Cooking with Red Onion – Marmalade Recipe and Other Meal Ideas

Red onions are usually sliced and added to salads raw because of their mild taste, often with chunks of feta or cheddar cheese. But, this particular member of the root vegetable family is much more versatile than that. Here are some hints and tips of making the most of them in the kitchen along with a recipe for red onion marmalade.

Lunch and Dinner Ideas with Red Onions as an Ingredient

Red onions are often added to quiches or baked with goat’s cheese in a pastry case for a lunchtime treat. They can be sliced and baked along with slices of fresh tomato drizzled with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven for half an hour or so for a lunchtime snack or as a side dish to go with lamb cutlets or barbecued chicken.

Finely chopped pieces of red onion can be paired with chopped olives or sun dried tomatoes and added to freshly made dough to make tasty, rustic Italian style bread. Another taste of Italy can be found by sautéing slices of red onion before adding a little stock and some risotto rice then gently simmer until the rice is cooked. Add small cubes of a blue cheese such as Stilton from Leicestershire just before serving.

Red onions can also be used instead of brown onions for a novel but equally delicious twist on that old favourite, French onion soup – serve it with a traditional slice of toasted French bread with grilled mozzarella or gruyere cheese on the top. Or, why not try this delicious recipe for red onion marmalade to use as a garnish to serve with chicken liver parfait?

Recipe for Red Onion Marmalade with Balsamic Vinegar


  • 1 lb red onions
  • 2 oz butter
  • ¼ red wine – claret is just as tasty as burgundy in this recipe
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Muscavado (soft brown) sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Peel the red onions and then finely slice them
  2. Finely chop or crush the rosemary leaves
  3. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan making sure it does not brown
  4. Add the sliced onion and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  5. Gently sauté the onions in the butter for five minutes or so until they begin to soften but don’t brown
  6. Pour in the vinegar, wine, sugar and rosemary and bring to the boil, stirring all the time to make sure the sugar does not stick to the bottom of the pan
  7. Once boiling, turn the heat down and gently simmer the mixture for about 45 minutes, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid had reduced considerable and the mixture has the consistency of a traditional marmalade

The red onion marmalade will keep for up to 6 months if immediately poured into sterilised glass preserving jars and then sealed or for up to three days in the fridge.

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