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How to Saute without Oil (and NOT in water)

How to Saute Onions without oil

The consumption of oil is associated with a number of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, gallbladder disease, and arthritis. But how do you saute without oil?

No water! No broth!

I’ve seen many suggestions/recipes for sauteing in a little water or vegetable broth instead of oil, but (in my opinion) that method just doesn’t do it. The onions taste steamed, not sauteed.

Here’s a method that enables you to deliciously brown onions – without drop of oil.


How to Saute without Oil

1. Choose the right size pan.

You don’t want to crowd the onions, so be sure you use a big enough pan.

But you don’t want too big of a pan or the onions won’t cook properly.

Here are the pan sizes that I use:
For 2/3 cup of onions, I use a 6-inch pan.
For 1 1/3 cups of onions, I use a little larger pan. A 7- to 8-inch pan works well.
And for 2 cups of onions, I use a pan that’s about 9 to 10 inches in diameter.

2. Heat the pan

How to saute without oil

Heat pan over medium high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until very warm (hot enough to sizzle).

IMPORTANT! – The key to being able to sauté onions without oil is to brown the onions before cooking – when they first go into the pan – not during or after the cooking process, so be sure your pan is very warm.

3. Add onions.

Saute without Oil

Add diced onions and stir.

Use a pancake turner-type spatula to stir the onions. The flat edge works better than a spoon to keep onions from sticking to the pan.

Healthy Saute

The bottom of the onions should begin to brown within about 1 minute.

Continue cooking, stirring often, and allow onions to brown for approximately an additional 4 minutes.

How to Saute Onions without oil

When onions have browned, reduce heat to low and continue cooking until they reach desired doneness.

4. Add 1 tablespoon of water.

When onions are done, you can add about 1 tablespoon of water to pan and allow to sit for about 1 minute to get all the yummy brown goodness off the bottom of the pan.

How to Saute Onions without oil

Key to Success

This method takes a little bit of practice before you can get it right every time. The key to success is to have the pan hot enough to brown the onions before they begin to cook. The more the onions cook before they brown the more they will stick to the pan.

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Before you go . . .

No calorie counting. No portion sizes.

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