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Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions: the easiest way to perfectly caramelize onions

Total time: 10 min + cooking time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist


onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 to 4 pound
butter, melted
3 tbsp
salt and pepper

Who doesn't love the sweet, savory flavor of caramelized onions? But making caramelized onions on the stovetop can be time-consuming. The solution? Make slow cooker caramelized onions. They have the same beautiful caramelized flavor as the stovetop version, but you can simply pop raw onions into your slow cooker and let them gently cook without having to keep an eye on them.

The secret to perfect slow cooker caramelized onions is to cook them on low for 8 to 10 hours – don't be tempted to use the high setting on your slow cooker. For super easy, flawless caramelized onions each and every time, use your slow cooker. You'll never go back to stovetop caramelized onions again!

How to Use Caramelized Onions

There are loads of fabulous ways you can use homemade slow cooker caramelized onions. They make a great topping for burgers, steak sandwiches, homemade pizza, or flatbread, as an addition to casseroles, soups, and stews, mixed into hummus or other dips or used to make chutney.

You can also serve caramelized onions as a garnish with virtually any type of protein: beef, pork, chicken, seafood, or even tofu! There are so many options to choose from, so why not get creative?


Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to make vegan-friendly caramelized onions.

To give your caramelized onions extra flavor, you can add a tablespoon of brown sugar and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

If after 8 to 10 hours your onions are still full of liquid, you can offset the lid to leave a gap for the steam to escape and cook the onions for another 3 to 4 hours. After the additional cooking time, your onions should be thick, with an almost jam-like texture.

Either chop or slice the onions – don't put whole onions in the slow cooker if you want to caramelize them.

How to Store Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Place the onions in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. For long-term storage, you can freeze slow cooker caramelized onions for up to 3 months.

How to Caramelize Onions in a Slow Cooker 

Put the onions in your slow cooker. Pour the melted butter over the onions, then toss to coat.

Cook the onions on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the onions turn dark golden brown, stirring once or twice.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any additional seasonings, then stir.

Serve or store for later use.


Any type of onion works well here. Use yellow, red, or white onions in this recipe.

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