french onion soup bites cooking with cocktail rings

French Onion Soup Bites

These puff pastry squares are topped with caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese and thyme –all the best parts of French onion soup made into little bite-size appetizers fit for a cocktail party. The bites can be made a few hours ahead of time and reheated. This elegant starter is made easy with buttery store-bought puff pastry.

The caramelized onions add a sweet and savory note to these bites. While caramelizing onions takes a bit of patience, don’t try to rush the process by turning up the heat. The goal is to draw out the sugars in the onions and caramelize them - you have to go low and slow. You end up with mellow sweet onion flavor.

Trust me – you won’t be able to eat just one!



1 package, or two sheets (1 pound) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

All-purpose flour, as needed, for rolling

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 medium red onions, thinly sliced  

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 egg

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme



On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the puff pastry pieces into a 9x12 rectangle. Use a knive to cut the pastry into 12 equal squares. Repeat with the remaining sheet of puff pastry.

Add the squares to two parchment paper-lined baking sheets and freeze for 20 minutes.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the onions and toss quickly to remove the moisture from the onions. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and start to brown.

Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the onions (to help them caramelize) and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are light brown and begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the onions are uniformly brown and caramelized, about an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Remove the pastry squares from the freezer. In a small bowl beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the squares of pastry dough with egg wash.

Top each square with about a teaspoon of caramelized onion followed by about 1 teaspoon of the gruyere cheese. Sprinkle with the thyme. Bake until the puff pastry rises and turns golden brown, 15 minutes.


Makes 24 bites.





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