Onion side dish recipes: Potato au gratin, Creamed with peas, Stuffed with spinach & bacon (1973)

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red onions in basket

Note: This article may feature affiliate links, and purchases made may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. Find out more here.

Don’t under-rate the onion!

For centuries, belief was strong in the power of the onion.

In the Middle Ages, for-instance, necklaces of onions were frequently worn by women to ensure good health. In the Sixteenth Century, it was believed that the juice of an onion applied to a bald head in the sun, would “bringeth the haire againe”!

So strong was General Grant’s belief in onions as a specific for ills of summer climate, that in the summer of 1864, he refused to move his army until the War Department sent him three trainloads of onions!

Today, the versatility of onions is reserved for just plain good eating. Here are three good onion side dish recipes:

Onion side dish recipes

Onion side dish recipes: Onion, carrot and potato au gratin


6 medium yellow onions
1-inch boiling water in saucepan
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups diced cooked potatoes
1 cup sliced cooked carrots
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated raw carrots


Peel onions. Place in saucepan with 1 inch boiling water and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil uncovered for 3 minutes. Cover and boil 10 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter in a saucepan, then remove from heat and blend in flour. Stir in milk. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and 3/4 cup shredded cheese. Heat slowly until cheese is melted.

Add 1 cup sauce to carrots and potatoes. Turn into a 6-cup casserole. Arrange boiled onions over the top. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the onions.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup cheese with bread crumbs and grated raw, carrots. Sprinkle over onions. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and crumbs brown. Garnish with paprika.

This good, nutritious casserole dish serves 6 nicely.

Onion side dish recipes: Herbed creamed onions and peas


1 pound small white onions
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound fresh peas, shelled
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon ground basil
1/8 teaspoon pepper


Pour enough boiling water over onions to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes, then peel. Place in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 inch boiling water; bring to boiling point. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Cook peas in another saucepan in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until done; drain.

Melt butter in a saucepan and blend in flour. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, basil and pepper.

Place peas in a serving bowl and pile onions in center of peas. Pour sauce over the onions. Recipe serves 4.

Onion side dish recipes: Stuffed onions with spinach and bacon


6 medium yellow onions
Boiling water to cover
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-3/4 cups chopped drained cooked fresh spinach
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Minced garlic to taste
2 strips crisp bacon


Peel onions and cut in lengthwise halves. Cook 5 to 7 minutes in boiling water to cover with 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from water and lift out centers. (Reserve centers for use in soups, stews and gravy.)

Combine spinach, remaining 12 teaspoon salt, paprika and garlic to taste. Crumble bacon and spread over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Serves 6.

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