Onion bombs are big sweet onions filled with seasoned ground beef and cheese wrapped in crispy bacon then grilled or smoked to delicious perfection. Glaze these with your favorite BBQ, and cook on indirect for an unforgettable meal.
Why this works
- Pantry items - simple items from your freezer and pantry will help you get dinner on the table in a pinch. The same can be said for my simple chicken marinade!
- Make ahead - the beauty of this recipe is it can be assembled the night before or morning of your cook like this Mountain Man Breakfast Casserole.
- Dinner or appetizers - you can make these onion bombs with really large sweet onions or small ones for great comfort food dinner or a simple but filling appetizer. Serve these with some nachos, pig shots, or smoked wings for a complete appetizer table.
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Scroll to the recipe card where you will find the exact measurements.
- Ground beef - should be an 80/20 mixture so that you have enough fat in the meat so it does not dry out.
- Cheddar cheese - I used cheddar cheese but you can use your favorite hard shredded cheese. Colby Jack, Pepper Jack, or Parmesan would all be perfectly fine substitutes.
- Breadcrumbs and egg - not pictured but in the recipe ingredients, but totally optional. If you are looking for low-carb or are keto inclined then leave these out like we did.
How to make this
Step 1: Get the onions ready
First we need to prep the onions so we can stuff them for the onion bombs. Cut both ends off of the onion. This way it can stand flat and you can hollow out the onion. Peel the outer layer of the onion.
Take your apple or jalapeno corer and hollow out the inside of the onion. Be sure to leave a solid wall and bottom. Scoop out the insides and discard. Set aside on a baking sheet while you make the filling.
Step 2: Prepare the ground beef filling
Combine in a large mixing bowl the ground beef, diced jalapeno, ½ the BBQ sauce, hot sauce, BBQ rub, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix everything together really well.
So there are two schools of thought on the cheese. We blended the cheese in for the flavor, and our onions were on the small side. You can also hollow out the middle of the beef and stuff in the cheese to create a pocket of gooey cheese. Your pick!
Step 3: Stuff and wrap the onions
Stuff the cavity of each prepared onion with the ground beef mixture. Make sure to pack it in tight. Wrap each onion in enough bacon to cover the onion. I used three pieces for each onion. Tack the bacon into place with toothpicks.
Step 4: Cooking the onion bombs
Preheat the grill to 350- to 400-degrees. Cook the onion bombs on indirect heat for 1- to 1-½ hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 160-degrees. Brush with remaining BBQ sauce at the end, and cook for 10-minutes more. Remove to platter and let rest 5-minutes prior to serving. We had some extra filling since we were short a couple of onions we made a mini bacon wrapped loaf.
If your onion bombs have a hard time standing up straight you can use balls of foil to give them some help. Add a smoke box to the grill over direct heat to give it a little smoky flavor.
If you are using thick bacon it may take a little bit longer to get crispy versus thinner bacon. If you don't have a corer you can cut the onions in half then remove the inner layers leaving the outside two. Just combine the halves, stuff, and wrap with bacon like usual.
Yes, assemble per the instructions but bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for one hour or until they reach an internal temperature of 160-degrees.
Yes, you can freeze for up to 3 months. However, the bacon will not be at it's optimal crispiness when eaten after freezing.
You can serve these onion bombs as an appetizer or as a main course with sides. If serving for dinner I suggest some mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
Storage & Reheating
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Reheat in microwave for a few minutes. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.
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Onion Bomb Recipe
- 6 sweet onions cored, tops and bottoms cut and flattened
- 1 pound bacon
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 jalapeno diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 egg
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoon BBQ rub
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- ½ cup BBQ sauce divided
- Cut the top and bottom off each onion. Remove the peel. Core the onion, and remove. Put onions aside on baking sheet.
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef, diced jalapeno, ½ of the BBQ sauce, hot sauce, BBQ rub, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and cheddar cheese.
- Stuff each onion with the ground beef mixture.
- Wrap each onion with bacon until covered. Secure in place with toothpicks.
- Preheat grill to 350- to 400-degrees. Cook on indirect heat for 1- to 1-½ hours or until the internal temperature is 160-degrees. Brush with BBQ sauce and cook for an additional 10-minutes. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5-minutes.