Know your onions: easy budget-friendly recipes

Cheesy onion and potato tray bake. Picture: Supplied
Cheesy onion and potato tray bake. Picture: Supplied

As the weather gets colder, it's time for some wholesome, hearty meals thanks to Australian Onions to keep the family cosy and warm this winter.

A budget-friendly staple in every household, there are many layers and flavours to this impressive veggie, whether it's caramelised, grilled, baked or raw, or enjoyed in one of these easy family dinners.

Simple and delicious, these budget recipes for the savvy shopper are sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Australian onions are the humble hero of every household - a versatile pantry staple. With fatigue fighting and brain boosting vitamins, plus a combination of folate and vitamin C, onions are a mood-boosting food that will help keep families happy and healthy this winter.

Bonnie Coumbe has created these recipes for Australian Onions.

Cheesy onion and potato tray bake


3-4 brown onions

4-5 désirée potatoes

fresh thyme

dried oregano

3-4 bay leaves

300ml cream

1 tbsp chicken stock powder

1/2 cup gruyere cheese (note: if preferred, tasty or cheddar cheese can be used instead of gruyere)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

pinch sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Thinly slice the onions and potatoes into thin discs.

3. Align the round discs upright in a medium ceramic baking dish to form rows.

4. Add the bay leaves sporadically in between the onions and potato.

5. In a jug, add the cream, stock powder, dried oregano and fresh thyme and stir well. Pour the liquid over the potatoes and onions.

6. Sprinkle the gruyere and parmesan cheese over the potatoes and onions and top it off with the breadcrumbs.

7. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until the potato is soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. If the top of the bake starts to burn cover with tinfoil.

8. Serve with a pinch of sea salt.

Serves 4.

Chunky beef and onion pie

Chunky beef and onion pie. Picture: Supplied

Chunky beef and onion pie. Picture: Supplied


1kg chuck casserole beef, diced into cubes

2 tbsp plain flour

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2-3 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 large carrot, sliced

250g brown mushrooms, sliced

2 cups beef stock

1 tbsp tomato paste

3 sprigs rosemary

3 bay leaves

1 1/2 puff pastry sheets

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Lightly dust the diced beef with flour.

3. Heat a large heavy-based fry pan to medium heat, add a good drizzle of olive oil and brown the beef in batches to sear the outside. Remove from the fry pan and set aside.

4. Add the onion and garlic to the same fry pan, without cleaning it. Add more oil if needed. Sauté until the onions become transparent.

5. Add the sliced celery, carrot and mushrooms and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

6. Add the tomato paste and stir through for a few minutes before adding the beef stock, rosemary and bay leaves.

7. Add the seared beef back into the pan and stir through. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

8. Spoon out the pie mixture along with any liquid into a large ceramic pie or casserole dish.

9. If your pie dish is rectangle shaped, lay the square pastry sheet flat over the top and add the extra 1/2 pastry sheet overlapping at one end. Gently press to join the two sheets.

10. Cut off any excess pastry around the edges. Using your thumb and index finger gently press along the edge of the pastry creating a pattern. Slice two small holes in the middle for hot air to escape while the pie cooks.

11. Using a pastry brush, brush over the pastry with the egg yolk wash.

12. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is a golden brown colour.

13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

Oven-roasted red onion and truss tomato pasta

Oven-roasted red onion and truss tomato pasta. Picture: Supplied

Oven-roasted red onion and truss tomato pasta. Picture: Supplied

Roasting the red onions adds extra flavour to this simple to make pasta dish. If possible, use the European style oregano that's been dried on the stems for this recipe - it has a smokey hint that seasons this dish perfectly.


7-8 truss tomatoes, sliced into wedges

2 red onions, sliced into wedges

3 garlic cloves, roughly crushed

1 tbsp dried oregano

olive oil for cooking

500g pappardelle pasta

salt and pepper to taste

To serve:

grated parmesan cheese

fresh oregano leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

3. Spread out the red onion and truss tomato wedges on the baking trays, add the crushed garlic and dried oregano followed by a good drizzle of olive oil and cover with tin foil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the red onions have softened and become transparent.

4. Remove the tin foil and place back in the oven to roast uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes are a little crispy on the outer edges and soft on the insides.

5. While the vegetables are roasting the pappardelle pasta can be cooked - follow the packet instructions.

6. Remove the red onions and tomatoes from the oven once they are done, add the drained pasta to the tray and gently toss through to coat the pasta in the sauce.

7. Serve with grated parmesan over the top and some fresh oregano leaves for colour.

Serves 4.

This story Know your onions first appeared on The Canberra Times.