Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Spread

"Spread this on crusty bread or savoury biscuits, use it as a topping for tartlets or as a delicious spread in sandwiches. Used as a sandwich spread, I simply add something like a slice of roasted red pepper and baby spinach leaves. Or slices of ham. I adapted this recipe from one I found online because I was not satisfied with the gourmet spreads I'd been buying. Well they classified themselves as gourmet but they were, in fact, rather ordinary and also quite expensive! I love the fact that this recipe also has mushrooms in it - and a few other goodies! The original recipe must have been a Birds Eye recipe as it specified using Birds Eye Frozen Sliced Onions. I've slightly increased the mushrooms and garlic as I generally do with recipes and I've added leeks as the combination of flavours from onions, leeks and garlic is just so delicious. And I've also added thyme. Vary the garlic - and any of the ingredients - to suit your taste preferences. I've suggested adding more balsamic vinegar if your onion mixture seems too dry. If like me, you are a bit inexact in the measurement of some of the ingredients - oh, I may as well use all of that! - ;) this would obviously be the easiest way to correct this. Have fun playing with this recipe - and I hope that you enjoy it. I keep meaning to add some chopped nuts, probably walnuts, and must try to remember to do so next time I make this."
photo by Sharon123 photo by Sharon123
photo by Sharon123
Ready In:
3 cups




  • In a large non-stick pan, heat the butter and oil; add the frozen onions and leeks and cook over a medium-high for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly. Add a bit more oil if needed.
  • Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme - and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and reduce the heat; allow the mixture to caramelise for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (liquid should slowly reduce and the onions turn a caramel colour); remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Place the onion mixture in a food processor, add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and process until chopped but still a little chunky. Or you could leave a tablespoon of the mixture out and add back into the mixture once you've removed it from the food processor.
  • To Serve: Spoon the Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Spread into serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve with fresh crusty bread.
  • TIP: This dip is also yummy when used to make little tarts, or to top any savoury biscuits. Simply place teaspoonfuls of the Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Spread mixture into the mini savoury tartlet cases or onto the biscuits, add crumbled feta cheese and half a Kalamata olive. Garnish with a parsley leaf and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. duonyte
    I made this for a potluck good-bye party. I really liked it, i would say it was middling received by the other guests. I served it with focaccia and also spooned onto crackers topped with cheese. I used royal trumpet mushrooms, as that was what I had. They exuded a lot of liquid, so it took a bit longer for the onions/mushrooms to caramelize.
  2. Studentchef
    This was such a good recipe and was finished within a few hours (we were hungry!). I also couldn't find frozen onion so I used raw small onion.
  3. Scuff
    Did this the other day with just some sesame and sunflower seed toast and a supermarket bistro salad with balsamic vinegar on the side as a starter. I followed the recipe to the letter (apart from using fresh onions) and it was absolutely delicious. Might have been as I was using some notoriously strong organic garlic but I think I'll reduce it a bit next time as it overpowered the rest a bit.
  4. flower7
    This was very nice! I couldn't find frozen sliced onion so used a fresh red onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced. I did not blitz this in the food processor, just left as is - I would do it that way again but start with onions sliced a little smaller. I filled pre-made fillo shells with the spread then topped them with slices of brie cheese and warmed in the oven; feta would also be good, I think. Thanks for the recipe!
  5. Sharon123
    I love onions, leeks and mushrooms so this was so very good! I enjoyed it with wheat French bread toasts. I halved the recipe, but didn't drizzle oil at the end. Thanks!


July 2008 update: VERY happy to be back on Zaar after about a two year absence due to having had no internet connection at home, and having been too unwell for a time so that getting re-connected wasn't even a priority! <br> <br>And really looking forward to getting back into the Zaar world and connecting again with the many wonderful people I knew before, and new people, of course!
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