Sweet and concentrated with onion flavour, this Caramelized Onion Jam will be the condiment you use on everything from burgers to pasta.
What is caramelized onion jam?
It's basically onions that have been cooked over low heat for a long period of time.
This slow-cooking process creates a sweet and meltingly delicious, mellow yet concentrated onion flavour.
What makes the onions turn brown?
This is through the Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between amino acids and the reduction of sugar.
The second reaction that occurs is the caramelization process, which is where water gets removed via steam, and the sugar(s) break down.
Ingredients you'll need
- avocado oil: or any good quality vegetable oil; olive oil would be great too
- extra large onions: you can use white or yellow onions, sliced (I use a food processor to make it easier, but if you've got good knife skills, you can slice them thinly with a sharp knife)
- thyme: fresh is best, but you can use dried in a pinch (if using dried thyme, use a little less)
- brown sugar: you can add a touch of brown sugar just to help the onion jam out; otherwise you can omit
- sea salt: a pinch of sea salt really helps the sweetness come out
- balsamic vinegar: balances the sweetness with a little tang
The key to caramelizing
Is time. And patience.
It takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes to make this onion jam.
Yes, it's a long time, but you don't want to rush the process.
Rushing the process can mean burnt, bitter onion jam, which is no good.
You'll want to be near the stove for this onion jam.
Don't set it and forget it, or you'll end up with burnt onions.
What can you use it on?
It's such a delicious and versatile condiment.
Use it on a variety of items such as:
- sandwiches: Breakfast Turkey & Egg Croissants
- buns: Chimichurri & Panko Parker House Rolls
- wraps: Five-Spice Turkey Green Onion Pancake Rolls
- pizza: Peking Duck Pizza
How to store
Store the onion jam in a clean, sterile glass jar for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
Can you freeze it?
No, I don't recommend freezing the onion jam.
Other recipes you may like
Be sure to check out my other recipes:
Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Daikon & Carrot)
How to Make Flavourful Chili Oil
Turkey & Cheese Puff Pastry Roll Ups
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Caramelized Onion Jam
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or neutral vegetable oil
- 4 extra large onions (white or yellow) sliced
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves fresh (or use slightly less if using dried)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar optional
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze
- Use a food processor with the slicing attachment to slice the onions.
- Heat a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add in oil. Add in the onions and gently sauté over medium heat, until the onions reduce, stirring occasionally.
- It will take about 1 hour 20 minutes, or close to 90 minutes. Don't rush.
- Add in thyme, rosemary, brown sugar, sea salt, and balsamic near the end of the cooking process, when the onions have reduced significantly and are brown in colour.
- Store in a sterilized glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 pint.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
I love me some caramelized onions and this jam has my name all over it! I'm sure I'll be putting it on everything! I can't wait!
This is phenomenal! I want to put it on everything now!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
This definitely sounds like a condiment I would use all the time! I love caramelized onions so this sounds absolutely delicious to me!
Nart at Cooking with Nart
I was intrigued when I saw this recipe and had to give it a go out of my love for onion. Man, this is really good! I mean, I can have it on toast for breakfast every day! Thanks so much for sharing <3
Enjoyed this on my burger for dinner last night and it did not disappoint! Quick and easy. and added so much more flavor to my meal; loved every bite!
Certainly enjoy this caramelized onion jam on everything!
Can this be canned or water bathed to make a larger batch last a long time?
Yes, you can follow the general canning process using a water bath from my Pickled Garlic recipe https://www.siftandsimmer.com/pickled-garlic/ (omitting the pickling liquid).
Made this on a rainy morning. It was a fun task after 2 cups of coffee. Followed directions implicitly except I added another teaspoon of brown sugar. And about the same of salt. Was still a bit chunky but delicious. Didn’t wanna risk burning, so I got my hand-held blender and smoothed it out. 👌 I love this stuff. I put it in sauces, as a sandwich spread, as an hors d’oeuvre (a very thin cracker with a bed of this onion spread, with a small piece of Gruyère cheese on top), so good. And it makes a bunch. That’s great, but it doesn’t freeze well. Simple and easy hors d’oeuvre great for a cocktail party. Great anytime. 👍😬
Thanks for your feedback, Christopher 🙂