Traditionally, caramelized onions are cooked with lots of oil and butter, sometimes even sugar. Hey, that’s what makes them sinfully delicious, right? I have discovered a way to make these onions without any of that, and they taste exactly the same. Use these butter-less caramelized onions on burgers, alongside steak, on top of chicken, on sandwiches, to up the flavor profile of your favorite foods, without a ton of calories.
What you’ll need to make these butter-less caramelized onions
This “recipe” is really more of a method; you can adjust this recipe based on how many onions you have on hand, or how many people you’d like to serve. For this recipe, I have included the ingredients and method for an entire 2 lb bag of onions (don’t worry, this cooks down to only 2 cups of onions!) I like making a big batch of these onions to have on hand, because they go great on anything.
- kosher salt
- reduced sodium chicken broth
- olive oil spray
How to make these butter-less caramelized onions
First, you’ll start by slicing (and crying your way through) the onions. For this recipe, I recommend thinly slicing the onions rather than chopping them. That’s how we will end up with those pretty, long ribbons of onions, rather than chunks. It’s just more visually appealing, if you ask me.
Once the 2 lb bag of onions is thinly sliced, it will yield about 6 cups of raw onion.
While you are slicing the onions, preheat a large frying pan with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s preheated, add some olive oil spray and the onions, along with the kosher salt.
You’ll want to keep the heat of the pan on medium the entire time. This allows the onions to slowly cook down and become sweet, without burning.
Cook the onions and toss them with tongs, then put the lid on the pot. Cook the onions covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and toss them around. Repeat this process several times. As the onions steam under the covered lid, this creates moisture, and cooks the onions down without the use of a ton of oil and butter.
Keep repeating this process. At the 15 minute mark, remove the lid and add 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Then, return the lid. Repeat this process again.
Keep repeating this process until the onions are done to your liking.
At the 30 minute mark the onions will look like this.
Butter-less Caramelized Onions
- large frying pan
- 2 lbs onions
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- olive oil spray
- Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Thinly slice the onions. Don’t chop them small, we are looking for long ribbons of onion once cooked.
- Add olive oil spray to the pan. Add the onions and the kosher salt.
- Sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Toss with tongs.
- Place the lid on the pot.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover, toss the onions, return the lid to the pot, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Repeat this step every 5 minutes for a total of 15 minutes.
- At the fifteen minute mark, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, and using a wooden spoon, scrape down the pan. Return the lid to the pan.
- Cook covered for another 5 minutes, then add another 1/4 cup of broth and return the lid to the pan.
- Cook covered for another 5-10 minutes.
- At the 30 minute mark, the onions should be completely cooked down and soft.
- 0 WW Points on all plans
Recipes that use these onions: