Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Whenever I go out to eat fast food, I love to order quality burgers with caramelized onions. The sweet flavor always makes for a fun counterbalance to salty, savory foods. And, the soft texture lets the onions blend in with the rest of the meal while simultaneously stealing the show.

However, I hate making caramelized onions myself.

Caramelized onions on the stovetop require a lot of attention. You have to set the temperature just right so the onions don’t burn. And you have to stir constantly for 45 minutes to an hour to ensure the sugars break down and the excess liquid evaporates to achieve the perfect consistency and flavor.

In the past, I’d often start making caramelized onions, only to give up and simply sauté them for a few minutes instead. Now, I’ve discovered the secret to perfectly flavorful dishes without the fuss: slow cooker caramelized onions.

Just Set It and Forget It

My slow cooker has saved me time and time again with its set-it-and-forget-it approach to meals. These caramelized onions are no exception. All I have to do is chop the veggies, dump them in the Crock-Pot, and let them cook over night. I’ll stir every once in a while to check on them, but overall, this recipe is a no-fuss way to prep onions.

True, they do have to sit for a long time. If you need caramelized onions asap, the stovetop method might be the better choice. But if you want a lot of onions and plan ahead, the slow cooker method will save you a lot of hassle and effort in the long run.

Make Them Your Favorite Topping

Slow cooker caramelized onions are some of my favorite toppings. You can add them to burgers, burritos, dips, and eggs. I’ve even experimented with caramelized onions in sourdough bread! And let’s not forget the classic French onion soup. If you need the perfect combination of savory and sweet, these onions are the way to go.

Once you start marking caramelized onions in the slow cooker, you’ll find all sorts of surprising ways to incorporate them into your meals. With the slow cooker, you can cook far bigger batches than in the frying pan. Although this particular recipe was meant for a half-size cooker, you could easily double it to accommodate a larger cooker to serve a large crowd.

slow cooker caramelized onions

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

You don’t have to slave away at the stove to enjoy caramelized onions. Let your slow cooker do the hard work for you. Tasty, sweet onions with minimal effort.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 1.5 Cups
Calories 73 kcal


  • 680 Grams Onions, Peeled and Thinly Sliced (1.5 Cups)
  • 21 Grams Butter, Melted (1.5 Tablespoons)
  • 8 Grams Brown Sugar (2 Teaspoons)
  • 1.5 Grams Salt (To Taste)
  • 0.5 Grams Pepper (To Taste)


  • Place onions in slow cooker. Pour melted butter over the top, and toss with a spoon to coat evenly.
  • Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Add brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
  • Set the lid of the slow cooker ajar to allow steam to escape. Cook on low for another 3 to 4 hours until all the excess liquid has evaporated and the onions have a jammy texture.


These onions taste best when served warm right out of the slow cooker. However, they stay fresh for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When frozen, they stay fresh for up to 3 months. 
Note: These onions were cooked in a smaller 2.5 quart slow cooker. My larger 4 quart Crock Pot cooks at a much higher temp, even on low. When making caramelized onions in a bigger Crock-Pot, I make sure to double the recipe. Know your device and keep an eye on your onions to ensure they don’t burn. 
Keyword Caramelized Onions, Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Did You Try It?

Now that I know how to make slow cooker caramelized onions with ease, I make them a lot more regularly for my family. But just because I love my recipe, doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Do you prefer the traditional stovetop method? What about the oven? Do you add vinegar or other ingredients for more flavorful onions?

Tell me all about your suggestions in the comment section below. Your feedback can help me make a better recipe. Furthermore, if you liked this recipe, please don’t forget to leave a star rating and take a look at my other slow cooker recipes.

*Note: I am an Amazon Associate, so I receive a small commission for affiliate links. However, I am not paid to recommend specific products or write product reviews. I only share items that I use and enjoy regularly, and my opinions remain my own.

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