Stuffed Onions – Grilled

Stuffed onions are easy to make and take very little time to prepare. Just purchase four nicely sized onions of the red, yellow, or white varieties. Mix them up to make a colorful presentation, but be aware that the different color onions roast to doneness at slightly different times depending on the water content of the onion leaves (or layers). Remove the outer skin, called a tunic, then cut off the root end of the onion, about ¼ to ½ inches. Discard the root and trimmed off onion layers. If a hole appears in the bottom of the onion (the stem end), you can ignore it or place a small piece of onion over it.


  • 4 onion shells (yellow, red, or white), hollowed out for stuffing
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped roughly
  • 6 ounces ham, diced
  • 1 cup (approximate), vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons of sliced raw almonds
  • 4 cups (approximate) of bread diced or torn into ½ inch cubes. Use a good quality crusty bread such as a French baguette.
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup celery (sliced)
  • 1 cup diced onion (can be made from the portion removed from the onion shells).
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.

Preparation – Phase One

Start the grill and bring it to a temperature, with the lid closed, of about 400 degrees, Hollowing out the onion is the first step, and it is not as hard as it sounds. Trim the onion, as described above. Next, carefully use a paring knife to cut an X through the center of the onion as close the stem end as you can and without piercing the outer two or three leaves of the onion.

A spoon or melon baller can be used to remove the interior of the onion, leaving a thickness of about two to three layers of the onion. Place the onion shells on the grill, but avoid placing them over the flames. If you have an upper rack, place the onion shells on the rack to begin the roasting process. The onion shells can roast on the grill over indirect heat for about 20 minutes while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients.

While the onion roasts, prepare the stuffing. In a sauté pan on the range or on the grill, melt the butter with the canola or olive oil. Add the celery and diced onion along with the garlic clove. The onion should be tender, but not translucent.

Place diced bread into a mixing bowl. Pour the celery and onion mixture over the bread. Stir and add the vegetable or chicken stock until all of the bread is just moist. Add the diced ham, the parsley, and the almonds, and then stir all the ingredients together. By now, the onion shells are soft roasted and ready for stuffing. Remove these from the grill. Add the stuffing mixture to the interior of the onions with a large spoon.

Grilling the Onions – Phase Two

Once the onions are stuffed, place them back on the grill over indirect heat. Note that different varieties of onions may roast at slightly different rates. The temperature of the grill should now be about 325 to 350 degrees, and the backyard chef may need to reduce the flame a bit to accommodate the reduced temperature. The stuffed onions should be grilled for about 25 minutes.

If the grill is prone to flare-ups, placing the stuffed onion on a 2 or 3 inch square of the onion skin may help. A small amount of charring or blistering on the outer leaf of each onion is acceptable, but the onion shell should not be fully charged.


Place the stuffed onions on a plate, cut in half, and serve to your guests.

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