Bags o’ Onions

The Shriners always sell bags of Vidalia onions every spring.   I always buy a bag.  It’s not that expensive and they are for a good cause.

This year The Hubs bought two bags that have been languishing in the garage.  Before they go bad, I needed to do something with them!

I pickled a few and I wanted to caramelize a lot of them to freeze.    The last time I caramelized a whole mess of onions was back when I had a slow cooker.  It went on the fritz so I dumped it and I have been toying with the idea of buying an Instant Pot but just haven’t been converted yet (even though I do have a couple of friends in the cult).    Besides, I don’t really need another gadget sitting around.

Therefore, I decided to see if I could just do it in my Dutch oven.   My search results said yes.



Caramelized Onions in a Dutch Oven

Put in the oven and forget about it. (Mostly.)


  • 3-4 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8-12 Vidalia onions, sliced thin
  • 1 c. beer


  1. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Combine the oil and onions in a nonstick Dutch oven. Cover the Dutch oven with a lid. Bake for 90 minutes to 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
  2. Remove lid and continue to cook until brown.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, add the beer, and quickly scrape up the fond from the bottom and sides of the pan.  (I moved the pan to stove-top and then cooked them a bit more until the beer cooked off.)
  4. Season with salt and pepper.


These came out a bit bitter, perhaps because of the beer.   My sister came to the rescue and suggested we add some malt vinegar to the onions before we served them.

These can be served right away on burgers or brats or they can be frozen in small portions to throw into soups, pasta, or any other recipes.

The Dutch oven was filled to the top but after all the cooking and caramelizing I ended up with about two cups.  


The pickled onions were soooooo good that I had to share that recipe as well!


Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

Based on a recipe from The View from Great Island


  • 3-4 Vidalia onions
  • 2 c. white vinegar
  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf (or 2 dried)
  • 1 T. black peppercorns
  • 2 t. mustard seeds
  • 2 t. coriander seeds
  • 2 t. Kosher salt


  1. Slice onions very thin. (I ran mine through my food processor using the slicing attachment.)
  2. Please the vinegar and water in a large sauce pan. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and Kosher salt. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add the onions and let sit in the pan for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Using a canning funnel and a slotted spoon, pack the onions into a clean quart jar. Pack as tight as you can. Spoon the spices into the jar and then pour as much of the brine into the jar as you can. Cover with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.

Yield: 1 quart

These are also good on brats and hot dogs and burgers but I also just eat them right out of the jar.

I still have about half a dozen or so to use up.   Any other ideas?

Are you an Instant Pot fanatic?  If so, comment below to convince me.


4 comments to Bags o’ Onions

  • IP is practical, but I use it only once a year…it’s collecting dust. The caramelized onion looks so good!

  • I haven’t joined the Instant Pot cult yet either, but I’m certainly thinking about it. Problem is, I don’t use my slow cooker all that much and I have limited space to store appliances. So maybe I’ll wait until my slow cooker stops working then get an Instant Pot. Anyway, love onions! Fun post — thanks.

  • mae

    Both of those recipes have a lot of appeal! I am never patient enough to make real caramelized onions, I tend to turn the heat up a bit. Since you say the beer made them bitter, I wondered why you would even need any additions at all after they were baked and reduced that way.

    Suggestion if you have too many pickled onions — add other veg to the brine, like carrots, cauliflower, capers, sliced celery, and serve as an appetizer with tuna salad or something like that.

    best… mae at

  • I don’t have an instant pot either. Those onions make me hungry though, I can tell you that. I agree with Mae’s suggestion, and I also use onions to make soups. Love onions.