How About Serving a New Thanksgiving Side Dish?: Onion Casserole with Parmesan Crust
The other day, a few friends and I were discussing what dishes would be on our Thanksgiving menu this year. Actually, those last two words might be unnecessary. It seems that most of us make the same dishes each and every year. You’ve got your requisite turkey, gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, and pumpkin or pecan pie.
After endless year.
I made this onion casserole for my friends to taste as a part of our lunch because I had a suspicion that they wouldn’t try making it if they didn’t sample it first. Yet, after they tried it, many of them went back for seconds and each of them wanted to know if I was going to post it on here so they could make it for their Thanksgiving family feasts.
Radical! A new, foreign dish infiltrating the old favorites?! Will there be a revolt? Will this casserole be turned away even before being able to join the others in the buffet, sent sailing back from whence it came atop the gravy boat?
I’m guessing not. I think your guests will take one taste and realize that new dishes, even unorthodox ones, can be welcome additions to even the most traditional of Thanksgiving spreads if you just give them a chance.
Typically, onions are a tag-along veggie, helping the other ingredients shine. In this case, however, onions are the star of the show.
My family has been making this dish for over 20 years now, and I have no idea of its origin. I imagine it came from a church cookbook, or my aunt’s neighbor’s cousin’s niece . . . twice removed. Or something like that.
Given the right tools, you can prep it in 20 minutes without a problem, making it a great side when there’s a lot of other cooking to do. The key to making it easily is either using a mandolin to slice the onions, or a food processor with the slicing blade disk. And, BONUS! You won’t even shed a tear since the slicing will be done in a few short minutes! If you don’t have either of these tools, using a plain old knife does the trick just as well. Just be sure to have some tissues on hand, and some extra time.
Here’s how it all comes together . . .
~ Eight cups of sliced, large onions (I use sweet Vidalia onions, but you can also use large, white onions.)
~ 10 tablespoons of butter
~ 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
~ 4 eggs
~ 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
~ 1/2 teaspoon pepper
~ 1 1/4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
Saute onions in butter until transparent.
Place in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and let cool for 10 minutes. There’s no need to grease the pan.
With a fork, beat the eggs, salt and the whipping cream together until blended.
Pour egg mixture over the onions, mix it all together and then spread it out over the pan.
Sprinkle parmesan over the casserole.
Bake for about an hour at 375º. (The casserole should be bubbling, and the cheese should be beginning to brown.)
If you’ll be transporting this dish, bake it for about 45 minutes at home, wrap it up good and tight, and then finish baking it for 20 – 30 minutes wherever you’re headed.
Here’s the printable version:
Onion Casserole with Parmesan Cheese Topping
|Prep time||20 minutes|
|Cook time||1 hour|
|Total time||1 hour, 20 minutes|
- 8 cups sliced sweet onions (Vidalia work well, or you can use large, white onions)
- 10 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
|Saute onions in butter until transparent.|
|Place in a 9" x 13" casserole dish and let cool for 10 minutes.|
|With a fork, beat the eggs, salt, pepper and the whipping cream together until blended.|
|Pour egg mixture over the onions, mix it all together and then spread it out over the pan.|
|Sprinkle parmesan over the casserole.|
|Bake for about an hour at 375º. (The casserole should be bubbling, and the cheese should be beginning to brown.) |
I’m telling you, you have to try this!
The onions are melt-in-your-mouth tender, the eggs, cream and seasonings form a savory custard, and the parmesan tops it all off with a cheesy, salty, nutty crust.
And even if you don’t find room for it on your Thanksgiving Day buffet because all of the excessive starches are hogging the show (yes, I’m talking to you mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and stuffing), you can add it to your Christmas line up because it pairs beautifully with beef.
Any guesses what will be accompanying our beef tenderloin on Christmas Day?