Dried Caramelized Onions Are The Ultimate Vegan Flavor Bomb

If you're seeking a vegan-friendly way to elevate the flavors of your dishes, look no further than dried caramelized onions. These crunchy, flavor-packed morsels offer a perfect balance of saltiness, savory umami, and a touch of natural sweetness — very much like bacon bits. With their versatility and packed flavor, dried caramelized onions are a secret weapon that can enhance a wide range of recipes.

To create them, thinly slice onions and sauté them over low heat with a bit of oil until they turn golden brown, softening and intensifying their natural sweetness. Once caramelized, spread the onions in a single layer on a food dehydrator tray or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set your dehydrator to the lowest temperature or preheat your oven to the lowest temperature, usually around 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the onions to dehydrate for up to 10 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally to ensure even drying. When the onions become crispy and brittle, you are all set to use them in a variety of dishes.

How to use dried caramelized onions

The possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating dried caramelized onions into your favorite recipes. To start, you can sprinkle them generously on burgers, sandwiches, or hot dogs for an extra punch of savory flavor and delightful crunch. You can also add a handful of dried onions to your salads, providing a burst of umami goodness and transforming ordinary greens into extraordinary dishes. While most bacon bits are actually made of soy and are therefore vegan-friendly, dried caramelized onions are still an easy alternative.

Mix them into pasta salads, risottos, or grain bowls to impart their savory magic, adding depth and complexity to your dishes. Try boosting the flavor of your favorite soups and stews by stirring in dried caramelized onions, allowing them to rehydrate and infuse their irresistible taste throughout. Finally, you can incorporate them into bread dough, savory scones, or muffin batters to lend a unique and savory twist to your baked goods.