Onion Sauce: The Recipe


Onion sauce is a strong accompaniment, perfect for those who love a stronger taste for grilled or boiled meats or to enrich a cheese board. Its unforgettable bittersweet taste requires just a little effort compared to other sauces. Let’s see together how to prepare this simple but succulent recipe. Let’s start from the key ingredient: onion.

Which Onion to Choose?

Better known for its taste and not for its properties, onion is a typical ingredient of Italian cuisine, very used for its aromatic note. It is a vegetable-spice rich in trace elements, vitamins and enzymes, that boost the metabolism. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and it stimulates the immune system. To bring out its benefits it would be better to eat it raw, but this can cause in many people some digestive problems. We recommend you to cook it slowly, exactly as the onion sauce is cooked, to combine taste and benefits.

Which onion suits the most to this recipe? There are different types of onions depending on the colour of the bulb: white, yellow, and red. Each type has its typical taste, making them suitable for different recipes. While yellow onions have a more balanced and versatile taste – making them perfect for mirepoix – white onions have a stronger and fragrant taste, they are crispier, and once they are boiled they can be used as a side dish for meats, as a pizza topping or to season a focaccia bread. Last but not least, red onions are the sweetest ones, perfect to be eaten raw in a salad or to enrich a sandwich or to prepare our delicious onion sauce.

red onion


Although the most known, and most suitable type, is the Red Onion of Tropea, there are also other varieties from different Italian regions, such as Acquaviva Delle Fonti, Breme, Andora and Bassano.


Once the perfect onion has been identified we can discover the rest of the ingredients you can add to your shopping cart in order to prepare a delicious onion sauce:

  • 2 onions of Tropea
  • 100 gr of brown sugar
  • 100 ml of wine vinegar
  • 400 ml of water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 spoon of organic extra virgin olive oil

As written before, this is a fast recipe, it will not require a long time to be prepared: you will just need 20 minutes, even though the cooking process will take a bit longer, at least one hour.

Onion Sauce Preparation

Let’s see in detail every step to prepare an onion sauce.

  1. Wash the onions and cut them into strips, then into small cubes.
  2. Pour the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add the minced onions. Put over heat and let it brown for a few minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar, the pinch of salt, the wine vinegar and the water.
  4. Stir well the onion preserve and let cook on a low heat for at least 60 minutes.
  5. Stir occasionally until there is no more water. After 60 minutes, if the water is not completely evaporated, raise a little bit the heat and continue to cook. Make sure the preserve will not stick to the pan.

If you love the stronger and spicy roast beef taste, you can add a pinch of chilli pepper. Concerning the consistency, we suggest you leave it as it is, but if you prefer a creamier and thicker onion sauce you can also briefly blend it.

Onion sauce can be preserved in a glass jar in the fridge for a few days.

Perfect Pairings for Onion Sauce

Onion sauce matches perfectly with meat main courses, such as boiled tongue dumplings with lardo di Colonnata, or roast beef, but it can also be used to create some simple and fast dishes for a summer brunch with your friends, such as some croutons with ricotta cheese and onion sauce. This preserve goes very well with a cheese or cold meats board, served as an appetizer for any special occasion. If you prefer a braver pairing you can match your onion sauce with tuna fish or mackerel, remembering a typical pizza pairing.

If you didn’t make it to prepare your onion sauce by yourself, but you want to complete your menu, you can count on Lazzaris Onion Sauce: intense, tasty, prepared with high-quality ingredients, it can be combined with any delicacy.