Ina Garten’s Caramelized Shallots

These caramelized shallots from Ina Garten are made by cooking the shallots low and slow in butter, sugar, and red wine vinegar until soft and sweet. Chopped parsley is sprinkled on top. An excellent side dish.

A skillet filled with Ina Garten's caramelized shallots, sprinkled with parsley.

Shallots take on a dulcet, docile personality when slowly coaxed to caramelized. Not only are they easy to make, they’re easygoing in terms of playing nicely with all manner of main courses. So what are you waiting for? Originally published May 9, 2004.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Demurely Disrobing Shallots

Not only are shallots more nuanced in flavor than pearl onions, they’re far easier to disrobe from their clingy papery skins. Still, we won’t say no to shortcuts when it comes to stripping shallots of their papery skins, especially when in the throes of dinner party prep. So we wanted to share what the lovely Barefoot Contessa has to say on the topic. She drops whole shallots in a pot of boiling water for just shy of a minute, then drains them. The skins slip off with the utmost of ease, says the good BC. Furthermore, the good Contessa continues, you can peel the shallots hours in advance and later, when you’re juggling everything else, simply give them a quick sauté before tossing them in the oven. How easy is that?

Barefoot Contessa Caramelized Shallots

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz)
  • 2 pounds shallots, peeled, roots intact
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • 2. Melt the butter in a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan or cast-iron skillet. Add the shallots and sugar and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown.
  • 3. Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well. Place the pan or skillet in the oven and roast until they are tender, 15 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots. (Don’t worry about the variance in cooking temperature, if the shallots are done before the rest of dinner, transfer them to a plate, hold at room temperature, and then slide back into the oven for just a few minutes to warm.)
  • 4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with parsley, and serve hot.

Recipe Testers Reviews

I’ve always loved shallots, whether as an ingredient in salad dressing or lightly sautéed with mushrooms—even as a stand-alone vegetable, they’re simply wonderful! I tend to have these ingredients on-hand, making this a great spur-of-the-moment recipe. Another plus of this recipe is the minimal prep time. I used fairly small shallots, so the total time was less than 40 minutes. I had a beautiful red wine vinegar from Spain that brought additional depth to the dish, enhancing the roasted flavor of the alliums. I served this with roasted chicken and a fresh butter lettuce salad. The yield was correct, but I think everyone would have eaten more if they could. No leftovers here. This will appear again on the holiday table.


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    1. Hi Charlie, I think that it is truly a personal preference. The shallots will keep their shape better if the roots are intact.

  1. Thanks for this recipe. I was going to make a Zinfandel glazed shallots (which I’ve made before) but it is a fussy recipe and requires a watchful eye on the finishing–which is hard when cooking for a crowd. I found this receipt here, which offered cooking fuss simplification. I made some substitutions: Reduced sugar to 1 tablespoon; omitted vinegar, but added wine (about 1/3 cup) to shallots after stove-top browning and before going into a covered dish into the oven. These were easy to fit into the cooking schedule, were beautifully roasted and rich, and they were a surprise and delight to my guests. Served with a standing rib roast, but it would pair well with any roasted meat. Offers a lovely visual, too, on the plate.

    1. You are more than welcome, Leisa. I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times but never served it with a standing rib roast. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s what I served this Christmas and didn’t even think of making this. Next time. And thanks for the reminder.

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