Ginger and Sage Blog

Fool Proof Caramelized Onions

Fool Proof Caramelized Onions

For anyone that orders In and Out cheeseburgers animal style you know what bomb caramelized onions taste like. They are soft and sweet, they compliment savory foods so damn well. I use them as toppings on meats, in burgers, and even with Brussel Sprouts (believe me it levels them up). But sadly I think many people have either no clue how to make them or think it is very hard and time consuming.

My mom use to make them with vinegar, I think a lot of people do this thinking the acid will help break down the onions, and they just end up soggy and tart. One day when I was college, I was watching a Food Network show (I want to say it was Diners, Drive- Ins, and Dives…maybe) and I saw them do caramelized onions with Soda. They said it cooked them perfect, took half the time and were honestly ridiculously easy.

Now let me explain before everyone looks confused on the soda ingredient. I have used Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Root Beer to make this recipe and they all have worked perfectly fine. The soda has acid to help break down the onion to make it softer and the sugars in the soda help the onions to caramelize and become sweet. I swear once you make caramelized onions this way you will never stop!!!

Sidenote: You will see I do use a special tool to make these, a mandolin aka a slicer. I got mine at HomeGoods years ago and I am obsessed with it, here is a good one for cheap on Amazon. It makes life so much easier. I use the slicer on veggies, fruit, these onions, peppers, and even chocolate. Plus the thinner you cut the onions the faster they cook.

Recipe: Fool Proof Caramelized Onions

Serving: ½ cup


1                             Purple Onion

2 tbsp                    Butter

1 tbsp                    Olive Oil

1 can                      Dark Soda (I used Diet Pepsi this time)

1 tbsp                    Balsamic Glaze or Vinegar

1/2 tsp                  Salt


First thing I do with onions is place my onion goggles on, because I am a wimp and would have been crying for about 4 hours without them. Don’t knock them if you have not tried them, they are life savers!

Cut the first layer of the onion off. That part always seems to be a bit beaten up from transport. Next I slice the onion in half and start to slice it on the Mandolin. I use the thinnest setting, that way my onion pieces are as thin as possible. If you do not have a Mandolin, just use a knife and slice the onions as thin as you can make them.

In your pan, add the oil and the butter to a medium high heat (I start at 6). Once the butter and oil are starting to get little bubbles, I add the onions into the pan. Add the salt, move the onions around a bit in the pan so they are all coated with the oil and butter and beginning to sweat. Now here comes the fun part. Pop that can of soda open! Now I never measure this part because it is different with every onion but you want to pour the soda on the onions till the soda covers the onion, not swimming in it.

I keep the heat at the same temp because you want the soda to simmer and really start cooking those onions. Once you see the soda has reduced to half the amount add the Balsamic. If you notice that the soda has disappeared and the onions are not completely caramelized yet, go back and add a little bit more soda till they are perfect to your liking.

And that’s it folks, super easy Fool Proof Caramelized Onions. These can last about 4 days in your fridge. Enjoy!



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