Caramelized Onions – In The Crockpot


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Caramelized Onions - In The Crockpot recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

It sounded too good to be true, but it worked. I saw this post a few days ago at From The Bookshelf. As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what I would be doing with the crate of onions sitting in my kitchen.

I’d previously intended to prep and freeze or dehydrate them, but this has changed everything.

Perfectly caramelized onions were created with little to no effort on my part. I may never use a skillet for this task again.

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I filled a 4 quart crockpot to the top with sliced onions and it reduced to a perfectly filled pint jar of caramelized onions. I will be doing this again over the weekend and freezing the caramelized onions in 1 cup portions to use as I need them.

Slow cookers or crockpots are an appliance of which I have more than one. If you are an avid slow cooker user like I am, you might understand the need for more than one. So, let’s talk about my favorites:

First up is this 6-quart slow cooker that has a locking lid. These crockpots are fantastic for transporting foods. Mine has gone everywhere from church potlucks to barbecues, game nights to Thanksgiving dinner. However, fair warning, these slow cookers run crazy hot. Low is closer to a boil than a simmer, the warm setting actually simmers. So trust me when I say HIGH is high.

My everyday slow cooker is this 8-quart Crockpot. It’s my go-to appliance for cooking large roasts and big batches of chili. Fun fact: did you know that a full 4-quart cooker, actually cooks more slowly than a half-full 8-quart cooker?

For just cooking a few pounds of chicken to shred for enchiladas or other smaller recipes, this 3-quart version is perfect.

Thanksgiving has become a breeze since I have mastered how to hold all of the side dishes using these medium-sized round slow cookers.

If you aren’t a fan of the idea of keeping more than one slow cooker in the house, these CrockPockets are a game-changer when it comes to preparing and holding multiple dishes at the same time. They slide into a standard 6-quart crockpot, dividing it into two sections that are perfect for serving different side dishes or keeping taco fillings warm for parties.

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Caramelized Onions – In The Crockpot


  • 6-8 large yellow onions
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt


  • Set the crockpot on high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Slice the onions and fill the crockpot with them. Add a pinch of salt. Toss the onions to coat with the oils. Leave the lid OFF and walk away. I stirred the onions occasionally throughout the day, scraping the sides each time.
  • Total cooking time was approximately 8 hours, but that will vary for different slow cookers and crock-pots. When the onions are browned and soft to your liking, turn off the crock-pot. Serve warm or transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
  • FREEZER TIP: Portion the onions into ½ cup portions and store aritight in a ziploc bag. Thaw in the refrigerator.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Becki's Whole Life says

    I was thinking when I started reading this that I would freeze them up in smaller portions and apparently you had the same thought! Wow, this is very cool. I might add some thyme, too. You could definitely mix this one up.

  2. Monday's Child says

    omgomgomg brilliant!
    Okay, this weekend I've got a date with my v-slicer and my crockpot. I am going to whip up a few baggies of caramelized love for my freezer.
    By the way, have I taken time to tell you how much I love all the stuff you post? I swear I'm going to throw away my cookbooks and just come here from now on. <3

  3. kankana says

    I usually add sugar to caramelize onion which at times makes it too sweet. I like your version and wondering if I can red wine vinegar instead of balsamic ?