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Caramelized Onions and Caramelized Celery

Recipe Chef Owen May and Dr. Michelle May

Caramelizing vegetables brings out their natural sweetness. Caramelized onions and caramelized celery are delicious as a side dish or added to sandwiches, pizza, pasta, soups, and roasted or grilled meats.

Chef Notes

The secret is caramelizing onions and celery is to cook them slowly over low heat.


Caramelized Onions

2 large onions, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Caramelized Celery

1 bunch celery; discard leaves and dice stalks into ¼ inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a heavy sauté pan on medium-low heat. When pan is hot, add oil and butter.
  2. For caramelized onions, add the diced onion and cook for approximately 30 minutes.
  3. For caramelized celery, add the sugar when the celery begins to soften. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Stir often so the vegetables do not burn. If they stick to the pan when they start to cook, add a little water or broth to loosen them.
  5. You are looking for a deep amber color. As the color intensifies, so does the flavor. Be careful not to allow the vegetables to become overdone and bitter.

  • Diced Celery
  • Caramelizing Celery
  • Caramelized Celery
  • Caramelized Onions