Sautéed onion and why you’re doing it ahead of time

So no one likes dealing with chopping onions. Your eyes water, your kitchen smells like onion for ages, and if you’re only cooking for a couple people, you end up with half an onion in the fridge for ages. But what you can do is make it ahead of time and then smell onion only once for weeks and weeks and weeks.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • water
  • salt

You want a yellow onion, probably: red’s a little sweeter, but yellow is umami, and white is pretty much only for salads. Chop the bits at each end off and peel off the outer layer of skin. You probably want to then cut it in half for stability, and then rinse the bits under cold water for a couple minutes so it doesn’t make you cry as much.

Dice it tiny. Dice it, like, really tiny.

Then dump it in your non-stick frying pan, add a generous splash of water and a couple shakes of salt, and turn it on low.

Having the water and salt makes it taste more umami – like, that meaty taste. You can do it with oil or without salt and it changes the taste, but it’s really great for recipes if you do water and salt.

Cook that on low until it’s all translucent – like half an hour? 45 minutes? – stirring every few minutes so it cooks evenly. You want it starting to brown slightly, but still pretty translucent, because now you turn off the burner and let it cool completely.

Then stick it in a bag, squish the air out, and stick it in the freezer. When you need onion for a recipe, break off a chunk (it should break really easily) and drop it in the pan when you add everything else. Saves time down the line, less waste of onion, and fewer onion-induced tears.

2 thoughts on “Sautéed onion and why you’re doing it ahead of time

  1. Pingback: More things to do with pasta and chicken | Measuring Is For Jerks

  2. Pingback: Sausage and Pear Stuffing | Measuring Is For Jerks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s