Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions are so easy to make! No standing over the stove and stirring. Use these onions to top all your favorite dishes!

slow cooker caramelized onions in a white dish

Easy Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are really very easy to make, if you have the time to sit at the stove for a while. These onions cook low and slow and do need to be stirred often so they don’t burn. But he end result is the most delicious, sweet onion topping that goes with SO many different things.

So What Can You Use These Caramelized Onions On?

Let’s get right to it. Because I know you’re thinking, what the heck do I need all those caramelized onions for???

Everything. Here are some ideas:

Need I say more? I hope I’ve convinced you just how essential this easy caramelized onions recipe is.

Caramelized Onions in a slow cooker with tongs

How to Make Caramelized Onions in the Slow Cooker

We love using this slow cooker recipe to make caramelized onions for one, because it’s so darn easy. All you do is add everything to your slow cooker, set it on low and walk away.

If you’re around to stir once or twice in between cooking that’s fine, if not, not big deal. It’ll all work itself out. What you’re looking for is that deep, caramelized edge you see here from the onions cooking all day in your crock pot.

Our favorite slow cooker is this rectangular one that we use often for different types of recipes, we’ll link to it for you at the bottom of the post. What i like about this slow cooker is that it’s wide and shallow, so you’ll get better caramelization than a deeper crock pot.

slow cooker caramelized onions close up

The other reason we like this slow cooker caramelized onion recipe is that you can make a LOT. If you make caramelized onions in a skillet you can really only make the amount your skillet can hold in about a single layer.

So unless you have a couple of skillets going, this slow cooker method is that way to go if you need a lot of caramelized onions. These onions are great for parties if you’re serving sausages, hot dogs or burgers and have a bunch of different toppings out.

But like I said before, we put these sweet onions on just about everything, so we make a batch and freeze them so we can have a delicious, low fat, low calorie burst of flavor whenever we want it!

caramelized onions with fresh thyme

What Other Flavors Can I Use In This Recipe?

If you’re not a fan of thyme, which by the way goes perfectly with these slow cooker onions…but I get it. We all have different tastes! Try using fresh rosemary instead, or a couple of bay leaves. Dried herbs will work well in this recipe, too but you’ll need to use more since fresh herbs are stronger in flavor.

besides herbs, you can add other flavors to these slow cooker onions, too! Like it spicy? Add sriracha or chili paste for spicy slow cooker onions! Or if you like Asian flavors try soy sauce and hoisin…

One of our favorite twists for this caramelized onion recipe is adding a couple of shots of bourbon and a little cayenne pepper. Now that’s a burger topping I can get behind!

Looking For More Vegetables Side Dish Ideas?

caramelized onions with fresh thyme

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

These slow cooker, sweet caramelized onions are the tastiest condiment for almost anything! Use them as a topping for burgers, sandwiches, chicken and so much more!



  • 3 pounds yellow onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 23 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped (optional)
  • Fresh black pepper to taste


  1. Add all the ingredients to a large slow cooker.
  2. Stir and set on low for 8 hours, stirring a few times in between cooking.

Recipe Notes

Store: Store caramelized onions in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Freeze: Freeze individual portions of the onions in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months to use whenever needed.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Slow cooker
  • Cuisine: American

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1 Response
  1. Diana

    Hi! Am I able to make a smaller batch? It’s just my husband and kids? Just 2 onions should be enough for us. Would it still work in the slow cooker? It takes forever on stovetop.

    Thank you! Going to do the turkey burgers Saturday for the family. Can’t wait!

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