If you love dishes confounded to a single pan, you need to try this one pot caramelized onion pasta! It’s easy, budget-friendly, and oh-so-delicious.

title image of one pan caramelized onion pasta on a light background

When I began my transition to a plant-based lifestyle, one-pot dishes quickly became my favorite. Soups, stews, curries, stir-fry and pasta dishes… I could experiment to my heart’s desire without a pile of dishes to wash afterward.

I still love single-dish recipes, and this one pan caramelized onion pasta is no exception! In fact, it’s my way of sharing my obsession with you!

Speaking of sharing my passion, have you got a copy of the Scrappy Cookbook yet? My new cookbook contains 150+ delicious vegan recipes for every occasion. What’s more, the recipes are beginner-friendly, visually stunning, and designed to help you reduce food waste.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Cooking everything together results in a beautiful flavor of different ingredients complementing each other.
  • If you’re an onion lover, this recipe will absolutely blow you away. I’m probably preaching to the choir! Who doesn’t love caramelized onions?
  • Between coconut milk, lemon juice, caramelized onions, and sun dried tomatoes, you get a complex flavor profile that includes sweet, savoury, creamy and tart notes.
  • Naturally, this one pan caramelized onion pasta also results in fewer dishes to clean! If washing dishes is one of your least favorite chores, I’m sure you will appreciate that.
  • The entire list of ingredients only contains 12 items. Moreover, I’m willing you have at least some of the essentials like salt, pepper, olive oil, and dry pasta.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are cooked slowly over low heat until their natural sugars caramelize, resulting in a deep golden-brown color and soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. This slow cooking process allows the sugars in the onions to break down and caramelize, creating complex, sweet, and savory flavors.

The point of caramelizing onions rather than just sautéing them is to enhance their flavor profile and texture. Here are some key differences and benefits of caramelizing onions:

  • Flavor. Caramelizing onions brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavor. This adds depth and richness to dishes, enhancing their overall flavor profile.
  • Texture. Caramelized onions have a soft, buttery texture with a slightly sticky consistency due to the caramelization of sugars. This texture contrasts with the crispness of raw or quickly sautéed onions, adding a smooth element to dishes.
  • Versatility. caramelizing your onions makes them suitable as a topping or ingredient in sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pastas, soups, stews, omelets, quiches, and more. Their sweet and savory flavor profile pairs well with various ingredients and cuisines.
  • Longevity. Caramelized onions can be prepared in larger batches and stored for later use, as they have a longer shelf life than raw onions.

Overall, caramelizing onions enhances their flavor, texture, and versatility, making them a popular ingredient in many savory dishes.

one pan caramelized onion pasta ingredients

Key Ingredients

As I already mentioned, the ingredient list is short. By extension, it also means that this dish is gentle on your wallet! The key elements of this one pan caramelized onion pasta are:

  • Yellow onions. Naturally, onions are the star of this recipe. The caramelizing process greatly reduces the volume, which means you’ll need a few bulbs!
  • Garlic. Along with five onions, this recipe uses a whole head of garlic. Don’t worry, roasting it in the oven will mellow the flavor and give a creamy, earthy tone to the overall dish.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes. I love adding them to pasta dishes because of their deep savoury flavor. They also add a splash of color to an otherwise beige dish.
  • Farfalle pasta. The base of the dish and the source of carbs, the bow pasta is perfect for a flavorful casserole.
  • Coconut milk. To help the ingredients bind together, coconut milk acts as the base for a creamy sauce. It also adds a whole-food source of fat to the dish.
  • Seasonings. In addition to salt and pepper, this one pan caramelized onion pasta is seasoned with dried parsley, paprika, and lemon juice.
  • Fresh herbs. Who doesn’t love the pungent smell of fresh herbs with their pasta?

How to Make This Recipe

Start by preheating the oven to 400F and getting a casserole dish ready.

Slice the onions, chop the tomatoes, and cut the top off the head of garlic. Add onions, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, and dried parsley to the dish. 

Toss everything together to distribute the seasonings, then place the whole garlic head in the middle.

Drizzle some olive oil over the entire dish with olive oil and cover it with foil. Let everything roast in the oven for an hour, stirring the onions halfway through. After 60 minutes, the onions should be fully caramelized and browned. 

When you only have about 20 minutes left, it’s time to cook the pasta. Depending on the type of pasta you use, the cooking time may vary, so consult the package for directions. Drain the liquid and reserve a cup of pasta water. 

Remove the garlic from the casserole dish, and set it aside to cool down. Once it is safe to handle, squeeze the cloves back into the dish and add the remaining ingredients. Add pasta water in small increments, until you have a desired consistency. Stir everything together and enjoy!

Hack It!

  • If you’re using sun-dried tomatoes that come in oil, you can use that same oil to drizzle over the onions before cooking.
  • Although I used farfalle for this casserole, you can use a different type of pasta, so long as it’s of a similar size. You can even use gnocchi!
  • For a gluten-free version of this pne pan caramelized onion pasta, you just need to swap for gluten-free farfalle.
  • If you’re not a huge fan of coconut flavor, sub coconut milk for cashew cream or soy cooking cream. You want something with a similar consistency and fat content.
  • Want to eat more veggies? Add a cup of frozen vegetables to your casserole, or throw in some wilting greens!
side frame of one pan caramelized onion pasta

Other Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re an adventurous cook who likes to try new recipes every week, you’ll love the PlantYou Planner! It’s an interactive meal planner app that’s fully vegan and largely WFPB. You get to choose from over 600 delicious recipes to create your own meal plan, or follow one of the plans curated by our team. In addition to all that, the app provides allergy swaps for most recipes and generates a custom shopping list. How amazing is that?

Just because you’re eating plenty of fruit and veggies, doesn’t always mean your nutritional criteria is met. I have recently collaborated with an amazing women-led supplement company to create a multinutrient aimed at plant-based and plant-centered eaters. With Complement x PlantYou Essential, thriving on a vegan diet has never been easier!

The Recipe: One Pan Caramelized Onion Pasta

A delicious caramelized onion pasta casserole that anyone can make!
5 from 4 ratings

Ingredients

  • 5 small yellow onions, sliced, or 3 large
  • 1 head garlic, top sliced off
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups farfalle pasta, cooked
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • To a casserole dish, add the onions, sun dried tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper and dried parsley. 
  • Toss, and then place the whole garlic head in the middle. Drizzle the entire dish with olive oil or the leftover sun dried tomato oil, cover with foil, and then pop in the oven for 1 hour, tossing halfway through. The onions should be caramelized by the time it comes out of the oven. 
  • About 20 minutes before the casserole dish is done, prepare the pasta according to package directions, reserving up to a cup of pasta water. 
  • Remove the garlic from the casserole dish, and when safe to handle, squeeze out the cloves. Add the fresh parsley, basil, lemon juice and coconut milk, along with the cooked pasta and pasta water as needed. Stir and enjoy!
Calories: 400.8kcal, Carbohydrates: 78.9g, Protein: 13.3g, Fat: 7.5g, Saturated Fat: 5.5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Sodium: 639.1mg, Potassium: 1207.6mg, Fiber: 6.5g, Sugar: 26.8g, Vitamin A: 317.5IU, Vitamin C: 46.5mg, Calcium: 145.9mg, Iron: 5.3mg