Whole Roasted Onions

Plonk onions on a baking sheet without bothering to peel them. Shove in oven. Come back later for achingly sweet, tender, oniony goodness. Accept accolades. See how easy is was?

Some may scoff at the notion of calling this clever little tactic a recipe. We’re aware of this. Yet we consider it a reminder of just how simple it can be to coax onions to sweet, tender happiness. Though not quite as ungodly sweet as their caramelized cousins, they surpass them in terms of tenderness. And surprise.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC How Easy Was That? Note

We fancy these whole roasted onions plain, though you can gussy them up with all sorts of goodness when they come out of the oven, if you please, with all manner of deliciousness. A blob of butter. Crème fraîche. Olive oil. Balsamic or sherry vinegar. Blue cheese. Wee thyme leaves. You get the idea.

Whole Roasted Onions Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 1 H
  • Servings vary


  • Onions, as many as you please, unpeeled
  • Salt


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218°C).
  • 2. Plonk as few or as many unpeeled whole onions as desired on a baking sheet. Roast until the skins are deep golden brown and blistered and the inner parts are very tender throughout and yield when pierced with a sharp knife, an hour or longer, depending on the size.
  • 3. To serve, use a knife to slice across the top of each orb, discarding the top. Serve with salt at the table.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

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Anna Scott

Jun 12, 2011

This was such a wonderful recipe—what a thrill to put an onion in the oven by itself and let it roast. I used red and yellow onions just to test the differences. They both turned out wonderful and caramelized. The cooking times were right on. After they were ready, I drizzled them with olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of thyme. This recipe really makes you feel Italian. Loved it!

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Alexander Cowan

Jun 12, 2011

Simplicity at it’s finest! I opted to roast these on my outdoor gas grill. I heated the entire grill with all four burners blazing, then turned two of them off, and the other two down to low. This kept the temperature at a steady 450 degrees. I placed the unpeeled onions directly on the side with no flame, and grilled for just over an hour until they were soft to the touch. After cooling a bit, I sliced them up, sprinkled them with salt, and ate the onions right on the spot. I couldn’t believe how sweet and tender these were. I chopped up what leftovers I had with grilled broccoli and grilled tomatoes, tossed with prepared couscous, lemon juice, olive oil, feta, and salt and pepper. This is what I like to call a “bounty salad”—essentially anything that’s left over from the farmers market, grilled, and chopped into a salad. These were the perfect addition to the mix, and will be a perfect addition to any burger, taco, burrito, sandwich, light snack—well, you get the point.

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Karen Depp

Jun 12, 2011

This recipe is so simple, it’s sinful. Just plop a bunch of whole onions on a baking sheet for an hour, and there you have it: Perfectly creamy, delicious, steaming onions ready to be eaten alongside whatever else was in the oven or on the grill. Perfect with just some butter, salt, and lots of black pepper.

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Tracey G.

Jun 12, 2011

When I first saw this recipe, my initial reaction was, “this needs to be a recipe?” I skipped right over it. After thinking about it again, I decided that I had to try making them maybe I was missing out on something so obviously good. That hunch was correct. This recipe really strikes a trifecta of cooking goodness—easy enough to do, makes the house smell good, and tastes amazing. Don’t limit yourself to adding just one of the toppings Reusing suggests. I stuffed one onion with crème fraîche, blue cheese, and butter. Heaven.

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Kristin Cole

Jun 12, 2011

I’ll admit, I cry, cry, cry when I cut onions—big time, to the point where I try to avoid them whenever possible. So when I see a recipe that involves absolutely no chopping of onions, I’m ecstatic! This recipe couldn’t have been easier, and it filled my kitchen with delightful aromas. I didn’t have the patience to cut the onions up and add them to a proper dish so, instead, I just stood over my cutting board slicing off pieces and drizzling them with balsamic vinegar and sea salt. I also slathered some in honey butter. Definitely hit the spot.

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Amy C.

Jun 12, 2011

This recipe is simple and to the point. You really can’t go wrong. The onions I chose—sweet Spanish onions—were on the large side, so the roasting time took a few extra minutes. I wasn’t a fan of pulling off the skins, but other than that, the onions were a hit. I had a fresh baguette from the farmers market, and we served the onions on it, along with a mild goat cheese spread.

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Bette Fraser

Jun 12, 2011

I followed the recipe exactly, and although the skins didn’t blister, I don’t think that’s an issue. I topped the onions with some excellent balsamic and a bit of blue cheese. They were divine!

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Leanne Abe

Jun 12, 2011

This is such a simple way to prepare onions, but you end up with soft, sweet ones that just slip out of their skins. Obviously, small onions will take less than an hour, but mine took a good hour to soften all the way through. I sliced a bit off the bottom (so they’d sit flat), then sliced off the tops. I used a bit of butter and let it melt through the layers, then sprinkled on some salt. The onions don’t get caramelized edges like roasted chunks of onion do, but the texture is very velvety. I could see olive oil and vinegar being a nice touch, too.

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Jyoti D.

Jun 12, 2011

This recipe gives you a lot of bang for the amount of worked required. I roasted the onions for 1 hour and 10 minutes. After I pulled them out of the oven, I sliced off their tops and added a pat of butter to each. I let them cool slightly before peeling and quartering. I drizzled on a little bit of balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled them with freshly ground black pepper. It made for a very nice side dish. I could see using them on pizza.

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Linda Pacchiano

Jun 12, 2011

These onions are so simple to prepare, and absolutely delicious! I used Vidalia onions. They made their own sweet syrup as they baked. Salt is definitely needed at the table, since there’s no way to add seasoning during the baking process. I sprinkled them with salt and drizzled them with a little olive oil (a nice-tasting finishing oil). These onions could be a side dish with anything—beef, fish, pork, poultry, etc. One suggestion is to slice off a thin part of the root end before baking to help the onion sit flat in the pan.

Testers Choice
Abigail Corn

Jun 12, 2011

This was a delicious “salad. ” It took about an hour, since my onions weren’t very large. After baking, I let them cool for a while, and then cut them into quarters. I placed them on a plate and added olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and some fresh, curly parsley leaves. It was excellent—it looked nice, and was very tasty with grilled chicken and other sides for dinner.

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m pretty thrilled with this “recipe”.  I adore onions cooked until they are softvand sweet but hate, hate, hate peeling them.  I’m so sensitive to onioniness that I even cry when I’m chopping leeks.  Can’t wait to try this one.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re going to love this one, Amanda. I think it was created by someone very much like you…

  2. oh this is brilliant!  Mine are going on the grill!

  3. Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

    Dreamy, indeed! Would love to take a peek at that recipe, Michele…do you recall what book or magazine it’s from…? Would greatly appreciate it. Many thanks!

  4. Lisa Ghenne says:

    Thanks for the link love to my Balsamic Roasted Pearl Onions. I will have to give this recipe a try, sounds amazing. I am an onion freak, so I’ll try them just about any way you can think of!

  5. Annie says:

    love my roasted onions along with the garlic.

  6. Amy Pearsall says:

    Delicious! Thank you so much!

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