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Grilled Onion

Grilled onion is a popular American side dish preferably prepared with a sweet tasting variety of onion called Vidalia; however, other types of onions like red onions, green onions, and pearl onions can also be used for grilling purposes. Whole or sliced onions are grilled on gas grill or charcoal grill until tender, and are perfect accompaniments to meat and fish dishes. The sharpness of the raw onions get softened due to the grilling process, thus, bringing out tangy and sweet flavor of the onions.

How to Grill Onions?

The process of grilling onions is quite simple, which involves preparing the onions for grilling by first peeling them, and then rinsing them to get rid of their excess skin.

  • In case of sweet onions, a slice of onion is cut from each onion’s stem end in order to create a stable base for onions to rest properly on the grill grate. Each onion is then placed on aluminum foil square, and sliced into wedges, making sure to keep the ends attached at the base. The wedges are slightly opened and the center portion of each onion is filled with butter. The onions are then seasoned, wrapped in aluminum foil, and grilled. Several holes are poked with the help of a fork on top of each aluminum foil packet before starting the grilling process.

  • For grilling green onions, the peeled onions are first tossed in olive oil, and then grilled after being seasoned with pepper and salt.

  • In case of pearl onions, the onions are first blanched, then peeled, tossed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, threaded onto skewers, and then grilled.

  • For grilling red onions, the onions are cut into various slices, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with pepper and salt, and grilled over medium heat for a few minutes until slightly charred. These grilled red onions are then tossed in warm mix of vinegar, rosemary, and garlic, and served as a side dish after sprinkling with parsley.

Ingredients and Preparation

The most popular grilled onion recipe suggests using popular American sweet onion variety Vidalia, salt, pepper, and butter as the only ingredients. Peeled, hollowed out, and seasoned onions are filled with butter and grilled over indirect and medium heat until tender and brown after being wrapped in aluminum foil. To attain smoky flavor of grilled onion, aluminum foil is removed during the last ten minutes of grilling process.

The onions are basted with spicy brown mustard for augmented flavor. A dash of garlic powder would also help in enhancing the taste of grilled onions.


Grilled onions are popularly served with grilled chicken, fish, or steak.

Nutrition and Health Facts

28 g of grilled onion provides around 35 calories obtained from 3 g of fat and 2 g of carbohydrates. People eating onions on a regular basis are believed to remain protected from cancer. Further, sufferers of bronchitis are also known to find great level of improvement in their condition due to regular consumption of onions.