Parmesan Cups with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

Yield: 12 Parmesan cups

This is one of my favourite hors d’oeuvres. It was inspired by a recipe in the French Laundry Cookbook.

  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Reduced balsamic vinegar (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a mini muffin tin upside down on the counter.

On a large baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper, sprinkle the cheese into twelve evenly sized circles that will fit over the mini muffin cups. Bake until golden brown (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from the oven and let sit for about 30 seconds. Turn the muffin pan upside down. Using a thin spatula, place the rounds over the bottom of the muffin cups and press down slightly to mold the cheese. This has to be done fairly quickly, as the cheese will harden and become too difficult to mold as it cools.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and oil together over low heat. Sauté the onions with salt until they are soft and golden brown (about 5-10 minutes). Add the brown sugar and stir until it’s melted.

Remove the Parmesan cups from the muffin pan and place them flat side down on a serving plate. Place about 1 Tbsp. of warm onion mix in each Parmesan cup and top with goat cheese. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar (optional).

Serve immediately. (Leftover cooked onions can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days.)