Tennessee Onions

Tennessee Onions are a beloved Southern side dish that exemplify the comforting and hearty flavors of the region. These caramelized onions are a delightful blend of sweet and savory, making them the perfect accompaniment to a variety of main courses. Whether you’re looking to elevate your barbecue spread or simply want to savor a taste of Tennessee, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps of creating Tennessee Onions from scratch. Get ready to add a touch of Southern hospitality to your table.


  • 4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Slicing and Caramelizing the Onions

  1. In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the thinly sliced onions to the skillet. Stir to coat the onions with the melted butter and oil.
  3. Cook the onions slowly over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. This process will take about 20-30 minutes. The onions should become soft, golden brown, and beautifully caramelized.

Step 2: Flavor Infusion

  1. Once the onions are caramelized, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper over them. Stir well to combine all the flavors.
  2. Let the onions cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the seasonings to meld with the caramelized onions.

Step 3: Serve and Garnish

  1. Transfer the Tennessee Onions to a serving dish, and if desired, garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a touch of freshness and color.

Tips for Perfect Tennessee Onions:

  • Thin Slices: Thinly slicing the onions ensures even caramelization.
  • Low and Slow: Cooking the onions slowly over medium-low heat allows them to develop their rich, sweet flavor.
  • Customization: Feel free to adjust the sweetness by adding more or less brown sugar according to your taste.


Tennessee Onions are a delightful taste of the South, offering a harmonious blend of sweet and savory flavors that can elevate any meal. With this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to create a side dish that’s as comforting as it is delicious. Share the warmth of Tennessee Onions with family and friends, and savor the rich and hearty flavors of the Southern tradition. Enjoy!

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