Onion Confit

This onion confit recipe creates a French-inspired, lightly-sweet, but savory onion jam. Serve it on toasted crostini or bagels, as a condiment on veggie burgers, on pizzas, and more!

A mason jar holds onion confit with sprigs of thyme on top. There's more herbs around it, and a bowl of olive oil and onions behind it.

A confit is a cooking method that originated in France. A traditional confit uses duck fat. Of course, one thing I’ve learned in my vegan cooking is that just because something has a history of involving animals, it doesn’t have to.

In fact, I made my first confit, a garlic confit, and it’s been a great hit to use on pizzas, salads, and more.

You can create a delicious confit using olive oil and other ingredients, without any animals involved. This recipe replicates the French confit d’oignons – a type of onion jam. It adds delicious flavor to everything!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Thinly sliced onions are slowly simmered in olive oil creating a lightly golden color
  • Adding a bit of brown sugar helps add to the caramelization process
  • Bay leaves add savory flavor to this confit
Ingredients are on a white counter, including bowls of olive oil and salt. There are several onions, bay leaves, and a bowl of brown sugar.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Onions — You’ll need about three yellow onions for this recipe.
  • Olive oil
  • Brown sugar
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Onion Confit

  1. Prepare the onions by slicing them thinly (see more on this below).
  2. Cook onions in oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, until tender and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved, and add the bay leaf.
  4. Continue cooking, string occasionally, over medium-low heat until the onions are lightly caramelized, around 20 minutes. 
  5. Store the confit in the fridge in its oil.

The key ingredient to making an onion confit is time. You want to keep the heat low, slowly cooking the onions, and stirring them regularly to allow them to turn a light golden color without browning.

Step One: How to Thinly Slice Onions

We want long, thin slices of onions. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Begin with a whole, unpeeled onion.
  2. Lay it on its side and cut off the top of the onion.
  3. Next, cut off the root end of the onion.
  4. Now, stand the onion on one of the cut, flat ends, and cut down the onion, cutting it in half. Peel off the outer onion skin.
  5. Lay one of the halves, cut side down. Slice the onion, beginning on one side. Once you reach the middle, tip it over and continue making thin slices. Be careful to keep your fingers out of the way as you reach the end of the onion.
A hand holds a knife and is slicing an onion on cutting board. There are other onions around it.

Marly’s Tips

Cutting onions can cause a lot of tears. That’s because the gases that erupt from the onion when it’s membranes are sliced are an irritant to our eyes. To avoid these gases, place the whole onion in the freezer for around 30 minutes before slicing it. You can also slice it near a kitchen vent. These two tricks will help prevent onion tears!

Step Two: Cook Onions Gradually

  1. Cook onions in oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, until tender and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the sugar until it’s dissolved, and add the bay leaf.
  3. Continue cooking, string occasionally, over medium-low heat until the onions are lightly caramelized, around 10 to 15 minutes. 
  4. Store the confit in the fridge in its oil.
A collage of photos shows sliced onions in a skillet when they're first added to the skillet and after they've been cooked awhile.


Storage Tips

Store confit in a lidded, airtight glass jar, like a mason jar. It will keep in the fridge for up to 15 days.

How to Use Onion Confit

Serve the caramelized onions from this onion confit on any of the following recipes:

Two slices of toasted baguettes are topped with onion jam and herbs. There are onions behind it and a bowl of olive oil.

That’s it for this onion confit recipe. Enjoy!

A mason jar holds onion confit with sprigs of thyme on top. There's more herbs around it, and a bowl of olive oil and onions behind it.

Onion Confit

This Onion confit is easy to make and creates an indulgent condiment you can use on bagels, pizzas, veggie burgers, and more!
5 from 1 vote
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 30
Calories: 44kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 3 medium onions peeled
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Peel the onions. Instructions on thinly slicing.
  • Add olive oil to a skillet and over medium-low heat. Add onions and stir them until coated with oil. Cook until tender and translucent, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the sugar until it's dissolved. Add the bay leaf. Continue cooking, string occasionally, over low heat until the onions are caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Store the confit in the fridge in its oil. It will keep up to 1 month if stored properly. Add this onion jam to your favorite dishes, and you won’t have to worry about storing it because it will be gone much sooner than that.

Recommended Equipment

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Nutrition Facts
Onion Confit
Amount Per Serving
Calories 44 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 66mg2%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

One Response to Onion Confit

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBecky Reply

    I made this recipe and it’s so good. I even like using the oil because its so tasty.

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