Grab the grill, start up the smoker, and read up on your favorite recipes. May is National BBQ Month, a time to celebrate the fun and — of course — food that BBQ brings. As you plan your menu for your next BBQ, don’t forget the onions! Onions are a versatile and delicious addition to many BBQ dishes, sauces, and sides. Here are a few ideas of how you can use onions to create mouthwatering BBQ meals.
Start with a Sauce
Whether you’re eyeing hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, sausage, or ribs, every BBQ deserves a good sauce. Onions are a great added ingredient to your favorite store bought sauce, or you can try your hand at crafting a sauce of your own. Here are a few recipes to get your creative juices flowing.
Caramelized Onion BBQ Sauce — Caramelized red onions, horseradish, and chipotle powder add depth and spice to this versatile BBQ sauce. You can customize it with your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce, favorite beer, or favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Try a tangy apple juice for a family-friendly version.
Caramelized Onion and Honey BBQ Sauce — If you like a sweeter sauce, try out this honey, tomato, and, of course, caramelized onion recipe. You’ll also find hints of molasses, mustard, brown sugar, and bacon.
Sweet Onion Apple BBQ Sauce — If you crave the freshness of summer BBQ with the warmth of fall flavor, this is the sauce for you. Slow cooked apples, pureed caramelized onions, and cinnamon combine to delight even the most picky palate.
Get Creative with Grilled Onions
One of the best things about onions and BBQ is that onions easily stand on their own. If you want to upgrade your recipe, just add some grilled onions. Or, you can get a bit more creative and add your own culinary flare. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Charred Onions and Chives — Follow these simple steps to get a beautifully charred onion each time you grill. The key is heat, a bit of olive oil, and salt. Top it off with finely chopped chives.
Grilled Blooming Onion — That’s right. You can make this famous restaurant onion appetizer at home on your own grill. This recipe uses mozzarella cheese, your favorite steak sauce, and a large white onion to make a dish that is pretty to look at and good to eat.
BBQ Onion Steaks with Honey Mustard Sauce — For the vegetarians in your life or to simply mix up your meal, grill up a batch of these onion “steaks.” Thick slabs of onion are covered in a honey mustard sauce and grilled until caramelized.
Stuffed BBQ Onions — This innovative take on grilled onions uses the onion itself as a bowl to house delicious bits of BBQ onion and bacon.
Spice up Your Side Dishes with Onions
If you’re searching for the perfect side dish to highlight your BBQ skills, onions can help any food shine. White and red onions are the stars of many wonderful salads and soups as well as important components of vegetable side dishes.
Caramelized Onions and Apples — Slow cook sliced apples and sliced onions until caramelized. Then, dress them up with thyme sprigs for a tasty side dish.
Peppers and Onions — Simple and satisfying, combining red and yellow bell peppers with yellow onion in a light sautee makes a great topping for BBQ meats or hot dogs.
Balsamic Mushrooms and Onions — If you’re more of a mushroom maven, try this simple combo that pairs them with onions and balsamic vinegar for a zingy side dish or steak garnish.
Classic Coleslaw — This chilled BBQ classic is easy to dress up. Grab a pre-made coleslaw mix and add a few ingredients like minced onion, buttermilk, and white wine vinegar to make a sauce that zings.
Onion and Quinoa Salad — Bring together ancient grains and fresh onion for a refreshing summer side dish.
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