Recipes > Roasted Cipollini Onions

Roasted Cipollini Onions


Sweet caramelized cipollini onions, sauteed in butter and olive olive until golden brown.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 106,667
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Peeling the Onions

Peeling the Onions
  • 4 lb cipollini onions (approx. 40 to 50)


Peel cipollini onions and set aside.

Some say soaking the onions in warm water for a few seconds makes them easier to peel. Some also believe blanching them first makes them easier to peel. I have tried both ways and still the easiest way for me, is just to peel them like any other onion.

And yes, there will still be some crying while peeling…but it is all worth it because these onions “kick butt”. My only trick is to do them outside in the fresh air.

Step 2: Frying the Onions

Frying the Onions
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp non dairy butter, or unsalted


To start, preheat your oven to 375° F.

Next, heat a large oven-proof pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil and butter and let melt. Then add the onions and toss to coat in the fat. Let cook without touching for a few minutes, so they get nice color. Then toss and let brown on the other side. This should take about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the onions.

Step 3: Roasting the Onions

Roasting the Onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Once the onions are nice and golden on all sides, place the fry pan into the oven and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until a paring knife goes into one of the larger onions easily.

Note: If you do not have an oven-proof fry pan, simply transfer the onions to a casserole dish and place into the oven.

When done, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. These sweet and tender onions go well with steaks and chicken. In fact, they make a beautiful and impressive side dish.

Note: Add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the onions before placing them into the oven. This gives another dimension of flavor.

Chef's Notes

Cipollini (pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee) are sometimes called wild onions. If you can’t find them in the supermarket or an Italian market, you can substitute with pearl onions.


  • Rosalie E
    Rosalie E
    These onions were amazing. I had no butter in the house, so just used oil for the browning part, and aside from a tendency to colour up a little too quickly, they were fine. And definitely a slosh of balsamic vinegar makes this dish rock.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Couldn't find the Chipollini onions, so I had my first pearl onions ever. I had no idea they could taste that good. I really liked the balsamic vinegar. Nice touch! Can't wait til Cipollini comes into season this fall. Will definitely try again with or without them.
  • Jacqueline B
    Jacqueline B
    Costco had bags of Cipollini onions and so I could not pass them up. It took more time that I would normally take for a side dish but they were just delicious and so worth the time. I forced my non onion loving friend to try them and he too was amazed that they were so good. I will make them again, it went perfectly with my grilled flank steak. I did not try the balsamic but may try it next time. Thanks Joe G
  • Lauren M
    Lauren M
    I used to work in banquets in Las Vegas. We served the balsamic cipollini onions as part of an antipasto spread. Nice contrast for the presentation.
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I bought a bag of these from Costco awhile back and they were amazing,,, I can't believe that I made it this far in life and have never had these before! Everyone I cooked for raved about them. However, I hope it was not a "once-in-a-lifetime" event, since I have not been able to find them again. We check in every Costco, and every grocery store we go into, but nada. Most grocers we speak to seem to have no idea what we are talking about. :-(
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Yes, like most good things in life, cipollini onions are not always available year round. They are more of an autumn to fall onion. If you are lucky to find them off season, they can be a bit more expensive as well. In the past, I have had some luck at stores like Safeway. Glad you liked them Leigh. Cheers!
  • Ainsley P
    Ainsley P
    Not hard at all and so yummy! Served this at a dinner party with carrots and parsnips, roasted asparagus and tenderloin with a peppercorn cream sauce. I loved it, because you normally wouldn't be served this in a home. Also, I didn't think it took an hour (more like 30 minutes). I had the good fortune of my husband peeling them. :)
  • Leigh S
    Leigh S
    I've been looking every time and every where I shop for over a year now, and still haven't been able to find Cipollini onions a second time. I hope that cooking these wasn't just a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. Even when I ask the produce managers if they carry them, I just get blank stares!
  • Jerry B
    Jerry B
    We were doing shish-kabobs for a BBQ one summer. Looking to grab some onions to chop up, and a bag of these little gems was sitting right there. We grabbed them because their size was perfect for the kabobs. Low and behold I wish I never found them, because now I have a hard time finding them again. I know what I am missing, and I want more!
  • Ainsley P
    Ainsley P
    I found them at central market in Dallas, but I bet whole foods would have them as well. If you REALLY want them I bet you could order them online.
  • John S
    John S
    4 pounds is only a dozen, even the smallest ones I could find were 4 ounces. At least you use weight unlike Joel Robuchon. I am still not sure how many pounds he think 16 weight but he seems to be using the ones about a quarter the size.
  • John S
    John S
    I only found red ones which are 2 inches across and about 4 ounces or 3 inches and 6 ounces.
  • John S
    John S
    Safeway never has them. They do not even get fresh fish. I gave up on them years ago.

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