Balsamic Onions


These balsamic onions are delicious as a snack and are great served with (vegan) pâté. You only need a few ingredients to make these lovely little onions in a delicious balsamic syrup.

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Balsamic onions

Balsamic onions are small onions cooked in a delicious mixture of balsamic vinegar, sugar and fresh thyme. This gives the onions a syrupy texture and mild flavour.

You can use different types of onions for these balsamic onions, such as fresh pearl/silverskin onions or small, fresh pickling onions. These are not always readily available, but around Christmas you can usually find them at better greengrocers or wholesalers. But these balsamic onions can really be made with any type of small onion you can find, you can even use small shallots if that's all you have.

These tasty onions go perfectly with pâté, or a vegetarian or vegan version like this faux gras. Something a bit different to enjoy during your Christmas celebrations.

Veronique van Ohmydish

Made by Véronique

Published at 2023-12-05, this recipe is for 6 people and takes 20 minutes.

Founder of Ohmydish (established 2014). Would happily spend her entire day in the kitchen. Previously worked in the hospitality industry as an independent chef and is ready and willing to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. With her easy-to-follow recipes, helpful tips, and cooking knowledge, you will be making the very tastiest dishes yourself in no time! Véronique's recipes are intended for everyone, from beginners to advanced home cooks.

Updated at: 28-12-2023

20 minutes 6 people Side dishes
Balsamic onions


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  • 400 g small onions
  • 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Balsamic onions ingredients
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Kitchen equipment

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  • optional: small saucepan + slotted spoon/spider
  • small knife
  • medium frying pan
  • wooden spoon

Balsamic Onions

20 minutes 6 people Side dishes

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Making the balsamic onions – 20 minutes

Peel the small onions; you may want to blanch the onions very briefly in boiling water to make them easier to peel.

Balsamic onions
Balsamic onions

Heat a little olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan and sauté the onions in it for around 5 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar, along with 100 ml of balsamic vinegar and 2 sprigs of thyme, and let the syrup thicken gently over a low heat.

The onions are ready when they are completely soft, and the balsamic mixture has thickened to a syrup. Remove the thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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Balsamic Onions: frequently asked questions

What are fresh pearl/silverskin onions?

Pearl/silverskin onions are very small onions. They come in different colours just like larger onions. The most familiar pearl/silverskin onions are white and are usually pickled in vinegar.

Can I substitute the thyme with a different herb?

You can replace the fresh thyme with rosemary, for example, or omit the fresh herbs entirely if necessary.