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

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 843 articles for us.


  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.

    • For the best results, make said recipe while listening to a Salena album or any spanish tune that will make you dance and sing out loud like an idiot.

  2. Bless you for this post! Onions are my second fav after sour gummy worms and get such a BAD rap from some folks. Interested in trying the onion tart–baking is not my forte. Gimme some raw onion on a dish anytime <3

  3. Thank you for these appealing recipes. If you are ever at an Iranian restaurant, they usually bring out bread, butter/margarine and raw cut onions before the meal. Italians have breadsticks we have onions.

  4. Onions are their own food group for me, considering how many of them I eat. Thanks for the recipes!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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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