Boiled Onions

"Boiled onions have always been a traditional part of my family's Thanksgiving dinner. I always assumed it was a mainstay holiday side dish for evey family in Amerca, but since I've gotten 'out in the world' see that I was mistaken. SO - I'm posting this recipe because boiled onions are AWESOME and I hope to hear from other New Englanders who agree with me. I don't wait for Thanksgiving but serve them several times a year."
photo by mums the word photo by mums the word
photo by mums the word
Ready In:


  • 2 lbs onions (white, yellow, or vidalia)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (I use Smart Balance Light) or 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust according to your preference, if using Vidalia or other sweet onions, can cut the sugar in ha)
  • salt and pepper


  • Wash onions, trim ends and remove outer layer (keep whole).
  • Cook in salted boiling water for 30- 50 minutes (depending on size of onions) until soft and onion layers start to 'come apart'.
  • Drain water, and toss onions w/ margarine, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • You can make this recipe a day or 2 in advance, store in fridge, and heat up in microwave just before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. New Englander here. It is February and we have a Turkey dinner cooking, so of course we will have boiled onions. I love them! It’s also a side dish with roast beef too!
  2. Well this was a first for me, having onions as the star in a vegetable side dish. I love onions so I had to try it. Super simple to make and good flavour too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Made for Spring PAC 2012.
  3. Boston girl here, we too had boiled onions with Thanksgiving dinner. We always use "boiling onions". Thanks for sharing, Yummy!
  4. Well, I am not from New England but I thought these were fantastic! I used sweet onions and I think that next time I may just omit the sugar all together. They tasted wonderful with the sugar, but I am confident that they will be just as pleasant without :) Next go-round I am going to use pearl onions... YUM!



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