Onion Pudding Recipe (Roast Dinner Side Dish) (2024)

Table of Contents
Ingredients Equipment Instructions Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect onion pudding Is onion pudding easy to make? Will I need any special equipment for this recipe? What is suet? Where can I buy suet? How can I tell if suet has gone off? Is onion pudding suitable for vegetarians or vegans? Is onion pudding gluten-free? Is onion pudding safe to eat while pregnant? What goes well with onion pudding? Can I make this recipe without suet? I haven’t got self-raising flour, can I use plain flour? Can I add extra veggies to this recipe? How should I store onion pudding? How long will it keep? Can I leave this recipe out on the counter? Can I make this recipe ahead? Can I keep this recipe in the refrigerator? Can I freeze this recipe? What is the best way to reheat this recipe? Can I make this recipe in a different quantity? Can I make this recipe in individual portions? Can I make this recipe in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer? Can I steam this recipe on the hob? How can I make sure my onion pudding is perfectly cooked? Why did my onion pudding turn out dry? Why did my onion pudding turn out wet and undercooked? Why didn’t my onion pudding rise? Why did my onion pudding taste bland? How can I add/change the flavours in this dish? What is the origin of onion pudding? Print this onion pudding recipe Onion Pudding Recipe Ingredients Equipment Instructions Video Notes Nutrition Pin this onion pudding recipe More festive recipes to try Have you got my book? References

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Onion pudding is a doughy and dense combination of suet, flour and onion. It's a decadent dish with a naturally salty-sweet flavour, and it's the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday roast or Christmas dinner.

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Today's recipe marks the launch of a new series here on the blog, Food Stories, where writers, friends, chefs and amateur cooks are welcomed onto the pages of A Mummy Too to share a recipe that is more than just food to them, it's food with a story to tell.

For blogger and freelance writer Kate Tunstall of The Less-Refined Mind, onion pudding is "proper comfort food, and when topped with gravy, utterlytantalising."

"Recreating the recipe is so simple that anyone can do it. It's probably not what I'd describe as sophisticated, but it is deliciously yummy - the taste of home."

In addition to her writing, Kate is a married mother of two, for whom family is extremely important.

"I have a wonderful husband, and two beautiful, cheeky little girls called Pixie and Elfin. They're delightful and infuriating every day, and we both despair of them and love them fiercely."

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"I'm the middle child with a brother each side (I know, poor me) and despite wishing for a sister as I grew up, we're all very close as adults. Sadly that doesn't extend tobeing geographically close, so I don't see my siblings or nieces and nephews as much as I'd like."

"My parents live fairly close to me - I moved away and back again several years later - so I see them both regularly which is lovely, especially for my girls. It's wonderful that they have such special relationships with their grandparents as that's something I missed out on growing up."

For Kate, her food memories are interwoven through her memories ofchildhood, and her passion for food has carried through into adulthood.

"My mum was big on eating family meals together, and a Sunday roast was the norm. My mum should be Italian as she's always been a bit of a feeder and massive meals come as standard. She never reallygave usdessert, so much as seconds (and thirds!), with lots of veggies."

"My relationship with food was fairly healthy growing up. I've always had an understanding of what's good/bad for me, and I'm a great believer in everything in moderation."

"One of my greatest memories from childhood, which is probably a mishmash of several occasions actually, is stealing bites of my parents' takeaways! We were introduced to Indian cuisine at a young age, and as we got older, we would always go to the local Indian restaurant for birthdays. I'm glad my mum, in particular, encouraged us to be adventurous from a young age, and I intend to do the same with my girls."

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These days, I enjoy cooking, but I find myself too short on time to do as much as I'd like. We've recently been without an oven or hob for a period, which has led to a love affair with our slow cooker. I get a lot of joy and satisfaction from feeding my family healthy, hearty meals that I've made for them -assuming they enjoy them, of course - so being able to do this easily using the slow cooker has been great. It's so simple."

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And how does onion pudding factor into Kate's childhood, and her life as a parent today?

"All my memories ofthe dish meld into one because it's a part of every family gathering we have.It's the recipe that everybody who tries it requests to be made again. Every time my sisters-in-law visit it's the one they ask my mum to make for them, and the newest fan is my daughter."

The recipe comes from my mum, who got it from an old family friend about 45 years ago. It's my mum's understanding that it was (or may still be?!) popular in the North of England, but nobody I've ever mentioned it to has heard of it. Admittedly I'm in Essex, so I may just not have spoken to the right people!"

I've always loved my mum's onion pud and stilldo. I'm probably a little less gluttonous these days though - I'm pretty sure as a child I'd have happily devoured four portions, while these days two is my limit!

When Kate told me about her mum's onion pudding, how could I resist such a treat? Here's how I got on. The only change I made was to add a little rosemary to the roasting tray to give the pudding a little extra flavour.

Ingredients

  • 280 g (2 cups) self-raising white flour (self rising flour)
  • 140 g (⅔+¼ cups) shredded suet vegetarian if required or margarine
  • 2 medium onion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 50 ml (3 tbsp) cold water approx
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary optional

Equipment

Instructions

Put the onions, suet and flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

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Add water a little at a time, mixing to form a stiff dough.

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Traditionally, you'd steam on the hob, but the invention of microwaves makes this step super simple. Transfer to a large microwaveable bowl and cover with a loose fitting lid, or cling film, leaving a gap (this creates the steam required to make the pudding rise!).

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Microwave for 8min 30sec (or just under a minute per ounce if using different quantities). Make sure there's room in the bowl for the pudding to rise.

To brown, turn out into an ovenproof dish and, if using, arrange the rosemary around the base.

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Place in the oven for the final 10-15 minutes of cooking your roast. (Anywhere between 180C/350F to 220C/425F will work fine, just keep an eye!)

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Pointers, tricks and troubleshooting tips for the perfect onion pudding

Is onion pudding easy to make?

Yes! Onion pudding is so simple to make, with just a few ingredients and the magic of a microwave, this satisfying hearty side dish can be prepared effortlessly alongside a roast dinner or Christmas lunch.

You can even steam it the day before, cool and pop it in the fridge ready to finish off in the oven just before the roast is done.

Will I need any special equipment for this recipe?

You should be able to find everything you need in the average kitchen, weighing scales to measure out your ingredients, a microwave-safe bowl that has a bit of room for the pudding to rise in. Some mixing spoons, and a baking tray.

The full list of equipment can be found on the recipe card below.

What is suet? Where can I buy suet?

Suet is used as the fat element in a lot of traditional British recipes like this onion pudding as well as dumplings and is used in both savoury and sweet recipes too.

Its original source form is beef or mutton fat from around the kidneys and other organs. And is now widely available in vegetarian versions now too.

Suet can usually be found in UK supermarkets in the baking section. Atora is probably the most widely available brand, and easily recognisable in its bold retro packaging. The blue boxes contain animal fat suet, and the green boxes are made with vegetable fat.

You can also buy suet fresh from the butchers, though as this is a less common ingredient in modern cooking you may have to request the butcher have some ready for the next time you come in.

Be mindful if you are making this for someone who only eats certain animal products for religious or ethical reasons, or because of potential allergies. If you're unsure it would be best to use the vegetarian option.

How can I tell if suet has gone off?

The most readily available suet is dehydrated and mixed with flour to make it stable and extend its shelf life, you can reseal the packet and keep it in the cupboard. Seal the bag inside, as well as the box and use within the use-by date. If your suet smells rancid or has changed consistency it's probably a good idea to get a new packet.

If you’re buying fresh suet from the butchers it has a much shorter shelf life, and needs to be kept in the fridge and used within 3-4 days of purchase, your butcher will be able to give you the use-by date information.

Is onion pudding suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

As long as you use vegetarian suet to make this onion pudding it is suitable for vegetarians.

Having called Atora to find out if their vegetable suet is suitable for vegans, they advised they have not had the appropriate accreditation so could not confirm it was suitable for vegans, it’s up to you if you use this option.

If you can’t find vegetarian shredded suet or want to make sure this is vegan you can freeze a block of vegetable shortening like Trex and grate the frozen block to create a similar texture to shredded suet.

Is onion pudding gluten-free?

This recipe uses shredded suet which contains wheat flour to stop the pieces of suet sticking together, as well as wheat-based self-raising flour so as it is this would not be suitable for someone who needs to avoid gluten in their diet.

I haven’t tried this recipe gluten-free but if you use gluten-free flour and grate a frozen block of vegetable shortening to replace the suet you could give it a go.

Is onion pudding safe to eat while pregnant?

There is nothing in this recipe that would pose a risk to a pregnant woman as long as the ingredients are in good condition and the pudding is prepared safely and hyginacally.

A Mummy Too does not offer medical advice, please speak to a health professional if you have any questions.

What goes well with onion pudding?

Onion pudding is such a classic comforting side dish and goes so well with lots of traditional British recipes.

We love it with a roast dinner or you could serve it with a slow-cooked stew or casserole instead of dumplings.

It also goes really well with roast vegetables and of course gravy! You could even turn it into a vegetarian centerpiece in the middle of a large serving plate surrounded by colourful roasted veggies.

Can I make this recipe without suet?

You can try using margarine instead of suet but it will probably make for a denser pudding. Suet works well in steamed puddings because it has a higher melting point than margarine so reacts with the flour slightly differently when cooked.

I haven’t got self-raising flour, can I use plain flour?

Yes, if you don’t have self-raising flour simply add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to plain flour instead.

Can I add extra veggies to this recipe?

This is a simple pudding recipe, if you try to add more veggies the balance of the pudding won’t be right and it won’t rise properly when it's being steamed.

You can of course serve this with plenty of veg on the side as they complement each other well.

How should I store onion pudding? How long will it keep?

Once cooked this onion pudding needs to be kept in the fridge, pop it into an airtight container and it will keep for up to 4 days.You can also freeze onion pudding, and it will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I leave this recipe out on the counter?

No, once cooled onion pudding needs to be kept in the fridge. You can of course leave it out on the side for serving if you need to, but don’t leave it out for more than a few hours.

Can I make this recipe ahead?

Yes if you like you can steam the pudding the day before and then do the final browning just be serving on the day. Once your pudding has steamed, allow it to cool before putting it in the fridge ready for the next day.

If you’ve opted for this method you’ll need to pop your pudding in the oven for a bit longer than a freshly steamed pudding as it will need to heat up all the way through from the fridge. About 20-25 minutes should be long enough for the middle to be hot, and the outside to crisp up and go a lovely golden brown.

Can I keep this recipe in the refrigerator?

Yes, any leftover pudding needs to be kept in the fridge, you can just leave it on a plate covered with a beeswax wrap or pop it into a suitable container.

Can I freeze this recipe?

You can freeze this recipe both cooked and uncooked. Eitherway make sure to wrap the dough or pudding well with food wrap to help reduce the risk of freezer burn, and I’d recommend putting it into a freezer-safe container to protect it from getting squashed.

Onion pudding will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months, pop a label with the date on the container so you know when to use it up. Defrost overnight before steaming or reheating.

What is the best way to reheat this recipe?

You can either reheat this in the microwave or in the oven. To reheat in the microwave simply put your onion pudding onto a microwave-safe plate and heat on full for 2-3 minutes.

To reheat this onion pudding in the oven, preheat your oven to 200C (180C fan), put the pudding onto a baking sheet and reheat for 15-20 minutes until hot all the way through.

Can I make this recipe in a different quantity?

If you want to make more or less of this onion pudding then simply head down to the recipe card below and you’ll see the number of servings is set to 8. Click on this number and a slider will pop up that you can move up or down if you want to make more or less. All the ingredients will update automatically so you’re ready to go.

Keep in mind the size of your bowl to steam the pudding in, for a smaller pudding I would recommend using a smaller bowl. And if you want to make more it might be an idea to divide the pudding mixture between two bowls, as a larger bowl might not fit in the microwave or steam properly.

Can I make this recipe in individual portions?

If you’d like to make individual portions rather than cutting and serving at the table you can.

The steaming times will be a little different so you might need to do some experimenting as I haven’t tried using this method.

Divide your pudding mixture into microwave-safe ramekins, small bowls or you could use mugs, anything the size you want to make that will allow the pudding to rise as it steams.

Cover each one with a saucer or cling film to create a lid, and steam for 4-6 minutes. Perhaps do one test one to see how long it takes before you steam the rest.

Once all your mini puddings are steamed you can transfer them onto a baking tray with rosemary to crisp up in the oven together.

Can I make this recipe in a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid or Kenwood Mixer?

If you find it easier you could use a stand mixer like a KitchenAid to bring together the pudding mixture. Add the flour, suet and chopped onions, and seasoning to the bowl, and mix on low with the paddle attachment.

Once all the ingredients are mixed you can slowly add the water, either stop the mixer or just pour it in slowly from the side. Add enough water to form a rough dough, about 50ml.

Can I steam this recipe on the hob?

This recipe would have been traditionally steamed on the hob, which takes a lot longer but if you don’t have a microwave would be the way to go.

I haven’t tried steaming this recipe on the hob but the principle is as follows. Grease the pudding bowl well before putting in the mixture, you need to leave about ⅔ space in the bowl for the pudding to rise. Create a lid with a piece of greased baking paper, secure around the bowl with string.

Prepare the steamer so it's already boiling when you put the pudding in. Make sure to top up the steamer with boiling water every now and then. It will take up to 2 hours to steam the onion pudding this way.

As with the microwave version, you can steam the pudding the day before and finish off in the oven for 20 minutes or so before serving.

How can I make sure my onion pudding is perfectly cooked?

This onion pudding is so simple to cook you should be able to get it perfect every time. And the magic of microwaves makes it so quick and easy to do.

You’ll know the pudding is ready to go into the oven when it's risen up the bowl and looks set. You might need to run a knife around the edge to helpget the onion pudding out, and be careful it will be hot!

Why did my onion pudding turn out dry?

If you’ve used margarine instead of suet or vegetable shorting your pudding maybe a little dry as margarine melts at a lower temperature and creates a slightly denser pudding.

Or perhaps the pudding was steamed for too long, or left in the oven too long and has dried out.

You can be quite flexible with this pudding when putting it in the oven, just make sure to keep an eye on it because if it is in too long it will dry out.

Why did my onion pudding turn out wet and undercooked?

When adding the water to the dough make sure to add a little at a time, you just need enough for the dough to come together, otherwise the mixture will be too wet.

When steaming your pudding in the microwave you need to put a loose lid on to trap most of the steam and allow the onion pudding to cook. Without the lid, all that steam will escape and the pudding won’t cook properly all the way through.

Why didn’t my onion pudding rise?

Did you use self-raising flour? If your self raising flour is old the raising agent may no longer be active. If this is the case you can add a teaspoon of baking powder to the mixture to act as the raising agent instead.

When steaming in the microwave you need to use a lid, this helps create a little pressure in the bowl to help the pudding rise. Don’t use a completely closed lid, a little steam needs to be able to escape.

Why did my onion pudding taste bland?

This is a simple hearty recipe with humble ingredients, which compliments bolder flavours in a roast dinner. Make sure to season the pudding with salt and pepper, and the rosemary really adds to the flavours of this onion pudding.

How can I add/change the flavours in this dish?

One simple trick is to add a teaspoon or two teaspoons of horseradish sauce, or mustard to the mixture when you add the onions to give your pudding a bit of a kick. Add this before you mix the water in as you might need a little less than the 50ml.

Another option could be too brown the onions before adding them to the dough to create a richer sweeter pudding.

Simply use 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan and soften the onions over a medium heat. You can cook them for as long as you like really, give them at least 10 minutes to soften and start turning golden brown, the longer you cook them for the richer and sweeter they will become. Allow the onions to cool before mixing with the flour and suet.

What is the origin of onion pudding?

This recipe is a British classic, with endless variations both savoury and sweet. Suet pudding would have been a staple in many households trying to make a few simple ingredients go a long way.

Print this onion pudding recipe

If you'd like to print Kate's onion pudding recipe to try later, just hit PRINT on the recipe card below.

Onion Pudding Recipe (Roast Dinner Side Dish) (12)

Print Recipe

4.9 from 15 votes

Onion Pudding Recipe

Onion pudding is a doughy and dense combination of suet, flour and onion. It's a decadent dish with a naturally salty-sweet flavour and it's the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday roast or Christmas dinner.

Prep Time10 minutes mins

Cook Time25 minutes mins

Total Time35 minutes mins

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: British

Diet: Vegetarian

Servings: 8 servings

Author: Emily Leary

Ingredients

  • 280 g (2 cups) self-raising white flour (self rising flour)
  • 140 g (⅔+¼ cups) shredded suet vegetarian if required or margarine
  • 2 medium onion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 50 ml (3 tbsp) cold water approx
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary optional

Equipment

Instructions

  • Put the onions, suet and flour, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

  • Add water a little at a time, mixing to form a stiff dough.

  • Traditionally, you'd steam on the hob, but the invention of microwaves makes this step super simple. Transfer to a large microwaveable bowl and cover with a loose fitting lid, or cling film, leaving a gap (this creates the steam required to make the pudding rise!).

  • Microwave for 8min 30sec (or just under a minute per ounce if using different quantities). Make sure there's room in the bowl for the pudding to rise.

  • To brown, turn out into an ovenproof dish and, if using, arrange the rosemary around the base.

  • Place in the oven for the final 10-15 minutes of cooking your roast. (Anywhere between 180C/350F to 220C/425F will work fine, just keep an eye!)

Video

Notes

You can make this mix ahead and store in the fridge after steaming. Bake the next day - you'll need to add an extra 5-10 minutes to the baking time to allow for the mix being chilled.

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 0.4mg

* Note: nutritional information is estimated, based on publicly available data. Nutrient values may vary from those published. Information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. Cuisines identify the primary region of inspiration for a dish.

Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and tag @amummytoo on Instagram or tag @EmilyLearyCooks on Twitter. I can't wait to see your posts!

What do you think? Have you tried onion pudding before?

For another seasonal favourite, try my festive slice. And if you'd like to learn more about Kate, you can visit her blog,The Less-Refined Mind, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

Pin this onion pudding recipe

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Have you got my book?

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'This is a great kids cookery book. Emily is a star' - Simon Rimmer

'The book I'd like to force into any mother's kitchen' - Prue Leith

"A fab book with a plan." - Jane Devonshire, 2016 Masterchef UK winner

'Emily has managed to combine her mummy knowledge and passion for food to make a truly helpful and brilliant cookbook' - Priya Tew, RD, BSc (Hons), Msc

Get Your Kids to Eat Anything is an achievable 'how to' for parents in the battle to overcome picky eating and 'make new the norm'. Emily Leary's unique 5-phase programme looks at the issue of 'fussy eating' in a holistic way that links imagination with food, and which situates parents alongside - not in opposition to - their children.

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Onion Pudding Recipe (Roast Dinner Side Dish) (2024)

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