Caramelized Balsamic Onion and Gruyere Pizza

There are few foods more comforting than pizza—especially when that pizza is made in your very own oven and piled high with your very own homemade toppings. Enter Caramelized Balsamic Onions: A rich reduction of white onions and sugar simmered for hours with tangy balsamic. Add them to burgers, grilled cheese and best of all, pizza.

Start with a recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough brushed with garlic-infused olive oil and layered with thick curls of gruyere. Top it all off with a generous heap of your new secret ingredient then send it to the oven. Ten minutes later you’ll be biting into a crispy, cheesy slice of DIY pie without a splatter of marinara sauce or a single cardboard box in sight.

Caramelized Balsamic Onion and Gruyere Pizza

Garlic oil on pizza

Caramelized balsamic onion pizza

Gruyere pizza

Caramelized Balsamic Onion and Gruyere Pizza

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Caramelized Balsamic Onion and Gruyere Pizza

There are few foods more comforting than pizza—especially when that pizza is made in your very own oven and piled high with your very own homemade toppings. Enter Caramelized Balsamic Onions: A rich reduction of white onions and sugar simmered for hours with tangy balsamic.
5 from 1 vote
Caramelized Balsamic Onion and Gruyere Pizza
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4 servings


For Caramelized Balsamic Onions:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

For Pizza:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups shredded gruyere
  • 1 recipe The Ultimate Pizza Dough, or 20 oz. store-bought pizza dough
  • Cornmeal, for dusting sheet tray or pizza stone
  • Chopped chives, for garnish


  • Begin by preparing the onions. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add the onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes until onions are soft.
  • Add the sugar and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the heat to low. Continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour until they are very soft and dry. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 500ºF.
  • Roll out the prepared pizza dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly ¼-inch thick.
  • Invert a cookie sheet and sprinkle it liberally with cornmeal. Transfer dough to cornmeal-dusted sheet tray. (See Kelly's Notes.)
  • Combine the olive oil and garlic and brush it over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border along the edges. Top it with half of the shredded gruyere, then sprinkle on the prepared balsamic onions and top with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating half-way through, until crust is fully baked and golden brown.
  • Garnish with chopped chives, slice and serve.

Kelly's Notes:

  • You can use a pizza stone in place of the inverted cookie sheet.
  • Oven temperatures and positions may vary, so make sure you are baking your pizza on the middle rack and check it frequently.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Calories: 684kcal, Carbohydrates: 68g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 2098mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 625IU, Vitamin C: 4.5mg, Calcium: 688mg, Iron: 3mg

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  1. 5 stars
    I experienced caramelized balsamic onions on a pizza for the first time on vacation last week and now pizza will never be the same again. So I found your recipe and tried it tonight — excellent! Will definitely be making this again and again.

  2. This pizza is very flavorful!
    Some suggestions: Next time I think I will cut the salt and sugar on the onions in half, at least! When the onions cook down all the way, they are left WAY too potent. Onions also create their own sweetness when they are carmelized, so adding sugar may not even be necessary. All the sugar turned the onions into a big, carmely mass when they cooled, which was hard to spread about the pizza.
    It still tasted addictingly good with the sweetness and spiciness, but I could only bring myself to eat one slice, because the onions were too strong.
    Next time, I will get it right. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. I made this yesterday — It was Valentine’s Day dinner for my husband and I.

    I used the Olive Oil crust provided in this book (I substituted about half the AP flour with whole wheat).

    The only changes I made was slightly less balsamic because I ran out, the addition of sauteed mushrooms, and smoked gruyere instead of plain.

    The pizza turned out fairly well for my first attempt. The kitchen was a disaster zone afterwards; and I made the pizza dough the night before and the onions that morning (dishes were washed in between each step). It was pretty good, but next time I would use less of the onions and add spinach. We had chopped, cooked spinach on the side (regular old green giant — my kitchen couldn’t take another involved recipe!), and the “funk” that spinach can have, especially the plain frozen kind, really worked well with the sweetness and richness of the pizza, which was almost overwhelming.

    My pizza took about 20 minutes to cook at 500. The cheese was almost overbrowned, but the crust took a while to get finished.

  4. This was a HUGE hit! Making it again this weekend. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
    By the way, I used Naan bread as the crust – made it so easy!

  5. I cannot wait to make this Pizza. It has all of my absolute favorite things. I was looking around for new pizza ideas and I’m happy to have found your site. Your recipes look delicious!

  6. Awesome! We gave pizza every Friday and this was a great addition to our favorites! We used America’s Test Kitchen recipe for crust but this topping. Sooooooo good!

  7. I’ve made this twice in two weeks – SO GOOD. The caramelized balsamic onions are sweet and spicy. I used mozzarella instead of gruyere and added pine nuts and spinach. I loved it for dinner and loved it even more for lunch the next day!

  8. This looks wonderful! Cant wait to try it. You have SO MANY SUPER recipes on your site here….so glad I found you!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by the site, Cathy! I hope you enjoy tasting your way through my recipes :)

  9. This pizza sounds like heaven! I totally love caramelized onions, I would put them on just about anything if I could. I really want to try this!

  10. I just favored this on TASTESPOTTING! When living in Wash DC..a small Italian place with a bakery on the side, on P Street, had the most memorable pizza with caramelized onions on focaccio that has haunted me ever since. This version might just bring me back from the past!

  11. THis looks amazing! I’m loving caramelized onions right now and with the balsamic, I love them that much more. Perfect for a light summer dinner!