This simple caramelized onion and goat cheese tart is not just delicious but pretty good looking too! With under 5 ingredients and a little bit of time, proudly serve this onion tart when you want to feel a little fancy or are just in the mood for something that pairs well with a simple green salad.
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS SIMPLE TART NOW!
It used to be that when I heard the word tart or caramelized onions, I immediately thought of fancy food and complicated meals. I want to tell you that it’s not true. The hardest part about this recipe is the time it takes to caramelize the onions. It's about patience to get that deep golden brown on the onions that make this tart sing.
This tart is like a caramelized onion and goat cheese quiche without the added work of making a custard filling. The first time you make this onion tart you'll think that you missed a step or left out an ingredient...but nope, the recipe is really that simple.
The caramelized onions are the standout flavor in the tart and the tang of the goat cheese rounds out the dish perfectly. Sprinkle with fresh herbs or drizzle with some balsamic vinegar to really take the flavors over the top.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE Onion TART:
- Puff pastry: I really like using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry. It’s easy to work with and you can find it almost anywhere. One of my best tips is to find an outlet and stock up when it’s on super sale. Keep a few boxes in the freezer at all times for quick and easy meals.
- Caramelized onions: Once you learn how to make a caramelized onion, you are going to want to use them everywhere...one of my other favorite ways is in this fancy grilled cheese sandwich.
- Goat cheese: Even if you don’t think you are a goat cheese fan, try it. The tang from the goat cheese goes so well with the sweetness of the onions. You can leave it off if you really don't like it 😉.
- Time: Time is a crucial ingredient in this tart because getting the onions caramelized well, does take some time, but it’s totally worth it. It’s also a step you can do make ahead, so that the day you want to eat this, you can just assemble and bake.
HOW TO MAKE THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS
To make enough caramelized onions for this recipe, you’ll want to start with 4-5 large yellow onions. The same method will work for white and red onions too.
First, you’ll want to slice your onions up thinly. If you have a mandoline, this is a great time to bring it out, if not, just peel the onion, cut the top off, place it flat side down and start slicing.
Once you’ve got the pile of sliced onions, put some olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onions to the pan. They will appear to be falling out of the pan...don’t worry, as the onions cook, they will cook down and fit into the pan.
Now, pack your patience, this will take some time, but it’s worth it. Start off at high heat for about 5 minutes just to get things going, then reduce the heat to medium low and let the magic happen.
You’ll want to stir these every few minutes from the bottom of the pan, so that the heat can do its job with all of the onions. For this recipe, you don’t want to take them all the way to dark brown, but rather a golden brown with some really caramelized brown bits.
How to assemble the onion tart
First, you’ll roll out one sheet of puff pastry to a large square and place it onto a piece of parchment paper.
Then, you’ll layer on your caramelized onion mixture making sure that they are spread over the entire base of the puff pastry.
Once you’ve covered the bottom with the onions, you’ll want to dollop the goat cheese over the top of them making sure that it’s evenly distributed over the top of the whole thing.
Then fold the puff pastry over the filling.
Next, you’ll bake it at 425 degrees until the puff pastry is cooked and the edges are browning nicely.
When it’s done, remove the tart from the baking sheet and place onto your favorite serving dish. You can garnish the tart with any fresh herbs that you like. I think rosemary is a nice touch, but fresh thyme leaves or thyme sprigs would be nice as well.
Any cheese that you love will work in this adaptable tart recipe. Here are some that I think would work particularly well:
parmesan cheese: excellent sprinkled over the caramelized onions after baking
feta cheese: used as a direct substitute for the goat cheese
gruyere cheese: melt on the top at the end for a French Onion Soup like taste
If you wanted to make the tart even more delectable you can toss the onion mixture in some crème fraiche or mascarpone (maybe ¼ cup) before you spread it out on the puff pastry. Then top with the cheese and bake as directed.
Yes! That's one of the best parts of it. You can make a HUGE batch of caramelized onions over the weekend and then use part of them for this recipe. Store them in the fridge for up to a week. They are great on burgers, in mock chopped liver, as the base for french onion soup, or even mixed into to mashed potatoes or on top of roasted veggies!
It sure can be. The puff pastry I use is parve (so it is dairy free). You can cook the onions in a plant based butter alternative or in olive oil. You can leave off the goat cheese altogether or substitute it for a vegan cheese goat cheese easily to get the same flavor profile without the dairy.
Puff Pastry vs. Homemade Pastry Dough vs. Pie Dough
The tart crust in this recipe is made using puff pastry in a freeform shape. The crust comes out flaky and delicious with very little room for error.
You can also make the crust in a few other ways if you don't have frozen puff pastry dough on hand, although I highly recommend keeping a box on hand at all times.
- If you use a homemade pastry dough, be sure to blind bake the dough for 15-20 minutes before adding the onion mixture.
- If you want to use pie dough, you can either make it yourself (not always so simple) or buy a premade rolled-up pie crust. Follow the directions on the package regarding blind baking and baking temp, but follow the same steps as listed above for assembling the tart.
What to serve with the Caramelized Onion Tart
This is a great tart to serve at brunch. It looks beautiful, tastes great warm or at room temperature and is simple to put together. Here are some brunch menu ideas that would complement the caramelized onion and goat cheese tart and make a nice spread:
- Mother’s Day: A big salad, soup bar and this tart would be a great way to celebrate. Served with a coconut bread and tea for dessert.
- Sunday Morning w/Friends: Challah french toast, lox, fruit and yogurt parfaits, with homemade iced mochas
- Wedding Shower: Mini zucchini quiches, fruit skewers, avocado toasts, deviled eggs, croissants, mimosas
- Summer Weeknight Dinner: This tart, a simple salad and cold crisp glass of white wine
ONE MORE SIMPLE TIP
If you are more comfortable using a pan for making tarts, I recommend using a tart pan with a removable bottom like these. You can make one big onion and goat cheese tart, or smaller french onion tartlets. The tart pan makes it easy to remove the tart once it's cooked, and gives a "fancier" look compared to the rustic shape of a free form tart on parchment paper.
Or try making mini onion tarts by cutting the puff pastry into circles with a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Then portion out the filling and bake as directed.
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Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart
- 4-5 large onions about 3 lbs
- 4 oz goat cheese this is typically the small log
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Peel the onions and then slice into super thin rounds.
- In a sauté pan over high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sliced onions. Add a heavy pinch of salt, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring once.
- After 5 minutes, turn the heat down to medium and let cook under brown and caramelized. This could take up to 45 minutes. Stir them every 10 minutes or so to make sure the onions are cooking evenly. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
Assemble and Bake Tart
- To assemble the tart you'll need to have your puff pastry defrosted, but still cold. Take out of the freezer and let rest 30-45 minutes on the counter. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Roll out the puff pastry just a bit and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Then layer the caramelized onions over the top, leaving a small edge of puff pastry uncovered. Then sprinkle the goat cheese over the top of the tart.
- Now, fold all of the edges over until you have a rustic tart shape. Then put into the oven and bake until the puff pastry is golden brown and puffed up, about 20-25 minutes.
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