40 Recipes Celebrating Onion Diversity

featured image via Shutterstock

I love onions. This, coupled with my undying love of garlic, remains a source of playful contention between my girlfriend and me—sorry, babe! Onions arguably have a worse reputation than garlic. Sure, onions are pretty much everywhere, but they’re constantly getting dragged for “smelling bad” and “making you cry.” Raw onions get the worst of it. Caramelized onions remain the darling among onion variations. And don’t get me wrong: Caramelized onions are good. But raw onions are supremely underrated in America. They can elevate more than just cheeseburgers.

Indians understand the power and deliciousness of raw onions. So I like to remind haters that my love for raw onions is in my blood. When I was in India this past January, I was delighted by the tiny, cute, delicious red onions served raw alongside entrees in restaurants. My people. They get it.

But now that I’ve gotten my Raw Onions Propaganda out of the way, let’s focus on all onions. I don’t want to create an onion hierarchy but rather celebrate the underappreciated versatility of this veggie that comes in so many different sizes, shapes, flavors, and colors. Let’s celebrate onion diversity with these recipes that center the bulbous, pervasive veggie.


1. Avocado and Onion Salad


2. Raw Onion Relish

via Shutterstock


3. Vidalia Dressing


4. Southern Cobb Salad with Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing


5. Sweet Onion Salad


6. Grilled Green Onion Dip


7. Sour Cream Onion Dip


8. Mushroom and Onion Dumplings


9. Mushroom-Spring Onion Dumplings with Black Vinegar-Chili Dipping Sauce


10. French Onion Soup


11. Beef and Onion Stew


12. Green Onion and Watercress Soup with Cheese Croutons


13. Spring Onion and Pea Soup with Ramp Crostino


14. Rustic Onion Tart


15. Golden Onion Pie


16. Roasted Broccoli and Red Onions with Caramelized Shallots and Aioli


17. Onion Pakoras


18. Onion Rings


19. Ramp Butter


20. Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread


21. Flaxseed and Onion Crackers


22. Parsley and Sweet Onion Sandwiches


23. Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese


24. Bacon-Wrapped Vidalia Onions


25. Baked Onions with Fennel Bread Crumbs


26. Tex-Mex Baked Blooming Onion


27. Blue Cheese Vidalia Onion


28. Stuffing-Stuffed Onions


29. Braised Baby Onions with Orange Juice and Balsamic Vinegar


30. Spaghetti with Ramps


31. Onion Frittata


32. Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg


33. Onion Couscous


34. Raw Romaine Wrap Ups


35. Pork Chops with Whiskey Onion Gravy


36. Grilled Pork and Onion Tacos


37. Skewered Chicken and Red Onion


38. Moroccan Baked Fish with Onions


39. Baked Chicken and Onions


40. Spring Onion Cocktail


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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is a Brooklyn-based writer, television critic, and comedian who spends most of her time over-analyzing queer subtext on television, singing "Take Me Or Leave Me" in public places, and assembling cheese platters. She has a cat named after Piper Halliwell from Charmed, and her go-to karaoke song is "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch. Her writing can also be found at The A.V. Club and The Hollywood Reporter, and she wrote the webseries Sidetrack. You can catch her screaming in all-caps about Kalinda Sharma, Jennifer Lopez, and oysters on Twitter and Instagram.

Kayla has written 55 articles for us.

11 Comments

  1. all that is missing is a good Pico de Gallo recipe with a healthy amount of onion.

    – 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
    – 1/2 large white onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
    – 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño chilies, finely diced (seeds and membranes removed for a milder salsa >:| )
    – 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
    – lime juice from 1 lime
    salt and pepper to taste.

    Add some diced avocado with some love just like abuelita.

    Also, you can add onion to just about any street taco and it will be 10x better.

  2. Yum. I hadn’t heard of ramps so I looked them up, and this apparently means I’m not a hipster. But now that I have heard of them I want to find some and fry them up with some garlic scapes, so I can say I’m eating “ramps and scapes” which sounds kind of dangerous and exciting.

  3. Thanks for all the delicious looking ideas!

    Tip: If you’re a vegetarian wanting French onion soup, try using Edward & Sons “Not-Beef” bouillon cubes and a splash of soy sauce. I regularly trick meaters (typo, but leaving it) with their “not beef” and “not chicken” bouillon.

    Other tip: Onions make you cry a little less if you refrigerate them before you cut them.

  4. I am so happy that I saw this on the comment awards because I like onions quite a lot.

    This is a fact I found out after I learned to make Brunswick stew—which has 300 variations so something for everyone, even your cousin who likes squirrel

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