Caramelized Shallots Recipe

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Caramelized Shallots Recipe makes about 1/2 cup.

Sticky-sweet caramelized shallots add depth to simply prepared foods, such as hamburgers, steaks and roasted vegetables. Because caramelizing is the work of a patient cook, maximize your time investment by making extras, which will freeze well for up to 6 months. This recipe doubles easily. You may substitute onions for shallots.


1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces shallots (about 6 to 8 large shallots), diced or sliced into rings
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sherry or white wine (sherry will be sweeter)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Water, as needed


Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low. Sauté the shallots for 2 minutes, then sprinkle them with the salt and sauté for another 5 minutes, or until soft. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent them from browning too quickly. Add the remaining ingredients except water, and sauté for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to prevent sticking and burning, about a teaspoon at a time. Remove the sprigs of thyme before serving.

Read more: Shallots add a mild flavor reminiscent of both garlic and onions. Learn how to cook with this great cooks’ secret ingredient in a variety of dishes in Cooking With Shallots: 3 Simple Shallot Recipes.

Photo By Tim Nauman Photography