I make this Vidalia Onion Casserole once a year during Vidalia Onion season when I’m cooking my way through 20 pounds of onions, purchased from the annual Boy Scout Vidalia Onion Sale. I can’t complain at all because I love a fundraiser that sells something useful (I can’t make a casserole out of over-priced wrapping paper!) 🙂 Vidalia Onion Casserole is pretty popular with the family too!
I suppose this recipe could easily be titled French Onion Soup Casserole, because it’s very similar. Caramelized onions in rich broth, topped with toasted bread and cheese – YUM! Even the fussy, non-onion eaters like this one.
To get started, in a large oven proof skillet, melt about 4 Tbsp. of butter (or olive oil) and add 4-6 large, sliced vidalia onions. I like to use this big cast iron skillet although any pan that can be used on both the stove and the oven will work. A dutch oven would work too.
Cook the onions over medium heat (for what seems like forever). If you are patient, the onions will get nice and caramelized. If they start to stick, add a little bit of water and keep stirring occasionally.
Once the onions are ready, add 2 Tbsp. of flour. Stir and cook for a minute so the flour is browned. This will thicken the broth just a bit without turning it thick, gravy like consistency.
Stir in 6 cups of broth. Stir to incorporate the broth into the onion, flour mixture.
Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn on the bottom. At this point, taste to see if it needs any extra seasonings. I like to add a little fresh or dried thyme as well as salt and pepper.
Toast several thick slices of bread, enough to cover the top of the broth. I do this in the broiler – just watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Alternatively, you could toast all of these in the toaster. We usually use a loaf of homemade Easy Artisan Bread or No Knead Oatmeal Bread – any type of fresh, artisan style bread will be delicious. It’s nice when you can slice it yourself so that the slices are thick.
Place the pieces of toast on top of the broth.
Sprinkle 8 oz. of mozzarella cheese over the bread.
Place the pan under the broiler for a couple minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh thyme (optional). Serve.
- 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 4-6 Vidalia onions (or other sweet onion)
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 6 cups broth (vegetable, chicken, beef, or homemade mixture)
- 1 loaf of crusty artisan bread, cut into thick slices (we use homemade Easy Artisan Bread)
- 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
- fresh or dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large oven proof saute pan, melt the butter until nice and hot.
- While the pan is heating, peel and slice the onions.
- Add the onion slices to the hot butter (or olive oil).
- Cook and stir until nice and caramelized (usually between 20-30 minutes).
- Stir in the flour and cook through.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. This should thicken slightly.
- Toast the bread and add to the top of the broth and onion mixture.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the bread.
- Pop in the broiler just long enough to melt the cheese and brown it slightly.
- Sprinkle with some fresh thyme if you have it. Serve.