The Best Caramelized Onions

Yield 7 half-pint jars



  1. Peel, core and halve onions.
  2. Slice onions in a food processor fitted with a 4 mm slicing disk.
  3. Coat the bottom of a large, tall stockpot with a thin layer of olive oil.
  4. Transfer the sliced onions to the stockpot. As you add the onions, sprinkle layers of onions with the Kosher salt to help draw out the moisture from the onions.
  5. When all the onions are sliced, turn the heat under the stockpot to medium low and cook, covered, until the onions start to release their moisture. Periodically lift the lid and stir the onions to ensure the onions do not brown or stick.
  6. After an hour or so, the onions should have deflated and reduced by about a third.
  7. When the level of moisture in the pot is about equal with the top of the onions, remove the lid and add the tied bundle of thyme to the pot. Use your spoon to push it into the mass on onions. Leave the lid off and allow the onions to slowly reduce and caramelize. This can take several hours. Adjust heat as needed and stir periodically so the onions do not burn but continue to darken. The entire mass of onions should slowly and uniformly take on color, getting progressively darker as the onions reduce.
  8. When the onions are reduced by half or more, are no longer soupy, have taken on a light golden color and mound up when lifted with a spoon, add in the red wine vinegar, red wine and sugar.
  9. Increase the heat to medium and finish caramelizing the onions. Stir often - at this stage the onions can scorch quickly - and cook until the onions are a rich dark caramel color and look moist but not at all liquidy.
  10. Remove from heat, fish out the bunch of thyme and discard, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  11. Ladle the caramelized onions into clean half-pint jars. Lid and transfer to the refrigerator.
  12. Onions will keep for a week or so in the fridge, and for 3-6 months frozen.

Recipe by Northwest Edible Life at