Roasted Shallots

April 17, 2011

A student in one of my recent classes told me that her favorite vegetable is shallots.  I was amused at first – I mean, who puts shallots at the top of their list?  And then I started thinking about it.  Shallots are pretty amazing.  They are sweeter than onions with more complex flavor.  They are delicious simply pan-fried, add so much to any soup or stew, they are a mainstay in my salad dressings, and they turn into something downright addictive when allowed to get crispy and set atop something like a rice bowl or even a green bean casserole.  That is one pretty awesome vegetable.  Broccoli is my favorite and I don’t think it brings nearly as much to the party as the shallot.

I had never roasted shallots and I figured, after realizing how much I love them, that it was time.  Time to roast them with thyme.  Sorry.  I’m a little punchy these days.  Ahem.  This is what I think of as a well-behaved side dish.  It is easy, not time consuming, has few ingredients, and can be made in advance.  They come out of the oven soft, smoky, sweet, and with that wonderful sour wine-i-ness that comes from balsamic vinegar put in a hot oven.  As they sit, they mellow even more.  I tend to think of side dishes as green vegetables, but this dish was such a welcome change.  I served these alongside a filo dish with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes and they were perfect.

One Year AgoCrostini with Goat Cheese and Leek Confit
Two Years Ago: Gruyère Gougères

Roasted Shallots
Adapted from Fields of Greens
Serves 4

1 pound shallots
Olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Cut the ends off the shallots and peel them.  If you are struggling with getting the skin off, make a shallow cut along the length of the shallot and then peel.  Place them on a small baking sheet and drizzle them lightly with olive oil.  Pour on the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Use a rubber spatula or your hands to mix well.  Lay down the time sprigs and cover the pan with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.  Allow to cool and serve.


  1. I adore roast shallots. You can find them in great bags over here in the Netherlands, along with brussels sprouts, and I’ve taken to roasting them together. I’ll definitely try your version!

    Comment by Rach — April 18, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  2. Hmmm, can’t believe I have never thought of just serving shallots as a side dish before either! This is my favorite ‘fancy’ green bean recipe (without nearly as much oil) and the roasted shallots are my favorite part.

    Can’t wait to try this… Thanks!

    Comment by Stephanie — April 18, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  3. To tell you the truth I don’t think of buying shallots unless a recipe calls for it. That looks delicious.

    Comment by Helene — April 19, 2011 @ 2:48 am

  4. Yum!! I made these tonight to go alongside a Boulangerie style beans and potato dish. They went perfectly, and even my 4.5 yo loved them.

    Comment by Kathy — April 19, 2011 @ 3:21 am

  5. Exquisite!! Here in France…shallots are a mainstay ingredient and you provide a wonderful way to show them off (not to mention that the kitchen instantly becomes a family magnet with the marvelous perfume emitted… thanks to the roasting….Might we be so brazen as to request the filo/artichoke recipe you mentioned to accompany this dish? Your writing is phenomenal and it is always a pleasure to receive your fabulous recipes and refections on everything….Please continue!!!

    Comment by Donna — April 19, 2011 @ 8:49 am

  6. I also only buy shallots for specific dishes but I think I need to rethink that. This looks amazing and better still, simple. Thanks.

    Comment by Charlotte — April 19, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

  7. Oh YES. My mum makes these braised onions at Christmas (they either come from the Victory Garden Cookbook or Greene on Greens, not sure which) and they are my favourite thing about the meal. So I would for sure love roasted shallots. I’m doing a roast chicken this weekend – I am going to try these alongside!

    Comment by Hilary — April 20, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

  8. Just looking at these roasted shallots alone makes me feel hungry. Gotta try this one here at home. But of course it would be better if you have your own shallots garden. How to have one by means of using an aquaponic system of shallots farming? click here

    Comment by Cedie — April 16, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  9. Thank you for the recipe on roasted shallots.

    I dined at a fancy restaurant a few weeks ago and it was served with a skirt steak. Oh it was heavenly, It complemented the meat so well. i decided to try it.


    Comment by Pat — October 12, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  10. […] favorite dish was always pearl onions, and Mr Donnelly found a great more grown up substitute. Roasted Shallots. We started ours off in the cast iron and finished them up in the oven. Highly recommended for any […]

    Pingback by Thanksgiving | A working adventure — January 4, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

  11. I grew some shallots in my garden last some and served them this way as a side to some lemony baked cod and they were delicious!!!

    Comment by Super_C#gardener — April 25, 2017 @ 11:54 pm

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