Vidalia Onion Casserole

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If you've never tried a Southern Vidalia Onion Casserole, it's time to put it at the top of your food bucket list! Caramelized onions surrounded by melted Swiss cheese is a casserole dish to love!

spoon lifting out a scoop of vidalia onion casserole in a green dish.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe

Sweet caramelized onions combined with Swiss cheese and a buttery, crunchy topping is southern comfort food at its best.

You'll love the tender onion flavor combined with just a touch of sweetness. This southern side dish goes great with beef, poultry, pork and fish. It's also the perfect vegetarian casserole to take to a potluck dinner because it's often the star of the show!

The topping can be made with cracker crumbs or Panko bread crumbs mixed with butter. The combination of crunchy and sweet is a real winner!

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

  • sweet Vidalia onions - found in southern states, but sweet onions can be substituted
  • butter - real salted butter is best
  • cream cheese - full fat cream cheese is recommended in this recipe
  • half and half cream - can substitute milk if needed
  • black pepper - coarse ground pepper is a good choice
  • Swiss cheese - the sweet flavor of Swiss cheese gives this casserole a nice touch
  • soy sauce - a secret ingredient that adds depth of flavor
  • Panko bread crumbs or crushed Ritz crackers - either works well in this recipe

How to Make Vidalia Onion Casserole

1 - Start by slicing Vidalia onions into rings, then melt butter in a large skillet. Saute onions in butter until they begin to caramelize and turn a light shade of brown. If you can't find Vidalia onions in your town, try any type of sweet onion instead.

vidalia onions sliced in a skillet.

2 - Add cream cheese to skillet with cooked onions and stir until completely melted over medium heat. Add a cup of half & half and mix well. Sprinkle a little black pepper into the onion. mixture, then add Swiss cheese and stir until melted.

vidalia onions with cream in a cast iron skillet.

3 - Grease a medium size 13-inch baking dish (I used a round one). Pour contents of skillet into the dish. Sprinkle soy sauce over the top of casserole and set aside. This might seem like an odd ingredient to add, but trust me, it makes a difference.

a big spoonful of vidalia onion casserole in a green dish.

4 - To make the topping, melt butter and mix with seasoned Panko bread crumbs or crushed buttery crackers. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the casserole. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until Vidalia Sweet Onion Casserole is bubbly and golden brown.

Recipe FAQs

What is a vidalia onion?

Vidalia onions are found mostly in the south, and were originally grown in the town of Vidalia, which happens to be in the state of Georgia. Their flavor is unique because they're very sweet compared to other onions. When they're caramelized, the sweet flavor intensifies.

Can I use substitute another type of onion in this recipe?

If you can't find vidalia onions in your area, sweet onions are a good substitute. However, using a strong onion will not produce the same results.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Swiss cheese tastes great in this sweet onion casserole, but you could also used cheddar cheese or smoked gouda. Parmesan cheese is also a nice addition.

Why is soy sauce added to this recipe?

Soy sauce seems like an odd ingredient, but it adds a depth of flavor that makes a difference. You could try using Worcestershire sauce instead, but I've never tested it and don't recommend any variations to this original recipe. If you don't like soy sauce, you can just leave it out.

Storing and Freezing

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven until warm throughout.

I don't recommend freezing this casserole due to the high content of cream in the recipe. Cream tends to curdle when frozen and thawed out.

What to Serve with Vidalia Casserole

Serve Vidalia Onion Casserole at Thanksgiving or anytime with turkey and southern dressing. It also goes great with grilled pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes and collard greens.

If you want to get a real taste of southern cooking, be sure to make this old fashioned onion casserole. It's as down-home and southern as you can get!

More Casseroles to Love

Love casseroles? Check out some of these favorites that are perfect for weekdays, or during holidays like Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas.

 

Recipe Card

spoon lifting out a scoop of vidalia onion casserole in a green dish.

Vidalia Onion Casserole

If you've never tried a Vidalia Onion Casserole, it needs to be at the top of your southern food bucket list!  Caramelized onions surrounded by swiss cheese is a casserole to love.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 330kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Ingredients

  • 4 large Vidalia onions
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup half & half
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces swiss cheese shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups seasoned Panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice Vidalia onions into rings, then melt butter in a cast iron skillet. (ad)
  • Sauté onions in butter until they begin to caramelize and turn a light shade of brown.
  • Add cream cheese to skillet and stir until completely melted over medium low heat.
  • Add half & half and mix well.
  • Sprinkle a little black pepper into the mix, then add swiss cheese and stir until melted.
  • Grease a medium sized casserole dish (I used a round one).
  • Pour contents of skillet into the dish. Sprinkle soy sauce over the top of casserole and set aside. 
  • To make the topping, melt butter and mix with seasoned Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the casserole.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Notes

  • If you can't find Vidalia onions, try any type of sweet onion instead. 

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 526mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 313mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. Made it for Thanksgiving and it added an extra special touch to the typical fixin’s. Thank you for this recipe...and your others!

  2. Why is soy sauce added after chesse and half and half? What if it was addd while onions are first sautéing with melted butter.
    This recipe sounds delicious and can’t wait to surprise my family with it .

    1. Great question Catherine! This is a vintage southern recipe and it's done like this so you really get the taste of the soy sauce on top. I've made it the way you are suggesting and it can be done that way too. But, if you really want to taste the soy sauce, that's why it's put on top. 🙂

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