February 13, 2021

HERITAGE RECIPE: Onions Stuffed with Sausage

I'm so happy that so many of you are enjoying this series of heritage recipes! It's been super fun to try out recipes that I never would have thought to try otherwise. I've been going through the heritage recipes and trying to choose ones that are off the beaten path--unusual, but not SO odd that other people wouldn't want to try them. (Although I do want to try some of the very "OMG" ones once in a while. I'm adventurous when it comes to trying new foods!)

I must be craving onions because even though I just posted the Onion Shortcake recipe recently, I chose another onion recipe this week. I didn't want to go grocery shopping today--I'm exhausted from having Luke and Riley over! Totally worth it, though, because they are SO cute. I happened to have the ingredients for this simple dish, (cleverly named) Onions Stuffed with Sausage.

The recipe was submitted to the Rockwood, Michigan Area Historical Society by Marion Fields. She said that the recipe was over 100 years old (at the time of recipe book printing, which was about 30 years ago) from Gerda Svenssen. I love the old recipes--the older they are, the more fun they are to try!

This recipe was pretty straight-forward, and as one of my "rules" for this heritage series, I made it exactly as written (interpreting the unclear parts the best I can). I wrote my notes below the recipe.

Here is a printer-friendly version!

(The photos are on the last page, so you can choose not to print them and save on ink)

Onions Stuffed with Sausage

2 lg. onions
1/4 c. milk
1 egg
1 lb. bulk sausage meat
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 T. snipped parsley

Peel onions. Cut in halves crosswise. Remove center rings and leave a hole about 1 inch in diameter. Combine remaining ingredients; blend well. Stuff onions so they make a mound. Arrange onions in a baking dish (greased) and bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. Make sure onion is tender. (Over 100 years old from Gerda Svenssen.)

My notes:

*I had large sweet onions on hand, which are flatter than the typical white or yellow onions. So, I used four of them, cutting both ends off before removing the center rings. They were the same height as if I'd used large yellow or white onions cut in half. (See photos below notes.) Next time, I'd use yellow onions.

*It was much harder to pull out the middle rings than I thought it would be! The first onion actually broke in half. After that, I used my knife to kind of pick away at the center until the hole was big enough to pull out the center rings.

*"Sausage" is a very generic ingredient. There are hundreds of varieties! I happened to have hot Italian sausage, so that is what I used. (Although after cooking it, I realized that because Gerda's last name was Swedish--Svenssen--perhaps she used Swedish sausage. Just overthinking the recipe, haha!)

*I knew right away when I read the recipe that there was NO way it would be cooked in 20 minutes. Thick raw onions and a large ball of ground sausage? I planned on at least 45 minutes. However, I set the timer for 20 minutes. When I checked on them, the onion was still totally raw. The recipe says to make sure the onion is tender, so I continued to bake them, adding 15 or so minutes each time.

After an hour, I finally pulled them out because the sausage was looking dry on top and I didn't want to burn it. The onions still had a little crunch to them, but honestly that didn't bother me too much. The flavor was fantastic! The meat mixture was delicious on its own, but the combination of the onions and the sausage was perfect. Jerry said he loved them.

*If making these again, I would cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes; then remove the foil and continue to bake until the onions are soft. That would keep the sausage from drying out as well as allow the build up of steam to soften the onions more quickly.

These were delicious, and I bet they'd be amazing with a little marinara sauce on top. I'm glad I tried this recipe--I'll definitely make them again!


  1. I'm going to give this recipe a try in a couple days. I have sausage we made & onions from out of our garden.


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