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Caramelized Onions

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~ raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free ~

This past week I was “gifted” over 10 lbs of gorgeous, milky white onions.  I have been wanting to test my hand at caramelizing them, so I figured there was not a better time than the present.  And having a mandolin is definitely a godsend for this project!

It only took two onions before my eyes started to burn.  Through the haze of tears, I stepped back and looked at all those onions… oy-vey!  I have heard dozens of tricks when it comes to slicing onions, but only a few came to mind.  Running cold water and cutting near the flowing water was one.  I started that but decided that was just a waste of water. :P

Onion goggles!  Didn’t have any, so I put my sunglasses on.  Hold a piece of bread in your mouth. Hey, these were desperate times that called for desperate measures.  I always keep a loaf of gluten-free bread in the freezer for Bob, so I pulled a piece out and shoved it in my mouth.

So there I stood, in my kitchen… dark sunglasses on and a piece of bread hanging from my lips. I was a sight for sure.  But guess what, it worked, something worked because the tears went away and I sliced every last onion!

Here is some interesting info… I started with 3 lbs of fresh onions which sliced into 10 cups of onions, which after marinating and dehydrating became 5 cups of onions.  :)


Yields 5 cups


  1. Slice all the onions into 1/4″ slices.  A mandolin comes in handy for this.  Place in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together, olive oil, Tamari, and sweetener.
  3. Pour over the onions and with your hand’s mix and mix and mix.  Be sure to coat each onion.
  4. Cover and place in refrigerator for 24 hours to marinate.

Drying method #1:

  1. Create a “bowl” with the non-stick teflex sheet.  See photo below.
  2. Place the onions and liquid in the “bowl.”  The liquid will evaporate as it dries.
  3. Dry at 115 degrees (F) for 4-6 hours.  Or until they soften and take on a cooked appearance.  Stir occasionally during the drying cycle.

Drying method #2:

  1. Place the onions and liquid in 2 large ziplock bags.  Burp the air out and place in the dehydrator.
  2. Dry at 115 degrees (F) for 4-6 hours.  Or until they soften and take on a cooked appearance.  Stir occasionally during the drying cycle.
  3. Place a mesh colander inside of a large bowl and drain the marinade sauce from onions.  Keep the sauce for other recipes.

Want to make a smaller amount…


yields approx. 1 2/3 cups

  • 1 lb (5 large) white onions
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Tamari or Braggs Aminos
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey

17 thoughts on “Caramelized Onions

  1. Karolina says:

    I love onions this way.
    Excellent choice of recipes with “caramelized” onions made me a real pleasure in my email box this morning. I think some of your “caramelized” creations will appear on our raw Easter table… :)
    Lot’s of love

  2. Imbackinsidejoke! says:

    seeeeeeeeeeeee this is one of the reasons that I love your website Ima make these on one sheet and do some marinated mushrooms on another & I might even take a risk and try to make some of that carmelized onion bread or cauliflower taters n gravy ~ makes me think of some good ole liver n onions / a steak hoagie yummmmmmmmmmmm ~ thank U for coming up wit these bomb.com recipes !

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello my little inside joke. haha I hope try this recipe, and if you do, let me know what you think. Have a splendid weekend!

  3. Judith Perkins says:

    Someone told me to cut off the hairy (root) end of the onion first then the root end. No special tricks such as stuffing bread in your mouth etc. Anyhoo, I’ve been doing this for years and haven’t shed a tear over slicing,dicing, chopping or anything having to do with onions. I can’t say my eyes haven’t watered over the quotidian details of life however.

  4. Lori says:

    . . . a tried and true trick for cutting onions with no tears. Refrigerate them before cutting. I learned the trick when I lived in New Orleans and kept them in the refrigerator so they would keep longer.

    Sounds like a great alternative to frying or baking to get caramelized onions. I’ll have to try! thanks.

  5. What is marinate sauce liquid?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Anne, the marinade sauce is all the liquid and season that drains from the onion after you soak them. Does that help? amie sue

  6. Anne says:

    I have to say that my onion goggles are the best thing ever when cutting onions. They’ve saved me from years of pain and misery in the kitchen. They’re also great for protecting one’s eyes whilst hacking open a coconut.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Anne, one day I am going to invest in a pair. I always think about it but never when I am in a store. :P Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day and Happy Holidays! amie sue

  7. Luna says:

    Is there a way to dry these if you don’t have a dehydrator?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Luna,

      Well if you want them “caramelized” and don’t own a dehydrator you can use your oven. Chances are the heat will get to high and remove it from the raw state. I haven’t tried it but you could turn the oven on, setting it on the lowest possible temp. Keep the oven door cracked. Spread the onions on a baking sheet and place it on the center rack in the oven.

      Check it often, stirring it around. You don’t want to heat them to the crispy state, so just long enough till they soften and start to become transparent.

      You can also dehydrate using the sun… but that will take specific requirements and encourage you to Google that process if it interests you.

      Does this help? Many blessings, amie sue

  8. Gayle says:

    How long do you think these will last? (Other than the gobble up aspect)

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