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Caramelized Onion and Mushroom for Steaks and Burgers [Recipe]

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Recipe
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I’m not a huge fan of red meat, so every time I eat it, I need some sauce on the side. Caramelized onion and mushroom is my favorite side choice as it pairs with absolutely every kind of meat. It marries flawlessly with steak, but it skyrockets a burger especially! This is a staple, quick, and easy recipe to upgrade your everyday lunch!

Why Will You Love this Recipe?

  • Rich Flavor Profile: Caramelized onions add a sweet and savory depth, while mushrooms give an earthy and umami touch. This fusion creates a well-balanced, rich, and flavorful combination. 
  • Homemade Touch: Preparing caramelized onion and mushroom from the ground up allows you to customize the flavor and add a personal touch to your food. This is a simple way to touch up a quick dinner, like store-bought burgers for example.
  • Complexity: This flavorful meld adds layers of complexity to any dish. It will elevate the final taste of the meat, intensifying its natural, meaty taste.
  • Texture Contrast: Caramelized onions have a stringy, almost melt-in-mouth texture that contrasts beautifully with the chewiness of mushrooms. 
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom pin


There are obviously two chief ingredients plus loads of spices because in this house, we don’t like plain food:

  • Mushrooms – I combined two varieties: white button and brown cremini mushrooms
  • Onion – use yellow onion because it caramelizes the best
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic – use fresh or powdered
  • Thyme – use dried
  • Parsley – use dried or fresh
  • Cayenne pepper – to add some heat
  • Lemon zest – to brighten up the flavor
  • Beef broth – to achieve the right texture. You can change it for water, wine, chicken, or vegetable broth
  • Brown sugar – to enhance caramelization
  • Olive oil 
  • Butter 

Tools You’ll Need

How to Make Caramelized Onion Mushroom for Steak and Burger?

  1. Chop the Veggies: Slice mushrooms and onion, and finely dice the garlic.
Slicing Vegetables for Caramelized Onion and Mushroom
  1. Caramelize the Onions: Over olive oil and butter, caramelize onions with some brown sugar until almost stringy. Reduce with some beef broth if needed.
Caramelizing Onion for Caramelized Onion and Mushroom
  1. Add Mushrooms: Sauté the cremini mushrooms first, then add white buttons. Add spices and herbs.
Sauteeing Mushrooms for Caramelized Onion and Mushroom
  1. Serving: Serve the sauce with anything you like; I recommend beef steak or burger.
Serving Caramelized Onion and Mushroom

Recipe Alternations

  • Add Cheese: If you stir in grated Parmesan, Gruyère, or any other pungent cheese, you will add a new, interesting twist.
  • Add Some Sauce: For a super creamy finish, go for heavy cream or sour cream. If you want more spice, Worcestershire, soy, or oyster sauce are top-notch.
  • Add Nuts: This can be unexpected, but nuts actually pair flawlessly in this combination. I recommend toasting walnuts or almonds for a crunchy, nutty finish. 
  • Add Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Chopped sun-dried tomatoes give sweet, but tangy notes that complement the deep flavors of sauce.
  • Add Vinegar: Deglazing the pan with balsamic vinegar or adding it to onions while they are caramelizing, adds tangy sweetness to the sauce. 


Here are a few tips to make the perfect side dish:

  1. Take Your Time: Proper caramelization takes time and moderate temperature. I know you want it done quickly, but it takes a second for everything to burn. As you can see, experience is speaking here.
  2. Check Out the Mushroom Cook Time: Every mushroom variety has a different cooking time. Always check that out before cooking, as they become mushy when overcooked. In this specific case, cremini mushrooms take 15, while white buttons take 5 minutes.
  3. Deglaze the Pan: Use some liquid to deglaze the pan, as all the best flavors stick to the bottom.
  4. Thicken the Sauce: If needed, use a bit of flour or cornstarch to create a silky but thick sauce. 

Storing Instructions

  • Cooling: Always bring the sauce to room temperature before storing, as it prevents condensation. Condensation can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage.
  • Container Choice: My personal preferences are glass containers, but airtight plastic or zip-lock bags will do the job.
  • Refrigeration: Store the sauce for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freezing and Thawing: Frozen sauce will be good for up to 3 months. Defrost it overnight in the fridge or on the stove over low heat.
  • Quality Check: Always check for any signs of spoilage because mushrooms are a pretty sensitive ingredient. Look for off odors, unusual colors, or mold growth. If anything seems off, please, throw it out.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom

Author: Laura Bais
Caramelized onion and mushroom is a top-tier choice for addition to almost every meal, especially meats. This time I served it with rib-eye steak and turkey burgers for a real gourmet feast. It is actually nothing special, but pairs with many dishes enhancing the flavors. Here is the recipe for this simple, but effective side dish!
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 56.6 kcal


  • 3 yellow onions (large)
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 cups white button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup beef bouillon
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper


Chop the Veggies

  • Halve the onions and slice them thinly.
  • Slice mushrooms, as well. Dice the garlic finely.

Caramelize the Onions

  • Sauté onions and garlic over olive oil and some butter at moderate temperature. Stir it occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
  • After approximately 10 minutes, add some brown sugar so the onion becomes stringy. Add a splash of beef broth.

Add Mushrooms

  • Add cremini mushrooms and sauté them for about 10 minutes, then add white buttons and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add one more splash of beef bouillon and season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and cayenne pepper.
  • Simmer it for a few minutes until you reach the right consistency.


  • Serve with any meat, pasta, rice, or anything you like. I recommend serving it with rib-eye steak or turkey burger.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 56.6kcalCarbohydrates: 5.6gProtein: 2gFat: 3.4gSaturated Fat: 1.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.7gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 3.8mgSodium: 126.9mgPotassium: 238.3mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.6gVitamin A: 109.6IUVitamin C: 4.4mgCalcium: 17.2mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword burger, burger buns, caramelized onions, cremini mushrooms, side dish for steak, white button mushrooms

Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.

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