Here are all the best onion recipes to make starring this tasty root vegetable! It adds irresistible savory flavor to any dish.
Got a few onions on hand? Onions are key in a multitude of recipes to bring savory flavor to a dish. More than almost any other vegetable, onions are used widely across cuisines of the world. Here at A Couple Cooks, we have so many recipes with onions it’s hard to count! (Probably hundreds.) But we’ve got a good handful that feature onions as the star.
Here are all our best onion recipes! We’ve got quick pickled onions that add a bright zing to your tacos and pizza, or caramelized onions that add sweet savory flavor to dips and pizzas. Or try our three onion fried rice, a bowl of warm, egg-y, crispy rice with sriracha and silky mayo that’s some of the best comfort food around.
Here’s an onion recipe every home cook should know. How to sauté onions! These easy Sauteed Onions are a building block of the kitchen! You can use them on sandwiches, in grilled cheese, in dips, or even as a side dish. They’re tender, golden brown, and make anything more rich and savory: yet they only take 10 minutes to whip up!
Here’s a skill every home cook should master: how to caramelize onions! Now, you can sauté onions in just 10 minutes. But cook them over the span of an hour, and it releases their natural sugars in a metamorphosis-like transformation. The onions go from raw and pungent to silky smooth and deep brown. The flavor is something other-worldly: sweetly savory, with an irresistibly luxurious texture. They turn burgers, dips, and pasta to pure gold.
Next up in our onion recipes: pickled onions! If you’ve never tried these, now is the time! These tangy bright pink slivers are a perfect for topping tacos, sandwiches, and salads. They bring a bright zing to a dish that’s unlike any other condiment! Luckily, pickled onions are easy to make: though you have one hour to wait while they "pickle", the hands-on time is only about 5 minutes. Try them on our Mexican Pizza or Quinoa Tacos.
Roasting onions in a hot oven mellows their flavor until its deeply caramelized and sweet. Pair that with a hint of balsamic vinegar and herbaceous fresh thyme, and…just wow! Those simple flavors make an effortless side dish that goes with almost anything.
Here’s a pretty darn perfect onion recipe…if we may say so ourselves. Try these insanely delicious Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions! This recipe is truly exceptional. The amount of savory umami flavor you get from cooking mushrooms and onions with a little butter and Worcestershire sauce…it’s out of this world. Pair it with almost anything for an outstanding meal. They’re just as good in a vegan rice bowl as with steak!
There’s just something about silky caramelized onions topped golden, crusty cheese that takes your breath away every time. This is classic French cooking at its finest. It’s not just the flavor. It’s the promise that while the outside world is cold and brutal, every spoonful of soup is pure bliss. This vegetarian French onion soup is our spin on the classic: it’s so full of rich, nuanced flavor you won’t miss the traditional beef broth.
The grill does wonders to onions: the flavor turns from spicy to sweet and a little smoky! Grilled onions are a tender and charred version of their former selves, and the bright pink color is simply vibrant! Throw in red onions with a pile of other grilled vegetables because they add incredible flavor.
Looking for a healthy onion recipe where onions play side-kick? These sauteed peppers and onions are a rainbow of tender, caramelized flavor! Simply saute these veggies up in a pan: their sweet flavor and tender texture are truly irresistible! Even better: they’re full of nutrients and jam packed with Vitamin C. Eat them as a side or throw them in sandwiches, on pizza, or in tacos: you name it!
Onions are the star in this red wine caramelized onion dip recipe! Make it the centerpiece of an epic happy hour platter surrounded by veggies, chips, olives, and cheese! You’ll find people congregate around this dip because it’s just that good: loaded with caramelized onions that were simmered in red wine and cool sour cream. It’s perfect for dipping: potato chips are our personal fave.
The only thing better than roasted carrots? Roasted carrots and onions! Yes, simply adding an onion to your tray of roasted carrots makes them even more fun to eat. Add part of a red and yellow onion, and you get a beautiful variation in color and texture. The onion gets tender with charred tips, with an unbelievably sweet flavor. It’s the perfect accent to carrot coins, seasoned with garlic and thyme.
This fried rice recipe is all about onions! Three types, in fact: yellow onions, shallots, and scallions (also called green onions). But really any onions will do, be it, shallots, leeks, scallions, ramps — you name it! Saute the onions and then add day old rice, frying it up into crisp bites with savory scrambled eggs. A bowl of warm, egg-y, crispy onion fried rice with sriracha and silky mayo is some of the best comfort food around.
This savory tart is a stunning onion recipe that works for brunch or lunch. Fresh blackberries are combined with onions and a bit of balsamic to make a savory purple compote, which is smothered over a lemony, salty ricotta topping. And as a base: a savory tart crust made with whole wheat flour that’s flaky and crisp. Top it off with some lovely green thyme sprigs and you’ve got a truly beautiful and unique savory tart recipe.
Onions are perfect in raw salad recipes! One trick: if you're using raw red onion, rinse it or soak it in cold water for a few minutes before using it in a salad. It removes the harsh bite, leaving only the savory onion flavor. This cucumber tomato onion salad is seriously simple: pure ingredients that when marinaded bring together the richest of flavors. It's perfect as a side dish for meals on the patio or summer barbecues: it goes with anything and everything. And the flavor is like pure gold.
What's a better onion recipe than pizza? Here the onions are caramelized: cooked down on the stovetop until they turn caramely brown and sweet. Then they're used to top a pizza starring our best easy pizza sauce and thinly sliced raw Brussels sprouts. The sweet and savory onions make for a uniquely delicious pizza topping (if you're a pizza lover, here are 22 more).
Have you ever had onions...braised? Cooking this vegetable in broth in the oven makes it come out silky and savory. Combined with onions and carrots, these braised vegetables taste like they’ve been roasting under a chicken all day long! But they’re fully plant based and healthy, bursting with flavor that takes cozy to the next level. They're the perfect side dish for any special occasion, with the jewel toned purple onion and orange carrot.
Here's another onion salad recipe, this one a traditional German style cucumber and onion salad! It’s perfect for potlucks to patio barbecues to picnics, one of those salad recipes that accessorizes seamlessly with everything from salmon to a grilled burger. The thinly sliced cucumbers and white onions are salty, tangy, and lightly sweet all at once.
Last but certainly not least in these onion recipes: homemade vegetable soup! Here's an example of onions playing a crucial supporting role in the broth of a simple soup. It's cozy and comforting, made with noodles and straightforward vegetables like carrot, onion and celery. It's almost like a chicken noodle soup made only with vegetables...and it's full of hearty, savory flavor (thanks, onions!).
How to cut an onion
The most important skill to know when cooking with onions is how to cut them! If you haven’t mastered this skill yet, it’s our #1 building block for becoming a master home cook. Alex and I have a great method that’s easier than the standard way. Here’s our secret for how to cut an onion (see the video below!):
With a large chef’s knife, cut off the top and root end of the onion. Stand the onion on the flat cut side, and cut it down the center.
With your fingers, remove the paper and outer layer of the onion.
Place the onion half on its flat side, then cut slices parallel to the root end, leaving room at the end so that the slices stay attached.
Cut slices in the other direction, following the curve of the onion. When you’ve cut halfway through, flip the onion down onto the flat cut side and continue slicing. See the video for this part!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.