Caramelised Red Onion and Cream Cheese Tart

Golden flaky puff pastry, topped with sweet caramelised red onion and cream cheese. I used ready made puff pastry, or you can make your own (if you enjoy making your life more difficult than necessary).

Yield; six to eight servings Cook time; one hour total

You’ll need; 

  1. One teaspoon of non-dairy margarine
  2. Three large red onions, peeled, halved and then thinly sliced from root to tip.
  3. One quarter of a teaspoon of salt
  4. 175g/6oz dairy free cream cheese
  5. 320g/11oz ready made puff pastry
  6. A little non-dairy milk, to brush onto the edges of the tart


  • Firstly, prepare the onions. In a frying pan over a low to medium heat, melt one teaspoon of non-dairy margarine.
  • Add the onions and scatter the salt over them evenly. Then just cover with a lid and leave the onions to it. The natural sugars will caramelise, leaving you with sweet, richly flavoured onions.
  • This process will take around 45 minutes, give them a gentle stir every ten or fifteen minutes.
  • Refrigerate once they’re done. Once they are adequately chilled, move on to assemble the tart.
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF
  • Into a small bowl, add the cream cheese and give it a really good mix (this will make it easier to spread.) Once mix, spread half of it on the pastry, leaving a one centimeter gap at each edge.
  • Evenly spread the onions over the layer of cream cheese. Then using your hands shape the remaining cream cheese into six or eight balls. I wanted bigger slices so I only did six. Flatten the balls of cream cheese with your hands and add to the tart.
  • Gently score a line into the pastry around the onions. Brush the edges of the pastry with non-dairy milk.
  • Bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry has risen, and is golden brown in colour.

This can be eaten warm from the oven, or refrigerated and eaten cold. I chose to eat this warm, served with a simple green side salad.


Tip; You can pick up dairy free cream cheese from many larger supermarkets, it’ll be in the refrigerated “Free From” section. Most branches of Holland and Barrett also stock it.

I thought I’d share some tips on how to caramelise onions.

  1. Give them plenty of time. I usually find it takes between 40-50 minutes to properly caramelise onions.
  2. Three onions, really? Using three onions might sound like quite a large amount, but they will cook down considerably during the cooking process.
  3. Cut them correctly. Cutting the onion from root tip will ensure that they don’t disintegrate while cooking.
  4. Deglaze the pan. When you remove the lid to stir them, deglaze the pan with the condensation inside the lid. Hold the lid at an angle over the frying pan, allowing the condensation to drain onto the onions. This will work to deglaze the pan, ensuring all the flavours remain in the onions and not on the bottom of the frying pan. (If you’re not using a lid you can deglaze with wine, red wine vinegar or simply a little water.)

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