They can be quite a chore to make, but once they’re done, caramelized onions are exquisite. So, after you’ve mastered those, why not make a bigger batch and freeze it? Then we’ll tell you what to use caramelized onions in, to make for excellent meals.
Caramelized onions are that type of dish that can give you a headache while trying to hack. Yeah, it can be difficult. But onions have so much flavor and the process of creating caramelized onions yields such incredible results, that we don’t think you should get intimidates just yet.
There are multiple onion types and multiple ways of cutting them. We cover those here. You already know that lightly cooking onion before making a stew, a soup, a frittata, or many other things brings so much sweet flavor to your dishes. Onion is a great base for many meals. But one of the best ways to use caramelized onions in dishes is as a topping. And you can add it to so many things. Here are just a few ideas to get you started before you start exploring things on your own.
7 great ways to use caramelized onions
Imagine just a few ribbons of gorgeous, golden caramelized onions on your turkey or deli meat sandwiches. They upgrade your lunch considerably, and fast! And of course, when it comes to burgers, I’ve had so many exquisite and juicy ones that came topped with caramelized onions. There’s just something about them that makes the grilled beef patty’s flavor feel more complete.
How do you feel about pasta salads? Or ones that use quinoa and couscous? Warm salads with caramelized onions are a combo to die for. Usually, the pasta and/or grains have a tabula rasa sort of taste, so tender caramelized onions, dripping with flavor, are just what that dish needs. Add some steamed veggies and maybe just a bit of fried bacon, and your lunch will end up quite impressive.
3. Pizza toppings
We’re already putting plenty of pineapple on pizza (and I am here for it, but not willing to start a debate) so why not add something like caramelized onions next to some low moisture cheese like mozzarella or even some nice gorgonzola? If you want to use caramelized onions in a fancier pizza, you can pair it with other toppings like figs, arugula, or prosciutto.
4. Pasta sauces
When you’re making a sauce for your pasta, do you not usually use onions as a base? Why not caramelize the onions first and then add the rest of the ingredients for your pasta sauce? The flavor will end up deeper and more layered and your pasta will be even tastier.
5. Quiches or frittatas
I’ve said it before, will say it again: caramelized onions are a great topping for a lot of dishes that might pop into your mind. But they also work great as a filling for dishes like quiches and frittatas. Pair them with some cheese and some bacon and the results will be phenomenal.
If you’re throwing a party and you have a large batch of caramelized onions, why not use them in your appetizers? They can be a lovely topping for a spread or they can become a spread themselves if you mix them with some cream cheese or mayonnaise. Or you can make some lovely bruschetta with caramelized onions on top.
7. Mac and cheese
Yes, this wonderful comfort food dish is just begging for some caramelized onions on top. You can pair the tender and sweet onions with some crunchy, salty fried bacon. You can’t lose with this combo. So cook the macaroni, stir in the onions and bacon, and the cheese of your choice, and then bake!