How to Properly Caramelize Onions

Caramelized onions are an amazing supporting food because they are high in vitamin C, calcium, and quercetin. It’s especially helpful for sore throats but is an excellent food to eat anytime you are starting to feel under the weather! (Check out more of my helpful tips for caring for yourself when you’re sick here.)

I recommend a whole onion per person because the onions will reduce in size. You want to use a lot of animal fat with this recipe! I like both butter or lard, so whatever you happen to have on hand is ok. The fat is also great for you while you’re sick. Make sure you add enough salt for the added minerals, which is also very important when you’re ill.

White or yellow onions work for this recipe. I prefer the yellow onions and often have them on hand so that is what I usually use.

For great caramelized onions, make sure your heat is on low. This is a food that is best with patience - and burnt with impatience. Allow 20 - 30 minutes of cooking time to get really good caramelized onions. You can cook multiple onions at a time as long as you are using a large enough pan. If your entire family is sick, you can make a batch for everyone in about the same amount of time as cooking just one.

When slicing your onions, you want to slice them in short slices. Don’t give into the temptation of dicing your onions! Even if it seems they will cook faster, you’ll most likely end up with a burnt or mushy dish.

Make sure you don’t crowd your pan of onions or they won’t properly caramelize. Above is the maximum amount of onions I would put in one pan.

Caramelized onions should be sweet! They shouldn’t really taste like onions at all when they’re finished! As they cook, take a taster. If it still tastes like onions, keep stirring.

Dr Natasha recommends topping a caramelized onion with a little olive oil and a couple fried eggs. (Again fried in plenty of fat.) This is a very filling meal that’s amazing when you’re sick.

However, you don’t need to be sick to enjoy this nourishing food! It can be very soothing when you’ve had a long day and are needing a comfort food.

Ingredients for Caramelized Onions:

  • 2-3 Tbsp Fat of Your Choice Per Onion

  • Onion (1 Per Person)

  • Salt (The amount of salt will vary if you’re using salted butter or unsalted lard.)

Directions for Caramelized Onions:

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Slice the ends of your onion and peel. Put the peels and “extras” into a bag for use in stock later.

Cut the onion in half. Then cut into half again.

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Slice the onion so long strips form.

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Start your pan heating on medium high and add the fat of your choice. Heating your pan before your onion is sliced will result in a pan that is too hot.

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Add your onions to the pan. Stir to coat in the fat.

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Cook onions over medium heat, stirring every few minutes.

When they are nearing translucency (about 25 ish minutes) add a little salt if you are not using salted butter. Even if you are using salted butter, adding a little extra salt will help them break down.

Make sure everyone salts their onions to taste once the onions are on their plates!

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Your onions are done when they are golden brown. Enjoy them on their own or as part of a larger meal.