Canning Caramelized Onions

by Merissa on September 10, 2012

in Canning and Preserving, Featured

Post image for Canning Caramelized Onions

Warning: When you make these your entire house will smell like fajitas and make you hungry all. day. long.

If you have an excess of onions this fall and want to put some up instead of putting them all in your cold storage pantry, this is a recipe you might want to try. As far as canning recipes go, this one is fairly simple although you may want to wear some goggles while you make it! This recipe is made in the crockpot before you can it so you actually have very little hands on cooking time.

Onions do need to be pressure canned since they are low acid and it is unsafe to water bath can them. Please check with your local extension office for any changes on times/temps/high altitude.

Start by peeling your onions. I just used what I had so it was a mixture of yellow and red.

Rinse off any remaining dirt and cut off the tops and roots.

Then....chop! I used a Vidalia Onion Chopper. A food processor would work fine just make sure to not chop them too small or mush them up. Place the onions in the crock pot and add a little bit of olive oil and salt. Stir to coat the onions with the oil. Let these cook on high for about 8 - 10 hours or until caramelized.

Once they are finished. Strain the oil and juices off. You can also can the juice but you will want to can it separately. I did can mine up for "onion stock".

Fill clean half pint jars with the onions, leaving some headspace. Clean the rims of the jars and add clean rims and lids and tightly seal. Pressure can at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes. Do not remove or touch your canner until it has de-pressurized.

For more reference you can check out more step by step canning photos on THIS post.

Linked to Frugal Days.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy @ Back To Family September 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

This recipe looks so good!! I love caramelized onions. I just wish I could grow them. Onion sets for green onions always to well. But when I plant the onion plants, they die. I was told to plant with the roots barely covered. This year was very dry. Any tips on growing them?


2 Merissa September 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

I’ve never had luck in the hard soil in my garden but my mom’s onions are the ones in the picture. She uses raised beds with a mixture of sand and soil to make the ground very soft.


3 Debbie September 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I planted 50 plants this year and each and every one grew wonderfully! This was the first year they worked. But i too switched to raised beds, so the soil was probably softer. But they did wonderful! I planted some wit the beets and carrots the rest with tomatoes.


4 Emily September 10, 2012 at 9:45 am

I wonder if you could can them in those LITTLE jars. The 4 ouncers…. It’s just hubby and I and we don’t eat a lot of onions, but when we do it would be nice to have these in the cupboard.. I just can’t see us eating a full 8 ounces of them between us at one time (and you can’t give them to the dogs after!!).


5 Merissa September 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

Yes, you could put them in any size jars! I definitely would have done the smaller jars if I would have had them on hand. In my case I will open a jar, use some of them and stick the rest in a freezer bag for the next recipe.


6 Emily September 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

lol. DOH! I didn’t even think about the ability to freeze what I don’t use. Silly me. {smacks forehead} I am always in the “do as little that requires electricity because one day you may not have it” mentality so I didn’t even think of freezing. Thanks Merissa!!


7 Merissa September 10, 2012 at 10:29 am

Haha, no I love the idea of NOT having the freezer involved and if I had the tiny jars I would have for sure used them!


8 KimH September 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Haha.. well I have never even thought of canning caramelized onions.. Thats awesome! Im definitely going to give it a go one of these days.
How wonderful to have them on hand for a quick steak!

Im curious as to how many 8oz jars that crockpot full made..


9 Merissa September 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm

It made 5 8oz jars plus 2 jars of onion broth.


10 Dee September 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

What do you do with carmalized onions ?


11 Merissa September 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I’m planning on adding them to soups, maybe casseroles.


12 Gaylyn Henninger November 14, 2012 at 10:32 am

I think they would be great with steaks and on beef sandwiches. I am definitely making this! Thanks for the idea. I love your “everything.” Have a wonderful day!


13 Michelle December 26, 2012 at 10:11 am

What settings did you use to can the onion broth?


14 Merissa December 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

I used the same settings as I did for the caramelized onions above.


15 Joyce January 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Love this web site


16 Merissa January 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Well thank you!


17 Candice January 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hey- thanks for this recipe. My friend canned these last year. I bought a huge bag of onions at Costco for the holidays and only used a few. I don’t want them to spoil and I love these onions…I use them to top mac and cheese and for real onion dip!


18 Merissa January 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Mmm onion dip, now I’m hungry!


19 Alice February 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I don’t have a pressure canner. Do you know if I made them with balsamic vinegar if it could be water canned?

I make up batches like you in the crock pot and freeze them. But, like another commenter, I had the thought of “what if there was no electricity?”, and I could also give them as shelf stable gifts.



20 Merissa February 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Because of their acidity level, no matter what is added they will need to be pressure canned for safety. A pressure canner is totally worth it though!


21 Trudy June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

We received about 20+ pounds of home grown onions from a local food pantry where they had “culled” them out. This recipe is AWESOME! We are going to can quarts because I can then make them into French onion soup!
Thank you for all you do!


22 Merissa June 28, 2013 at 9:00 am



23 Amanda August 18, 2013 at 5:07 am

can you freeze them in ice cube trays? so you can just toss one into soups or sauce?


24 Merissa August 18, 2013 at 6:16 am

Yes you could!


25 Alicia October 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

How many onions did you start off with? Just curious, I am most of the way through a 10lb bag and my eyeballs are on fire. Wondering if I should start on the next bag or just go with what I’ve got!


26 Merissa October 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I probably used between 8 to 10 pounds in this recipe. I cut up so many!


27 Myrt May 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I use Vidalia’s becauae they’re easy on the eyes. Slice, parboil and can.
So great to have on hand. 1 pint canned onions, 1 pint of canned squash, 1/2 plain Greek 0% fat yogurt, a few slices of American cheese with crumbled crackers on top = deliciousness in 5 minutes :)


28 michelle May 18, 2014 at 8:17 pm

I just want to be sure I understand, as I have really only canned tomatoes, peaches, pickled okra and strawberry jelly, you strain the liquid out of them and put in jars without liquid? I didn’t realize you could do thatas most things I have read require being covered by liquid… Will be doing a lot of stock pile canning as we are on a tight budget and my son has alot of food allergies… but he loves carmelized onions!


29 Merissa May 18, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Even though you strain them (and you wouldn’t have to) they still will have a good amount of juice in with the onions after they are processed.


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