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Crock Pot Caramelized Onions

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Crock Pot Caramelized-Onions

First off, let me tell you that getting an appealing picture of caramelized onions is a hard job – a job at which I did not succeed.  Bummer. It’s as hard as Stacy trying to caramelize onions in the skillet without burning the snot out of them. I burn stuff a lot.

I had a 3 pound bag of onions in the fridge that NEEDED to be used…or else they were going straight to the trash without passing Go and collecting $200. I saw a recipe that called for caramelized onions and I thought I’d just try them in the crock and see how they turned out. Bingo, baby. Bingo.

I love grilled and sautéed onions. They just speak to me. They can take a drab dish and make it FAB. Wow – that was totally a Food Network comment.

Crock Pot Caramelized-Onions

I only lost one onion to the trash. It was too far gone to be saved. RIP onion. RIP. You would have been so tasty. *Sniff*

You will NEED to use yellow onions for this. They caramelize the best. They have more natural sugars. Slice your onions, but not too thinly – otherwise they’ll just disintegrate into your crock.

I ended up using 3 pounds of onions for this recipe – minus the one that kicked the bucket.

Crock Pot Caramelized-Onions

As you can see, my crock is pretty full. I wish it was full to the top – but alas, I used all the onions I had. A 4 quart crock with 3 pounds of onions works best. It’s okay to really stuff your crock full because they’re going to cook down a LOT.

Then just place 3 tablespoons of butter on top – sliced pieces. Cover and cook on low for a total of about 8 hours.

You will stir occasionally to avoid burning onions around the outside edges. I stirred a total of 5 times in 8 hours – so this is not a “fix and forget” dish. This is a “make it in the crock so you don’t burn the snot of out of it” dish.  If you slice your onions thinner, they might be done before 8 hours are up – just eyeball it and when they’re done to your liking quit cooking.

Crock Pot Caramelized-Onions

After 8 hours, there will be some liquid in the bottom of the crock. To get rid of some of it, take the lid off the crock and turn it to high. I let mine cook another 30 minutes like this and then I just served the onions with a slotted spoon.

This is the first time EVER that I’ve made caramelized onions without burning the snot out of them. They are SO good!

Here is a warning though – they are very fragrant. They’re so fragrant that your mom might come over and go home to smell like onions the rest of the day. Light a candle and open the windows. Or just be like me and revel in it.

Crock Pot Caramelized-Onions

There are so many ways to serve caramelized onions. For this batch we ate some on top of turkey burgers, some with hot dogs, and some just plain…okay, so a LOT plain. I didn’t think anyone was looking and I would sneak bites here and there. I like them…so back off!

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About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Yum

  2. Would margarine work? Just looked and I’m out of butter. No good.

  3. MUST TRY THIS! (Love the article! Thank you!)

  4. Love onions and cooked onions. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love the crock pot recipes e book. Had the Beef and Broccoli with rice last night. It was very good. Thanks for your work. Have a great day.

  5. Laurie Ellithorpe says:

    I too am a huge onion lover. Here is something I am sure you will love as well.

    Thick cut a Vidalia Onion,( I HAVE USEd ANY ONION I HAVE ) Salt & pepper, and honey. Saute in butter baste with honey as you cook. I have also cooked these on the grill. They are sooo good! If you want too you can add balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and another layer of flavor.

  6. I never thought of doing this in the crock pot. I just make my kids do it on the stove. You. are. brilliant. Have you ever thought of running for public office? You could win on your recipes alone.

    • No way, Jose. No public office for me….I’m sure someone would unearth a picture of me in my panties from when I was like 4 or something. I’d hate to have that plastered all over America.

  7. How do you store the leftovers?

  8. So easy! This is fantastic. I usually caramelize them if they’re going bad, but this is a more brainless method. And let’s face it, I need more brainless right now.

  9. Will DEFINITELY be trying this one! And – I love, love, LOVE your plate! It’s so happy! Where did you find it?

  10. Hi Stacy! I can’t believe you made this recipe this week! I just did the very same thing, too! ‘Soul sistas’! First the salt, now the onions! We’re on a roll! I had to get up in the middle of the night and turn off the crock-pot because the onions kept me awake! I wanted to eat them, then! But I waited until the next day, and man are they good! I used a whole stick of butter, though. I think that was a little ‘much’! Will use 3 tablespoons next time. Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

  11. Those look so yummy!!! I will have to give them a try! I think they would make a wonderful start to french onion soup!!! YUMMM!!! Oh, and on patty melts!!! Thanks for sharing another great idea.

  12. Okay, so you are saying that I do this and then add a box of beef broth, turn on high till hot and make French onion soup? I’m going to try it. That sounds so good right now, with a big hunk of crusty French bread in the bottom of a soup bowl and then a slab of Swiss cheese flopped on top and set under the broiler for a few minutes till melty and brown right? I’ll try it later this week and let you know. (I think we just created another recipe!) :)

  13. Hubs and I watched a cooking show not too long ago where they used a small amount of coke to carmelize onions in a skillet. We tried and it worked great! Just in case you don’t have time for the 8 hour crock pot cookin :)

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