How to Dry Roast Onions

How to Dry Roast Onions ~ roasted onions are about as elemental as it gets when it comes to a delicious side dish. These beautiful red onions literally bloom in the high heat of a 400 degree oven, and come out tender and delicious!

I was all set to make red onion rings for you today. The big thick juicy kind. But over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading articles about problems associated with using oils at high heat levels. The old wisdom of choosing an oil based on its smoke point isn’t enough anymore. And all of the oils we associate with high heat cooking undergo unhealthy changes when heated. Some claim that only coconut oil, clarified butter, and lard are safe at high heat.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the subject, and we’re at that unsettling point where the old ‘facts’ are being debunked, but there’s no solid agreement on an alternative. At any rate is seems like a complete overhaul of my cooking oil cabinet will be in order very soon now.

So for the moment, lets not use any oils at all! Instead of the onion rings I’m going to dry roast these luscious red onions in a hot oven.

Take  your onions, either red, white or yellow, and cut them in quarters almost, but not quite, all the way through. My onions were on the large size, if yours are smaller, just make one slice.

Pry the onions apart a little bit and set them in a foil lined baking sheet or pan.

Roast them at 400F for about 2 to 2 and a half hours. The kitchen will smell amazing for that entire time.

Luckily there is no controversy about the fact that onions do very well with high heat. They will blossom and get all caramelized. Bon Appetit recommends drizzling the finished onions with browned butter, but I used my best olive oil and a generous sprinkling of one of one of my Spice Blends.

This is such an elemental way of cooking. It’s basically the equivalent of throwing the onions into the embers of your hearth fire and letting them roast away. It’s nice to know that while science is dithering over smoke points, trans fats and free radicals, we can still eat like kings.

5 from 11 votes

How to Dry Roast Onions

Dry Roasted Onions is about as elemental as it gets when it comes to a delicious side dish.  These beautiful red onions literally bloom in the high heat of a 400 degree oven, and come out tender and delicious!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sue Moran


  • small to medium red onions, do not peel


  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Use a sharp knife to slice through each onion almost into quarters, but not cutting through all the way, so the onion stays intact. Start your cuts at the top and leave the root end intact.
  • Pry the onions open slightly with your fingers and set them on a foil lined baking sheet or baking pan. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until soft and caramelized.
  • Serve the onions with a drizzle of olive oil, melted butter, or browned butter. Season with salt and pepper.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
how to dry roast onions pin

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  • Reply
    March 4, 2015 at 5:01 am

    This looks gorgeous!
    Would you eat these as a snack or what would you serve these with to make a complete meal?

    • Reply
      March 4, 2015 at 6:42 am

      I use them as a side dish, Hana. They go really well with steak.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    That onion looks so cool when it´s spread like a rose, great stuff.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 7, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I am also loving the coconut reprieve! I’ve been having some shredded coconut on my morning Greek yogurt lately.

    Gorgeous onion shots! Give me onions every day – love them!

  • Reply
    March 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    5 stars
    A very interesting point about oils. Deep fried foods don’t readily agree with me so dry roasting onions sounds delicious.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      I have to admit I was on a deep frying kick for a while, once I discovered I could do it in just a couple of inches of oil. I guess that guilty pleasure had to end sometime 🙂

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