Provençal Style Stuffed Onions are a wonderfully elegant and easy French inspired side dish that goes from holiday feasts to everyday meals.
stuffed onions celebrate a versatile veggie!
Onions are the workhorses of the kitchen and the foundation of so many billions of dishes across the globe that we forget how lovely and delicious they are all by themselves. I A platter of these would be spectacular on any holiday table from Easter to Thanksgiving!
which onions are best for stuffing?
Any type of onion can be stuffed, but I prefer to use sweet onions. Sweet onions have a slightly more flattened shape which I think lends itself to stuffing, and a mild flesh that bakes up beautifully. I used Vidalia onions for these, but you can find generic sweet onions right next to the regular onions in most supermarkets. I look for onions that are similar in size, and have one flattish end so they will sit upright in the baking pan without rolling.
how to hollow out onions for stuffing
Because of their layered structure onions are really easy to hollow out with a spoon. Most of the pulp will go right back into the stuffing so there’s no waste.
- With the flat side of the onion down, carefully slice off the stem end.
- Peel off the layers of onion skin and discard.
- Use a small spoon to carefully scoop out the inside of each onion, leaving a good layer of flesh around the perimeter, and making sure to leave the bottom intact.
- Reserve the scooped out bits, you’ll use them in the recipe.
what goes into stuffed onions?
Stuffed vegetables can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but here we’re going to super simple. I love the super easy laid back style of my Provençal Tomatoes and I’m looking to recreate that feel here. There aren’t a lot of exotic ingredients, just a simple aromatic bread crumb based stuffing.
- bread crumbs ~ there is a lot of leeway here, buy readymade or make your own!
- olive oil and butter
- alliums ~ garlic and shallot
- wine ~ white wine or a fortified wine like Sherry, or Marsala gives a little moisture and flavor to the stuffing. If you don’t do alcohol, use chicken stock.
- cheese ~ I use Parm, but any hard aged cheese will work.
- herbs ~ I use a dried blend of Herbes de Provence, and fresh thyme.
herbes de Provence is a classic French blend
I love any excuse to use my Herbes de Provence. Mine come in a little ceramic pot and I feel very continental whenever I sprinkle them on anything. Brands differ, but the mix usually contains savory, basil, fennel, rosemary, and sometimes chervil, marjoram, and lavender. (Or why not make your own blend?)
ingredient variation suggestions
This is a perfect idea for the non meat eaters at your holiday tables, and you could add all sorts of other ingredients to make it a heartier vegetarian dish. I have to say, though, I was really tempted to add some bacon or country sausage to this recipe. I’ll do that next time.
what would you serve with stuffed onions?
Apart from holiday menus, these Provençal style stuffed onions work well with steak, or pork and lamb chops. Remember Salisbury steak? That just popped into my head, I think they’d make a good pair since they’re both a bit retro. They would be right at home with your favorite meatloaf, too.
This recipe serves 2, so multiply the ingredients as you like. For Thanksgiving fill the onions with your traditional stuffing. You can prep them ahead and bake them when you’re ready.
we adore sweet onions!
- Sweet Onion Puff Pastry Tart
- Sweet Vidalia Onion Dip
- Vidalia Onion Pie
- Baked Caramelized Onion Dip
- Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions
- Chopped Chef Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing
- Sweet Onion Latkes with Chive Sour Cream
- Sweet Onion and Herb Quiche
Provencal Style Stuffed Onions
- 2 Vidalia onions, or any other variety, sweet or regular
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- white wine, Sherry, or Marsala
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 375F Oil a gratin or baking dish.
- With the flattest side of the onion down, slice off the top. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the inside of each onion, leaving a good layer of flesh around the perimeter, being sure to leave the bottom intact. Reserve the scooped out bits.
- Rub each onion, inside and out, with a little olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Set your onions in the baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, measure out 1/2 cup of the reserved onion flesh and finely chop it. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan and saute the garlic, shallot, and chopped onion for about 7-8 minutes, until softened. Add a splash of white wine to the pan and cook until absorbed.
- Take off the heat and add the herbes de Provence, bread crumbs, Parmesan, and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Fill the onions with the stuffing. Press lightly to fit the stuffing tightly in the onion cavity and then mound it up a bit on top. Dot with butter.
- Pour white wine into the baking dish to a depth of just 1/4 inch. Cover loosely with foil and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the onion is completely tender. The exact time is going to depend on the size and shape of your onions. Check with a small sharp knife, it should slide in without resistance.