Save Time By Cooking Large Batches Of Caramelized Onions In The Oven

Caramelized onions are a powerhouse aromatic for a wide variety of recipes. They add a tantalizing smell and a rich, savory taste to everything from soups and sauces to masterful main dishes. Given how useful they can be for adding depth and sophistication to recipes, it is not uncommon that you may need to make a sizable portion of caramelized onions. This can take a while, and it can be frustrating to have to sweat over a stove when you have other things to do. That is why, in these situations, we recommend forgoing the stove entirely and simply cooking your onions in the oven.

If you are used to cooking caramelized onions in the traditional way, you may be skeptical about this approach; however, using an oven is just as effective and a whole lot more convenient. An oven provides the same steady, slow cooking that the stovetop would, but in a hands-off way. As a result, you can spend less time stirring and more time prepping the rest of your food. Additionally, if you are trying to caramelize many onions at once, doing so in the oven may be superior to a pot, as the extra space of a large baking sheet prevents the likelihood of crowding the onions, which can cause them to steam rather than caramelize.

How to caramelize onions in the oven

In order to ensure perfectly caramelized onions, slice as many as you need at a medium thickness; this will allow for the quickest cooking without burning. Spread the onion slices evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then toss with olive oil and any seasonings you prefer. A small splash of liquid can help, too, if you like a softness to your onions — options include water or wine, but we prefer vegetable broth as shown in our foolproof caramelized onion recipe. Place the baking sheet in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for just shy of an hour, stirring occasionally, until the onions are dark brown and jammy.

You can use these onions immediately for almost any dish. You can add them to a full recipe, like for this delectable short rib mujadara, or use them to amp up existing dishes, like by adding them on top of a burger or into pasta. If you are preparing the onions ahead of time, or find yourself with extra, you can also freeze caramelized onions easily, where they will last for a few months.