Caramelized onions and mushrooms are delicious and easy to make. Upgrade dinner with only 6 ingredients serving this as a side or over top of a juicy steak. They’re packed with delicious umami flavor everyone will love.Jump to Recipe
Have you ever made dinner and just felt like there should be more to it? It’s good but it’s not great, almost like it’s missing something? Adding caramelized mushroom and onion is going to take your dinner to the next level. The two ingredients cooked down in a cast iron skillet offer so much flavor. You don’t need much to make them taste great. They can be eaten alone but I think they’re best served over chicken breast or steak. It’s such a simple and easy way to elevate a dish.
- Why You’ll Love Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- Difference Between Caramelized and Sautéed
- Ingredients for Easy Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- The Best Onions for This Recipe
- The Best Mushrooms for This Recipe
- How to Caramelize Onions and Mushrooms
- Tips for Making the Best Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- Ways to Serve Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- The Best Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
Why You’ll Love Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- It’s so easy. We are caramelizing the onions and mushrooms which means you place them over the heat and cook slowly until browned and the sugars have been released. Only a few ingredients are added for extra flavor and that’s it.
- It's a low calorie dairy free way to add so much flavor to dinner. Many of the recipes I’ve seen use butter to caramelize the two ingredients but I found that oil is a great alternative plus you can use flavored or infused oil for even more added flavor.
- They are versatile. You can enjoy caramelized onions and mushrooms in so many different ways. The most basic way is to serve these as a side with dinner. More creative ideas that I enjoy are topping a steak, stirring into a garlic parmesan couscous recipe, serve over pan fried or grilled chicken, enjoy over top of a beef taco.
- Leftovers can be reheated easily and taste just as great as the day they were made.
- All you need is six ingredients. I also want to point out that the ingredients are incredibly simple, cheap, and easy to find if you don’t already have them on hand.
- The recipe is made with olive oil instead of butter. If you love the flavor of butter you can certainly substitute but I wanted to create a recipe that was easy and hard to mess up. Butter has a low smoke point making it easy for butter to burn at higher heat. It can also burn the onions and mushrooms if you’re not careful. Olive oil allows more grace when it comes to higher heat. The risk of burning isn’t as high and infuses the vegetables with delicious flavor. Alternatively you can use a mix of butter and olive oil. Doing so will reduce the risk of burning and it will be absolutely delicious.
Difference Between Caramelized and Sautéed
When it comes to caramelizing and sautéing there is a difference between the two. Sautéing cooks at a high or medium high heat until the mushrooms and onion are browned and tender. This way of cooking typically cooks off moisture quickly and can lead to burning if you’re not careful. Caramelizing cooks the onions and mushrooms at a lower heat drawing out the sugars and leaving the veggies moist and full of flavor.
As a result caramelizing does take more time but it’s worth it because of all the flavor that comes out in the process. Some recipes add a little sugar to help the caramelizing process but if you’re willing to put in the time I don’t find that it’s totally necessary. Overall the biggest difference between making sauteed onions and mushrooms and caramelizing is the heat.
Ingredients for Easy Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
Yellow onion - The onion you use in this recipe is based on your personal preference. We will get more into specifics later. Your onion should be sliced for the best results.
White mushrooms - I used cremini mushrooms for this recipe but the type you choose is completely up to you and what is readily available near you. This recipe would also be delicious with portobello or even baby bella mushrooms.
Olive oil - I chose to make this caramelized mushrooms recipe with only olive oil because I wanted to make this recipe dairy free and I made this with a garlic infused olive oil which was delicious. Many recipes suggest using a mix between butter and olive oil for the flavor and to keep the butter from burning since it has a lower smoke point. Using just oil or a mix with butter will be absolutely delicious.
Salt and pepper - For added flavor of course. The pepper adds a little spice so go lightly if you have picky eaters.
White wine - For added flavor and to deglaze the pan.
Worcestershire sauce - For added flavor and to deglaze the pan. This ingredient also adds a little sugar to assist with the caramelizing process.
Parsley - a delicious garnish that adds brightness to the onions and mushrooms
The Best Onions for This Recipe
The type of onion you use in this recipe is completely up to you. I like to use a yellow onion because as it cooks down and caramelizes you’re left with a balanced sweet and savory flavor. Spanish onions also provide the perfect balance similar to a yellow onion. Sweet Vidalia onions can also be used. As they caramelize they will only get sweeter and sweeter.
The Best Mushrooms for This Recipe
Again, much like the onion, the type of mushrooms you use comes down to your personal preference. I used white cremini mushrooms for this recipe because I like the mild flavor they have and as they cook down they get tender and chewy. On the other hand brown mushrooms are also a great choice because they’re older and have a deeper flavor.
How to Caramelize Onions and Mushrooms
Step 1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
Step 2. Once heated add the sliced onion and stir in salt and pepper. Make sure the onion are in a single layer in the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have started to cook down and have started to develop a golden brown color. Stir every couple of minutes to ensure the onions do not burn.
Step 3. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and let cook over medium heat for an additional 15 minutes on medium low heat, stirring every few minutes. After 15 minutes the onion and mushrooms should be tender and browned.
Step 4. Stir in the white wine and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the alcohol has cooked off from the wine.
Step 5. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Tips for Making the Best Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
1. Use a non stick pan - because we’re cooking for a good while, the last thing we want is for the mushrooms and onions to burn in the pan. I find that a nonstick pan makes cooking and clean up so much easier. If using a cast iron skillet be sure that it’s well seasoned so it remains nonstick.
2. Slice the onions and mushrooms in uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. Slicing mushrooms and onions too thick will make the cooking process slower and it will be a good while before it’s done. On the other hand, slicing the mushrooms and onions too thin will cause them to cook too quickly leaving you with veggies that are too tender.
3. Don’t rush the process. Go into the cooking process knowing it will take a little bit of time to get the results you’re looking for. Caramelizing onions and mushrooms is easy and totally worth the extra time it takes.
Ways to Serve Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- Serve with your favorite hummus recipe or buy some store bought hummus and stir in the caramelize onions and mushrooms then enjoy with your favorite crackers or veggies. It’s a great way to take a healthy snack to the next level.
- Add over top of your favorite meat. Consider grilling a piece of chicken, steak, pork, or something else you have on hand and add the mushrooms and onion over top.
- Add to a pizza or a flatbread. We’ve making personal flatbread pizzas with naan bread. The addition of onions and mushrooms over top is so good with just about anything.
- Serve with a burger or a sandwich. Sandwiches and burgers are all about the toppings. The typical toppings include tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and more but adding mushrooms and onions will take your lunch and dinner to the next level. Let me know if you try caramelized mushrooms and onions for burgers.
- Stir into a pasta to make a caramelized onion and mushroom pasta. I have stirred these into a creamy cheesy alfredo sauce and it tasted so good. The balance between sweet, savory, and creamy is so good.
The Best Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 8 oz fresh white mushrooms sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire
- Parsley as a garnish
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
- Once heated add the sliced onion and stir in salt and pepper. Make sure the onion are in a single layer in the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onions have started to cook down. Stir every couple of minutes to ensure the onions do not burn.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and let cook for an additional 15 minutes on medium low heat, stirring every few minutes. After 15 minutes the onion and mushrooms should be tender and browned.
- Stir in the white wine and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the alcohol has cooked off from the wine.
- Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.