Roasted Onions (Muffin Pan Method)

4.89 from 9 votes
1 hour 5 minutes
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Roasted Onions in a muffin pan have lightly charred, crispy edges and a sublime buttery soft sweetness! Clarified butter and beef base concentrate give this easy, intensely flavored side dish all the vibes of French Onion Soup!

EXCELLENT RECIPE!! I added a bit of shredded baby Swiss cheese to mine in the last 15 minutes. Incredible!! Thank you!

Roasted Onions on round plate.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Not everyone would consider onions to be a lovely side dish, but I sure do. I’ll take onions raw on grilled burgers or in a salad, as a sauce such as in marmalade, in an elegant caramelized onion tart and in every cooked dish possible. Fortunately, I married a man who shares my love of all things onion!

Even with my love of all things onion, somehow I hadn’t tried them yet as a standalone side dish. Then, I saw this muffin pan method on Food 52 and I simply had to try it!

Oven-roasted onions are mellow, sweet and caramelized with lightly charred edges. If you love all things onion the way I do, you are sure to love this roasted onion recipe done in a muffin pan!

This recipe for roasted onions:

  • Is easy!
  • Elevates the humble onion into a tender, buttery side dish.
  • Has an intense flavor that’s reminiscent of French Onion Soup.
  • Low-carb!

Let’s make ’em!

Close-up shot of Roasted Onions.

How to Make Roasted Onions in a Muffin Pan:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this roasted onion recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Roasted Onions in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Onions: I used small yellow onions that are usually sold in a bag rather than loose or bulk. Small red onions will also work in this oven-roasted onion recipe. It’s a good idea to have an extra onion or two on hand in the event the center of any of them is beginning to spoil.
  • Beef Base Concentrate: The Better Than Bouillion brand has a wide range of concentrates including vegetable, chicken, fish and seafood. Because using the beef base straight without diluting it with water as in this roasted onion recipe is so intensely flavored, I used the reduced-sodium beef base which still has plenty of salt. To make this baked onion recipe vegetarian, use a vegetable base.
  • Ghee: Ghee is South Asian clarified butter which is butter that has been simmered and strained to remove the water and milk solids. Ghee has a slightly nutty, almost caramel-like flavor. It’s shelf-stable with a high smoke point making it ideal for cooking. Ghee is different from French clarified butter which is made by melting fresh butter and then straining the clear butter from the milk residue that has settled at the bottom of the pot. It’s an easy process to do at home. However, the process to make ghee is more involved so it is something you probably want to purchase.
  • Salt: Even with using reduced-sodium beef (or vegetable base), the onions will be plenty salty so proceed carefully with any additional salt.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Peel the onions, removing all remnants of the fine outer skin.
  • Trim off any unsightly root ends, being careful to not cut too much off so that the onion holds together in the muffin pan.
Six peeled onions with some of the peels and chef knife on wood cutting board.
  • Cut the onions in half through the center to expose concentric circles. In other words, if the top of the onion is the North Pole and the root end is the South Pole, cut the onions in half through the equator. (See my Chef’s Tips and Tricks below as to why the centers of some of my onions are protruded.)
Peeled onions cut in half with chef knife on wood cutting board.
  • Place an onion half, cut side up into each muffin cup.
  • Sprinkle the onions with freshly ground black pepper. Even with reduced-sodium beef (or vegetable base), the roasted onions will be plenty salty so proceed carefully with adding additional salt.
Onions halves in nonstick muffin pan sprinkled with black pepper.
  • Roast the onions for 20 minutes or until they have shrunk a bit and the layers have opened up a little.
Onions halves in nonstick muffin pan after being baked for 20 minutes.
  • Top with even amounts of ghee and the beef base then brush both evenly over the onions. Alternatively, you can mix the ghee and beef base together then top the onions with the combination.
  • Return the onions to the oven and roast for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  • That’s it!! Roasted onions that are intensely flavored with a butter-soft sweetness and lovely, lightly charred edges!

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Occasionally you’ll cut into an onion to find that one or two of the layers is beginning to spoil which is what happened to me here and why my onion centers look protruded in one of my photos. I had to place them in the refrigerator and get more onions, so it’s a good idea to have an extra onion or two on hand in that event.
  • Use similarly-sized onions so they all cook at the same rate.
  • If any onion you purchase is just a bit too large to fit in the muffin cup, simply peel off a layer or two. Reserve those layers for another purpose.
  • Cleaning tip! Your muffin pan may look like it will never come clean. I let mine soak for about 30 minutes filled with hot, soapy water and Dawn dishwashing liquid and it cleaned right up!
Roasted Onions on round plate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are roasted onions good for you?

Onions in general are very good for you. While raw onions can be a little harsh (especially on your breath) oven-roasting onions make them easier to enjoy. According to Healthline, onions have a high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects that have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, lower blood sugar levels and improved bone health.

Which onions are best for roasting?

Although red onions will work in this recipe, yellow onions work best for oven-roasted onions. They have a strong flavor due to their high sulfur content which mellows out during cooking so they become sweet and flavorful. Yellow onions hold up to heat so they’re great for caramelizing and roasting.

Roasted Onions on round plate.

Storage:

  • Refrigerate any leftover oven-roasted onions. Reheat in the microwave or oven at 350 degrees. Roasted onions keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Serve with:

More great muffin pan recipes you’ll love!

Get all my vegetable side dish recipes at: Vegetable Side Dish Recipes – From A Chef’s Kitchen

Logo for From A Chef's Kitchen with gray oval border and green knife.
Roasted Onions on round plate.

Roasted Onions (Muffin Pan Method)

4.89 from 9 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Roasted Onions done in a muffin pan have lightly charred, crispy edges and a sublime buttery soft sweetness! Clarified butter and beef base concentrate give this easy intensely flavored side dish all the vibes of French Onion Soup!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Vegetables
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6
Calories 94 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Cooking spray
  • 6 small yellow onions - (red will also work)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ghee - (clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium beef base concentrate - such as Better Than Bouillion

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray each muffin cup of a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Peel the onions and trim off any roots, being careful to not cut off too much so the onion wil hold together.
  • Cut the onions in half through the center to expose concentric circles.
  • Place half an onion in each muffin cup cut side up.
  • Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the onions have softened slightly, sunk into the cups a little and the layers have started to open up.
  • Take the muffin pan out of the oven and top it with even amounts of ghee (clarified butter) and the beef base concentrate. Using a pastry brush, brush it evenly over the tops of the onions.
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake another 35-40 minutes or until soft and they can be easily pierced with a knife.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with any juices remaining in the muffin pan.

Notes

Occasionally you’ll cut into an onion to find that one or two of the layers is beginning to spoil so have an extra onion or two on hand in that event.  You can still use the good parts remaining from the bad onion in another recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Love these. Make them weekly just to have around. Although usually not many left after first coming out of the oven! Great with burgers and a nice grilled rib eye.

    1. Hi, Mikey, Thanks so very much and so happy you love this recipe! Yes, they’d be amazing on a burger or steak. Thanks again and appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  2. I would love to try these. Just curious if you mix the bouillon with anything first before spreading on the onions. It’s usually quite thick.

    Thanks

    1. Hi, Bev, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, it is thick, but when heated, it will thin out. The bouillon concentrate is mixed with ghee (clarified butter). Some readers have used plain butter with good results. Hope that answers your question. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. I LOVE roasted onions!
    Every time I make a roast chicken or beef, I always roast a half dozen onions with it for a small side dish. This is definitely amped up though, and I can’t wait to try them!

  4. Question… would just using butter instead of ghee be okay (what I have on hand)? How would it change the dish? It looks delicious!

    1. Hi, Julie, Thanks so much for your question. Someone on Pinterest did just use butter and they said it turned out fine. The thing about the ghee is, it’s less likely to burn. Hope you enjoy and let me know how it goes!

  5. 5 stars
    EXCELLENT RECIPE!! I added a bit of shredded baby Swiss cheese to mine the last 15 minutes. Incredible!! Thank you!

    1. Hi, Michelle, Thanks SO VERY MUCH! So happy you love this recipe and the addition of the Swiss cheese is a fantastic idea. Thanks again!

  6. 5 stars
    Your recipes never fail. You give wonderful, easy-to-follow directions (ex:North pole South pole, equator). I Love onions so I know I will be making these. Thanks for another great recipe!