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. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    Your post reminded me that I read someone made caramelized onions in crockpot before and I was shocked. Now this is my second time and I'm convinced how delicious caramelized onions this is. It is such a great idea and look at the perfect result!! I wish I own a crockpot and this made me want to get it even more!

  2. Lorie says

    This is a really great idea! I love caramelized onions and freezing them is a great idea too. I've never seen this method. Thanks for the great post!

  3. SixBalloons says

    Done, and looooved. Making a new batch this weekend. Mary, do you leave your crockpots on overnight or when out of the house? I have an 80s model one and I am reluctant to leave it unattended.

    • Mary says

      I'm so sorry it took me so long to reply! I'm glad that you loved the onions.

      I do leave my crockpots plugged in both when I leave the house and overnight. My oldest one is only about 15 years old though, so I don't know if that would make a difference.

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi New to food storage

    I love caramelized onions and make them often. Everyone posting here seems to prefer freezing but can you dehydrate them? If not, why? Is it because of the butter? Could you take 'regular' dehydrated onions and put them in a skillet with butter and a little water to achieve a caramelized effect? Or the crock pot method to re-hydrate?

  5. Kim Honeycutt says

    The onions I have been buying the last few months seem to rot so fast. I can't wait to buy fresh ones at the farmers market. We are growing spring onions in our garden. What do you like to do with them? Pinned this!