Chef Tune's Sweet Onion Sauce for Burgers & Brats

Reminiscent of the onion sauce he grew up eating on hot dogs in the New York City tri-state area, Chef Shannen Tune created this amazing sweet Onion Sauce/Relish, perfect for topping hot dogs, bratwursts, burgers, and more.

This recipe was created for RealSweet by celebrity chef and Food Network Chopped champion, Chef Shannen Tune of and

  • ½  cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste (or substitute ketchup)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon-style mustard 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced thin
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  1. Combine the water and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk until there are no lumps.
  2. Whisk in the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and hot sauce.
  3. Warm the oil in a large skillet, not a non-stick, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with the salt. This helps pull the moisture out. Stir onions around occasionally with a wooden spoon so they don't burn. Cook until the edges start to brown. Whatever you do, do not let them burn. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the liquid mixture, stir, and rub the pan with the wooden spoon to scrape up all the flavorful fond (the brown bits on the bottom).
  5. Turn the stove to low and simmer with the lid on for 1 hour. Check frequently to make sure it is not burning and the water has not evaporated. Add water if needed. The final result should be thick – not runny, but not pasty. Taste and adjust salt and other flavors as you wish.
  6. Serve on hot dogs, sausages, or hamburgers. 

If you like this recipe, try Chef Tune's Sweet Onion Smash Burgers!

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

1 hour


6 servings