French Onion Tart

November 29, 2016 By Cathy — 22 Comments
A tender crust topped with sweet roasted onions and just a hint of herbs make this a onion tart a party favorite.

French Onion Tart

Okay, so when you think party food I’m guessing your first thought isn’t onions. Right? That was until now. See this French onion tart is absolutely party-worthy and I promise that it will be the first thing that disappears at your next get-together.

I love to entertain around the holidays. Small groups, big parties…it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without a fair amount of cooking and a specialty cocktail or two. We’re not throwing a big holiday party this year, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have a few small ones.

French Onion Tart

One thing most of our parties have in common is plenty of food (or maybe too much if I’m being honest), plenty to drink and some good music. And unless I’m hosting a dinner party, another common factor is serving food that can be easily picked up and eaten. That means no utensils if I can help it, appetizer plates only, and crafting a menu that can be enjoyed with just a napkin in hand.

Serving finger food not only keeps the dishes to a minimum and streamlines clean up, it also keeps the party moving. Guests aren’t trying to slice through a piece of chicken while balancing a plate on their lap with a drink in hand. Instead, they’re mingling, nibbling, chatting and depending on the hour and cocktail consumption, dancing.

French Onion Tart

Onions also have a special place in my heart around the holidays because growing up my dad always made his “famous” onion pizza on Christmas Eve. And let me tell you, it was truly famous with my family and friends. Every year my dad cooked up a big pot of tomato sauce filled with tons of onions and black olives and let it simmer for hours on the stove. Then he rolled out a large pizza dough, covered it with the sauce and topped it with another dough. It was baked until golden brown perfection and gobbled up by all of the guests that passed through our doors on Christmas Eve. And in the spirit of over-feeding, it was of course one of the many pizzas he would make that day.

French Onion Tart

While an often requested family favorite, onion pizza only came around once a year, much like a Shamrock Shake or candy corn. But it’s no wonder, as it was pretty labor intensive and time consuming. But unlike the onion pizza of my youth, today’s onion tart recipe requires minimum effort while still delivering big flavor.

The dough comes together in minutes in your food processor and can be made well in advance and frozen until you’re ready to use it. There’s no precooking of the onions on the stove like many onion tarts require. They’re simply sliced thin and arranged over a sprinkling of grated cheese and herbs and baked until golden brown and caramelized. The tart can be sliced into squares, strips or wedges, but no matter how you slice it (yes I went there), it’s just plain delicious.

French Onion Tart

4.67 from 3 votes
French Onion Tart
French Onion Tart
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
A tender crust topped with sweet roasted onions and just a hint of herbs make this a onion tart a party favorite.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Keyword: french onion tart, onion tart
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 345 kcal
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup ice water
Onion Topping
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded (4 oz)
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh chives, minced
  • 1 1/4 lbs sweet onions (such as Vidalia), peeled, halved, and very thinly sliced into half moons (keep the moons intact) (about 3 medium onions)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine.

  2. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas.
  3. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the tart
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Roll the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper, slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the onions.
  3. Sprinkle the rolled pastry with the cheese right to the edges.
  4. Sprinkle with thyme and chives.
  5. Place the onion half moons on the pastry in diagonal lines, just barely overlapping and brush lightly with cream.
  6. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Bake for 40 mins or until the tart is golden and browned. Cover the edges with foil if the tart is getting too brown during baking.
  8. Let cool slightly and cut into squares to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

*Adapted from The Barefoot Constessa's French Apple Tart

Nutrition Facts
French Onion Tart
Amount Per Serving
Calories 345 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 443mg 18%
Potassium 142mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 14.2%
Vitamin C 6.8%
Calcium 2.7%
Iron 9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
French Onion Tart

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Filed Under: Appetizers/Snacks, Holiday, Recipe


22 responses to “French Onion Tart”

  1. This would have to come around way more than once at year at our house!! This tart looks absolutely amazing Cathy. I love how you don’t even need to cook the onions ahead of time. Thanks for sharing this holiday favorite!

  2. Wow! I could stare at this all day 🙂 Beautiful and such great flavours. Perfect for the holidays.

  3. This would be perfect for my holiday party with the ladies! Can’t wait to try it out!

  4. Cindy says:

    This look so lovely. All my faves! Love the memory of your dad – thanks for sharing.

  5. I’m a huge onion fan too! The longer they cook the sweeter they get and I am all about it! I loved the memory of your dad….my dad would make fried dough and we’d have Shirley Temples every Christmas Eve.

  6. Rachel says:

    I can’t quit making this.

  7. Alyse Wittenberg says:

    I have made this tart three times and it’s always great. I do drop the oven temp 15 degrees and set it for convection towards the end of the baking time to brown up the onions. Otherwise I follow the directions to the letter. Lots of ooohs and aaahs when I show up with it for parties. A total crowd pleaser.

    • Cathy says:

      So glad you enjoyed the tart Alyse and great tip to adjust the heat to get the onions browned to your liking. This is always a favorite in my house around the holidays too.

  8. Emma says:

    This recipe looks amazing and I’m keen to make it for a party.. I’m trying to make as much of the food as possible in advance and I’m then freezing it all so I was wondering if this tart can be frozen once cooked?

    • Cathy says:

      I’ve never baked it and frozen it so I hesitate to recommend that. You can make the dough and roll it out and freeze that on a cookie sheet and then finish it day of.

  9. Jan Jones says:

    This recipe sounds absolutely amazing! I am planning on making it, then immediately adding it to my handwritten cookbook of favorite recipes. While the gruyere cheese sounds wonderful, I hope to be able to make it with other varieties of cheeses that I keep on hand so as to use it as one of those recipes you can make and take at the last minute without a trip to the grocery store. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe, and your family memories!

    • Cathy says:

      You can absolutely use any cheese you have on hand…most of your favorites should work well. I hope you enjoy the tart Jan, it’s hands down one of my personal favorites and a staple in our home.

  10. Shane Boulds says:

    wondering if you have ever tried this with Pizza dough (that you can get from the store or your pizza place).

    Carmalized Onions are one of my favorite flavors ever… can’t wait to make this… if I try the pizza dough I’ll let you know.

    • Cathy says:

      I haven’t because I have a special place in my heart (and stomach) for this flakey pastry crust, but I have no doubt that pizza dough would work. It would simply be more of an onion pizza and less of a tart. Let me know if you give it a go!

  11. Lara says:

    I’m with Shane & thinking pizza crust, because I’ve never cared for pie crust. Looks wonderful, wondering what size sheet tray you used, I have standard 1/2 sheet pans which are 13×18, so quite a bit bigger than the 10×14 you mention.

    • Cathy says:

      Definitely give pizza dough a try if you’re not a fan of a pastry crust. My dad always used pizza dough for his onion pizza so I know it will work. I always use a standard half sheet pan, the dough doesn’t have to extend to the sides. You can play around with the dimensions if you use pizza dough. Hope you enjoy!

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