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easy caramelized onions (oil-free!)



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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total: 45 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Heat a rimmed stainless steel or nonstick pan (like the Always Pan) over medium heat (it should be large enough to easily accommodate your onions in a semi-even layer — the slices shouldn’t be piled high in the pan, or they’ll take longer to caramelize).

Step 2

Add a little water to the pan — start with 3 Tbsp (as original recipe is written).

Step 3

Add sliced onions and stir. Then cover.

Step 4

Cook for a total of 30-40 minutes, opening the lid and stirring every 5 minutes. Be sure to cover again with lid after stirring — this helps them cook more evenly without the use of oil. Add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water more at a time as needed to prevent sticking/ burning.

Step 5

Once they start browning slightly, turn heat to low. How long you cook them depends on how deeply you want them caramelized. We found 30 minutes to produce a light golden brown color and sweet flavor, and 35-40 minutes to yield a deeper brown color and richer caramelized flavor. Be careful not to burn by keeping heat on low and adding more water only as needed to prevent sticking. NOTE: For reference, we added 1.5 Tbsp water and turned to medium/low at 9 minutes, added 1 more Tbsp water at 12 minutes (they were already golden brown), and turned heat to low. And we added 1/2 Tbsp more water and a pinch of sea salt at 21 minutes. Our onions cooked for a total of 35 minutes.

Step 6

Near the end of cooking, add a pinch of salt and stir to enhance the sweet, caramelized flavor (optional). Stir, taste, and add more to taste as needed.

Step 7

Use immediately on salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowls, and more! We include a few ideas above. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days (though best when fresh). If storing for later, freeze into ice cube molds. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe container and store for up to 1 month (sometimes longer).

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