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Dec 27, 2010 06:06 PM

hollowing out an onion?

Has anyone ever done it and if so, is there any trick to it? Thinking of using it as a vessel for a carmelized onion dip - I had seen a picture once but have never attempted it.

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  1. Not to be a buzzkill.. but wouldn't the (raw) onion be kinda strong smelling? Might even change the flavor of your dip. I'm assuming you're thinking of a raw onion?

    What about seving the dip in a bell pepper half?

    20 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17

      cheesecake - I never thought it through - but you are probably right - it looked cool in the picture - I appreciate your foresight. Thanks! NEVA MIND!

      1. re: smilingal

        not a problem if you roast the onion "shell." in fact, that's what i assumed you were planning to do :)

        just slice off a *small* piece at the root end to make a flat, stable surface, but DON'T cut all the way through the root or it won't hold together. then slice off the top, and use an apple corer to get most of the center out. you can clean it up with a sharp paring knife.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          and how would you recommend roasting it?

        2. re: smilingal

          But you 2 have my wheels turning. Hollow out a few vidalias with an Exacto knife, and bake them with a stuffing of:
          * browned loose sausage or chorizo, sauteed mushrooms, and torn bread
          *fondue / fundito cheesiness with shrimp or crab
          This may be a bad idea, but I may give it a try.

          1. re: Veggo

            veggo - let us know if you do try it! i might attempt doing the onion for a party I am making for this weekend - after you roast it - how long would it keep? Refrigerated I assume?

            1. re: Veggo


              Let's keep going

              To hollow out the onion I would cut north-south and leave both the root end and the other end attached. This should leave the integrity of the interior intact. Then you can use your exacto or a paring knife to remove the center semi-spheres. Next I would use the kife to carefully remove the exterior skin. Lastly I would slice a little piece off the bottom so it sits nicely on a cookie sheet.

              Love the chorizo and suateed mushroom stuffing idea.

              1. re: jfood

                I was trying to think of stuffing combinations that would meld with a baked and partially carmelized onion, and how thick the "walls" should be, and how much the glorious mess may collapse during baking, and for how long. I think it's worth a few hours of tinker time for me on a skanky weather day.

                1. re: Veggo

                  I've always wanted to make these roasted stuffed onions, but I haven't found the right occasion yet....


                  1. re: valerie

                    Valerie {{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}} thanks so much - that is what I was referring to - I would like to put a cold/room temp carmelized onion dip into it. But now I am thinking that it probably doesn't hold that much as a vessel. I bookmarked it - perhaps for use for a smaller party. Thanks again!

                    1. re: valerie

                      Nice to have some parameters, i.e. onion "igloo" prep, baking time. I suppose the stuffing combos are endless. As for onion carving skills - at $1.29 / lb, I'll be careful. The pics look purdy but I would be tempted to cook them longer, for a little crisp & carmelizing. If the walls come tumbin' down, so be it.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Veggo: Why stop there? Stuff with loose duck sausage, Morrells & golden raspings, bake a little, batter and fry. Knowing you, you would nest different onions, turducken style!

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          I'm watching my girlish figure on the fried part. I'm with you up to the duck sausage and morrells, but my only mating dance with turducken was a disaster.

                        2. re: Veggo

                          You keep mentioning Vidalias but where are you getting them? The season is still months and months away. Or do you just mean a generic sweet onion. I love the morel idea also but that's another spring crop.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I confess that in my lexicon I use Vidalia like Kleenex or Jello, with no respect for the city limits of Vidalia, Georgia. Good sweet onions are not confined to its boundaries.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              Okey dokey :) Being a 'Georgia Girl' I have a strong preference for V's. Walla Walla's, Maui's etc. are great but not as sweet to me. I do think this is a very interesting food topic and we're counting on you to figure it all out.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                i have a recipe that calls for Walla Walla's or Maui's - but I bought a 5 lb bag of Mayan Sweets in Costco figuring the price would be best and I'm sure they could be interchangeable for my recipe.

                            2. re: c oliver

                              c oliver: Morrels may be spring (about St. Patrick's Day where I live), but the ones I dehydrate appear year round.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                How luxurious! I certainly hope to get up to So. Oregon and buy some. At $20/# or more, maybe I could save my pennies and get a pound to dry.

                      2. re: jfood

                        oh but the idea I was looking for was a whole onion - skin and all - hollowed out from the top down thru the inside. So...... can I still roast this onion with the skin on? It made a neat presentation!

                        and yes, the chorizo and sauteed mushrooms with torn bread does sound mouthwatering

                2. A couple years ago I hallowed out some onions, stuffed and baked them. They turned out great but I haven't done it again, I wonder why? I sliced the root end to make it flat, sliced off the top and peeled it, the took a parenting knife and stabbed the center a few times the used the small end of a melon-baller to hollow it out. I sauteed the onion pieces with mushrooms, Italian sausage, a little chopped tomato and pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, stuffed it back into the onions. I baked it at 350 with a little chicken stock on the bottom and covered with foil. After a while remove the foil and let the onions caramelize a little.

                  1. got a variable speed reversible power drill with a low-torque setting, a wide-jaw pair of tongs (for safety) and a steady hand?


                    these sell relatively cheaply by the individual size (or by set) at decent hardware stores. good for hollowing out vegetables and cutting power cord chases in the backs of cabinets, generally range from 1" diameter up to about 3"

                    I like the idea of roasting the dip inside the shell and incorporating the scooped (drilled) interior into that or other dishes. Given the results from grilling I'd expect the onion shell will get soft and need to be handled gently after roasting (roast it perched in a small ramekin/poach cup and leave it there through service?), but it should be as fine as the filling depending on storage and handling. I wouldn't even trim the root end just to keep the base 'seal' intact, but a person with better knife skills than I might get very creative with scoring the outermost remaining layers

                    1. I did this and I used a mellon baller.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: salsailsa

                        Melon baller works perfectly.

                        I make a Paul Prudhomme recipe for stuffed and baked vadaila onions from one of his cookbooks a few times each summer. Very rich recipe that uses ground pork, minced fresh shrimp, one of his spice seasonings, heavy cream, stock and a half a dozen other ingrediants.

                        Mean to be a main course, but Ive found out if you use smaller onions, they make a side dish since they are sooooo rich to eat a whole large one.


                      2. You've gotten great advice. I just wanted to mention that a great thing to do with baked or roasted onion is to fill it with layers of small croutons and shredded swiss; then top it all off till full with strong beef stock. Bake roughly 45 minutes to an hour at 375. sooooo goooood.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mamachef

                          Mm, sounds like french onion soup inside of an onion!