Moroccan Onions
(Mezgaldi Spiced Onions)

I finally got the "onions aren't just for mirepoix" memo and this may well go down as the Year of the Onion. This recipe is my variation of the traditional Moroccan onions called mezgaldi. They are sliced and spiced, then roasted, then caramelized under the broiler, all simpler than it sounds. I think you're going to love this recipe ...

Moroccan Onions ♥, sliced, spiced and roasted, easy to make for one or two or a crowd. Vegan. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly.

Real Food, Fresh & Family-Tested. Not just easy, Summer Easy. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly, a Real Crowd Pleaser. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.

  • "... it turned out great." ~ Sally
  • "Those were GREAT!" ~ Randy

Even Cold Food Is "Hot". And "Cool".

No question, food – the topic – is as "hot" as this last soul-sizzling summer and as "cool" as the fall air that wafts through the open window right now.

One venerable media outlet after another is dishing up food. My favorite magazine, The Atlantic, now publishes extensive food content online. My favorite news source, NPR, has great food coverage but recipe hunters will especially appreciate NPR’s Kitchen Window. The Smithsonian has new food content called Food & Think. Even CNN (yes, the ‘news’ CNN) launched a new food site called Eatocracy.

(Fascinating. In 2021? None of these big-media food pages are active any longer!)

I ♥ Food Blogs

I Really Do.

But truth be told, despite the big-budget credentials of the slick newcomers, my favorite food sites are published in spare time on a shoestring by food bloggers, home cooks who put breakfast, lunch and supper on the table week in and week out.

These aren’t "professional" food and media people – but produce authentic, inspiring and yes, professional, results.

Take Kayotic Kitchen, the lovely food blog from the Netherlands. When Kay (get it, Kay? Kay-otic?) posted a recipe for a Moroccan Tomato Salad, she urged readers to take another look at another Moroccan recipe from last year, an onion dish called Mezgaldi.

I took the bait and a look and immediately printed off the recipe. A day or so later, I found the recipe in my bookmarks, saved last year when Kay first published the recipe. Same recipe, a year apart!

I can take a hint: I made the onions straight off. OH MY they are good. The spices are sweet and gentle, if you close your eyes you just might imagine colorful scenes right out of Marrakesh (open your eyes to be transported into My Marrakesh, another favorite blog, this time, no recipes, just color and design).

(Hmmm .... in 2021, Kayotic Kitchen and My Marrakesh are also inactive. It's a life lesson, I suppose. Enjoy everything you can, now, because even good things can be fleeting.)

I Moroccan Onions. So Do Others!

That was 2010 and I’ve been making Moroccan Onions ever since, for two, for twelve, for twenty.

Adventurous eaters love them, onion lovers gobble them up. (Kids, oops, not so much.)

They’re unusual, quick to make and very tasty.

Over time, I’ve cut the oil to just a tablespoon, it’s plenty. While the onion slices are delicious hot, they really shine at room temperature – that makes Moroccan Onions a natural for a buffet or a make-ahead side for grilled meat.

Moreover, sliced thin and roasted, the onions are surprising but welcome additions to open-faced sandwiches.

Besides Onions, What Else Are We Missing?

If you're like me, onions so common in your kitchen that you rarely think to make them the star of the show instead of hard-working stagehands.

It all has me wondering what "else" we take for granted, what other foods might be as simple but as surprising as Moroccan Onions. What do you think?

You'll Love Moroccan Onions If ...

  • An easy, inexpensive, crowd-pleasing side dish is in order
  • A full range of serving temperatures is important (hot or room temperature or even chilled)
  • You need a last-minute, hands-off side dish for a buffet or a family meal
  • You're building a dinner menu of Middle-Eastern-style dishes
  • You just love-love-love onions!

  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for Moroccan Onions hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Moroccan Onions ♥, sliced, spiced and roasted onions, easy to make for one or two or a crowd. Simple but gorgeous!

(also called "Mezgaldi", Moroccan Spiced Onions)

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Makes 12 rings
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons olive oil (see TIPS)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric or 1/4 teaspoon curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 medium onions (white, red, yellow or sweet, see TIPS)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Heat oven to 400F/200C.

SPICED OIL In a small bowl, stir together the oil and spices.

ONIONS Wash the onions and slice off the ends. Peel off the outer papery skins and then cut crosswise into slices about 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Brush both sides with the Spiced Oil, arrange in a baking dish, overlapping a little if needed. Pour over any remaining Spice Oil. Wash the water down the sides of the baking dish, taking care not to rinse the oil and spices off the onions.

BAKE Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until the onions are soft.

BROIL Remove the baking dish from the oven, turn on the broiler and place an oven rack about six inches below the broiler. Sprinkle the sugar atop the onions and place the baking dish under the broiler until the onion tops brown and caramelize a bit, about 5 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes because they can turn fast.

SERVE If you like, serve hot, otherwise, let cool to room temperature. Serve and savor!

SERVING IDEAS Moroccan Onions are especially good with grilled meats and one contribution to a meze of middle-eastern dishes like hummus and olive spread. It's my go-to side dish for Easy Garlic-Herb Mediterranean Chicken ("Med Chicken") and Afghan Chicken & Rice Casserole (Kabeli Palau).

ALANNA’s TIPS The inspiring recipe calls for three tablespoons of olive oil but I've dropped it back to just one tablespoon with no problem. For fun, the first time I made Moroccan Onions, I sliced up four onion varieties, a yellow onion, a sweet Vidalia onion, a red onion and a white onion. They were all excellent, the red onion (surprisingly) just a little bit not as good and the white onion (again, surprisingly) just a little bit better. But the red onions do look quite pretty, I’d choose them for aesthetics. Overlapping the onion slices makes for a pretty presentation. It helps to put a small wedge of onion beneath the first slice to prop it up a little. The broiler step might seem superfluous, but it's not. That last blast of heat really works to both caramelize the sugars and built up flavor.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 1 tablespoon oil and 3 slices per serving): 86 Calories; 3g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 4mg Sodium; 14g Carb; 2g Fiber; 8g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 2 & myWW green 2 & blue 2 & purple 2

Calling All the Onion Lovers

~ onion recipes ~

Julia Child's Soubise (Onion & Rice Casserole) ♥ Dreamy. Heavenly. Ethereal. Addictive. Yes, it's that good.

Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions ♥, memorable caramelized onions, extra-special with a little brown sugar and dry sherry, extra-easy in the slow cooker.

More Recipe Inspiration from Morocco

~ Moroccan recipes ~

Moroccan Chicken ♥, a one-pot chicken stew simmered with eggplant and tomato in a sauce perfumed with Morrocan-style spices. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein.

Spiced Preserved Lemons ♥, just lemons, salt and pantry spices, the cornerstone ingredient in Moroccan cuisine.

Citrus Slices with Orange Flower Water, Spices & Chocolate Shavings ♥, a simple summer dessert, orange slices steeped in a little orange flower water and showered with chocolate shavings.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ onions ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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2010 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I'm definitely making those Moroccan Onions!! Those were GREAT!

  2. I made the onion with cinnamon and turmeric last night. I'm on a MAJOR diet so only used 1 T. of olive oil and it turned out great.

  3. I'm curious - do you serve it as a side dish? Could you/would you eat with crackers or something if an appetizer?

  4. Randy ~ They are memorable, aren't they?!

    Sally ~ I've had great luck with just 1 tablespoon olive oil too. So glad you liked these!

    Cathy ~ I've served them two ways, mostly as a side dish but then later, on open-face sandwiches. They're a little big for an appetizer, though I suppose if you fussed with smaller onions, they'd be a good appetizer size. Hope this helps, you've got me thinking!!

  5. We love onions, so much in fact that a 25lb bag disappeared in about 2 months (for 2 people!). This sounds like a terrific side dish for steak.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna