A Symphony of Flavors: ‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions

Embark on a culinary journey as we explore the unique and delightful flavors of ‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions. This dish, a creative blend of sweet onions, aromatic herbs, and a hint of savory cheese, is a testament to the innovative possibilities that exist within the realm of cooking.

‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions Recipe

Roasted Lotus Flower Onions Recipe on Food52 | Recipe | Onion recipes, Roasted onions, Onion flower

“Water liles” baked onions

The “Water Liles” baked onions beside being an excellent side dish, are beautiful as a presentation, you will amaze your guests.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 1250 kcal


  • 1 oven
  • 1 baking paper


  • 4 medium-large red onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A teaspoon of rosemary
  • 1 laurel leaf and 2 sage leaves
  • Dried oregano to taste
  • Wild fennel to decorate


  • Peel the onions, cut them into 8 wedges without reaching the end: they must remain attached to the base for about one and a half centimeter.
  • Wet a sheet of baking paper with water, squeeze it and place it in a baking pan: place the onions on top, add salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle each of them with oil.
  • Add rosemary and oregano to each onion “flower” and put some in the pan together with the bay leaves and sage. Pour about 1 dl of water on the bottom and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 45 minutes.
  • Check them, if you see that the tops dry out too much, eventually cover with another sheet of wet and squeezed baking paper.
  • Serve the Water Lilies Onions with oil and possibly some more pepper.
  • This vegetable matches in an excellent way with meat and cheeses. You can flavor them with the most popular aromatic herbs such as thyme and marjoram.



In this recipe you can also use white onions and other aromatic herbs you can find in the markets of your country, depending also on the seasonal proposal and according to your taste.
Keyword olive oil, red onions

“Water Lilies” Baked Onions using an air fryer

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  • Start by preparing the onions. Peel them but leave the root end intact. This will help hold the onion together while it cooks.
  • Cut off a small portion from the top of each onion. Then, make vertical cuts all around the onion, starting from the cut surface towards the root end, but not cutting through the root. The idea is to create ‘petals’ that will open up during cooking, resembling a water lily.
  • Drizzle the prepared onions with olive oil, ensuring that some oil goes into the cuts. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the air fryer at 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once preheated, place the onions in the air fryer basket, cut side up. Ensure they are spaced out evenly.
  • Set the timer for 15-20 minutes and let the onions cook. You can check halfway through to ensure they are cooking evenly.
  • If you’re using cheese, sprinkle it on the onions in the last few minutes of cooking, just long enough for it to melt.
  • Once the onions are tender and the ‘petals’ have opened up, carefully remove them from the air fryer.
  • To serve, place the “Water Lilies” Baked Onions on a plate and enjoy this unique and delicious dish!

About ‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions

Onion Flowers | Onion flower, Beautiful food, Edible

‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions is a dish that combines simplicity with elegance. The humble onion, when baked to perfection, transforms into a sweet and tender delight. The ‘water lily’ presentation, achieved by making careful cuts on the onion, adds an element of surprise, making this dish a conversation starter at any dining table.

Cooking Tips

  • Choose large, firm onions for the best results.
  • Make careful cuts on the onion to achieve the ‘water lily’ effect but be careful not to cut through the base.
  • Bake the onions until they are just tender to maintain their shape and flavor.
  • Season generously to bring out the natural sweetness of the onions.
  • Top with cheese in the last few minutes of baking for a deliciously melty finish.

Serving Suggestions

Roasted Flower Onion Recipe

  • Serve the ‘water lilies’ as a side dish with a meat or fish main course.
  • Pair it with a robust red wine to complement the sweet and savory flavors.
  • Top the ‘water lilies’ with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for added freshness.
  • Accompany it with a fresh green salad for a light and balanced meal.
  • For a vegan version, skip the cheese or use a vegan cheese alternative.


  • Can I use other types of onions for this recipe? Yes, but large white or yellow onions are best for baking.
  • Can I make the ‘water lilies’ ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare them a day in advance and reheat before serving.
  • How long can I store the leftover ‘water lilies’? They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Can I freeze the ‘water lilies’? Yes, but the texture might change upon reheating.
  • Can I add other toppings to the ‘water lilies’? Yes, feel free to experiment with different cheeses, herbs, or even a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

‘Water Lilies’ Baked Onions is a dish that marries simplicity with creativity. Its unique presentation and delightful flavors make it a standout dish that is sure to impress. So why wait? Embrace the joy of cooking and let your culinary imagination soar!

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