Instant Pot Caramelized Onions — I love cooking with onions. I like to make caramelized onions on the stovetop, but it takes a while for them to get that perfect sweet and savory flavor. With my Instant Pot, I can make caramelized onions in less than 10 minutes! You should try this out if you’re looking for an easy side dish or topping for your favorite sandwich recipe.

caramelized onions in instant pot

The search for the perfect, sweet, and savory caramelized onions has been a long time coming. While some cooks swear by the traditional way of cooking them in a pan on low heat, we’re here to tell you that there’s an easier way–and it’s completely instant. With just three simple steps and less than 10 minutes of prep time, these easy-to-follow instructions will have you enjoying your new favorite side dish in no time!

Caramelized onions are a great ingredient to add to recipes but can be time-consuming. This recipe is for those who want to save time and get the great taste of caramelized onions.

The sweet and savory flavor of caramelized onions is a perfect addition to any dish. They are easy to make, but if you’re short on time, this recipe lets you skip the long process instead of quick-cooking them on the stovetop!

Get your hands dirty with this delicious side dish today.

Suppose you are looking for even more Instant Pot Vegetable Recipes. In that case, some of my favorite recipes are HOW TO COOK A WHOLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH IN THE PRESSURE COOKER, INSTANT POT COLLARD GREENS, NINJA FOODI OR INSTANT POT SPAGHETTI SQUASH, and INSTANT POT GREEN BEANS.

Making Caramelized Onions in Instant Pot

Are you looking to elevate your dishes with a burst of sweet and savory flavors? Then, caramelized onions are just what you need! They lend a rich, deep, and luscious taste to a wide array of dishes, but they can be a bit tedious and time-consuming to prepare on the stovetop. However, with an Instant Pot, you can cut down on both the effort and the time significantly. It’s an easy, almost hands-off method that yields uniformly caramelized onions every time. Follow this guide to learn how to create delicious caramelized onions in your Instant Pot, taking your meals from ordinary to extraordinary with minimal fuss.

What Are Carmelized Onions?

Caramelized onions are a delicious and popular cooking ingredient that adds sweetness to dishes. But what exactly is a caramelized onion? They’re an onion that has been cooked so long it becomes brown and sweet. When you cook the onions, their sugar content is released, and they become caramelized.

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Caramelized Onions

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Caramelized Onions
  • Onions
  • Butter or Olive Oil
  • Salt

How To Make Instant Pot Caramelized Onions

Add the onions, butter, or oil to the Instant Pot, and add your lid. Set the manual high pressure for 5 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release.

Strain the liquid from the onions, return the onions to the Instant Pot, and saute for another 4 to 6 minutes until the onions are fully caramelized.

caramelized onions in instant pot

Pro Tips

Here are some pro tips for making caramelized onions in an Instant Pot:

  • Slice Uniformly: To ensure even cooking, make sure your onions are sliced uniformly. A mandoline can be very helpful in achieving thin, even slices.
  • Choose the Right Onions: Yellow onions are often the best choice for caramelizing as they have a nice balance of sweetness and flavor.
  • Don’t Rush the Sauté: While the Instant Pot does speed up the process, don’t rush the initial sauté. This is where the onions start to release their sugars and become soft.
  • Use the Natural Release: When the pressure cooking phase is done, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes. This step helps the onions continue to caramelize even more slowly.
  • Stir Occasionally: After the pressure has released and you’ve switched the Instant Pot back to “Sauté,” be sure to stir the onions occasionally to prevent them from sticking and burning.
  • Store Properly: If you’re not using the caramelized onions immediately, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the fridge. They should last up to a week.
  • Freeze for Later: Caramelized onions freeze well. Portion them into ice cube trays, freeze them, then transfer to a freezer bag for longer storage. They’ll keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Remember, the key to perfectly caramelized onions is patience. Even with the speed of the Instant Pot, you still want to give the onions enough time to develop their sweet, complex flavor fully.

What type of onion is best for caramelizing?

Yellow onions are typically the best for caramelizing due to their natural sweetness. However you can also use white or red onions, but they might not be as sweet.

Can I use oil instead of butter for caramelizing onions?

Yes, you can use olive oil or another type of vegetable oil if you prefer. It’s mainly a matter of personal preference.

Why do I need to use the ‘Natural Release’ method?

Allowing the pressure to release naturally helps the onions to continue cooking and caramelizing in the residual heat, resulting in deeper flavors.

My onions are burnt. What did I do wrong?

If your onions are burnt, it could be that the “Sauté” setting was too high or the onions weren’t stirred frequently enough during the final caramelizing stage. Make sure to keep an eye on your onions and stir them occasionally to prevent burning.

Can I caramelize other vegetables in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can caramelize other vegetables like bell peppers and carrots following a similar method. However, the cooking times and settings might need adjustment depending on the specific vegetables used.

How can I use caramelized onions?

Caramelized onions are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are great in sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pasta, soups, stews, quiches, and dips.

How long can I store caramelized onions?

Caramelized onions should last for up to a week if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.

Why Make Caramelized Onions In A Pressure Cooker

Making caramelized onions can be a tedious and time-consuming process. The slow cooker or instant pot makes it easy to make them without any of the hassles. All you need is some onion, butter, salt, sugar, and water!

The slow cooker cooks for 8 hours, so you can put it on before bedtime and have those delicious onions ready in the morning. Alternatively, the instant pot takes only 30 minutes with 1/4 cup fewer liquids (and no preheating!). Either way, you’ll have sweet and savory caramelized onions that will go great on anything from tacos to omelets!

What Type Of Onions To Use

My favorite onion is a sweet or Vidalia onion. But the truth is that you can use any onion that you have on hand. I always have a supply of regular old white onions and frequently use those. The white onions make a great hamburger topping!

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Instant Pot Caramelized Onions
caramelized onions in instant pot

Instant Pot Caramelized Onions

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

Description

Instant Pot Caramelized Onions — I love cooking with onions. I like to make caramelized onions on the stovetop, but it takes a while for them to get that perfect sweet and savory flavor. With my Instant Pot, I can make caramelized onions in less than 10 minutes! If you're looking for an easy side dish or topping for your favorite sandwich recipe, you should try this out.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil , or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, optional

Instructions

  • Add the onions, butter, or oil to the Instant Pot, add your lid. Set the manual high pressure for 5 minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release.
  • Strain the liquid from the onions, return the onions to the Instant Pot, saute for another 4 to 6 minutes until the onions are fully caramelized.
  • Plate, serve, and enjoy!

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 107kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 295mgPotassium: 166mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.3mg

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