Chipotle Caramelized Onions

Chipotle Caramelized Onions

I recently came across the idea of chipotle caramelized onions and it immediatly caught my attention as I am hopelessly addicted to caramelized onions! After reading over the recipe, it reminded me of the balsamic caramelized onions that I like to make, only with smoky chipotle chilies. Once the idea of combining sweet caramelized onions with spicy chipotles got into my head there was no denying it and I had to make it.

One thing that I do not like about making caramelized onions is that it can take some time to properly caramelize all of those onions. One of the tricks that I have picked up over the years is using the widest pan that I have to increase the surface area of the onions touching the heat. Another trick is to add some water to the pan which allows you to cook the onions at a higher temperature, say medium instead of medium-low, as the water helps prevent the onions from burning. Incidentally, water also conducts heat better than air so it also helps bring the heat to more of the surface area of the onions. Even so, it still takes a while to caramelize a lot of onions, just not nearly as long so I have definitely been making them more often these days.

These chipotle caramelized onions are pretty amazing and I found it really hard to restrain myself from finishing the whole batch off by the spoon before getting to use it in something! The sweet and spicy combination is definitely a winner and the touch of balsamic vinegar adds a nice extra layer of flavour.

Chipotle Caramelized Onions

Chipotle Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Servings: 1cup

Sweet, spicy hot and smoky caramelized onions.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups onion, sliced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, chipotle chili, vinegar, sugar and water and cook, covered, until completely tender and caramelized and golden, about 40-50 minutes, adding more water as needed.


Anonymous said...

I also LOVE caramelized onions, but I have yet to perfect cooking them. I'm going to try this method using a crockpot.
And if it works as well for me as it did for Suzie I just may look into the possibility of canning caramelized onions and make a giant batch.

Gigi said...

Hello! I have been following your blog for a while and YUM! I have a few things to add about caramelised onions (at risk of sounding lecturish): the caramelisation reaction is the "maillard" reaction, and happens better when there is less water. You can add salt to help dewater the onions, and a generous pinch of baking soda which regulates the pH, balancing out some of the acidity of the onions. The caramelisastion happens so much faster! PS I love your idea of adding chipotle!

Barefeet In The Kitchen said...

These sound fantastic, Kevin. I usually add a bit of water to mine as well. It makes the whole process a whole lot more tolerable. And oh so worth it!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A divine combo! Caramelized onions can't get ay better than this.



Foodycat said...

These look amazing! I don't know whether to put them on a burger, in a hot dog or into mac & cheese first!

BIG SPOON said...

I also know the trials of caramelizing onions, and usually add some cooking sherry to help me along, which sounds similar to your water method (which i will definitely be using). I caramelize onions with BBQ sauce often as a great topper for burgers.
And I can't wait to try your chipotle onions - i'm thinking of combining them with peaches to make a glaze for chicken.

Wendy said...

I love all of these tastes! There is so much you can do with this, too!

Kristy Lynn said...

sweet and spicy is never a bad idea.

PS. sometimes to cheat a little, I add just a touch of sugar to my onions to hurry up the caramelization process..

Claudia said...

The chipotle is inspired. Trying it.

PJ said...

Wow, you seem like such an excellent cook! I just found your blog via bloglovin!
I just started a blog about cooking, wedding planning, book reviews and so much more! Check it out if you want..

ChristiG said...

Kevin-We make 300 LBs of homemade Bratwurst every year and always looking for "a new way to eat these" WELL!!! This sure caught my eye! My husband had brats out defrosting yesterday and you posted this! PERFECT! And oh my!! This was perfect! NEW FAVORITE! YUM! You are right "Sweet, spicy hot and smoky" and perfect on brats! Thanks! Keep cooking (and creating)

SarahG said...

Thanks! I'm always looking for new things to do with chipotle to use up the rest of that can! I love caramelized onions too, this would make a great version of onion dip.

mjskit said...

These onions sound wonderful! Thanks for the hint "to use a bigger pan". So that's why it takes so long! Makes sense. Now I'm going to have to try these in a bigger pan. Great recipe!

Muneeba said...

Genius. These onions are genius. I'm going to use them in all my future sandwiches.

Cara said...

Great idea to combine the spicy chipotles with sweet onions!

parodie said...

I love this blog and have made several of your recipes. I'm not thrilled about some of your changes that are not-so-subtlely designed to increase pageviews, but I can live with them (e.g. truncated feeds which make it hard for me to file away recipes in my feed reader) - however, I am really annoyed by the tweet/pinit/etc bar that now stays at the top of my screen when I scroll down. Please please please consider getting rid of it. It makes me want to avoid your site entirely.

Marissa and Alina said...

I made these for a topping on my black bean burgers a few weeks ago and thought they turned out delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I blogged about it a few weeks ago ( I'm planning to also try your strawberry avocado salsa as a burger topping in the coming weeks.

Keep the great recipes coming Kevin!

Cristi said...

how long will these keep in the fridge?

Kevin said...

Cristi: These will keep in the fridge for at least a week, though I have always finished them much sooner. :)

Julie said...

WOW -- just found your blog! Made the onions this evening along with the grilled chicken club sandwich -OMG!! These recipes were awesome! Hubby loved it too! Great site -looking forward to trying more:-) Julie

gwennolabarr said...

I just added this recipe to my clean living blog and I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the idea!

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