Multicooker Caramelized Onions

No liquid is used to cook the onions in this pressure cooker caramelized onions recipe because they contain enough moisture to create the necessary steam to bring the pot up to pressure. Use these to make French onion soup or pasta (see recipes), quiche, or mixed with equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise for a decadent French onion dip.

French onion soup with caramelized onions and toast
Photo: Kelsey Hansen
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
2 cups


  • 3 large yellow onions (2 1/2 pounds total)

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • ½ cup water, broth, or dry white wine


  1. Cut tops and bottoms off onions; set on the root end and cut onions in half vertically. Slice onion halves from top to bottom into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. In a 6-qt. electric multicooker use sauté setting on high to melt butter. Cook 2 minutes or until butter begins to brown. Press cancel setting. Add onions, thyme, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper; stir to combine. Lock lid and adjust steam valve to seal. Set cooker on high pressure to cook 2 minutes. Immediately release pressure. Carefully open lid.

  2. Drain off and discard excess liquid in multicooker pot. Return pot to multicooker. Use sauté setting on high to cook onions 12 minutes or until onions begin to brown and there are browned bits on bottom of pot, stirring only twice.

  3. Discard thyme sprigs (if using). Add the water; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is mostly evaporated, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Makes 2 cups.

Onion Cutting Tip

Cutting the onions vertically into thick slices prevents them from becoming stringy.

To make French Onion Soup

Proceed with recipe, deglazing the pot with dry sherry instead of white wine. Press Cancel. Add 6 cups beef or mushroom broth, 1 bay leaf. Select the Sauté function and adjust to high. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded, 15 minutes. Ladle soup into oven-safe bowls set on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a slice of stale baguette in each bowl and sprinkle generously with shredded Gruyere cheese. Slide baking sheet under broiler and broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly, 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

38 Calories
2g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 38
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0.2mg 1%
Potassium 94mg 2%
Folate, total 10.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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