18 Savory Onion Recipes

Grilled Pork Chops with Malt and Burnt Onion Glaze
Photo: © John Kernick

Not only are onions the perfect foundation for just about any savory recipe, but they also shine in starring roles. Here are our favorite sweet-salty, onion-centric recipes that make foolproof side dishes and main courses.

01 of 18

Baked Onions with Fennel Bread Crumbs

Baked Onions with Fennel Bread Crumbs

These simple, incredibly flavorful onions from chef Nancy Silverton are baked in the oven until they're falling-apart tender. Fennel seeds punch up the crispy breadcrumb topping.

02 of 18

Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Grilled Peach, Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

The secret to this salad is using big, juicy sweet onions like the Vidalias that Linton Hopkins favors, which get nicely charred on the grill.

03 of 18

Fennel-and-Sweet-Onion Pizza with Green Olives

Fennel-and-Sweet-Onion Pizza with Green Olives
© JOHN KERNICK

At Harry's Pizzeria, Miami chef Michael Schwartz uses brown ale and whole-wheat flour to flavor his chewy crust. Toppings can range from potato and house-cured bacon to this pie, made with Pernod-braised fennel, caramelized onions and Trugole, a semisoft Italian cheese that melts beautifully.

04 of 18

Chicken Livers with Caramelized Onions and Madeira

Chicken Livers with Caramelized Onions and Madeira

Rich-tasting caramelized onions combined with Madeira make a spectacular sauce for chicken livers. Serve with rice or over toast so you won't miss a single drop.

05 of 18

Free-Form Onion Tart

Free-Form Onion Tart
© Quentin Bacon

At Cavallo Point, school director Kelsie Kerr teaches the basics of preparing seasonal recipes. The buttery dough for her savory onion tart, for instance, is great with all kinds of fillings, like fruit.

06 of 18

Caramelized Onion Dip

Caramelized Onion Dip
Tina Rupp

The onion dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve with potato chips.

07 of 18

Crispy Onion Rings

Crispy Onion Rings

"There's nothing better than a simple tempura of a primo vegetable," states Peter Hoffman. For this sensational version, he coats thick onion rings in an ultralight batter and quickly fries them.

08 of 18

Gorgonzola-Roasted Mushrooms and Onions

Gorgonzola-Roasted Mushrooms and Onions

Roast for about 30 minutes, until tender, tossing once.

09 of 18

Slow-Roasted Sweet Onions with "Licorice" Powder

Slow-Roasted Sweet Onions with "Licorice" Powder

One of Michel Bras's favorite garnishes is a sweet-savory combination of ground almonds, dehydrated olives and demerara sugar (a coarse, raw cane sugar with a subtle molasses flavor); the taste reminds him of licorice. Here it serves as a topping for buttery-soft, slow-roasted whole onions.

10 of 18

Cheddar-and-Onion Smashed Burgers

Cheddar-and-Onion Smashed Burgers
© Marcus Nilsson

Inspired by the sliders at White Manna in Hackensack, New Jersey, Adam Fleischman creates beef patties by flattening balls of ground meat on the griddle.

11 of 18

Frothy Lettuce Soup with Onion Custard

Frothy Lettuce Soup with Onion Custard
Tina Rupp

This stunning recipe calls for a head of Boston lettuce per person, resulting in a soup with pure, intense flavors that is then poured over a delicate custard. It's a riff on petits pois à la française, the classic French dish of peas, lettuce and spring onions braised in butter and chicken stock.

12 of 18

Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread

Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread

This recipe is as fun to eat as monkey bread (little balls of yeast dough that are baked in a pan together, then pulled apart at the table) but a lot less time-consuming to make. Grace Parisi spreads her buttery biscuit dough with a savory onion-Gruyère mixture, stacks layers of it sideways in a loaf pan, then bakes it until golden and fluffy.

13 of 18

Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad

Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad
© Marcus Nilsson

Mike Price drizzles blood orange slices with a Greek olive oil called Iliada. Pressed from kalamata olives, the oil's gentle fruitiness and lack of bitter finish make it ideal for salads. If blood oranges aren't available, navel oranges or tangerines are excellent substitutes.

14 of 18

Pearl Onions au Gratin

Pearl Onions au Gratin
© Maura McEvoy

Inspired by the pickled pearl onions that became a family tradition ("Mom just served them straight out of the jar and threw a toothpick at them"), chef Barbara Lynch bakes fresh pearl onions in a mixture of cream, garlic, shallots and bacon, then tops it all with a crispy panko crust.

15 of 18

Grilled Gruyère and Sweet Onion Sandwiches

Grilled Gruyère and Sweet Onion Sandwiches
© YUNHEE KIM

F&W's Grace Parisi reinvents the classic grilled cheese.

16 of 18

Garlicky Mushroom-Onion Toasts

Garlicky Mushroom-Onion Toasts
© Fredrika Stjärne

Grilling guru Francis Mallmann is a master of efficiency. Here, he creates a delicious first course using only a cast-iron skillet, first toasting the bread in it, then quickly searing the mushroom, onion and garlic toppings right after.

17 of 18

Caramelized Red Onion Rice with Tamarind

Caramelized Red Onion Rice with Tamarind
Eric Wolfinger

In Fresh India, Meera Sodha uses sweet-and-sour tamarind paste to turn plain rice into a show-stealing side. The tamarind is essential here; find it at well-stocked grocery stores and Indian markets.

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Grilled Pork Chops with Malt and Burnt Onion Glaze

Grilled Pork Chops with Malt and Burnt Onion Glaze
© John Kernick

Chef Jim Christiansen likes grilling rich pork collar or blade chops because they stay nice and juicy. To make them sweet and sticky, he glazes the chops on the grill with a deeply flavored onion ash and barley malt syrup.

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