Sweet Onion Casserole

Sweet Onion Casserole Recipe

Sweet onion casserole is a delightful, savory dish that brings out the natural sweetness of onions combined with a rich, creamy sauce and a crispy topping. It’s perfect as a side dish for holiday meals or any special occasion. Here’s a detailed recipe for making sweet onion casserole from scratch.

Ingredients

  • 4 large sweet onions (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or Swiss cheese)
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers (or similar buttery crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

1. Preheat the Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish or a similar-sized casserole dish.

2. Cook the Onions:

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  • In a large skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat.
  • Add the thinly sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. The onions should be tender and golden brown but not crispy.

3. Prepare the Creamy Mixture:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, sour cream, salt, black pepper, thyme, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.

4. Combine Onions and Creamy Mixture:

  • Add the cooked onions to the creamy mixture and stir until the onions are well coated.

5. Layer the Casserole:

  • Spread half of the onion mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  • Sprinkle half of the grated cheddar and Gruyère cheeses over the onions.
  • Add the remaining onion mixture on top and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top layer of onions.
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6. Prepare the Topping:

  • In a small bowl, combine the crushed Ritz crackers with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix until the crackers are evenly coated with butter.

7. Top the Casserole:

  • Sprinkle the buttery cracker mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.

8. Bake the Casserole:

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.

9. Garnish and Serve:

  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Tips for the Perfect Sweet Onion Casserole

  1. Onion Variety: Use sweet onions like Vidalia for the best flavor. These onions are naturally sweeter and more mild than regular onions.
  2. Caramelizing Onions: Cook the onions slowly over medium heat to allow their natural sugars to caramelize without burning. This adds a depth of flavor to the casserole.
  3. Cheese Variations: Feel free to mix and match cheeses according to your preference. Gruyère and cheddar provide a nice balance of flavor, but other cheeses like mozzarella or fontina can also be used.
  4. Cracker Topping: If you don’t have Ritz crackers, you can use other types of buttery crackers or even breadcrumbs for the topping.
  5. Make Ahead: This casserole can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking, or add extra baking time if baking directly from the refrigerator.

Enjoy this rich and flavorful sweet onion casserole as a perfect accompaniment to your favorite main dishes!

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