Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Slow cooker caramelized onions – for those times when you don’t want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop – these cook while you sleep!

Slow cooker caramelized onions - for those times when you don't want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop - these cook while you sleep! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I’m head-over-heels in love with caramelized onions. If I’m at a new restaurant and I see a menu item with caramelized onions, there’s a very good chance that’s what I’ll be ordering. They’re like candy, so sweet and flavorful. But often, I’m hindered by the fact that they take a good 45 minutes to an hour to prepare, with some amount of babysitting and monitoring.

My neighbor and I were sitting outside discussing this the other day and we decided I would try making them in the slow cooker. Same idea, right? Low, slow, gradual process.

Onions in Slow Cooker Image

So I turned on my slow cooker before I went to bed and woke up to the smell of onions. (Possibly one drawback of this method, but I was okay with the smell.)

I also woke up to caramelized onion….soup. Okay so, we’re almost there. One of two things can happen next:

  • Continue to cook for 3-5 hours with the lid ajar to evaporate some of the liquid.

OR

  • Drain them and be done with it.

Slow cooker caramelized onions - for those times when you don't want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop - these cook while you sleep! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

I continued to cook my slow cooker caramelized onions for about 5 hours to achieve a nice thick consistency, almost jam-like. I’m really super happy with the result! They’re not 100% the same, so if you’re a purist, this recipe might not be for you, but I used these in a recipe (coming in June!) and you couldn’t tell the difference one bit. I’ll definitely be using this method again in the future.

Used in this recipe: 

Slow cooker caramelized onions - for those times when you don't want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop - these cook while you sleep! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Slow cooker caramelized onions – for those times when you don’t want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop – these cook while you sleep!

Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 onions, sliced in half moons
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 10 hours (I do it overnight).
  2. If desired, cook for another 3-5 hours with the lid ajar to evaporate the extra liquid and thicken the onions. This will also result in a darker, sweeter onion. If you’re in a rush, drain the extra liquid from the onions.
  3. Store covered in fridge for 4-5 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I was super happy with how these turned out. I’m not giving up the traditional way of preparing them, but this is a fantastic alternative (especially if you want to make a large batch).
Husband’s take: He had these slow cooker caramelized onions in the recipe I used them in and I heard no complaints. He’s picky about his onions too, so it’s a good test.
Changes I would make: None!
Difficulty: Easy.

PS: Try the caramelized onions in this pumpkin macaroni and cheese!

Slow cooker caramelized onions - for those times when you don't want to spend an hour caramelizing them on the stovetop - these cook while you sleep! Get the easy recipe on RachelCooks.com!
When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
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9 comments

  1. Wow, great idea! Going to definitely try this one.
    I have an auto heat feature on my slow cooker that cooks on high for a few hours and then switches to low heat. Wondering if this may help cut down on cooking time (start them in the morning for use that night)…

  2. are caramelized onions not the total best!?! love this low-maintainence way of preparing them, this is a keeper Rach! xo

  3. This is GENIUS. Where has this been my whole life?

  4. ahhhh how I loooove caramelized onions!!!!!

  5. These look amazing! Such a hands-off way to get great flavor :)

  6. sounds great

  7. Good idea! I love them too but never go to the work of making them-problem solved.

  8. This recipe couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I just received a 50 pound bag of fresh from the Georgia ground Vidalia onions. I had no idea how I was going to use the last 25 pounds I wasn’t able to hand out to my family. I know what I’m doing with them now. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to get them cooked.

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