Instant Pot All-purpose Instant Onions

Four messy raw onions still with the skin on

Onions.  They go with everything, don’t they?

It’s the first step to so many recipes – heat oil or butter and saute onions, blah, blah, blah.  So simple.  But, time-consuming.  My baba would simmer onions on low heat in butter for what seemed like hours. They never browned and these aren’t caramelized.  They’re just wonderfully cooked onions.

My solution: chop and cook a lot of onions all at once in the Instant Pot.  Maybe use some now, freeze the rest to use later.  Then you’re covered when you need a fast topping for those frozen perohe (Sure, the box or bag says perogies but you’re stubborn and call them perohe). Or, you just want a head start on filling some traditional cabbage rolls or some summertime beet leaf holubchi.  All-purpose onions are here for you.

Jump to the recipe

First off, you’re going to chop up a lot of onions. If they make you tear up, at least you’re getting all of them done at one time.

Onions chopped to about an eighth of an inch dice. Two innocent whole onions await their fate.

Add those onions to the Instant Pot along with a stick of butter.  If you’re vegan or making the onions to prepare for Sviata Vecheria (the 12-dish meatless Christmas Eve dinner), use one cup of vegetable oil instead.  I’ve used canola and a canola/olive oil blend.

Seal it up and cook on Low Pressure for 5 minutes.

Cooked onions in a sieve

Strain the onions in a fine mesh sieve.  Chill the liquid in the refrigerator until the fat solidifies – reuse the onion-infused butter for frying. Discard the liquid.

Portion the 3/4 cups of the onions into individual small bags or containers and freeze.

Time saved!

In the traditional low-and-slow method of making this onion topping, you’re saving over an hour of time by using the Instant Pot.


  • Instant Pot
  • Fine-mesh sieve
  • A very sharp knife

Four messy raw onions still with the skin on

Instant Pot All-purpose Onions

These cooked onions give you a head-start on many recipes. Also, it's an instant topping for perohe or perogies.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Cuisine Ukrainian-Canadian
Servings 3 cups


  • 4 to 6 onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter OR clarified unsalted butter OR 1 cup of vegetable oil


  • Add the butter and chopped onions to the Instant Pot.
  • Set the Instant Pot to Manual and Low Pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Do a quick release.
  • Strain the onions using a fine mesh sieve.
  • Reserve the liquid and refrigerate - discard the water and save the fat for frying.
  • Use the cooked onions right away and freeze leftovers.


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3 thoughts on “Instant Pot All-purpose Instant Onions”

  1. Hi. Found this page because I have a hankerin’ for Kutia and wanted to use the instant pot. Was excited to see your reference of Culinary Treasures. It was our family book too!

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