There’s something tantalizing about the words “caramelized onions.” It could be that “caramelized” automatically piques our collective interest, but it’s more likely that when we hear or see those words, we can immediately picture and smell what they indicate: sticky, sweet, burnished, silky-textured onions.

Cooked down to a soft golden-yellow, medium-amber or deep and dark, caramelized onions are the backbone and star of many dishes. Below, you’ll find our favorites from our archives. You’ll find even more recipes with caramelized onions using our Recipe Finder.

Fast French Onion Soup, pictured above. Caramelized onions can take a long time — especially with a recipe that requires 5 pounds of onions. With a few tricks from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, these onions go from pungent to deeply sweet so much faster.


Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches With Miso Butter. Umami, sometimes called the sixth flavor, refers to a deep savoriness that can be brought by fermentation, the Maillard reaction and other cooking processes, or is an innate property of an ingredient (think anchovies or Parmesan cheese). Coax umami forward from an onion by caramelizing it, then add to a melty grilled cheese with miso, another umami-packed ingredient.


Caramelized Onion and Fontina Pizza With Crispy Kale. Crispy kale against silky onion, stretchy cheese and a toothsome crust makes for a textural masterpiece.


Onion Mushroom Tarte Tatin. A tarte tatin may seem intimidating, but think about the flavor payoff to cull any anxiety over the task. Glossy, burnished onion makes for a savory-sweet light dinner in this tart.


Pasta With Quick-Caramelized Onions, Fennel and Olives. You can caramelize red onions, too! For this recipe, you’ll want them to crisp up slightly as you build up the fond (browned food bits on the bottom of the pan) in the pan to make a sauce for the pasta.


Javaher Polow (Jeweled Rice). If you’re looking to put a little effort into your rice, say no more — this one literally glitters with dried fruit, glossy, caramelized onion and crisp, saffron-dyed rice.

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