Simple Roasted Onions

Simple Roasted Onions

I call these Simple Roasted Onions because they’re so easy to make, but the fact is that the taste is anything but simple! They’re rich, caramelized, cooked until they’re just about melty, and absolutely fabulous! It doesn’t hurt to toss in a few garlic cloves like I do (optional) right along with the onions and let them do their thing, too!

Simple Roasted Onions

Simple Roasted Onions


While I might be missing summer (it’s October as I write this) there’s no doubt that some of my fave recipes are ones I like to make for fall/winter. Cozy, heat up the kitchen, aroma wafting through the house, roasted food is the best!

About Simple Roasted Onions:

Who would guess that something as common as an onion can be transformed with nothing more than a few ingredients and time. There’s olive oil & butter which roasts right along with the onions, and as it cooks down, turns into a lovely browned butter sauce.

That flavor is fortified with a little wine or stock and an herb or two (rosemary and/or thyme are both marvelous) and of course, the obligatory sprinkle of chives or parsley at the end.


Chance seems to be happy to be back home in Minnesota!

Making Simple Roasted Onions:

First of all, you’ll want to use small onions; there’s a lot of cooking time involved and the larger the onions, the longer it takes. Besides, small onions cook up so sweet! Try to get onions all about the same size, but if any are bigger, cut them down a bit so they’ll all cook at close to the same time. If any are larger, place them on the outside edges of the casserole.

This recipe can be made in any amount. If you’re going to increase, keep in mind that you might not need the exact proportions, especially of the olive oil. It’ll be a judgment call. So will the roasting times. Ovens vary a lot, different casseroles can change the timing. Just use a pan that’s not much larger than the onions.

Some people don’t remove the skins; I like to remove the skins and cut off both ends of the onions. I think there’s more opportunity for the onions to absorb flavor. Now, for the garlic, choose big, fat cloves, keep the skin on but trim off both ends. The roasted cloves will just about fall out of the skins.

While these are roasting, they roast first with just olive oil (it helps keep the butter from burning) and butter and a sprinkling of herbs along with some salt and pepper. That gives the butter/oil mixture time to brown (I know the pan looks a mess; that’s partially shadows and it cleans off easily). Check at about 20 minutes, then every few after that. As soon as that butter is beautifully browned, add the wine or stock and keep roasting.

You’ll want to check these from time to time, turning and rotating the onions if any are getting too done, basting them now and then, and adding in a little liquid if they are in danger of burning.

Your total time will be about 55 minutes to an hour. At the end, most of the liquid should be evaporated leaving behind just a bit of saucy oil/butter, the onions completely tender and browned and the garlic caramelized.

Roasted Mushroom Barley Risotto

Roasted Mushroom Barley Risotto with Simple Roasted Onions

Changing up the Flavor & Seasoning:

You can use common old onions as I have (just use small ones) or you can go fancier and use small varieties, even ones that are sweeter, or shallots. Read all about the different varieties of onions on Leafy Place.

Herbs can be varied. I mentioned thyme and rosemary, above, but tarragon would be beautiful and really you can go with any flavor profile or herbs that you like. Chives or parsley are perfect sprinkled over the top.

I love these made with wine, but use beef (or any other broth) instead of as you wish. I like white wine, but just about anything will work. Because these onions are so rich, you might like a sprinkle of red or white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar over the top before serving.

Stuffed Flank Steak with Wine Sauce

Stuffed Flank Steak with Wine Sauce

What to Serve with Simple Roasted Onions:

  • As far as the onions do, you can serve them as a side or you can spread them onto simple toast. I personally like the garlic on toast and the onions on the side.
  • I served up my onions this time with a vegetarian meal (coming soon) of mushrooms and barley. They really brightened up the dish. As a matter of fact, they stole the show!
  • A while back, roasted onions garnished my Stuffed Flank Steak with Wine Sauce. As you can see above, it took a few times to come up with a marvelous recipe for these onions – those were ok, these are fab!
  • Try these with a simple chicken breast, maybe with wild rice pilaf, or maybe alongside something longer cooking like a roast. (If your oven is at a lower temperature to accommodate a roast, cook the onions longer.)

How to Store:

Store your simple roasted onions in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days. Reheat in the microwave.

I recommend storing in another container instead of the baking dish. You’ll want to get that in sudsy water right away!

Saving Money on Simple Roasted Onions:

Onions are never gonna break the bank, but sometimes you’ll find smaller onions like these in net bags and they’re a bit pricier than your plain old onions.

I like to check out the bulk bins where (especially in the fall) where I can pick out the smaller ones – and not pay a premium price. Sometimes large bags of onions are all mixed sizes so you can pick out the small ones after you buy them.

At any rate, do know your prices for common items you buy all the time, like onions. Sometimes, we’re just resigned to paying whatever is asked, but the more you use an item throughout the year, the more it adds up. Prices can vary a lot in different groceries. Generally, larger bags are cheaper than buying by the onion, and the more “perfect” the onions, the pricier.

Well, guys, I’m still up in the Twin Cities, closing out all my business here. It’s crazy here, but I am so enjoying all the crunchy leaves and the gorgeous fall weather – when it hasn’t been raining, that is!! Fall is when I come alive!

Meals have been going by the wayside as things get packed away or sorted to sell, but finally, I decided I just have to make a little time every day to cook and/or eat! And blog! It’s where I find my zen! I hope wherever you are, you’re enjoying your zen, and the best fall weather has to offer, too. 


Simple Roasted Onions

Simple Roasted Onions


Simple Roasted Onions

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: American


  • 8 or so small onions, top and stem end removed and peeled.
  • 8 or so fat cloves garlic, both top and stem end removed, peel left on.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter per onion, in thin slices (about 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
  • salt & freshly cracked black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste)
  • a good pinch dried thyme
  • wine to come up 1/2 way the side of the onions (in a small casserole as shown, about 1/2 cup.)
  • A little red or white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to sprinkle


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of the casserole with a little olive oil. Arrange onions in a small casserole (they should just fit without a lot of extra room.) Add the garlic in any empty spaces. Drizzle the remaining oil over the onions. Top with a thin pat of butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a thin pat of butter on each onion.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the butter/oil is starting to brown. Add wine to a level halfway up the onions.

Continue to bake for another 35 to 40 minutes (about 55 minutes to an hour, total) basting now and then. Watch the level of the liquid as the onions roast, making sure to add a little more liquid if it looks in danger of drying out and/or burning.

When finished, onions should be golden brown, easily pierced with a knife, and the liquid at the bottom reduced to a syrupy sauce.

Serve warm.

Keywords: Alcohol, Beef Stock, onions, Wine

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10 thoughts on “Simple Roasted Onions

  1. Delicious! It’s amazing how some of the simplest things taste best!
    I’ve got an Argentinian friend in Barcelona, who owns a vegetarian restaurant – he roasts onions in their skins and then burns the outside with a blowtorch before serving.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Oh I bet it would be marvelous. I love charring up onions for pho And so many of the Mexican dishes I like. But other than just snitching a little piece now and then Never thought about it for serving. But I always love the drama of a torch.

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