The Secret Recipe Club: Crockpot Caramelized Onions

One of my favorite smells in the whole world is the aroma that wafts into the air when onions and garlic sizzle in an oiled hot pan. I love that smell because that's how a majority of the dishes my mom cooks starts off... and I knew it was only a matter of time before we were enjoying something really good. Onions are a staple in my kitchen but aside from using them as an aromatic in most of the savory dishes I cook, I love onions as a condiment. Caramelized onions make for a great burger topping and they're great in sandwiches, with steaks and on top of meatloaves. Sure, you may have even made caramelized onions on the stovetop... but what about a crockpot?! These Crockpot Caramelized Onions are made by slow cooking sliced onions with pats of butter, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few springs of thyme in the comfort of your crockpot. It's so simple, everyone should try it...

I've used my crockpot for a number of things - soups, chilis, braised dishes, etc. It never occurred to me to use it to make caramelized onions! Especially when we're in tailgating season and everyone loves caramelized onions on their burgers, brats and hot dogs, this makes it easy to have the tasty condiment prepared ahead and with ease. It also is a great time to make them with the holidays coming up. Instead of using those canned french fried onions on top of the traditional green bean casserole, why not use these sweet caramelized onions instead? There are so many ways to use caramelized onions that it only makes sense to make a big batch in the crockpot with 5 ingredients.

When I made this, some of the onions got a bit more color than others, which I'm guessing is due to the fact that I didn't stir them while cooking. So if you make this, I would suggest stirring the onions every so often to get a more even color. I also experienced a little sogginess from cooking the onions and cooked the onions uncovered for the last hour. That helped a bit but I ultimately tossed them in a pan to finish them off a little more and evaporate any excess moisture. It could very well be my crockpot is a little funky in some spots so I plan on trying this recipe out again once I finish up my nice stash of caramelized onions.

I prepared this recipe as part of this month's Secret Recipe Club. By participating, I was assigned a food blog to check out and try a recipe from their site. This recipe comes from Theresa of Island Vittles. She and her husband moved from Vancouver (Canada) to Pender Island, a small island on the west coast of British Columbia. She went to culinary school and soon began her blog to share her experiences in the kitchen. I was drawn to the recipe for Crockpot Caramelized Onions because it allowed me to use my crockpot for something different and I love caramelized onions anyway! So stop by her blog and give it a look... I'm sure you'll find something delicious to try. I know I did!

Crockpot Caramelized Onions
recipe from Island Vittles

6 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
3 springs fresh thyme
2 pinches of salt

Place the sliced onions into the crockpot. Top with the tablespoons of butter, olive oil, thyme and salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours; stirring every hour or so if possible. If there is too much moisture after 8 hours, remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes to 2 more hours uncovered.


  1. I love caramelized onions! You're right that the smell means good things are coming. I will have to try this...I'm always looking for new ways to use the crock pot.

  2. Caramelizing onions are one of my favorite smells too! I had no idea you could do it in the slow cooker - I'll definitely try it sometime! :)

  3. Can I eat these for breakfast? I totally would, they look great!

  4. Yum! Never thought of caramelized onions being so easy to make! I'm pinning this one!!

  5. That looks so good and easy! I love onions and add them to my dishes whenever I can.

  6. Thanks for being my secret "partner" this month -- your onions look tasty! Theresa

  7. Caramelized onions are just heaven. Period. I like the idea of the crock pot too!

  8. What a great idea to cook them in the crock pot. This is a very good recipe that I will have to try. This is a great pick for the SRC! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week.
    Miz Helen

  9. I love how this is another way to use the crockpot... and the wonderful smell of slow-cooking onions - total yum!

    Love your post for SRC! I had your blog, so I hope you stop by to see what I made from it! Have a great day!

  10. The hubs and I could eat a plate full of caramelized onions for dinner! I made a huge batch in the crockpot last year, but I let them go a little too long. Yours look sooooo good.

    I hope you'll stop by and see my SRC post for Honey Vinaigrette Marinated Grilled Chicken.


  11. Looks great -- so fun to be in SCR with you!

  12. I love carmelized onions. Yum! If you have to stir them every hour, though, doesn't that defeat the purpose of the "set it and forget it" part of using a crockpot? Seems easier just to do it on the stovetop. But they do look amazing!

    If you haven't already, I'd love it if you'd check out my SRC recipe for Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal.

  13. What a great and easy way to make the onions.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group 'A' SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  14. Neat recipe - I would never think to caramelize onions in a crockpot!

  15. What a great idea! I never take the time to caramelize onions. I get them close but I always jump the gun because I am in a hurry. This would be a great way to toss them in the crockpot in the morning so that they would be ready for dinner. Stopping by SRC. Hope you will stop by mine: