Friday, February 11, 2011

Baked Sweet Onion Shells with Cheesy Spinach Filling

These individual savory onion bowls would be great for a starter or a side. I love how the delicious cream cheese and spinach filling is encased in it's very own edible shell. These would be the perfect accompaniment to the main course for your Valentine's Day dinner!

Let's begin with the filling:

Beat a block of cream cheese and an egg until smooth.

Add in some soft bread crumbs(I made my crumbs from stale Hawaiian bread this time. It added a nice, subtle sweetness), Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, milk, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined.

Stir in a package of thawed, well drained (I squeezed mine to remove the excess moisture after draining), chopped spinach.

Grab a large, flat sweet onion. I used a Vidalia.

Peel away the paper and cut in half from top to bottom.

Separate the onion into layers and arrange in a rectangular casserole dish prepared with non-stick cooking spray.

Spoon the filling into each onion "bowl".

Then top with more bread crumbs and grated Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until the onions are soft and the filling is slightly browned or bubbly. Mine went for 40-45 minutes and then I finished them off under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get that nice, golden brown color on top.

The onions were soft enough to be enjoyable, but firm enough to hold their shape. I could have picked them up to eat them, although that would have been messy. I went with the fork and knife method instead. So good! Since I was testing and tweaking this recipe and not serving it to a crowd, this was my dinner tonight. I stopped myself at three...but I was seriously considering a fourth! 

Baked Sweet Onion Shells with Cheesy Spinach Filling

I really need to come up with a shorter name for this recipe. Any suggestions?

1 (10 oz.) package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 oz. light cream cheese
1 egg
1 cup soft bread crumbs (not the stuff from a can), divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large, flat sweet onion such as a Vidalia

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Squeeze excess moisture out of spinach.

Beat cream cheese and egg until smooth. Add in 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan, mayonnaise, milk, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stir in spinach.

Peel onion and cut in half from top to bottom. Separate layers to form shell. Place in a baking dish. Divide spinach mixture evenly among the shells. Top with remaining bread crumbs and parmesan. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the onions are soft and the filling is set. Finish under the broiler for color.

Taste tip: This would also be good with some chopped artichoke stirred into the filling before baking.

Serves: 4-6


Oh, before you go....don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY sponsored by Maple Leaf Farms.  Go to my last post to ENTER!  Just 2 days left....


La Bella Cooks said...

I adore the flavor of vidalias, especially when roasted or grilled. This sounds like a fabulous and unique way to enjoy them. I definitely would love to try this. WOnderful recipe!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Looks and sounds mouthwatering marvelous! But I have to ask. Where in the world did you find a Vidalia onion this time of year??!!! Only sweet onions I've been able to get hold of come from foreign countries. I sure do miss my Vidalias. Another reason to wish for spring.

Priyanka said...

Lovely and innovative.......its so tempting :) I m definitely gonna try to make it

Krista said...

Thanks, ladies!

Mary, it was at one of my local grocery stores...although I can't recall which. The last few weeks have been a blur with our move! This one was in the basket at the bottom of my pantry and it had a sticker on it that said "Vidalia".

Hmmm. Either the onion fairies left it there for me or the South is shipping them all up here and neglecting you Southerners! When we lived in Georgia, someone from my husband's office would drop off a whole basket for me. That was nice!

teresa said...

oh how fun! i've never seen filled onion shells before, what a delicious idea!

theUngourmet said...

I've never tried a stuffed onion. What a fantastic idea! They look wonderful!

Ty'sMommy said...

Oh, WOW! Those look deliviouse! I think even my picky hubby might try those!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

These look terrific... Will be on my menu this week!

Julie said...

I love baked onions so much, and filled with the cheesy goodness would be so awesome :)

Desi said...

Clever idea, Krista! You could call it Cheesy Spinach Onion Shells, but I don't think there is anything wrong with what you are calling it now :)

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