making caramelized onions in the crockpot is the easiest first step when making delicious French onion soup! Plus, there is nothing better to keep beside your BBQ when you are grilling.
Have I convinced you that you need to make these yet??
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To make this easy caramelized onion recipe all you need are:
- Onions - sliced
- Olive oil
- Non-stick spray
🥣How to caramelize onions with your slow cooker
Start by slicing the onions. As I mentioned, I dread this step. There are a million different suggestions all over the internet for slicing onions without impacting your eyes. The only thing that works for me is to wear a pair of tight-fitting swim goggles
I know I look ridiculous, but it really works. (No, I will not be sharing pictures of this!!)
Spray your slow cooker with a non-stick spray (an olive oil sprayer is great for this as well). Add raw onions into your slow cooker. Drizzle with olive oil then cover and cook on low heat for 10-14 hours.
If you can, stir your onions a few times during the cooking process. (This is one of the rare occasions where it is ok to open your slow cooker during cooking!) This is a nice, but optional step.
You may notice that your caramelised onions are sitting in a lot of liquid after several hours of cooking. This is natural. To compensate, cook with the lid off for the last 2-3 hours of cooking time. This will allow for evaporation and make your onions nice and thick.
You can also choose to (very carefully) drain off some of the liquid. This "onion juice" can be used in soup or other recipes.
Your crockpot caramelized onions are ready to go when they have reached a deeper color of brown. They will have a naturally sweet flavor that is irresistible in everything from grilled cheese to beef stew!
🧅Type of onion to use
This recipe is great with just about any kind of onion. Red onions, yellow onions, white onions, and even shallots are great with this simple recipe. Sweet onions such as Vidalia onions are especially delicious and will add great extra flavor wherever used!
Caramelized onions are delicious when cooked on their own. However, if you feel you would like to enhance the flavor further you can add:
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey and
- 1 teaspoon salt.
You can even also add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Melted butter can be used in the place of olive oil as can canola oil or avocado oil. Each of these will produce a slightly different flavor. If you try more than one, please share your favorite in the comment section below!
Storing cooked onions
Once cooked, this onions recipe can be stored in either the fridge or freezer. Refrigerated carmelized onions will last for about a week or so. Frozen should last for 3-4 months.
Regardless of where you choose to store them, your onions should be stored in an airtight container or zip lock bag. Freezing in small portions will allow you to pull out just right the amount each time.
❓Why use a slow cooker
Of course, onions can be caramelized the traditional way - stove top. But that can be a smelly, splattering mess requiring constant stirring and oversight. Not to mention a long time of standing over the stove. Using your slow cooker to make caramelized onions is easy (lazy!). You just slice, dump and walk away!
😉Hints & hacks
- Due to the long cooking time, I often set this dish to cook overnight.
- Some crockpots cook faster than others. The first time you make this recipe, it might be helpful to be able to check in on it every few hours, just to make sure nothing is burning.
- Want a huge batch? This recipe can be doubled or tripled. You may need a longer cooking time, though.
- Need it a little faster? This recipe can cook on the high setting for 5-8 hours.
- Looking to make it even lazier? Try using a slow cooker liner for minimal clean-up.
- In the market for a new slow cooker? I love mine!!
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Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions
- Knife and cutting board
- measuring spoon
- non-stick spray of choice
- 3 lbs onions sliced
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- slice onions
- spray slow cooker with non-stick spray
- add onions to slow cooker and drizzle with olive oil
- cover and cook on low for 10 hours
- move lid so that slow cooker has several open inches at the top. This will allow extra liquid to evaporate and give your onions a nice, thick consistency.
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If you try this recipe, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!!
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PJ (she/her) says
I am so interested in making carmelized onions in my slow cooker and even MORE after reading you can use a liner. Talk about the height of laziness. My crock is quite heavy and I really dislike having to risk breakage when cleaning it. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
The Lazy Slow Cooker says
Awesome! I love hearing that (and I am a big fan of liners for the same reasons!!). Enjoy your onions!!