Melting middle onions

Impress dinner guests with these veggie cheese-stuffed onions. Packed with mozzarella, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and herbs, they’re full of flavour

  • Prep:50 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 45 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 493
  • fat 28g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 41g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 8g
  • protein 16g
  • salt 0.9g


  • 8 large brown onions
  • 40g butter
  • 70g pine nuts
  • 150g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • ½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 100g scarmoza (smoked mozzarella) or regular mozzarella


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut a small disc off the root bottom of each onion so they stand upright. Cut 1cm slices off the tops (these will be used as lids), then put back on top of the onions. Wrap each onion in foil, transfer to a baking tray, and bake for 1 hr until tender.

  2. Melt the butter in a pan. Tip into a bowl. Add the pine nuts to the pan and toast over a low heat for 2 mins until golden. Add to the butter with the breadcrumbs, garlic, thyme, parsley and egg. Stir, then season.

  3. Cut the cheese into 8 chunky cubes. When the onions are cool enough to handle, scoop out the soft centres, leaving a few layers of onion at the edge. Finely chop the scooped-out centres from 2 onions, and add to the breadcrumb mix (reserve the rest to use in another recipe, such as ragu). Spoon the breadcrumb mixture into the hollowed-out onions so they’re halfway full, then push a piece of cheese into the middle of each and top up with more breadcrumb mixture. Top each onion with its ‘lid’, then roast for 35-40 mins more until tender and the cheese is melted.

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