This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
These stuffed onions are delicious and look gorgeous on a holiday table. Sweet onions are filled with an apple and sage sausage stuffing and then baked until mellow and golden. They're surprisingly easy to make, and they're ready in just over an hour!
Is it even a holiday dinner without stuffing? Complete your meal with our best stuffing recipe ever or wild rice stuffing with cranberries, pecans, and sweet potatoes.
Everyone knows that sausage and roasted onions belong together, so we figured it's about time they bunked up!
Stuffed onions are an elegant way to celebrate this versatile vegetable, and is actually really easy to do. We start by making sausage stuffing using apples and sage. Then we scoop out the inner layers of the onions and fill each one to the brim. They all get baked in the oven until they're tender and golden, and that's it!
They're a beautiful and impressive side dish with lots of savory flavors, and their individual size makes them easy to serve. They're the perfect addition to holiday dinner tables, but they also make a great appetizer, and they're always a hit!
Stuffed onions ingredients
Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make this delicious recipe for stuffed onions:
- Onions – we chose to use a mix of red and sweet onions but any onion variety works well.
- Celery – sautéed in olive oil.
- Sausage – we used mild Italian sausage but you can use hot if you like a little heat, or a flavored variety if it's available.
- Apple – apple adds festive flavor and sweetness.
- Sea salt + dried sage – this classic stuffing herb adds its distinctive earthy taste like none other.
- Coarse bread crumbs – you can find coarse bread crumbs at most grocery stores. When we have day-old bread, we like to make our own by roasting day-old bread in the oven with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Pulse it in your food processor a few times and voilà!
- Chicken stock – we always have some of our homemade chicken stock on hand but you can also use store-bought.
How to make stuffed onions
A stuffed onion is an easy and elegant side dish or appetizer for holidays and special occasions. Here's how to make them in a few simple steps:
- While your oven preheats, prepare your onions. Carefully slice off the stem end, remove any layers of onion skin, and trim the bottom so they sit nicely. You want it to lay flat but the bottom to stay intact. Then, scoop out the inner layers of the onion, leaving just two or three outer layers. Make sure to reserve the pulp!
- sauté half the minced onion pulp in a bit of olive oil with the celery until soft.
- Add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, then add the apple, sage, and salt.
- Remove it from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and broth.
- Now it's time to stuff the onions. Place the onions in a deep baking dish and divide the stuffing between each one. Add a bit of water to the dish, cover it with aluminum foil, then pop it into the oven. Bake with the foil on for part of it, then remove the foil towards the end and cook them until they're soft and brown. Serve them as an appetizer or alongside other favorite Thanksgiving foods.
How to hollow out an onion
Because they're sturdy and have a layered structure, onions are easy to hollow out with a spoon. Use half the pulp in the recipe, and reserve the rest of the chopped onion for a different recipe.
- Look for onions with a wider, flatter shape that are similar in size.
- Use a sharp knife to chop a ¼-inch thick slice from the stem end of the onion.
- Peel off any onion skin layers and discard them.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the inner onion layers, leaving about two to three outer layers.
- Make sure the bottom stays intact to act like a vessel for the stuffing.
Can I make them vegetarian?
You can! Simply swap the sausage for a vegetarian version and use veggie stock instead of chicken stock. When you're sautéing the vegetarian sausage, you may need to add a bit more olive oil to keep things moist.
Can I use other ground meat?
You can! We love the taste of sausage but you can use other ground meat like ground beef, turkey, or even lamb.
What's the best type of onion for stuffing?
We like the sweet taste and purple color of red onions, but vidalia and other sweet onion varieties taste great, too.
Can I prepare the stuffed onions ahead of time?
Yes! Prepare them up to a day in advance and store them in your fridge. Wait to add the water to the baking dish until you're ready to cook them, then follow the cooking directions as outlined in the recipe card.
How long do leftovers keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover stuffed onions in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
What about other fresh herbs?
Absolutely! While sage is a classic stuffing herb, parsley, rosemary, oregano, and basil have their own unique flavors so feel free to play around with the taste.
What to serve with stuffed onions
These festive stuffed onions are the perfect holiday side dish for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or even Easter. Enjoy them alongside your favorite holiday foods, with some good company, and a glass of wine.
More delicious stuffed recipes for special occasions
- 6 medium onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 stalks celery (minced)
- 1 Italian sausage (casing removed)
- ½ medium apple (peeled, cored, and diced small)
- 1 teaspoon dried sage (crumbled)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup coarse breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Slice a ¼-inch thick slice from the top of each onion. Trim the bottom, if needed, so that the onions sit upright. Use a spoon to scoop out all but 3 layers of the onion. Reserve the bits you scoop out.6 medium onions
- Mince ½ cup of the reserved onion bits. (Save the rest for a different recipe.) Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until they're soft, about 5 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 stalks celery
- Add the sausage and break it up as it cooks. When it is no longer pink, add the minced apple, sage, and salt and saute for 2 minutes more.1 Italian sausage, ½ medium apple, 1 teaspoon dried sage, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and chicken stock.½ cup coarse breadcrumbs, ¼ cup chicken stock
- Divide the sausage stuffing between the hollowed-out onions then place them into a baking dish. Pour ¼ cup of water into the baking dish then cover the top with foil. Bake the onions for 30 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the top of the stuffing starts to brown.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.