These juicy stuffed onions with giant cous-cous, hazelnuts and sun-dried tomatoes are just bursting with flavour - a delicious vegan main course or side dish.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
There are just so many delicious flavours and textures bursting out of these stuffed onion skins - they are easy to make and totally more-ish!
The onions are roasted then peeled and their centres removed. The giant cous-cous stuffing is studded with sun-dried tomatoes, chopped hazelnuts, sultanas, vegan feta and fresh mint. What's not to love?!
Perfect as a vegan main course, they can also be served as a side-dish or buffet option, or as a light lunch with a green salad.
📝 What you need
Onions The size you use is up to you - if this is a main meal in itself you could use those really huge onions, but I tend to go for a good medium-large onion. Smaller ones will be fiddly to remove the centres from.
Giant cous cous has a delicious nutty flavour and texture. It is quite different from regular cous cous so don't get them confused - they have very different cooking times and methods. If you can't get hold of giant cous cous, you can use regular cous cous or bulgur wheat instead but do make sure you cook them according to packet instructions, rather than the recipe instructions below. You could also use a pouch of ready-cooked grains instead.
Sun-dried tomatoes give a deeply savoury flavour to the filling.
Vegan Feta (Greek White) is one of my favourite dairy-free cheeses - tangy and creamy, it is just perfect chopped up in a dish like this. If you can't find it or prefer not to use it, just add a few more nuts and add the juice of a lemon and an extra sprinkle of salt to the cous cous mixture to replace the tangy, salty flavour.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your stuffed onions
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Wrap each onion in foil and roast for 1 hour. Boil the giant cous-cous in vegetable stock for 6-8 minutes then drain and set aside.
Mix the giant cous-cous with chopped hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan feta and cheddar, fresh mint and parsley. When onions are cool enough to handle, remove their skins.
Leaving two layers of onion in tact, remove the insides. Chop a third of the removed onion centres and add to the cous cous filling. Pack each onion skin with the cous cous mixture and bake the stuffed onions for a further 15 minutes.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
If you can, roast the onions the day before you stuff them. It really helps with the peeling and removing the centres if they are completely cool.
The amount of filling you need will really depend on the size of your onions. If you have leftover filling, either serve it on the side or keep it as a delicious cous cous salad for lunch tomorrow!
If you prefer not to use vegan cheese just add more hazelnuts instead, or use a mix of walnuts and hazelnuts. You might also want to squeeze the juice of a lemon through the cous cous mixture, and adjust the seasoning before stuffing.
They can either be a centrepiece for a vegan roast dinner, alongside roast potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Or they make a lovely side-dish or buffet option, or a light lunch served with a green salad.
I don't recommend freezing them - the texture of the onion skins and stuffing will be very much compromised by freezing and they will be disappointing!
Yes - in fact they are easier to prepare if you roast the onions a day ahead and leave them whole in the fridge overnight. They are so much easier to peel and remove the cores when they are completely cool.
You could stuff lots of different vegetables with this basic giant cous cous filling - how about trying peppers, large beef tomatoes or aubergines?
You could make these with regular cous-cous or bulgar wheat, but follow the cooking instructions on the packet, not the instructions in the recipe below as they take much less time to cook. Or if you're in a hurry you could use a pouch of ready-cooked grains instead.
Stuffed Onions with sun-dried tomato & hazelnuts
- 6 large onions red or white
- 100 g hazelnuts
- 750 ml vegetable stock
- 100 g giant cous-cous
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
- 150 g vegan feta (sometimes called 'Greek White' vegan cheese)
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes adjust according to your taste
- handful sultanas
- handful fresh mint or a combination of mint and parsley
- handful vegan cheddar-style cheese (optional)
- With skins on, chop the top centimetre or so from each onion and wrap each one in foil. Bake at 180°C for one hour. Unwrap and leave to cool. (This stage can be done a day in advance if you have time).
- Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray onto the bottom shelf and roast for 5 minutes until starting to brown and skins become loose.
- Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a saucepan, then add the giant cous-cous and simmer for 6-8 minutes until just cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Finely chop the roasted hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and vegan feta. Tip them into a large bowl.
- Add the giant cous cous to the bowl, then sprinkle over the chilli flakes, sultanas and fresh mint, and mix gently to combine but without breaking up the feta too much.
- Taste the cous cous mixture, then season with salt and black pepper as required.
- Remove the skins from the roasted onions - they should peel off fairly easily. Gently pull/scoop out the centre of each onion, leaving just two layers in tact to stuff, (a sharp knife and teaspoon are handy for this job). Place the empty onions back on the baking tray to stuff.
- Take the discarded onion insides, chop finely and add one third to the stuffing mixture. (Keep the rest in the fridge to add to pasta sauces, curries, chillis etc!).
- Carefully fill each onion with stuffing mixture, pressing down to ensure they are packed full. Scatter over the grated vegan cheese (if you wish), and bake for 15 minutes until bubbling and browning on top.
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