Balsamic-Roasted Shallots

December 23, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

This recipe is very easily doubled. Don't fret too much about getting the measurements perfect, either; this is the kind of recipe that begs for a bit of this, a dash of that.

Serve it as a side with dinner, on a sandwich, or underneath a fat ball of burrata.

Kenzi Wilbur

Food52 Review: WHO: Kenzi Wilbur is our fearless Managing Editor and our expert on all things cocktails and mayonnaise.
WHAT: A way to make shallots into an elegant side, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
HOW: Roast halved shallots in a hot oven with olive oil and brown sugar until they’ve developed a nice crust. Take the pan off the heat and quench the shallots in sherry and balsamic vinegar. Shake the shallots around and return them to the oven, covered, until they’re tender.
WHY WE LOVE IT: On the day before a big holiday meal, you’re scrambling to make sure you’ll have enough food to feed the masses. But don’t add just another vegetable side. With minimal chopping, a pound of shallots, pantry ingredients, and a hot oven, you can have crisp, slightly sweet shallots that will complement anything else you’re serving.
The Editors

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 1 pound shallots, the larger ones halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • A three-finger pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped, plus a few whole sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Put olive oil in an ovenproof skillet. (Alternatively, you can brown the shallots in whatever pan you like, and then transfer them into a baking dish).
  3. Add the brown sugar, mix to just combine, then add shallots, cut-side down if you've halved any. Brown over medium heat for 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through, or as soon as a beautiful brown crust has developed on the first side.
  4. Take the pan off of the heat, and add everything else -- salt, thyme, sherry, vinegar -- shake the pan a bit, and then cover with foil and roast in the oven until completely cooked through. Depending on the size of your shallots, this can take anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes -- test with a knife every 5 minutes beginning at the 25-minute mark.
  5. Serve warm.
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
  • This recipe is a Community Pick!

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Shallot|Sherry|Thyme|Vegetable|Vinegar|Winter|Thanksgiving|Valentine's Day|Christmas|Fall|Side

Reviews (36) Questions (1)

36 Reviews

sofiawadler November 17, 2018
if i have a sweet balsamic, do i need to use the sugar?
Megan M. July 16, 2017
My brown sugar never mixed in with the oil. It was just chunky fluid bits of brown sugar floating around in the oil. Any idea why?
Nancy April 19, 2017
Is there something I can use in substitution of the Sherry? Ty
Eva V. March 9, 2016
I've tried this with green cabbage steaks (= thick slices), absolutely amazing! Only change I made was to add 3 tablespoons of chicken broth to the oven dish.
michelle_a December 27, 2015
Huge hit during Christmas dinner. Be sure to heat pan moderately with oil/sugar as my first few shallots burned a bit as heat was too high. Otherwise, doubled batch & followed recipe to a T. Perfect.
susanna.faygenbaum April 13, 2015
is it supposed to be sherry vinegar or sherry wine?
Eva V. March 9, 2016
Sherry (wine).
Osmar May 10, 2016
What kind of sherry?
Author Comment
Kenzi W. May 10, 2016
dry sherry!
booglix March 18, 2015
Can these be made in advance? As in, make in the morning and serve at dinner? Thanks!
alicia February 2, 2015
Are the shallots supposed to be peeled?
Author Comment
Kenzi W. February 2, 2015
bryan December 30, 2014
This was a popular dish on Thanksgiving. People who I expected would not enjoy the dish enthusiastically praised it. (You think you know people.) I had no luck at all getting the shallots to crust in the skillet. They browned, slightly, but nothing like a crust. I don't necessarily attribute this to a flaw in the recipe, though. It could have been the vinegar's fault. Yes, I blame the vinegar!
Lynn December 23, 2014
Can I make these a day ahead? They sound great!!
Negar S. December 22, 2014
I would like to make these tonight but I'm a little confused on the directions for step 2 and 3... Do you brown the shallots in the oven and then add brown sugar to the shallots and continue to roast? Thanks!
Author Comment
Kenzi W. December 22, 2014
You brown them on the stovetop, and then move them down into the oven!
Negar S. December 22, 2014
Thank you!!
Whats4Dinner November 28, 2014
oooh, Marsiamarsia! I'm going to combine the two! Brussels and two fav vegetables!! Okay, I love most vegetables but together, this sounds divine!! Sunday, yes Sunday, I will prepare this to be served alongside my Puerto Rican rice and beans (we're vegan).
Whats4Dinner December 2, 2014
Okay, just had to add that I did make this (with the brussels) and let's just say there were fork wars involved!! I'll definitely make this again.
AntoniaJames November 26, 2014
This is on our Thanksgiving menu and seriously, I cannot wait. Happy Thanksgiving! ;o)
Author Comment
Kenzi W. November 26, 2014
Hooray!! To you, too.
marsiamarsia September 13, 2014
Oops! I guess my vision of shallots and cipollini surrounding the turkey is not "letting the shallots stand alone," is it? Sorry. (blush)
marsiamarsia September 13, 2014
Love the idea of giving Brussels Sprouts the Balsamic/sugar treatment, MarielMac! Must try. I can also see the shallots and cipollini garnishing the holiday turkey platter, can't you? (Cook the little onions the same way as the shallots, I mean.)
MarielMac April 5, 2014
Does anyone think this would be great using Brussels Sprouts instead of onions?
Gotowanie G. March 25, 2014
I accidentally left these in the oven for over an hour....they still turned out amazing! Thanks for posting
Jonian S. February 26, 2014
" beautiful brown crust " - Hallmark! Thank You.
CarlaCooks February 16, 2014
This recipe is a winner! I made these last night and served them on crisped bread with a smear of goat cheese. So, so, so delicious.
Caroline C. January 10, 2014
Delicious! We were eating them right out of the pan and have the burnt finger tips to prove it! I made this recipe again with yellow onions because the shallots were such a hit.<br />The next day, I sauteed the onion/shallot mixture with spinach and put it in a bacon, egg, and havarti grilled cheese.
Author Comment
Kenzi W. January 10, 2014
Oh my gosh that sounds amazing. So glad you liked them!