Baked Stuffed Onions

Stuffed purple onions baked in tomato sauce garnished with chopped parsley served in a white bowl with a spoon in it.

Onions stuffed with a spicy bulgur and minced meat/ground beef mixture.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

  • ½ pound/225g ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste 

  • 1 and ½ cup rice 

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon dried mint

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

To stuff:

  • 8 medium-size onions (red or white)


  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon dried mint 

  • 1 and ½ cup water 

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil



  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook onion until translucent. Add in tomato paste and cook together for a minute.

  • Reduce the heat, add in ground beef. Cook it pressing over it so that there are no blocks left. It will release its juice and then absorb it back. Stir occasionally.

  • Now add in rice and spices. Cook it covered over low heat for 5 minutes. 

  • Remove from heat and add in chopped parsley. 

Prepare Onions and Stuff Them:

  • Peel the onions and cut the tops and bottoms. Then cut them on one side into the center from top to bottom. Don’t cut them in half, just one side. (You can see it in the picture in the content above). 

  • Bring a pot full of water to a boil. Put the onions in the pot and let them cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are tender. Drain and let them cool.

  • When the onions are cool enough, separate out the layers.

  • Preheat the oven at 400F/200C.

  • Put about a tablespoon of filling in each onion layer and wrap it loosely around the filling, leaving some space for the rice to rise. Place them in a baking pan.


  • Combine tomato paste, dried mint, water and olive oil in a bowl. 

  • Pour it over the stuffed onions in the baking pan. 

Bake and Serve:

  • Bake them for 30 minutes, until the top of onions are brown and the sauce is reduced.

  • Remove from heat, let it rest for 15 minutes. Serve with a little sauce and lemon juice(optional) over them.


  1. When cooking the ground beef and rice filling, don’t try to cook the rice completely. It will cook in the oven later.
  2. When preparing the onions, don’t cut them in half. Just cut one side of each onion into the center from top to bottom. You will easily separate them in layers when they are cooked.

  3. You can cook them in a pan over the stove too. Then start with half of the sauce and add more if needed.

  4. You can keep the leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze them for 3 months. 

Keywords: stuffed onions, stuffed baked onions