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Glazed Cipollini Onions with Rosemary

A sweet and savory dish that’s bursting with flavor!

Cipollini onions are easy to prepare, whether for a weeknight meal or a holiday spread. Enjoy them with fresh rosemary and a balsamic glaze!

If you’ve unfamiliar, cipollini onions are a small variety of the popular root vegetable. They are similar in flavor to Vidalias, but disc-shaped like a red onion.

The name comes from the Italian word cipolla combined with the suffix -ini, literally translating to “tiny little onion.” But, don’t let their size fool you — they pack quite a punch!

I can’t get enough of a good onion in any form, whether it’s crispy baked rings or a savory bowl of soup. I’ve even made them into a delicious sauce to go on my New York-style hot dogs!

a copper bowl of balsamic glazed cipollini onions garnished with rosemary.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Cipollini Onions

  • Onions — You’ll find cipollini onions online at Melissa’s Produce, or at stores and farmer’s markets during the fall months, just in time for holiday meals! If they aren’t available locally, fresh red or white pearl onions can be used instead.
  • Unsalted butter — This allows you to season to taste and control the amount of salt in the dish. If salted sticks are all you have on hand, omit the ½ teaspoon of sea salt from the recipe.
  • Fresh herbs — I love the flavor and aroma of rosemary – especially in this cipollini onion recipe — but thyme is just as wonderful. Because the dish is so simple, stick with fresh instead of dried herbs.
  • Balsamic vinegar — Trust me, you’ll want a high-quality bottle for this dish! I’m personally addicted to an 18-year aged balsamic vinegar from my local shop, and the flavor difference is incredible.
a wooden bowl on a table filled with uncooked cipolline onions.

tip

  • These can be a pain to peel, so try this easy method instead — boil them for 30-60 seconds, then cool them in a cold water bath. Trim the tips off the end and squeeze to pop the skins off!

How to make this cipollini onion recipe?

process steps for making glazed cipolline onions: soak in ice water; saute in olive oil and butter; browned onions; add balsamic vinegar and rosemary.

STEP 1 | Brown the onions

Heat butter and oil in a wide skillet. Gently place the peeled bulbs into the pan, leaving space between each one to avoid crowding. Cook until they are golden on the outside and start to soften.

STEP 2 | Simmer

Add the glaze ingredients to the pan – you can either stir them in one at a time or whisk them together in a bowl first. Reduce the heat and cover, simmering until the sauce reduces and thickens.

a copper bowl of balsamic glazed cipollini onions garnished with rosemary sitting on a linen napkin.

Frequently asked questions

Can I double this cipollini onion recipe?

You sure can! Be sure there is plenty of room in your skillet, otherwise, you may need to work in batches. In that case, keep the first batch warm in the oven while you work on the second, or get two pans going at the same time.

What are the best cooking onions?

When you want to add subtle flavor to a dish, shallots are a popular alternative. They also caramelize just as well and add a gorgeous pop of color.

White varieties can be used in a pinch, but they tend to work best (along with red) in raw form. Add these to salads, burgers, and salsas. You can also find more in-depth information on the best cooking onions here.

How do I store leftovers?

Once cooled, transfer extras to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. Enjoy cold or warm gently in the oven or on the stove. Adding a lid to your skillet will help them heat through to the center.

a copper bowl of balsamic glazed cipollini onions garnished with rosemary with a silver spoon to the side.

Serving suggestions

These are delicious all on their own and make a wonderfully easy side dish to any meal. The sweet caramelization and tanginess from the balsamic glaze are a welcome change to the heaviness of traditional holiday dishes as well.

If you manage to have leftovers, slice them up and serve over greens with some goat cheese and vinaigrette. You could even throw some on a homemade pizza or mix a few into your favorite pasta dish!

This post is part of Fall Flavors Week, a yearly event to celebrate the best fall ingredients with delicious recipes. Keep scrolling for more fall flavors recipes by my blogging friends below the recipe card.

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Yield: 4 servings

Glazed Cipollini Onions with Rosemary

a copper bowl of balsamic glazed cipollini onions garnished with rosemary with a silver spoon to the side.

Cipollini onions are easy to prepare, whether for a weeknight meal or a holiday spread. Enjoy them with fresh rosemary and a balsamic glaze!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. cipolline onions
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or thyme)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the whole cipolline onions. Boil for 30 - 60 seconds and drain. Add the onions to a large bowl of ice water. Once cool, trim the tips off the end and squeeze to pop the skins off.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Gently place the peeled bulbs into the pan, leaving space between each one to avoid crowding.
  3. Cook until the onions are golden on the outside and start to soften, about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the water, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook 5 more minutes until the sauce thickens.

Notes

  • These can be a pain to peel, so try this easy method instead — boil them for 30-60 seconds, then cool them in a cold water bath. Trim the tips off the end and squeeze to pop the skins off!
  • Once cooled, transfer extras to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. Enjoy cold or warm gently in the oven or on the stove. Adding a lid to your skillet will help them heat through to the center.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

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Welcome to #FallFlavors where more than 25 food bloggers are sharing recipes with favorite Fall flavors. Our sponsors, Millican Pecan, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Nairn’s, and Republic of Tea, have furnished participating bloggers with complimentary product to use in their recipe creations that they will be sharing this week.

These same sponsors have generously offered prizes for our giveaway so be sure to enter and share with your friends so they can enter too. Be sure to follow our Fall Flavors Pinterest account for more inspiration.

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  • Prize 1: Texas Pecan Candy Basket from Millican Pecan. The Millican Pecan Texas Pecan Candy Basket is loaded with a variety of pecan gifts. Includes 6 Milk Chocolate Pecan Clusters, 6 Milk Chocolate Caramillicans (similar to Turtles), 6 White Chocolate Caramillicans, 6 Pecan Pralines, and a 1/2 lb. Bag of Flavored Pecans! Every bit DELICIOUS! A $75 value.
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  • Prize 5: A selection of six flavors of Oat Crackers from Nairn’s. One winner will receive a box of each Nairn’s Original, Chocolate Chip, Stem Ginger Oat Grahams, Caramelized Onions, Rosemary & Sea Salt Flatbreads, and Oat Cracker. Minimum $25 value.
  • Prize 6: A Selection of extracts from Taylor and Colledge. One winner will receive a selection of extracts to include vanilla bean, almond, lemon, and lavender. Minimum of $25 value.
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#Six (6) winners will be randomly selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winners have 24 hours to respond once notified by email, or they forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be chosen. The #FallFlavors bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members living in the household cannot enter or win the giveaway. Entries will be verified. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter giveaway and the contest is open only to US residents. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #FallFlavors posts or entries. Thank you to our sponsors Millican Pecan Company, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Republic of Tea, and Nairn’s for providing prizes.

sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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