Whole Roasted Onions

Whole roasted onions are surprisingly tender, mellow, sweet, and darn near almost effortless. Here's how to make them, including exactly how long to roast the onions.

Whole Roasted Onions Recipe

Plonk onions on a baking sheet without bothering to peel them. Shove in oven. Come back later for achingly sweet, tender, mellow oniony goodness. Accept accolades. See how easy that was?! Though whole roasted onions can’t quite compete with their caramelized cousins in terms of sweetness, these roasted onions definitely surpass caramelized onions in terms of easiness. And they’re every bit as versatile. [Editor’s Note: Some may scoff at the notion of calling this clever little tactic or technique a recipe. We’re aware of this. We consider it a wonderful reminder of just how simple it can be to coax onions to superlativeness.] This recipe has been updated. Originally published June 12, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Use Whole Roasted Onions

We fancy these whole roasted onions just as-is. You can also 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.
A dollop of crème fraîche.
A drizzle of olive oil.
A dribble of balsamic or sherry vinegar.
A crumbling of blue cheese.
A sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.
A lot of black pepper.
A dash of hot sauce.
A blob of butter, a crumbling of blue cheese, and a dollop of crème fraîche.

You get the idea. Or you can chop them and add them to all manner of other dishes to bring their spectacular loveliness to other ingredients.
Whole grain side dishes
Pan sauces or gravy
Grilled chicken
Roast beef

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 rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum oil or parchment paper. Roast until the papery onion skins are deep golden brown and blistered and the inner layers of onion seem yielding and tender when pierced with the tip of 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 or tossing it in the compost. Serve with a sprinkling of salt. Diners can unpeel the onion on their own, casting the papery onion skins to the side.
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