These Easy Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions are delicious on anything - homemade pizza, burgers, in a pasta dish and more. You only need a few ingredients to make this simple recipe.
Instead of cooking them on a stovetop with all the constant stirring, it's much easier to make a big batch in a slow cooker! It takes a few minutes to put everything together and then you can go about your day. In the meantime those onions are becoming deliciously caramelized and releasing their natural sugars. Try these Easy Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions on top of all your favorite meals.
What's the Best Kind of Onions to Use?
For me, I think the best onions to use to make caramelized onions are white onions, yellow and Vidalia onions. If you haven't cooked with Vidalia onions before, give them a shot. They are delicious sweet onions. I don't recommend using red onions for this recipe. You can also use a combination of white and yellow onions which I often do.
What Do I Need to Make them?
The only cooking items you need to make caramelized onions other than the ingredients are:
- Sharp knife
- Cutting Board
- Slow Cooker (Crock Pot)
Making the Simple Caramelized Onions
To start, thinly slice your raw onions into rings. The exact size is up to you. The thinner you make them the more they'll melt down. If you have very sensitive eyes, I recommend only using white sweet onions instead of yellow because they are much less irritating. Place the onions in your slow cooker. I like to separate the rings a bit before putting them in.
Sprinkle on the salt and brown sugar. Add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for extra flavor. Cube the vegan butter and place on top of the onions and seasoning. I like to use Earth Balance vegan butter for all of my cooking in baking. Because it comes in stick form, it's easy to measure and cut the four tablespoons worth.
Cook on the low setting for 8 - 10 hours. You can stir once or twice if you want. Yes 8+ hours is a long time but since it's in the slow cooker you don't need to do anything else. Just put the ingredients together, set it and move on with your day. It couldn't be easier!
If after 8 hours you notice a lot of liquid, take the top off your crock pot, adjust it so it's open a bit, and continue to cook on low for a couple more hours. This will help evaporate some of the liquid. Also, use a slotted spoon to scoop them out to further reduce the liquid. Store the caramelized onions in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
What To Use them For?
Yes this great topping that has both a sweet and savory flavor takes time to make. But the good news is that there are endless uses for caramelized onions both warm and cold. Here are some of my favorite ways:
- On a sandwich
- In a soup
- On top of your favorite toasty bread
- On top of pizza
- In a hummus
- On a burger
- In a salad
- Use them to make an onion tart
- On top of pasta - Try them on top of Creamy Pasta with Peas
- On tacos or in a burrito
Can you freeze caramelized onions?
Yes you can freeze caramelized onions. A great option is to put them in ice cube trays to have small portions to add to your favorite dishes. Just freeze them in the trays and put the cubes in freezer bags.
Can I use red onions?
I don't recommend using red onions. They just don't work as well as white or yellow.
What can I use other than vegan butter?
If you aren't vegan you can use regular butter. You can also use olive oil.
Can I cook them on the high setting instead for 5 hours?
Yes, you can do that if you don't have a ton of time. But I think you'll get a better result cooking on low for a longer cooking time. To get a deeper color, you need to cook them for a long time.
I love this slow cooker caramelized onions recipe. It's the easiest way to make them! The traditional way of making caramelized onions on the stovetop is way too time consuming. Making them in a slow cooker reduces your hands on time to only minutes! These perfect caramelized onions elevate any food they go on to a whole new level. Make a huge batch and throw them on everything you're eating this week!
Looking for other vegan recipes? Check out:
- Easy Vegan Mexican Casserole With Rice
- Eggplant Cutlets (Vegan and No Oil)
- Ultimate Vegan Crock Pot Chili
Easy Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions (Vegan)
- 6 onions, white or yellow
- 4 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Thinly slice the onions in rings.
- Pull apart the rings and place them in the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle the salt, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar on top.
- Cut the vegan butter into cubes and place on top of the onions.
- Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally if desired.
- My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance.
Making it right now but I omitted the sugar. Hope they’re just as tasty!
Let me know how they come out! Since there's only a small amount of sugar I think it'll be fine to leave it out. Good luck!
These are the absolute best! I’ve made them twice in the last week. It’s so easy to throw everything in the crockpot and just stir after a few hours. Thanks for the recipe.
I make these all the time too! We put them on everything. Thanks for the comment.