7 Dinner Recipes Enhancing Comfort Foods With Onions

The onion finds its way into an abundance of savory dishes, and the fact that so many variations of this vegetable exist make it all the more adaptable to various dishes and palettes (Epicurious has a helpful guide on onion varieties here). The onion’s taste works as a beautiful complement to cheeses, veggies, and many other ingredients. Whether you’re adding it to a tart, a casserole, or a dip — or simply roasting it up on its own — this vegetable is sure to produce favorable results.

Try these 7 savory and spectacular recipes to make onion a part of tonight’s dinner.

Baked Fontina Cheese Dip

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1. Cheesy French Onion Dip

In an inspired deviation from standard French onion soup, this Warm French Onion Dip from Chef Savvy is a taste of comfort food at its finest. The recipe combines creamy swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and mayonnaise with the soothing flavors of onion and garlic — plus a splash of white wine for added depth. The savory blend is cooked over the stove, then broiled to a bubbly, irresistible finish. Recipe takes an hour to make and yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

French onion dip:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 5 ounces beef consommé
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Swiss cheese, grated
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ tablespoon Swiss cheese, grated
  • ½ tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

Garlic cheese crostini:

  • 1 garlic clove, whole
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 thin slices of whole wheat baguette

Directions: For French onion dip: Add oil to a large sauté pan and add in onions. Over medium-high heat cook onions in a single layer for 30 minutes. Try not to stir the onions too much.

Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add in white wine and deglaze the pan, 1-2 minutes. Stir in beef consommé and bring to a simmer. Add in mayo, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese and pepper. Stir to combine making sure cream cheese has fully melted.

Take off the heat and pour mixture into a cast iron skillet or leave in the same skillet if it is oven safe. Top with Parmesan and Swiss cheese. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly about 2 minutes. Add parsley for garnish and serve immediately alongside the Garlic Cheese Crostini.

For Garlic Cheese Crostini: Add garlic, olive oil and salt to a mortar and pestle or a bowl. Crush the garlic in the oil (you can use a muddler if you do not have a mortar and pestle). This breaks up the garlic and infuses the flavor into the oil.

Stir in dried oregano. Spoon the oil onto each slice of bread. Top with parmesan cheese. Place in the oven under the broiler and bake for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy.

Pizza dough, flour

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2. Six-Onion Pizza

Saveur’s sweet and savory onion pizza highlights 6 different kinds of onion, all resting atop a hot, freshly-made pizza crust. White onions are heated and infused with spices to create a puréed stand-in for traditional tomato sauce, while leeks, shallots, red onions, scallions, and chives are combined for a flavorful compote to top off the dish. This recipe for Six-Onion Pizza yields 4 (12-inch) pizzas.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm beer
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the onion purée and compote:

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 sprigs thyme
  • 2 large white onions, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 8 ounces shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 8 ounces red onions, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 8 ounces finely grated pecorino
  • 5 scallions, very thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced

Directions: In a large bowl, stir together honey, yeast, and ¼ cup water, heated to 115 degrees Fahrenheit; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in beer and oil until smooth. Add flour and salt; stir with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1½–2 hours.

Make the onion puree: Heat 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, white onions, bay leaf, and salt and pepper in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft but not browned, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard thyme stems and bay leaf. Transfer onions to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth; set aside.

Make the onion compote: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining oil in skillet, add shallots and red onions, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Transfer to bowl with leeks, and stir to combine; set aside.

Uncover dough and cut into quarters; shape each quarter into a smooth ball. Lightly flour dough balls and transfer to a floured 9-by-13 baking pan; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1½–2 hours. Heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place 1 piece dough on a lightly floured work surface and flatten with your fingertips. Pick up dough circle and gently feed edges of dough between your thumbs and forefingers, letting the weight of the dough stretch edges until the circle of dough is 12 inces in diameter. Place dough circle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and working quickly, spread about 2 tablespoons onion puree over dough, leaving a ¾-inch border around edge; sprinkle evenly with about ¼ cup onion compote. Sprinkle one-quarter of the pecorino over onions, and transfer to oven. Bake until browned and crisp at the edges, about 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough balls, puree, compote, and pecorino. Sprinkle each pizza with one-quarter each of the scallions and chives before serving.

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

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3. Pearl Onion and Brussels Sprout Gratin

Miniature pearl onions are sautéed and smothered in creamy bechamel sauce in this warming dish from No Spoon Necessary. The onions pair exquisitely with sautéed brussels sprouts in a Pearl Onion and Brussels Sprout Gratin, which is topped off with a Panko, pine nut, and gruyere cheese topping. The dish is baked so that the top layer reaches a mouthwatering crisp, while the filling stays wonderfully warm and silky in texture. It takes 55 minutes to make and yields 4 servings. Feel free to substitute fresh bread crumbs in for Panko.

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Heaping ¾ cup gruyere cheese, grated (about 3 ounces)

Sprouts and onions:

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, outer layer of leaves removed, cut to roughly the size of the pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 8 ounces pearl onions, fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Topping:

  • ⅔ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of roasted garlic, minced (can substitute 1 large clove of unroasted garlic, minced)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Heaping ¼ cup gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 ounce)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the brussels sprouts: Prepare an 8-by-8 baking dish by brushing the insides with some of the melted butter. Add the brussels sprouts, remaining melted butter, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

Spread the brussels sprouts out evenly and roast until almost fork tender, about 15-20 minutes, tossing once halfway through baking time. Remove from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make the sauce: In a medium sized sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat, do not let brown. Whisk in the flour to make a roux, and cook, whisking continuously, until blonde in color, about 1½ minutes.

Slowly whisk in the half and half and increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer over medium low heat. Add sprigs of thyme. Cook until thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove thyme sprigs with a slotted spoon and discard. Turn heat off and stir in gruyere cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.

Prepare the onions: Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until light golden in color, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the topping: Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

To assemble: Add the pearl onions to the baking dish containing the brussels sprouts and stir to mix. Pour the sauce evenly over the vegetables.
Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly over top.

Bake uncovered, 20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and top of gratin is golden brown. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Onion Quiche, eggs, breakfast

Source: iStock

4.  Three Cheese Onion Tart

Tangy goat cheese, mild brie, and parmesan are wed in this tart, all bringing out the best in our extraordinary onion. Garlic, thyme, and white wine add a particularly distinctive character to the filling of Mommie Cooks’s Three Cheese Onion Tart, which is best enjoyed with a homemade pie crust (recipe below) — though a store-bought crust can also be used to save time. The recipe takes an hour and a half to complete and yields 1 pie of standard size.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2.5 ounces goat cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ pound cubed brie cheese
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

For crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons ice water

DirectionsFor the crust: Mix together the flour, sugar, fresh thyme and salt. Place the cubed butter into the flour mixture, a bit at a time and incorporate using a fork or a pastry cutter. A food processor also works well. Continue adding the remaining butter until a light crumb-like texture forms.

Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough just starts to come together. Form the dough into a ball and roll out on a flour surface to the size of your pie pan and about ¼-inch thickness. Place rolled dough into the pie pan and using pie weights or dry beans on top, slide into the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Let crust cool for about 5 to 10 minutes and proceed with recipe as written.

For the filling: Heat up the butter over medium heat and add in the sliced onions. Cook the onions for 25-30 minutes or until they turn golden brown and translucent. About 20 minutes into the cooking add in the garlic and thyme.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, half &half, white wine, broth, goat cheese and spices. Pour the liquid mixture into pie crust. Note that it will be pretty liquidy, about the consistency of thick water. Place the caramelized onions over the top. Place the cubed brie in next, being sure to disperse it evenly around the pie. Finally, sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

Carefully slide the pie into the oven and cook it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 50 minutes, or until eggs are set in the middle. Pull it out and allow to cool and set for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Onions, pan, cooking

Source: iStock

5. Buttery Creamed Onions

You’ll feel a smile spreading across your face as soon as you bite into these satisfying and simple Creamed Onions from Baked Bree. Buttery sweet onions, red onions, leeks, shallots, and pearl onions are combined with light seasoning and a cheesy cream sauce for a perfectly cozy and indulgent side dish. Baking your dish with the crumb topping will lend it a delightful crisp to complement the luscious interior. To prepare ahead of time, you can pour the filling into casserole dish — prior to adding topping — and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 sticks butter
  • 3 sweet onions
  • 3 red onions
  • 1 bunch leeks
  • 6 shallots
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Panko crumbs
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Directions: Slice and clean the leeks. Put the sliced leeks in a bowl of cold water and let the sand go to the bottom.

Slice onions as desired. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add several tablespoons of butter to the pan. Add the red and sweet onions, then season with salt and pepper. Cook until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. You do not want to caramelize them, but cook until very soft.

Take the first batch of onions out and put them in a bowl. Add more butter, along with leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10 more minutes. Take the leeks out, and add some more butter. Add the pearl onions and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, and remove.

Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, being careful to not burn it. Add the cream to the pan. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the cream begins to reduce. Add the onions back into the pan, then pour the creamed onions into either one large casserole dish, or individual ones.

Make crumb topping: Add the panko, Parmesan, parsley, and a few tablespoons of melted butter to a bowl. Add some pepper.

Top the creamed onions with the panko crumb mixture. Bake in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven until they are heated through and the top is brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes.

cutting onions

Source: iStock

6.  Roasted Shallots With Buttery Sweet-Tart Glaze

The Kitchn explains that shallots “are sweeter and more mild than either yellow or red onions,” also adding a pleasant crispness to salads, sauces, and more. This mild flavor works exceptionally with this recipe from Serious Eats, which calls for a bold sweet-tart glaze consisting of sugar, sherry vinegar, and thyme. This recipe for Roasted Shallots With Buttery Sweet-Tart Glaze takes 50 minutes to make and yields 6-8 side dish servings. If you’d prefer to make it ahead of time, the dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving. Note: Serious Eats notes that sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar can be used in place of sherry vinegar if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2½ pounds shallots, peeled, root end trimmed but left intact
  • Kosher salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in vinegar, add thyme, and simmer until a glaze forms, about 1 minute. Add shallots, season with salt, and stir turning ,to coat with glaze. Transfer to oven and roast until shallots are browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Onions

Source: iStock

7. Honey-Roasted Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onions were first cultivated in — where else? — Vidalia, Georgia, where a unique combination of climate and soil types resulted in a sweeter version of the standard white onion, writes the Kitchn. Roasting your Vidalia onions with this recipe from Food will result in a sensationally sweet and spicy side dish bursting with notes of paprika, curry powder, and honey. These flavor-packed Honey-Roasted Vidalia Onions will leave friends and family craving more! It takes an hour and 10 minutes to make and yields 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large vidalia onions
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel onions and cut in half crosswise. Place onions, cut sides down, in an 8 inch square baking dish, drizzle with water. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Combine honey and remaining ingredients. Turn onions over. Brush half of the honey mixture over the onions. Bake, uncovered, an additional 30 minutes or until tender, basting with remaining honey mixture after 15 minutes.

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