Caramelized Onion Jam

caramelized onion jam

Let's talk about kitchen staples for a sec. You should always have extra virgin olive oil on hand. Always always always. Onions are a must too. Make sure you get some every time you're out grocery shopping.  Balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, salt & brown sugar are necessities as well. Why? Because without these staples, you can't just go into your kitchen one Sunday afternoon and make caramelized onion jam on a whim. And how sad is a refrigerator that doesn't have a nice little jar of Caramelized Onion Jam in it? Very sad.

caramelized onion jam

So, what does one do with Caramelized Onion Jam? Let's brainstorm!

  • put it on a pizza with Gorgonzola and pears
  • add it to crostini with figs and goat cheese & prosciutto
  • put it on a steak sandwich or burger with a grainy mustard
  • add it to pasta with roasted tomatoes and peppers
  • stir it into your mashed potatoes
  • shove some in your grilled cheese
  • put some on a hot dog
  • make an arugula salad with it
  • add it to a baked potato with sour cream
  • add it to an omelet with mushrooms
  • stand in front of your fridge and eat it directly from the jar

Caramelized onion jam is now a staple!

And we're off!

Get your ingredients together. BTW-you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

caramelized onion jam

Onion slicing! I cried SOO hard with this bunch. I had to leave the room for 15 minutes.

Total mascara mess.

caramelized onion jam

Put the onions in your pan with the olive oil. Cover with a lid and cook.

caramelized onion jam

You want them translucent. This is about 5 minutes in. The house is starting to smell like onions.

caramelized onion jam

Measure out your stock, balsamic & brown sugar.

caramelized onion jam

When onions are translucent (see below) add in the three ingredients above.

caramelized onion jam

Stir...occasionally. The onions will be uncovered at this point.

caramelized onion jam

After 30 minutes or so you have these caramelized onions!

caramelized onion jam

Look! Your very own jar of caramelized onion jam!

caramelized onion jam

What are you gonna do with it??

Caramelized Onion Jam

makes 1 1/2 cups

(recipe adapted from Whole Living Magazine)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock (or veg stock)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • coarse salt

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onions covered, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add stock, vinegar, and sugar and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and let jam cool completely. Jam will last in the fridge covered for up to two weeks.

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  • September 18, 2011

    omg, YUM!!!!!! PS-gorgonzola and pear=match made in Heaven.

  • September 19, 2011

    Yum! I think I'd go down the eating out of the jar with a spoon route because this looks so good!

  • Glenn
    September 19, 2011

    Oh god I'm not prepared for how oniony this is going to make my apartment.

    • angel karam
      October 10, 2011

      Remove the smell by slowly heating cinnamon wonders!

  • September 19, 2011

    This is a fantastic idea! I need to get my butt on this one!

  • September 19, 2011

    This looks so good!

  • Kim
    September 19, 2011

    This looks amazing. You will probably laugh at me but I wear sunglasses and light a candle when I cut onions. It really really helps!

    • jenny
      September 19, 2011

      it also helps to refrigerate the onions first. proven scientific fact!

    • September 19, 2011

      I decided to put on sunglasses after cutting the third onion...and then I lit a candle after onion 5! Casey walked into the house and looked at me funny. It worked!

      • Kim
        September 21, 2011

        hahahaha!!! Awesome!

      • Kent
        March 22, 2013

        The best way is to wear skiing / snowboarding goggles..... They keep all the tears away :-)

  • September 19, 2011

    Wowwwwwwwie!! so simple, so versatile!! Thanks :)

  • September 19, 2011

    Also, how do your pets handle onions?? I carmalized onions once and my poor cat was on the couch crying from the onion juice! Is this common, I wonder??

    • September 19, 2011

      Oh! My cats were no where near the kitchen (probably why). They seemed to have no reaction!

  • September 19, 2011

    this looks AMAZING. thank you for sharing!!!

  • September 19, 2011

    this jam looks like it's worth the tears!
    those golden brown bits in the jar are just killing me...serious deliciousness for sure!
    the first thing i thought was that it would be great on an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich...OR goat cheese and pasta!
    you're a pantry whiz tracy!

  • Amanda
    September 19, 2011


  • September 19, 2011

    looks so delish! I've been craving caramelized onion dip, yet another use! btw...I love the mason jar with the locks, where is the best place to get one like that? thanks so much for sharing!

  • September 19, 2011

    We just moved to our new place last weekend and I can happily say that I could potentially (will probably) make this! Any other ideas for will die without staples? My pantry is looking pretty sad.

  • September 19, 2011

    YUM and so easy, I love this!

  • September 19, 2011

    I am a major onion-slicing-cryer too. Someone told me once to stick my head in the freezer to make the crying stop. It only marginally helps. I will try the sunglasses!

  • Caitlin
    September 19, 2011

    This looks amazing!

    My eyes were tearing up just looking at your pictures of sliced onions!

  • September 19, 2011

    This looks absolutely sensational!

  • September 19, 2011

    FRACK YES! This looks amazing. The pictures of the raw onions are sooooo purrttty.

  • September 20, 2011

    Yum! Plus I coincidentally have a stash of onions that need using up!

  • September 20, 2011

    Like I said on Flickr, I love calling this onion confit (which is the name as I got it from eGullet). I also love making this in the crock pot. You basically just set it and forget it, stir it a few times, and then 12 hours later, you magically have onion heaven! I like splitting it into two batches and freezing the other, since it freezes really well.

  • September 20, 2011

    I'm hungry. This onion thing has really made me hungry. Even more than the usual hunger ;-)

  • September 20, 2011

    Oh yum! I wonder if I could get my kids to eat it?

    • September 20, 2011

      It's worth a shot!

  • September 20, 2011

    Can you can this or just freeze?

    • September 20, 2011

      Pretty sure you can do both!

  • September 20, 2011

    A couple things: 1) I'm pretty much in love with this. 2) Onion goggles. They might seem gimmicky, and they are, but they also happen to work! They've been a small revolution in my life, courtesy of my sister. (I'd never have purchased them myself!)

    • September 20, 2011

      That's the thing! I need them as a gift! That's the only way I can justify using them. You have no idea how often I lose sunglasses...

    • Barbara
      September 16, 2012

      Well I don't have onion goggles, I do have goggles from the dollar store for the kids under water. They cover my eyes well and no more tears. Look goofy but oh well!

  • September 21, 2011

    i am totally making this tonight! I knew i bought 3 lbs of onions for a reason on sale yesterday :)

  • Dunnkit
    September 21, 2011

    I love this recipe as it is leaning toward the savory side more than the sweet. My cuisinart made for tearless, fast slicing. Thanks for the recipe and step-by-step photos.

  • September 21, 2011

    So not that the jam would last very long in my house, but how long do you think this will store for?

    • September 21, 2011

      2 weeks in the fridge!

  • September 22, 2011

    I wonder how this might work with duck fat...

    • Rich Shewmaker
      March 13, 2013

      Duck fat is like bacon; it makes everything taste better. Its flavors, unlike those of extra virgin olive oil, survive being heated. I don't know why this recipe calls for EVOO. I generally use rice bran oil for cooking, but if it must be olive oil, "pure" olive oil is just fine, and a whole lot less expensive than the good stuff that should be saved for dressing salads and pastas.

  • September 25, 2011

    WHAT this is awesome. so useful! I love your blog. I wish I had your photography/decorating skills! this onion jam is happening immediately, though, thanks for the recipe!

  • September 25, 2011

    Made :o)

  • September 27, 2011

    I am SO making this over the weekend!! I picture it on top of pork chops! I absolutely LOVE caramelized onions!!

  • Sara
    September 27, 2011

    I've made onion marmalade before. I canned it and entered it into the county fair. I came in third! Put some actual orange marmalade in it. It tastes awesome with the onions and balsamic vinegar.

  • September 28, 2011

    i just made something similar, inspired by your yummy recipe. i used bacon fat to cook the onions in and added lots of fresh sprigs of thyme. tomorrow night the onion jam is going in a frittata with ham + sharp cheddar.

    • September 28, 2011

      YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!!!

  • ethel
    September 29, 2011

    love onion jam more with red wine!! but this looks good too

  • Lynne Piil
    October 9, 2011

    Made it last night to take to thanksgiving dinner today -- oh so yummy -- and it's going to be a staple in our house from now on! : D

    • October 9, 2011

      Hooray! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • October 21, 2011

    OMG SO GOOD! So so good. I used it on flatbread with mozzarella and balsamic, and also in a salad with kale and roasted tomatoes ( The flavors are perfect together! Thanks Tracy!

  • Maddie
    November 7, 2011

    Just made this and served it with kielbasa, kale, and roasted walnuts....delicious! Great recipe Traci!

  • November 9, 2011

    We love caramelized onions at our house. But I would have to make a quadruple batch to have any left to store in the fridge! But maybe I should because I would love to have them at my finger tips to eat whenever and with whatever!

  • Kim
    February 6, 2012

    I made some this weekend and have serious plans to eat most of it this week. Thanks so much for sharing!!! So yummy...

    • February 6, 2012

      Thanks for trying it out Kim!

  • Tracy
    February 9, 2012

    Try breathing through your nose when cutting onions!! Works for me!

  • Melissa
    April 4, 2012

    Has anyone experinmented with this recipe or found others that truly "canned" or preserves this for longer shelf life? Wanting to give some as gifts.

    • April 4, 2012

      Hmmm. That's a good question!

  • Debra
    April 28, 2012

    Bet this would be good loaded on noodles mixed with cottage cheese.

  • Macey
    May 21, 2012

    Just made these and it's delicious!!!! Thank you for the recipe! :)

  • Teri
    July 10, 2012

    This jam looks mah-velous, Dahlings! If you don't want tears when cutting up onions, you have to learn to cut them without cutting 'the Cry'. Elderly Mexican lady taught me, and I don't cry when cutting onions. Have been doing this since the mid-1980s. The cry is the root part of the onion. It's odd that I have cut right up to it, as if I had cut it off, but as long as I get there last, evidently it makes a difference. It is a little awkward until you get the hang of it, but it's worth the bit of trouble to master. This is the only thing I've ever tried that works.

    Happy onion-ing!

  • Silvia
    August 23, 2012

    I always eat these onions with grilled fish in Legal Seafood, I'm glad that this recipe turned out like the one I eat there.

  • Sasha
    September 11, 2012

    Just made this today and its awesome! I put this on top of grilled pork cutlets and it was amazing! I didn't have those fancy onion goggles but I did use my swim goggles and it worked great! I can't wait to mix this with goat cheese and stuff some chicken breast. Thanks for the recipe Tracy!

    • Tracy
      September 11, 2012

      Swim goggles! Genius! I'm so glad you tried this recipe, Sasha. I'm about do make it soon. I've got waaaaaay too many onions at my house right now.

  • Angela bell
    February 9, 2013

    I always cut my onions in half and soak them for about 20 min. And this will prevent the eyes from tearing up a storm. One of the best tricks I have ever learned.

  • Anne
    July 28, 2013

    I took it over to my friend's house a couple hours after I made it and brought home an empty container. Turns out it's amazing on bread with brie!

  • Patrick
    August 11, 2013

    Did anyone else have issues with the amount of oil? I ended up pouring off most of what I put in when it was done. I doubled the balsamic and sugar which it definitely needed (to satisfy what I was craving anyway). Delicious, definitely. But I'm watching my diet and 2tbsp of this was over 150 calories.

  • Caroline
    April 1, 2014

    So… came home last night – Monday nights are always the worst… you realize oh no! that’s just the beginning of the week.
    Felt I needed to do sth creative, sth to cheer my and my husband to be  up. Quick search on the blog and tadam!!! I was on my way to Tesco to get the onion
    The jam is yum!!! It’s not going to last long…
    We have some brie we bought in France on our last trip and it goes with the onion jam soooo well!! some green grapes yum!
    Thank you Tracy!! more receipts like that please :)

  • susie
    November 6, 2014

    I use this in small pastry cases with a crumble of feta and a sprig of thyme on top. Mmmmmm

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