Red Wine Onions

Red wine onions is a magic amalgam of caramelized onions, red wine, a bit of brown sugar, and chile pepper flakes cooked low and slow. So incredibly jammy and unforgettable.

A red Le Creuset pot filled with red wine onions, that have been slowly cooked together

Meet your newest weeknight staple. These slightly sweet, deeply flavored onions from the lovely and talented Julia Turshen are equally adept at promoting a plain burger, transforming a slice of mundane meatloaf, even dressing up goat cheese crostini to special dinner fare.–Jenny Howard

Red Wine Onions

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 2 H
  • Serves 8 | Makes 2 cups
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In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.

Sprinkle the onions with the brown sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes, and stir. Add the red wine, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer.

Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are collapsed and caramelized, 40 to 60 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freezer for up to 2 months. Originally published October 23, 2018.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

After about an hour and a half of cooking, you’re rewarded with an almost jammy red wine onion mixture that is absolutely delicious. The onions have a sweet, caramel-like flavor and a surprising kick from the red pepper.

Most of the cooking time is hands-off, which is nice. The wine I used was cheap Sutter's Home red wine. As the onions cooled on the stove some of the oil separated out. I poured it into a little ramekin and will use it when cooking vegetables.

The onions taste really rich and would make a wonderful base to a soup. I had them with some grilled sausage and it was a lovely combination.

This recipe for red wine onions is a real winner. The combination of sweet and heat makes the long simmering time well worth it. The sugar comes through initially (both from the brown sugar and the natural sugars in the onions), but you get a little tingle of heat as an afterthought.

I served the onions with meatloaf the first time around but they were equally good on a crostini topped with whipped goat cheese and a crumble of bacon for a quick and impressive appetizer bite later in the week.

The next time I make them, I'm going to make a double batch since I can already think of many other applications. Topping deviled eggs? Stirring into a bowl of lentil soup? On burgers and dogs? They could enhance and "chef-ify" any number of simple dishes.


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