The best caramelized onions come from the best Vidalia onions….and they take time. Find out how to make the best caramelized onions.

How to Caramelize Onions

We love caramelized Vidalia onions here at Healthy Family Project. I mean, they are super easy to make and they taste good on just about everything. Don’t limit yourself to just burgers! I know we have shared some recipes here that have caramelized onions as an ingredient, but I thought it was due time to give you all the secret recipe for the BEST caramelized Vidalia onions. Okay, maybe it’s not a secret, but it’s definitely a recipe that you are going to want to pin, bookmark and print!

Caramelized onions offer a deep, rich and sweet flavor that can’t be beaten. We’re walking through three methods to achieving the perfect caramelized onions including methods for stovetop, the Instant Pot and in the slow cooker.

The Best Caramelized Onions

There are so many ways to use caramelized onions – in a dip, French onion soup, topping off a burger, on pizza – the possibilities are endless. While caramelizing onions is a low and slow process, the payoff is always worth it. As the onions cook, the natural sugars in them caramelize, resulting in the sweet flavor.

Why We Love Caramelized Vidalia Onions

  • They are good on just about everything.
  • You can eat them right out of the pan.
  • They are easy to make, just a little time involved.
  • You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for about a week. That being said, I recommend making a double batch so that you do have leftovers.
  • You can actually freeze leftovers! Put a single serving in a small bag or use an ice cube tray. You can store them in the freezer for about 3 months.

Caramelized Onions Key Ingredients

  • RealSweet Vidalia Onions
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sherry vinegar
How to make the Best Caramelized Onions

Some Of Our Favorite Recipes with Caramelized Onions

Best ways to Caramelize Onions

Prepping Your Vidalia Onions

For all three methods, it’s important to slice your onions as thinly as possible and to keep the slices uniform in size so they caramelize evenly. Using a sharp knife, slice the onion from root to stem in thin, uniform slices. Then choose your favorite method to caramelize them.

Ok, are we ready to make some caramelized onions? Let’s do it!

The Best Caramelized Sweet Onions

Trish James
You only need a few ingredients and a little time to make the best caramelized onions!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Sides, toppings
Cuisine American
Calories 288 kcal


  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large RealSweet® onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Add butter to a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  • When melted, add onions and stir until well coated in butter.
  • When onions are turning transparent, after about 10 minutes of cooking, stir in brown sugar and sherry vinegar.
  • Continue cooking for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until onions are well caramelized.
  • Stir in salt and pepper.


Calories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 597mgPotassium: 355mgFiber: 4gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 532IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 1mg
Keyword caramelized onions, onions, side dishes, toppings
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Easy ways to Caramelize Onions

I know I mentioned there are several ways to make caramelized onions, here are two other methods for caramelizing onions:

Caramelized Onions

How to Caramelize Onions in the Instant Pot


  • 4 large RealSweet® Vidalia® onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda


  1. Set Instant Pot to saute. Add onions, oil and baking soda and stir to combine. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.
  2. Place lid on Instant Pot, set value to sealing and cook on high 20 minutes. Once done, release pressure and remove lid.
  3. Set Instant Pot to saute again and cook additional 5-10 minutes, or until liquid evaporates.

Best Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

How to Caramelize Onions in a Slow Cooker


  • 4 large RealSweet® Vidalia® onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Add onions to slow cooker. Drizzle with butter and salt. Stir to coat onions.
  2. Cover slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours on low. If possible, stir onions occasionally for even cooking. If there’s too much liquid in the slow cooker, take lid off for last 2 hours of cooking to evaporate.

Do you like caramelized Vidalia onions? What is your favorite way to make them?