10 Minute Caramelized Onions with a Surprise Ingredient

Perfect Caramelized Onions in 10 minutes flat.
Caramelized Onions

Are you ready to have another standard culinary technique shattered? How about when it results in the best caramelized onions you have ever eaten?

I wish I had a dollar for every minute I have spent in my life caramelizing onions. Most recipes call for low heat and anywhere from 40 to 90 minutes to caramelize onions to a deep brown. This technique is an answer to all those lonely minutes stirring, stirring, stirring onions: Quick Caramelized Onions. Just add a pinch of baking soda to the oil and onions in the pan and they will caramelize perfectly and quickly. I was skeptical, but I gotta tell you, this really works. These are not only deep and rich in flavor, but they also do not turn to mush, which happens too often when I try caramelizing onions. These are delicious, and are soft but have just enough body to them.

Another trick I learned recently – do NOT add salt until the very end. The onion slices need their moisture, and caramelize better without drawing out the water while they are cooking.

I love Vidalia onions for this recipe – so sweet – but you can use any type in a pinch.

This trick works like a dream – your onions will turn dark and rich and flavorful, but still have some body to them. I’m not saying I ate the whole batch, but hey. In my defense – these are truly addicting.

New Resolution: Caramelized Onions on Everything!


2 cups slices of Vidalia onions, 1/4 inch thick
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Pinch of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat a large skillet to medium heat. Add oil and then onions. Sprinkle with a pinch of baking soda (no more than 1/8 teaspoon).

Cook for about 10 minutes, until deep golden brown, stirring constantly. Stir in salt just before removing from pan.

Other bloggers How-to’s on caramelized onions:

Chef Marc at No Recipes Caramelizes his onions into a puree for adding flavor to sauces.
Lydia at Perfect Pantry makes hers in a slow cooker. Brilliant!
Elise at Simply Recipes caramelizes onions and fennel together. Must try.
Dara at Cookin Canuck has onions with a splash of Balsamic.
Another quick version is found at The Kitchn.


  1. Susan says

    Is that toast with creme cheese you’re serving those with! OMGosh, I am positively drooling! Thank you so much, Donna!

  2. Bev says

    I`v always heard of using a little sugar to help with the camelizing. Should the sugar also be used with the baking soda?

  3. says

    Hi Donna and Anne, I just discovered your blog via Pinterest and I’m quickly getting hooked! Caramelized onions are up there among my favorite foods in the world. Thanks for the great tip!

  4. says

    What a great tip thank you. Plus I always thought oh heeded to salt at the beginning. That drew the moisture out and hastened the process
    You learn something new everyday


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