Food With Onions

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As someone who loves to cook and entertain, I’m always looking for new ways to use Food With Onions in my cooking. So far this year I’ve used them in appetizers and soups, salads, meat dishes and more. The onion, also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The shallot is a botanical variety of the onion which was classified as a separate species until 2010. Its close relatives include garlic, scallion, leek, and chive

Food With Onions

Onion Recipes- Onion doesn’t enjoy much popularity in its raw form. However, I don’t mind brushing my teeth for fresher breath after biting on those crunchy rings along with my supper. Without onions, my dinner is almost impossible. And whenever I order food, a neatly packed parcel, full of onions and cucumber slices makes my day. There’s no denying that even a small addition of this ingredient can heighten the taste and flavour of a dish significantly, it takes the gastronomic drama a notch up. Onions, when combined with certain other friends, can culminate into mouthwatering, spell-binding preparations. But so can onion recipes.

Talking of onions, I can’t help but recall my mother’s tomato-onion chutney which has me addicted to it even today. There’s just so much this pretty, pinkish vegetable has to offer. Apart from being an active ingredient in most chutneys, accompaniments, sauces and of course our everyday salads, onions are magical when used as the base for gravies and surprising when curried as the main ingredient.
 

What soothes my soul? – a teaspoon of oil, spluttering in the pan. Jeera or mustard seeds joining in to create a ruckus along with green chillies and a pinch of turmeric. Then, in goes chopped onion, sautéed till translucent followed by pressure cooked dal. Onions or the indigenous pyaaz, has the ability to morph into any preparation and offer scrummy delights to suit any time of the day or ocassion. From crispy onion rings, pakodas to zingy chutneys, relishes, curries, sandwiches, soups, salads and much more – there is just so much that can be done with this humble ingredient. And wait, how can we ever savour those dreamy masala omelets, pyaaz ki kachories, bhelpuri, jhalmuri and other myriad street food items and chaats devoid of onions?

This piece is a celebration of an ingredient present in almost every kitchen across the globe – onion. The subtle crunch that it brings to our salads and subs, the whiff of flavour and aroma that it renders to some of our best loved delicacies is not only matchless but also irreplaceable.

Showcasing the culinary expanse of onions are our best recipes that are beyond mouthwatering and absolutely hassle-free to dish out.

1. Bhuna Pyaaz

Onions are stuffed with flavourful masala and baked to perfection. Team these with a mouthwatering curry and you are set for dinner

2. Pyaaz ka Raita

The classic Indian accompaniment. Whip together curd, jeera, salt, chillies, coriander and chopped onions. 

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Perfect accompaniment for a summer lunch at home.

3. Cheese Onion Omelette

An omelette is the easiest thing to cook. Here is this dreamy concoction of beaten eggs, masalas, chillies and onions. Breakfast has never been so easy!

Make your everyday breakfast a bir more special with onion and parmesan and garnish with parsley.


4. French Onion Soup

Master the art of creating this French classic and plate it along with a feather-light cheese soufflé. Perfect for a chilly winter evening.

The perfect balance of feather-light cheese souffle and onion soup.


5. Onion Marmalade

Try this savoury jam made of onions that goes well with almost everything – toasts, sandwiches or meaty preparations.

onion marmalade recipe

A savory jam that goes perfect on the side with meat or toasts.


6. Pyaaz ke Kebab

Here’s a Pakistani speciality that will add fireworks to evening party. Served as an appetizer with a walnut, jaggery and tamarind sauce. Soft, tender and extremely flavourful!

pyazi kebab

Relish these kebabs as a starter with your favourite chutney.

7. Onion Rings

Sliced onion rings coated in batter and deep fried to a crispy perfection. These golden onion rings are a perfect accompaniment with burgers and fish or can be eaten as a snack with a hot cup of tea.

Onion Recipes That Make Onions The Star of the Meal

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  • Hot-Pink Pearl Onion PicklesThese sweet and very tangy neon pickles pair best with grilled meats, stews, and braises.
  • Olive oil confit chicken thighs with onions and Yukon Gold potatoes on a white plate.
  • Olive Oil–Confit Chicken with Cipolline OnionsWhat happens when you cook with a lot of oil? Magic. Because oil conducts heat much more efficiently than air, foods that are confited in it, like these chicken thighs, come out incredibly moist and infused with the oil’s flavor.
  • French onion soup in a white ovenproof bowl topped with melted cheese on bread.
  • Our Favorite French Onion SoupIt ain’t French onion soup without a glorious cheese toast on top. Grate on some Gruyère and put it under the broiler.
  • Image may contain Spaghetti Food Pasta Dish and Meal
  • My Mother’s Butter, Tomato, and Onion SauceThe classic, beloved Marcella Hazan pasta sauce is made with just four ingredients and couldn’t be easier.
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  • Ramp FrittersThese crispy little fritters taste like a three-way cross between onion tempura, blooming onion, and onion rings. If you can’t find ramps, use thin scallions.
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  • Stuffed Onions with Spiced Lamb and PomegranateMake these Middle Eastern-inspired stuffed onions with rice and lamb and top everything off with a handful of pomegranate seeds.

A Guide to 6 Different Types of Onions and How to Use Them

Onions are a staple in every kitchen—whether they’re caramelized and used to top a burger or cooked underneath your Sunday roast—onions are a flavor powerhouse. They are sweet, savory, and pungent all at once, adding extra depth to any dish. Selecting the right kind of onion for cooking with will give your dish the tastiest results. Here’s a helpful guide to each type of onion and ways to use them.


1. Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are your go-to cooking onions. This onion has yellow skin and a strong flavor due to its high sulphur content, which mellows out during cooking, becoming sweet and flavorful. Its ability to hold up to heat makes it great for caramelizing and roasting.

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How to Cook With Yellow Onions

  • 1. Caramelized. Caramelized onions are produced when the naturally astringent vegetable is slowly cooked in fat over low heat, triggering the caramelization process and resulting in a delectably soft and sweet end product with a vastly different texture and flavor from its raw form. Caramelized onions work well in egg dishes like frittatas, omelets, and as toppings on sandwiches and burgers.
  • 2. Roasted. Onions are halved, tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and roasted at a high temperature until golden brown on the edges. Try placing onions underneath chicken while roasting to soak up all the flavors.
  • 3. Sautéed. For quick browned onions that have a stronger onion flavor, try sautéeing them in a few tablespoons of butter for about 10 minutes. These are great on sandwiches like the patty melt or served over steaks. Learn more about cooking steaks in our guide here.
  • 4. French onion soup. Classic French onion soup is made by simmering caramelized onions in beef stock, bay leaves, and thyme. The finished soup is topped with toasted bread covered in gooey Gruyere cheese.
  • 5. French onion dip. French onion dip is made with a base of sour cream and flavored with minced onion, onion powder, garlic powder, and usually served with potato chips. To elevate your dip, trying caramelizing the onions before adding to the mixture.
  • 6. French onion tart. Onion tart, similar to quiche has a filling made from caramelized onions, eggs, cream, and gruyere cheese. The filling is placed in a tart shell and baked until puffed and brown. Learn more about tarts in our guide to pastry fundamentals here.

2. Red Onions

Red onions are subtly sweet and mild enough to eat raw. The vivid magenta color of their skin makes a great addition to salads and salsas. If you find the flavor too strong when raw, try soaking them in cold water before using.

How to Cook With Red Onions

  • 1. On sandwiches and burgers. Slice raw red onions into thin rings and use them for a satisfying crunch on your sandwiches and burgers.
  • 2. Salads. Raw onions can add a nice bite to salads, although they can have a pungent flavor. To reduce the smell and strong taste, try placing your cut up onions in a colander and rinse them under cool running water before using. For more salad ideas, find our guide to salads here.
  • 3. Grilled. Slice red onions into ½-inch thick slices, brush with olive oil and grill over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes. Enjoy as a side dish or use them to top burgers and steaks.
  • 4. Balsamic roasted onions. Red onions oven-roasted with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. These sweet tender onions make a simple side dish, or make a tasty addition to sandwiches and salads.
  • 5. Pickled. Place sliced red onions into a canning jar. Use a ratio of 2:1:1—2 parts water, 1 part sugar, and 1 part vinegar. Adjust the amount of pickling liquid to match the size of the batch of pickled onions you want to make. If you are unfamiliar with ratios, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup of vinegar in a 16-ounce canning jar is a good place to start. How many onions you use will depend on their size. Combine the water, sugar, and vinegar into a saucepot and bring to a simmer. Once all of the sugar has dissolved into the liquid, pour the hot pickling liquid over the red onions to submerge them and seal the jar. Make perfect pickled red onions with Chef Thomas Keller’s pickles recipe here.

3. White Onions

White onions have a white papery skin and mild flavor that makes them easy to use in salads and sandwiches. Although they are similar to yellow onions, white onions are sweeter and cleaner in flavor.

How to Cook With White Onions

  • 1. Salsa. This popular condiment, also known as salsa Mexicana, is common in most Mexican restaurants. This tomato-based salsa is made with lime juice, chiles, cilantro and finely chopped white onion. Learn how to chop an onion here.
  • 2. Guacamole. Traditionally, guacamole is made with white onion, mashed avocados, fresh lime juice, jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro. The white onions give it a clean flavor and crisp texture.
  • 3. Mexican food. White onions are commonly used in other Mexican cuisine, served finely diced over tacos, burritos, nachos, and meat dishes.
  • 4. Sandwiches and burgers. Try thinly sliced white onions on sandwiches and burgers for a crunchy texture and an oniony bite.
  • 5. Pizza. For an easy addition to pizza, try thinly sliced white onions scattered on top before baking.
  • 6. Substitute onions. When you’re in a pinch, you can use white onions in place of yellow onions in cooking.

4. Sweet Onion

Sweet onions are larger than yellow onions, with a light skin. As the name suggests, sweet onions have sweet flavor due to a high sugar content, making them great for sauteing and caramelizing. Sweet onion varieties include Walla Walla, Texas Sweets, Maui, and Vidalia.

How to Cook With Sweet Onions

  • 1. Tomato Salad. Slice sweet onions thinly on a mandoline and combine them with tomatoes, basil, and vinaigrette for a simple salad. Find Chef Thomas Keller’s classic vinaigrette recipe here.
  • 2. Relish. A sweet and tangy onion relish pairs well with steaks or served as an appetizer on toasted baguette slices. Learn how to make baguettes at home with our recipe here.
  • 3. Onion jam. Sweet onion jam is made from caramelized sweet onions with vinegar. It goes well with roasted meats, poultry, and grilled fish.
  • 4. Onion rings. A popular appetizer made from thick cut slices of sweet onion battered in a flour mixture and fried until crispy. Onion rings can be served with a side of ketchup for dipping.

5. Shallot

A shallot is a member of the allium family, closely related to onions, garlic, and chives. Whether diced, minced, or slivered, shallots are used for seasoning dishes, either with a soft onion undercurrent or a pop of sharp acidity similar to a hint of garlic. They can also be used to brighten vinaigrettes. Their flavor is milder and more delicate than that of a regular onion (though they can usually be used in place of white onions, and vice versa).

How to Cook With Shallots

  • 1. Vinaigrette. Shallot vinaigrette is a simple dressing made from minced shallots, garlic, oil, and vinegar.
  • 2. Salad. Raw shallots make a great addition to salad dressings, and if you find them fresh, their green tops can be used as an aromatic seasoning or garnish, similar to spring onions.
  • 3. Roasted. Shallots are delicious roasted whole and essential to sauce Béarnaise.
  • 4. Pickled. Shallots can be thinly sliced and quick pickled in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for an hour and then use on your favorite burgers, tacos, and sandwiches. Use leftover flavored vinegar mixture in salad dressings.
  • 5. Caramelized. To caramelize the shallots, melt unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, sliced crosswise into rings (or halved and sliced into half moons), and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots begin to brown; turn heat to low and cook until they soften but do not burn. Top with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy as a condiment on a cheese plate or on toast. Shallots can also be caramelized whole: remove their papery outer skins, and toss in a skillet over medium-high heat with butter and 1 tbsp sugar until beginning to brown. Transfer to a baking dish, add a splash of Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cook in a 400°F oven until tender and outside is deeply caramelized and golden brown.

6. Scallions

Scallions, or green onions, are fresh young onions identified by their slender shape and mild flavor. The white stalk has the same sharp, sulfur-y taste characteristic to all alliums, albeit with less bite, while the dark green leaves have a fresher, grassy flavor. When just harvested, scallions give off a strong onion smell that’s noticeably bright and earthy, with notes of garlic and apple.

How to Cook With Scallions

  • 1. Garnish for soups. Scallions give a delicate flavor and texture to miso soup and Asian noodle soups.
  • 2. Baked goods. Try adding scallions to cheddar muffins, biscuits and cornbread to serve alongside comfort foods like chili and stew.
  • 3. Grilled. Whole scallions are delicious grilled—the leaves become charred, the whites tender and sweet, and the toasted roots have a nice crunch, like an onion chip.
  • 4. Chinese Stir-fry. Many stir-fry recipes call for separating the whites and the greens. This method mellows out the sharp flavor of the bulb, while allowing the raw greens to stay fresh as a garnish.
  • 5. Asian cuisine. Chef Gordon Ramsay uses scallions frequently in his Asian flavored dishes, such as Szechuan Chicken Breast with Udon and Hoisin Chicken with Pickled Daikon.

Why are onions good for you?

Onions belong to the Allium family of plants, which also includes chives, garlic, and leeks. These vegetables have characteristic pungent flavors and some medicinal properties.

Onions vary in size, shape, color, and flavor. The most common types are red, yellow, and white onions. The taste of these vegetables can range from sweet and juicy to sharp, spicy, and pungent, often depending on the season in which people grow and consume them.

Farmers have cultivated allium vegetables for centuries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, China is the biggest producer of onions worldwide.

It is common knowledge that chopping onions causes watery eyes. However, onions may also provide potential health benefits. These may include reducing the risk of several types of cancer, improving mood, and maintaining skin and hair health.

In this article, we discuss the possible benefits of onions, their nutritional content, and how to include more of them in the diet.

Benefits

Onions might have positive effects on several different aspects of health.

Cancer prevention

red and white onions
The antioxidants in onions may help counter free radical compounds.

Researchers have examined allium vegetables extensively in relation to cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancers.

A 2019 study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology compared 833 people with colorectal cancer with 833 people who did not have the disease.

The researchers found that the risk of colorectal cancer was 79% lower in those who regularly consumed allium vegetables, such as onions.

Experts do not fully understand the exact mechanism by which some compounds in onions inhibit cancer. Some hypothesize that onions inhibit tumor growth and cell mutation.

One cup of chopped onions also provides at least 13.11%Trusted Source of an adult’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C. As an antioxidantTrusted Source, this vitamin helps counter the formation of free radical compounds that have links to cancer.

One review from 2015Trusted Source found a general relationship between an increased consumption of allium vegetables and a reduced risk of cancer, especially cancers of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.

The authors note that there are compounds called organosulfurs in onions, some of which suppressed aspects of tumor growth. However, they conclude that not all organosulfurs have antioxidant properties.

Further research is necessary to confirm which compounds in onion have protective effects against cancer.

The review also highlighted gaps in the research to date. The authors suggested that onions and other allium vegetables do not prevent cancer in isolation but work in tandem with other lifestyle factors to reduce the risk.

They also advised that while research has revealed some associations between allium vegetable consumption and reduced cancer risk, the amount that a person needs to consume to get the maximum benefit is not yet clear.

Skin and hair

As a good source of vitamin C, onions may support the building and maintenance of collagen.

Collagen provides structure to skin and hair.

Blood pressure moderation

A 2019 reviewTrusted Source found that quercetin, a compound in onion skin, had links to lower blood pressure when the researchers extracted it and administered it as a supplement.

However, the study did not examine the potential effects on blood pressure of eating onion as part of the diet rather than taking quercetin in supplement form.

Nutrition

Onions are a nutrient-dense food, meaning that they are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being low in calories.

One cup of chopped onion providesTrusted Source:

  • 64 calories
  • 14.9 grams (g) of carbohydrate
  • 0.16 g of fat
  • 0 g of cholesterol
  • 2.72 g of fiber
  • 6.78 g of sugar
  • 1.76 g of protein

Onions are a good source of the following nutrientsTrusted Source, according to the recommended daily allowance (RDA) and adequate intake (AI) values from the Dietary Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source:

NutrientPercentage of daily requirement in adults
Vitamin C (RDA)13.11% for males and 15.73% for females
Vitamin B-6 (RDA)11.29–14.77%, depending on age
Manganese (AI)8.96% for males and 11.44% for females

Onions also contain small amounts of:

  • calcium
  • iron
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • the antioxidants quercetin and sulfur

Risks

Onions pose few risks to the people who eat them.

However, some people may have an allergy or intolerance to onions. Anyone who experiences a reaction after eating them should be sure to seek medical attention.

Why does chopping onions cause tears?

Onions have a reputation for making people cry during the cutting or chopping process. This response occurs due to the presence of a gasTrusted Source called syn-Propanethial-S-oxide.

This chemical is a compound liquid that acts as a lachrymatory agent, meaning that it causes tears or stings the eyes.

To reduce tears during chopping, the National Onion Association recommend chilling an onion for 30 minutes then cutting off its top. The person should then peel the outer layer of the onion and leave the root intact, as this part has the highest concentration of lachrymatory agents.

Despite the tears that they can produce, onions can be a healthful addition to any eating plan. However, a person’s overall eating pattern is most important in disease prevention and good health.

Diet

When selecting onions, people should look for those that are dry and firm with little or no scent before peeling.

Including onion in a dish is a great way to boost the flavor without adding calories, fat, or sodium.

Onions are a staple in many kitchens and complement most dishes. People can use raw chopped onion in a sandwich filling or as a salad topping. This vegetable also makes a tasty addition to salsas and dips.

Healthful recipes that include onions as a primary ingredient include:

  • Pickled onions
  • Spanish potato and onion omelet
  • Dairy-free onion dip

They also taste great when people sautee, roast, grill, or caramelize them.

Although onions make a great addition to a balanced, healthful diet, people should eat a variety of foods rather than concentrating on individual options.

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