Southern Comfort on a Plate: Irresistible Recipe for Tennessee Onions

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Enjoy the flavors of the South with this delicious recipe for Tennessee onions that will make your taste buds dance. People do not praise onions enough. They hold soups, casseroles, and pasta meals together. Plus, they taste great when you chop or slice them and put them raw on salads, sandwiches, or even burgers.

Yet, Tennessee Onions are likely something that not even the biggest onion fan has heard of.

recipe for tennessee onions

What are Tennessee Onions made of?

A few simple things, mostly onions, cheese, and butter, are all you need to make this onion dish. It’s recommended to add herbs to the dish and the rich sauce that forms in the pan as the onions melt and get soft.
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A tasty recipe for Tennessee onions: a treat from the South! 

How strong an onion is. Honestly, I add more than the recipe calls for most of the time when I make savory dishes in my kitchen. They’re delicious raw, sautéed, fried, or baked. After finding a dish where onions were the main ingredient, I knew I had to try it. I’d like to tell you about the delicious Tennessee Onion Bake.

I’m not sure where the name of the dish comes from, but I think it’s a must-have at summer BBQs and holiday get-togethers in the Volunteer State. What meal isn’t better with onions that are melted cheese on top?

You can put them on top of burgers or steak, serve them with pork chops, or make them a side dish for Thanksgiving. There’s always a good time for this tasty, easy meal!

There are only a few ingredients in this dish, and all you have to do is slice and layer. However, the flavor is really strong. First, cut the sweet onions (we used vidalia, but if they’re in season, you should definitely use those too!) into rings and spread them out in a baking dish that has been prepared. After that, it’s all about the cheese! You really can’t go wrong with any cheese you choose for this recipe. We used a mix of Italian blend and cheddar. If you want to try something new, Asiago, Swiss, or even gouda cheese might be fun.

I like to bake them until the top is golden brown and nice and crispy. I think the crunchy bits are the best part. Read the whole recipe down below.

Is Tennessee Onion Savoury?

Without a doubt, the onions are what make this dish great. Normal onions won’t do, though. Yes, you need sweet onions. If you can find them, you need sweet Vidalia onions.

Is Tennessee Onion Savoury

The naturally sweet taste of Georgian sweet onions makes them very popular. As any onion should, they still have a bit of a bite to them, but they’re not strong-smelling and aggressive. Georgia farmers say the unique flavor comes from the dirt in the 20-county growing area centered around Vidalia, Georgia.

What’s the deal with Tennessee Onions using Georgie onions? Although we’re not sure, we’re still going to eat it.

We use smoked gouda and mild Cheddar cheeses that melt, get a little crispy, and mix with the herbs and butter to make a sauce that you can’t leave behind. The final dish is a cheesy, tangy-sweet scoop of soft onion pieces with cheese bits that have been browned.

Methods for Making Tennessee Onions

The recipe for Tennessee onions promises a symphony of flavors, blending the sweetness of caramelized onions with a hint of Tennessee’s signature spice. Even though this casserole is simple to cook, there are a few tricks up your sleeve that will make it taste even better.

Cut the onions into rings that are approximately half an inch wide.

To make sure the onion rings cook evenly, set them aside. 

What, no Vidalia onions? You can also use sweet onions, such as Texas sweet or Walla Walla.

How to Make Tennessee Onions Taste Good

We’re not sure if these onions belong as a side dish or not. We’ll treat them as both, though.

How to Make Tennessee Onions Taste Good

At a cookout or potluck, these will be a hit with everyone. We also want to put them on burgers, grilled chicken or steak, or even between bread slices for an onion-packed grilled cheese.

What’s in it

Spray cooking oil

  • 2 1/2 pound of sweet onions, or three big onions, cut in half lengthwise and widthwise into 1/4-inch slices.-thick slices that were cut into rings
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of cut up dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes.-big pieces
  • Feta cheese, 4 ounces (about 1 cup), shred
  • shredded 4 ounces of smoked Gouda cheese, which is about 1 cup

What to do

Get the oven warm:

Warm the oven up to 350°F. Spray cooking spray on a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Get your materials together.

Add the spices to the onions:

Add the spices to the onions

In a big bowl, put the onions. Toss the vegetables in a little garlic salt, oregano, mustard, thyme, and cayenne pepper to cover them.

Spread out evenly in the baking dish that has been prepared.

Put on the toppings and bake:

Spread the butter out over the onions and top with the Cheddar and Gouda.

Place in a hot oven and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the sides are bubbling.

Finish cooking:

Get rid of the foil. Before the top turns golden, bake for approximately 30 minutes at 350°F.


  • Slice onions evenly and separate the rings for even cooking.
  • If Vidalia onions aren’t available, sweet onions like Walla Walla or Texas sweet can be used as alternatives.

This recipe for Tennessee onions will teach you how to caramelize onions just right, making a rich and savory base for many meals. Enjoy your delicious Tennessee Onions!

A Delightful Southern Sweet and Savoury Onion Recipe from Tennessee

I love Tennessee Onions. Indulging in this recipe transports me to a bygone era, to the cozy kitchen of my Grandma Eleanor in Knoxville. A feast was about to be announced as the aroma of these onions baking filled her home. When my siblings and I were little, we used to beg each other to be the first to the kitchen as soon as we smelled that enticing scent when we were playing outside. Grandma would laugh and make us feel bad for stealing from her, but in actuality, she cooked extra treats just in case. The passion and memories that went into making each layer were more important than the onions and cheese alone. It brings back fond memories of those carefree days every time I make this, and I pray that each bite brings you a little bit of that love and warmth.

What’s unique about these Tennessee Onions?

What's unique about these Tennessee Onions

Tennessee Onions isn’t just another dish with onions. This is why it’s unique:

  • Simple and tasty: This recipe is made with just a few common ingredients, but the combination of flavors makes it taste gourmet.
  • Lots of cheese: Three different cheeses, each with its own taste and texture, come together to make a delicious cheesy heaven.
  • Being flexible: It’s great on its own or as a side dish for your favorite roasted or grilled foods. It’s the chameleon of casseroles because it can be used for any meal.

Get fancy with your cooking by following this easy recipe for Tennessee onions. It only needs a few ingredients but makes a delicious meal.

What You Need for Tennessee Onions:

  • Vidalia is our favorite because it has a mild, sweet taste. Maui or Walla Walla sweet onions can be used instead if you can’t find them.
  • Butter: It is best to use good quality butter that isn’t salted. It makes the food richer and improves the taste of the onions.
  • Three types of cheese—Italian blend, cheddar, and parmesan—make a tasty combination of melty, sharp, and salty. You can change the amounts, but for the best results, keep the total amount the same.

The right way to cook Tennessee Onions:

Setting Up the Oven: 

Before you start preparing the ingredients, heat the oven to 350 F. This makes sure that the food goes smoothly and quickly when you’re ready. Spray some non-stick cooking spray on a 9×13 dish as well.

Onion Slicing Fun: 

If you want to have fun cutting onions, peel the sweet onions and then turn them over and cut them into ¼-inch pieces. Some of you might cry over this, but it’s all for the sake of taste! After cutting these rounds in half, split them into rings.

Layering Time: 

Put these onion rings in your baking dish so that they are all the same size. I added oregano, garlic powder, and salt to them to make them taste even better.

Sweet Butter: 

Cut your butter into eight even pats. Place these pats across the dish in a way that makes sure they are spread out evenly.

Cheesy Paradise: 

To start the cheese party, sprinkle the onions with the Italian mix and cheddar cheese. Finish by putting a thick layer of parmesan on top. We want this to be absolutely cheesy!

Baking Bliss: 

Put your dish in an oven that is already hot and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes. You want the cheese to be a beautiful golden brown color and have a bubbly top. The hardest part is having to wait!

Enjoy and Serve: 

Enjoy and Serve

Do not let it get too cold. Take a bite while it’s still hot to enjoy the melty cheese.

Choices for storage:

If you have any Tennessee Onions left over after eating them (which I doubt!), cover the dish tightly with cling film or put the onions in a container that won’t let air in. They’ll last up to three days in the fridge. To make them hot again, put them in the oven at 350 F for about 10 minutes, or until they are foamy and hot again. Take your taste buds on a trip with this recipe for Tennessee onions. Enjoy the many layers of flavor that make it a trip worth taking.


  • Nutrition info is based on estimation only.
  • Calories: 229 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | 44 mg of cholesterol, 339 mg of sodium, 232 mg of potassium, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 464 IU of vitamin A, 8 mg of vitamin C, 282 mg of calcium, and 1 mg of iron.

Tried this recipe? I want to see it!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Tennessee Onions Recipe:

You can put Tennessee Onions on top of hamburgers, in soups, on top of steak, as a side dish at a cookout, or even like a “burger option” for your vegetarian friends.

Separate the rings from the sweet onions and cut them into even pieces.

  • Cut the sweet onions into slices that are about 1/2 inch thick.
  • When you can, use Vidalia Onions. It’s fine to use Texas Sweets instead. In a pinch, any sweet onion will do, but Vidalias are the best.
  • These Tennessee Onions don’t make a custard-like sauce; they just bake onions and put cheese on top of them.
  • To make this, use the best cheese you can buy. It makes a difference.
  • To avoid adding too much salt, check to see if it already has enough. You can taste salt in both cheese and garlic salt.
  • Use non-stick cooking spray to make your dish; it will save you time and make cleanup easier.
  • That’s all you need to do. Bake until the onions are soft. If your slices are smaller, it will be done sooner.
  • Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in a jar that won’t let air in.
  • Add any fresh greens you like.

Serving Suggestions:

Now you may be thinking how to serve this delicious Tennessee Onion Bake. Vidalia onions in this baked Tennessee Onions dish are TERRIFIC with Hangry Hamburgers, Potato Salad and a green caprese salad with a dessert of Banana Pudding. With the bold and welcoming flavors of this recipe for Tennessee onions, you can make meals that your family will remember. They will beg you for seconds.

Here’s How You Do It:

  • STEP 1: First cut the onions into 1/2 inch rounds and layer in the baking dish.
  • STEP 2: Put butter pats, cheese shreds, and herbs on top of the onions.
  • Part 3: Bake in the oven!
  • STEP 4: Enjoy!!!


For a family favorite, try this recipe for Tennessee onions and enjoy the warmth of the onions with your family while making memories at the dinner table. What makes the Tennessee Onions so delicious is the cheese that melts just right. 

Instead of getting pre-shredded cheese, grate your own. Store-bought cheese often has anti-caking agents that can make it less reliable. The Italian mix should be used as the base to make it gooey. The cheddar should be added for flavor, and then a lot of Parmesan should be sprinkled on top for a crispy, golden crust.

If you bake it long enough, the cheese will not only melt, but also bubble and start to brown around the sides. This will create a delicious contrast of textures from creamy to crispy that will make everyone at the table happy.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q: Could I use a different kind of onion?

A: Certainly, while Vidalias are preferred for their sweetness, any sweet onion variety will capture the spirit of this dish.

  • Q: How can I prevent the dish from being too oily?

A: The key is in the quality of the cheese—opt for higher-quality cheeses that melt well without releasing too much oil.

  • Q: What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

A: Putting it back in the oven for a short time at 350°F until it’s warm and bubbly will make it taste and feel like it was just baked.


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