Want to achieve perfectly balanced sweet, sharp and sticky onions? Master this and you’ve got a winning barbecue side, burger topping or the building block to so many delicious classic recipes.


The key to moreish caramelised onions is time – and lots of it. If you crank up the heat and fry them in a flash the onions will char and toughen up and you’ll never achieve that dreamy sweet, gooey softness. So, clear the diary and turn the hob down low.

Try our best ever caramelised onions recipe.

Basic recipe:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions (red or white), sliced
  • pinch of salt

Tasty additions:

More like this
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

How to caramelise onions

  1. Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a low heat.
Onions in pan
  • Add the onions with a generous pinch of salt and cook slowly for around 30-40 mins. Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking or burning until they become soft and a golden caramel colour. If your onions do start to catch, add a splash of water to the pan and mix well.
  • Onions being caramelised in pan
  • Add the sugar and vinegar to give them that sweet, slightly sharp chutney vibe. Keep cooking on a low heat for another 5 mins, stirring occasionally until the mix is sticky, the sugar has dissolved and the vinegar has reduced.
  • Adding sugar and vinegar to onions in pan
  • Your onions are now ready to serve, or to use in a recipe.
  • Caramelised onions in pan

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    What's your favourite way to enjoy caramelised onions? Leave a comment below...

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