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Barefoot Contessa Caramelized Shallots

A skillet full of Ina Garten's caramelized shallots, garnished with parsley.
These caramelized shallots are made by roasting shallots low and slow in butter, sugar, and vinegar until softened and sweet and tangy. An exceptional and impressive side dish for any occasion.
Ina Garten

Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
Total 1 hr
8 servings
180 kcal


  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds shallots peeled*, roots intact
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons really good red wine vinegar (or substitute sherry vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • In a 12-inch (30-cm) ovenproof sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sugar and toss to coat. Cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the shallots start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss well. Place the pan or skillet in the oven and roast until the shallots are tender, 15 to 50 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots. Immediately transfer the shallots to a platter or serving dish. (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 them back into the oven for just a few minutes to warm.)
  • Just before serving, season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with parsley.


*What you need to know about how to demurely disrobe shallots

Shallots are, thankfully, far easier to disrobe from their clingy papery skins than other diminutive alliums, such as pearl onions. Still, we won’t say no to shortcuts when it comes to stripping shallots, especially when in the throes of dinner party prep. So we want to share what the lovely Barefoot Contessa has to say on the topic. She drops whole unpeeled shallots in a pot of boiling water for just shy of a minute, then drains them. The skins can then slip off with the utmost of ease. 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?