Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

I’ve gotta say I’ve wanted to try crockpot caramelized onions for a long time…and I finally have. I have mixed feelings about my crockpot, btw. What they do well, they do SO well and what they don’t do well…yikes!

Caramelized Onions Crockpot slow cooker
Caramelized Onions Crockpot

I have a few mixed feelings about the onions done in the crockpot, too. The final result was pretty darned good but there were a few that stuck to the sides of the pan and burned a bit, even though I stirred several times. You can’t just keep opening the lid over and over with a crockpot.

Admittedly, they weren’t too bitter and since I wasn’t using my onions until the next day I tossed them in the fridge – as I reheated I noticed that they all kind of magically had evened out in color. You can see some darkness in the photos here & there, though.

The other bothersome thing was the smell! Seriously, the onions I’ve caramelized stove top or in the oven didn’t smell like the ones in the crockpot do, and it didn’t go on for hours and hours, either!

The biggest drawback is that it’s really hard to judge when the onions will be done – at least the first time. I’d recommend starting them before you go to bed on a day you’ll  be around in the a.m. so you can keep a pretty close eye on them as they finish.

All crockpots are a bit different, so you’ll want to figure out the timing for yours. Could be 8 hours or up to 12. Figure it out the first time (and if you’re like me, write it down) and it will be easier to get close to the mark for future batches.

When I cooked these, I had no leftover onion juice by the time the onions were caramelized to my liking. This might vary by the crockpot and the onions. If it appears there is too much juice, lift the lid of the crockpot and allow to evaporate.

On the plus side, it was so low maintenance I’d do it all again!

Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot slow cooker
Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot

caramelized onions in the slow cooker - they cook a bit unevenly and smell a bit, and you do have to find your timing, but I'd do them again!

Caramelized Onions in the Crockpot

  • Servings: abt 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 pounds onions, sliced about 3/8″ thick
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt butter, toss olive oil, butter, salt and onions together. Add to crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours (or more) or on high for 6 hours (or more.) Stir two to three times during the process.

Store in the fridge for several days or the freezer for several months.

Note: Length of time depends on the crockpot and how deeply caramelized you wish the onions to be. Watch carefully during the final hours to prevent burning and to determine the timing for the next batch you make.

from the kitchen of


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #29 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I’ll also be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday 111 hosted by Angie and cohosted this week by Naina @ Spice in the City and Julianna @ Foodie On Board, as well as Freedom Fridays, What’s Cooking Wednesdays & Weekend Potluck.