Life Video

French Onion Rolls: A savoury, sweet and cheesy side dish all in one

Made with pizza dough and stuffed with gruyere too — swoon!

Made with pizza dough and stuffed with gruyere too — swoon!

If you’re partial to a dinner plate that includes a warm, buttery roll, you may want to sit down as we show you this souped up take on the side. Almost like a savoury cinnamon bun — but stuffed with wine-braised onions and gruyere cheese — these French Onion Rolls are a decadent scene-stealer that’ll pair nicely with salads, and other lighter supper fare. They’re also made with store-bought pizza dough and come together simply enough that you can get your kiddos in on the fun when it’s time to roll ‘em up.

The classic soup rolled up into a delicious bun. 1:23

French Onion Rolls

This may become your all-time favourite brunch side dish, and any leftovers would make amazing, savoury french toast.

Make sure your pizza dough is at room temperature — cold dough is almost impossible to stretch as it will snap back. Feel free to use whole wheat dough.

*Continuously deglazing the pan with the stock and wine will ensure even browning. The onions themselves don’t brown, it's the good stuff at the bottom of the pan that adds all that flavour.


  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 5 large sweet onions (Vidalias or Walla Wallas), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, picked
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup beef stock, no salt added
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • Cooking spray (or oil for greasing)
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, room temperature
  • All purpose flour for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • Chopped chives for garnish


Add the butter and olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. When the butter is melted, heated and stops foaming, add the sliced onions, thyme leaves and salt and mix. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until onions begin to soften and sweat.

Reduce heat to medium low. Continue cooking for 30-40 minutes, adding the stock and wine from time to time to deglaze while scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan (see note*). Cook the onions until they are tender and golden brown, and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the caramelized onions from pan to cool.

Spray an ovenproof 9 X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Turn out the pizza dough onto a  floured surface. (Tip: You can buy a shaker canister at the dollar store and fill it with all-purpose flour to have on hand and easily dust a surface for when you’re working with dough!) Roll and stretch dough into a 10 X 20-inch rectangle with the longest side nearest you. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and water, then brush the entire surface of the dough lightly with the egg wash.

Spread the cooled onion mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border bare on the far long edge. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Starting at the closest long edge, roll the dough into a tight spiral, and rest the roll on its seam. If necessary, pull and stretch the log into an even 20-inch cylinder. Then cut the log into 12 even pieces and place them, swirl up, into the prepared baking dish. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rest in a warm place until they have doubled in size, approximately 1 ½ hours.

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Remove plastic wrap and lightly brush the proofed buns with the remaining egg wash. Bake the buns in the oven until golden brown and cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Yield: Makes 12 rolls.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.