Sweet & Savory Roasted Balsamic Onions - low carb & AIP
These Roasted Balsamic Onions are the perfect sweet and savory mix, a simply gorgeous colorful side dish--perfect for every day or entertaining.
The onions turn out surprisingly buttery soft with a delicious flavor that compliments any meal.
Today I have a fun new recipe for you all--Balsamic Baked Red Onions. I actually have never made baked onions before (in fact I have never done much at all with red onions), but well, here's how this recipe came to be.
I'm all about saving money, and that means that whenever possible I try to buy everything in bulk.
And I do mean just about everything.
I sometimes make mistakes and overbuy something (some things do go to waste), but overall I think I do a pretty good job of taking advantage of low prices and using up pretty much all that we purchase before it goes bad.
Having a few deep freezers has really helped us take advantage of savings like these.
Here are some examples of things that I buy in bulk.
All grains (we don't buy as many grains these days since we're eating more low carb, but I do still buy some)
Spices (I tend to purchase spices in at least 1/4 pound sizes, if not 1 pound sizes)
Salt (I buy huge bags of Real Salt)
Chicory and Dandelion Root for my DIY Coffee Substitute
Fruits and Vegetables (either from a store sale or at the end of the day at the Farmer's Market)
Meat - whenever I get deals on Free Range Leg of Lamb, Free Deer Meat and more.
I even bought Bulk Organic Cocoa this past month -- might have overdone it, but we do love it around here!
The Purchase That Led to This Recipe
Anyhow, I just participating in a food group buy a few months ago with Azure Standard. If you haven't tried shopping at Azure before, you really should check them out. They have great deals and fabulous customer service.
So this past month, they had an amazing deal on Organic Red Onions.
I really hadn't ever done much with red onions before, but when there's a huge deal on something, I try to figure out what I can do to take advantage of the deal.
So I asked friends what I could do with all of these onions (it was a LOT -- 50 pounds!) and most of them said that I would have to freeze or dehydrate them, and that if you dehydrate them your house can easily reek for weeks.
Now, I am kind of OK with that because I have my trusty DIY Purify Essential Oils Blend that is great for all kinds of unwanted scents, but I really wanted to figure something else out.
So I turned to the internet.
The Baked Red Onions Recipe
We've been trying to mix it up by changing up our vegetable dishes recently. We get in a rut having the same thing over and over again (think salads, broccoli and cauliflower rice) so I was really excited to try something new.
Baked Red Onions was the recipe that most intrigued me, though there are a few more that I thought I might try.
So I bought them....all 50 pounds of them.
Much to my "totally don't love cooked onions" oldest son's chagrin.
I tried a few recipes that I found online, but they all weren't quite right, so I upped the seasonings and added in a few things, and well, the resulting Balsamic Baked Red Onions recipe was a real hit with everyone. Except for my oldest. Sigh. I guess there's no way around that no matter how lovely the onions are :).
Red Onions are sweeter than yellow or white onions, so they typically are used in recipes where fresh onions are called for, like this AIP Guacamole. AIP stands for either Autoimmune Paleo or Autoimmune Protocol. The diet restricts certain food groups that are considered to cause inflammation. I will be writing more about it in the future.
But they have a lovely flavor when cooked and they really shine with the seasonings in this dish, plus they have lots of nutritional benefits to them.
Peels On or Off?
You'll notice from the photos that I left the peels on for baking.
There are several reasons for this.
One - they are pretty. I like the way that they look baked with the peels on :). And pretty is good for your health.
Two - they are easier to eat this way. My son commented on this -- if you bake these without the peels, they can turn to mush and be kind of hard to eat, but this way they have a nice little "container" that holds the onion halves for you on your plate.
Three - so much of the nutritional benefits of red (and all) onions lurks near the peel. So it makes sense to cook onions (that are well washed) with peel on and not to toss the onion closest to the peel. (source)
By baking the onions in their peels, you will be more likely to eat all of the onion, rather than tossing the nutritious part just below the peel.
So on with the recipe.
I made a double batch of these Baked Red Onions, and we gobbled them up.
Since then, we've made them numerous times, and they keep disappearing.
They are great on their own, plus they make a fabulous topping for your favorite dishes. Just this week we've baked the onions, and then chopped them and added them on top of our current favorite chili recipe (recipe coming soon).
- Cutting the onions in half so that the stem is in the center of the cut half makes for a better presentation.
- Oil choice: I recommend choosing an oil based on its smoke point, and avocado oil has a very high smoke point. Please choose your oil based on the oven temperature that you will be using.
- Any sweetener can be substituted for the xylitol. Although xylitol works well for low carb, organic erythritol works as well. Organic maple syrup, honey, or organic coconut sugar are great AIP options. As noted in the recipe card, we also like Lakanto. Use code wholenewmom to get 20% off your order.
Special Diet Options
- AIP: For AIP, use 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of both liquid smoke and this AIP Taco Seasoning for the paprika. Use organic maple syrup, honey, or organic coconut sugar for the sweetener.
- Low-carb: Use 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar or organic red wine vinegar plus 1/2 teaspoon xylitol instead of balsamic vinegar.
Balsamic Baked Red Onions - low carb & AIP
- 2 pounds red onions (small to medium)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (regular is OK too but smoked is nicer - see Recipe Notes for AIP)
- 2 tablespoons low carb sweetener
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- Wash onions.
- Cut onions in half and place in a bowl.
- Mix other ingredients and pour over onions.
- Toss to coat.
- Place onions flat side down in a baking dish and drizzle with any remaining spice mixture.
- Bake in 450 oven for 30-40 minutes (40 makes them softer and easier to digest). Alternatively, bake at 350 for 1 hour or more to desired doneness.
- Serve with the skins on and the extra balsamic liquid either drizzled on top or offered on the side.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's great for an every day side dish and pretty enough for a special occasion as well.
What is your favorite recipe that uses red onions?
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds wonderful. What can I use instead of xylitol? I don't have that in the house because we have dogs.
Hi there! There were some other options mentioned in the Recipe Notes and I added another option to the Recipe Card as well. Hope that helps!
Do you bake these with the flat (cut) side down or up?
You could do either but flat side down is the better way to do it so that a larger area marinates in the juices. Enjoy!
I just updated the recipe to make it more clear. Thanks for a good question!
Paprika is not allowed with the AIP. Have you tried it without this spice? Thanks!
I have not but just added in an alternative to the recipe. Hope it works well--I think it will!
Could these be done in an air fryer (convection oven)?
I have never used one. Convection yes but I think an air fryer is different. I hope to try a fryer soon - do you have one that you recommend?
Oh my gosh I tried this recipe this past weekend and it was soooo good!
So glad!!! We love it too!
This looks wonderful. I have printed other recipes today, but this one comes up gobbilty goop.
Oh no Carol. I know we are having trouble w/ the food recipes on my site.
Have you printed other food recipes today? I think we have a fix for it ..... but it might not happen today. I can maybe figure out a workaround for you. Let me know.
OK, yum, yum and more yum. The taste of red onions with balsamic is to die for! Thanks for sharing this fab recipe-
You are so welcome! Glad you liked them (if you tried them already)!
How do you think they would be without any oil? We are fat free, oil free vegan for my husband's heart health
Hi there. I used to be fat free, thinking that fat was the culprit for heart health, but from some of the research that I have done oil isn't the issue - inflammation from carbs is. But please do not go against your doctor's advice. I would just encourage you to do research.
You could do this without oils, but maybe you will have to add a little liquid. I hope you like them!
Thank you for this delicious recipe! Happy New Year!
Thank you!! Hope you like it and Happy New Year!
Sorry if this is dumb question, but what does AIP mean? Thanks!
Oh it's not dumb at all. I just added more information to the post. I will be writing more about it in the future. Thanks for bringing that up and for reading :).
Do you cover the onions in the oven or bake open?
You bake them open. I hope you enjoy them!
Girl, does Azure finally deliver to Michigan?
YUP! I will email you!