Dolma, Onion Dolma

In my defense, I was left unsupervised, the Vidalia Onions looked so good, and were so cheap ..

And with an entry like that one can suppose I am the happy owner of #10 of sweet onions, one can also assume my better half and loyal critic is not so happy, and expects that I find a good use for my prized onions.

The first thing that comes to mind is Onion Soup, but I’m not known for doing the obvious. Thinking back to requests I’ve had in the BadWolf Kitchen, I remember “Baked Onions”.

A quick Wikipedia search leads me to the Dolma. As they can describe it better than I ….

From Wikipedia:

Dolma is a family of stuffed dishes found in the Balkans, South Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. Common vegetables for stuffing are tomato, pepper, onion, zucchini, eggplant and pointed gourd. Stuffed cabbage rolls and vine leaves are also very popular, which are sometimes also called sarma. Meat dolmas are generally served warm, often with tahini or avgolemono sauce. Dolmas prepared with olive oil and stuffed with rice are generally served cold with a garlic-yogurt sauce.

In 2017, dolma making in Azerbaijan was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The tradition is present throughout the Republic of Azerbaijan, and is perceived as a central culinary practice in all of its regions.

Soğan dolması (“soğan” meaning “onion” in Turkish), or stuffed onions, are a traditional dish in Bosnia, considered the specialty of Mostar. Ingredients include onions, minced beef, rice, oil, tomato purée, paprika, vinegar or sour cream, strained yogurt (locally known as kiselo mlijeko, literally “sour milk”), black pepper, salt and spices. After the onion’s skin is removed, the larger, external, layers (leaves) of onion bulbs are used as containers, so-called “shirts” (Old Turk. “dolama(n)” for a special kind of Ottoman robe)[citation needed] for the meat stuffing.

The remaining part of the onion is also used, mixed with the meat and fried on oil for a couple of minutes, to obtain the base of the stuffing. To extract the separate “shirts”, the entire bulbs are cut on the top and then boiled until soft enough to be pried off, layer by layer.

In order to prevent a further softening and crumbling, the bulbs should be blanched. The “shirts” are removed from the bulbs by slow and gentle finger pressure. Filled “shirts” (“dolme”) are boiled slowly at low heat in broth. The level of liquid should be sufficient to cover the dolmas entirely. Sogan-dolma are usually served with dense natural yogurt.

Enginar dolması is stuffed whole artichoke hearts. They may be stuffed with seasoned rice or ground meat cooked in fresh tomato sauce with aleppo pepper. Celery root may be substituted for the artichoke.

A regional specialty from Mardin is a mixed dolma platter. The sumac and Urfa pepper seasoned rice filling is first wrapped with onion layers, vine leaves, and cabbage. The remainder of the rice is used to fill eggplant, zucchini, and stuffing peppers. The wrapped onion dolma are added on the bottom of a deep cooking pot and the stuffed vegetables, cabbage rolls, and stuffed vine leaves are layered on top of the onion dolmas. The entire pot of dolmas are cooked in sumac flavored water.

I have crafted this to be vegetarian neutral, but one can brown off sausage, or bacon, or ground meat to include in the filling. One can use vegetable broth or meat stock in the preparation.

This is an experimental recipe / technique, so do feel free to experiment.

Onion Dolma

Onion Dolma are a wonderfully elegant and easy Mediterranean inspired side dish that goes from holiday feasts to everyday meals.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French, Indian, Mediterranean
Servings 2
Calories 562 kcal


  • 2 ea Large Sweet Onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Mixed Herbs Thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, etc
  • 1 cup Dressing mix
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  • Stock To moisten
  • 1 oz Mushrooms Cleaned, minced


  • Preheat oven to 375

Onion Shells

  • Peel, top and tail the onions, thence scoop out the inside, leave at least three layers of flesh
  • Coat the onion shells with oil, then season with salt and pepper
  • Set the shells in a baker, cover with foil and bake ~30 minutes


  • Dice the onion "cores" removed from the onion shells
  • In a small frypan, foam out 1 tbsp of butter
  • Add onion "cores", and saute until soft and translucent
  • Add mushrooms and saute until the start to take color
  • Add garlic and saute until fragrant
  • Add stuffing mix, mixed herbs, and splash of stock to loosen.
  • Heat through.


  • Lightly, Fill the onions with the stuffing, and then mound it up a bit on top.
  • A a dot of butter to the top of the stuffing mound.
  • Place the stuffed onions back into the baker, add a splash of stock, cover loosely with foil
  • Return to the oven for ~30 minutes, removing the foil after 15.
  • Check doneness, with a small knife, similar to testing a potato


A very basic recipe. for a dolma, or a stuffed vegetable.
I’ve used my basic stuffing here, one can use prepared stuffing, or make your own.  One can use butter to saute the filling veggies or one could fry off 4-6 slices of bacon and use the bacon fat…(I’d also crumble the bacon and add to the filling)
This will work for small squash, (adjust cooking times), aubergine, peppers, etc, etc, etc…


Calories: 562kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 1gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 8975mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 355IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: Autumn, Baked, Mediterranean, Pub Food, Side Dish, Vegetarian, Winter

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