Tennessee Onions

Tennessee Onions

Better than Onion Rings


  • 3-4 Vidalia sweet onions
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust according to preference)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup Italian blend cheese, finely shredded
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare Baking Dish: Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Prepare Onions: Clean and peel the Vidalia sweet onions. Slice them into rounds approximately ¼ inch thick. Do not separate the rounds into individual onion rings.
  4. Layer Onions: Spread the onion rounds evenly across the base of the prepared baking dish.
  5. Season Onions: Season the onion rings with salt, garlic powder, and oregano.
  6. Add Butter: Cut the butter into roughly eight even portions or pats. Distribute these butter pats evenly across the seasoned onion rings in the baking dish.
  7. Add Cheese: Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese and cheddar cheese evenly over the onion rings. Finish with a final topping of shredded Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake: Place the baking dish into the preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
  9. Serve: For optimal taste, serve the dish promptly while it remains warm.

Achieving the Perfect Tennessee Onions: 30 Secrets to Master the Recipe

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

  1. Vidalia Sweet Onions: Choose Vidalia sweet onions for their natural sweetness and mild flavor.
  2. Freshness: Use fresh onions to ensure the best texture and taste.
  3. Unsalted Butter: Opt for unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the dish.
  4. Cheese Quality: Use high-quality, finely shredded cheese for better melting and flavor.

Preparation Tips

  1. Even Slices: Slice onions into even ¼ inch rounds for uniform cooking.
  2. Don’t Separate Rings: Keep the onion rounds intact for a better texture and appearance.
  3. Seasoning Distribution: Ensure even distribution of salt, garlic powder, and oregano over the onion slices.

Cooking Tips

  1. Proper Baking Dish: Use a 9×13-inch baking dish for even cooking.
  2. Non-Stick Spray: Coat the baking dish with non-stick spray to prevent sticking and make cleaning easier.
  3. Butter Distribution: Distribute butter pats evenly to ensure all onions are coated and flavorful.
  4. Even Cheese Layer: Spread cheese evenly over the onions for uniform melting and browning.

Baking Tips

  1. Preheat Oven: Always preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) for consistent cooking results.
  2. Middle Rack: Place the baking dish on the middle rack for even heat distribution.
  3. Watch the Cheese: Keep an eye on the cheese to prevent it from burning.

Flavor Enhancements

  1. Garlic Powder: Use fresh garlic powder for a more robust flavor.
  2. Oregano: Freshly ground oregano will provide a more aromatic taste.
  3. Cheese Variety: Mix different cheeses like gouda or fontina for a unique flavor profile.


  1. Add Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can add an extra layer of flavor.
  2. Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a spicy twist.
  3. Bacon Bits: Sprinkle cooked bacon bits over the cheese for added crunch and flavor.


  1. Prevent Sogginess: Ensure onions are not overlapping too much to avoid sogginess.
  2. Crispy Cheese: If the cheese isn’t browning, place under the broiler for a few minutes.
  3. Balanced Salt: Taste and adjust the salt level according to preference.

Dietary Adjustments

  1. Low-Sodium: Use low-sodium butter and cheese to reduce overall salt content.
  2. Vegan Option: Substitute butter with vegan butter and use vegan cheese.

Serving Tips

  1. Serve Hot: Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor.
  2. Garnish: Garnish with fresh parsley or chives for added color and flavor.
  3. Accompaniments: Pair with grilled meats, salads, or crusty bread.

Storage and Reheating

  1. Proper Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  2. Reheat Properly: Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) to retain the texture and prevent sogginess.

By following these secrets and tips, you’ll master the art of making perfect Tennessee Onions, ensuring they are a delightful addition to any meal. Enjoy your delicious creation!

20 Most Popular Questions and Their Answers

1. Can I use a different type of onion?

Answer: Vidalia sweet onions are recommended for their sweetness, but you can use other sweet onions or even regular yellow onions.

2. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Answer: Yes, you can prepare the dish up to the baking step and refrigerate it. Bake just before serving.

3. What can I use instead of Italian blend cheese?

Answer: You can use any cheese blend that you prefer, such as a mix of mozzarella and provolone.

4. Can I add other seasonings?

Answer: Yes, feel free to add other seasonings like thyme, paprika, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick.

5. How do I store leftovers?

Answer: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

6. How do I reheat leftovers?

Answer: Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through, or use a microwave on a lower power setting.

7. Can I use pre-shredded cheese?

Answer: Yes, pre-shredded cheese can be used, but shredding your own cheese often results in better melting and texture.

8. What can I serve with Tennessee Onions?

Answer: They pair well with grilled meats, burgers, or as a side dish to a main course.

9. Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Answer: This dish is naturally gluten-free. Just ensure that all seasoning blends and cheeses used are gluten-free.

10. Can I use salted butter?

Answer: Yes, but you may want to reduce the added salt in the recipe to avoid over-salting.

11. Can I use a different cheese instead of Parmesan?

Answer: Asiago or Romano cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan.

12. Can I make this dish vegan?

Answer: Substitute the butter with a vegan alternative and use vegan cheese.

13. How thin should the onion slices be?

Answer: Slices should be approximately ¼ inch thick to ensure they cook evenly and retain some texture.

14. Can I add bacon to this recipe?

Answer: Yes, crumbled cooked bacon can be sprinkled over the top before baking for added flavor.

15. Is it necessary to separate the onion rings?

Answer: No, keep the rounds intact for better texture and presentation.

16. Can I use a different size baking dish?

Answer: A different size dish can be used, but baking times may vary. Ensure the onions are spread evenly and adjust cooking time as needed.

17. What can I do if the cheese isn’t browning?

Answer: If the cheese isn’t browning, you can place the dish under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of the baking time.

18. Can I freeze this dish?

Answer: Freezing is not recommended as the texture of the onions and cheese may change upon thawing and reheating.

19. Can I add breadcrumbs to this recipe?

Answer: Yes, a sprinkle of breadcrumbs on top before baking can add a nice crunch.

20. How do I prevent the dish from being too greasy?

Answer: Use a balance of cheeses and avoid using too much butter. Trim excess fat if adding any meat like bacon.

By following these questions and answers, you can ensure a successful and delicious experience making Tennessee Onions. Enjoy your meal!