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Home » Cuisines » American » Caramelized Onion Bruschetta with Mushrooms

Caramelized Onion Bruschetta with Mushrooms

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Caramelized onion bruschetta is a timeless appetizer that is sure to impress your guests. The sweet and savory flavors of the onions paired with the crispiness of the bread and the earthiness of the mushrooms create a truly delicious bite. This appetizer is also incredibly easy to make, so it’s perfect for any occasion, from a casual get-together to a formal dinner party.

small appetizers of bread, cheese, onions and mushrooms on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Savory Onion Bruschetta Recipe

Caramelized onion bruschetta is popular all year round, but it is especially popular during the fall and winter months. The warm, comforting flavors of the dish are perfect for a cold day. Caramelized onion bruschetta is also a popular choice for holiday parties and gatherings.

  • Incredibly easy to make. Even beginner cooks can master this recipe.
  • It’s versatile. You can serve it as a simple appetizer, or you can dress it up by adding different toppings, such as goat cheese, fresh herbs, or balsamic glaze.
  • Budget-friendly. No expensive gourmet ingredients. Everything to make this bruschetta recipe with onions is simple and affordable.
  • It’s customizable. You can adjust the sweetness and savoriness of the onions to your liking.
  • Simply delicious! The combination of caramelized onions, crispy bread, piquant mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese is simply irresistible.

Bruschetta with Caramelized Onion Ingredients

You will be caramelizing the onions, and then sauteing the mushrooms until their moisture is cooked off. Just be careful to not dry the mushrooms out too much.

  • Bread: Italian bread cut into 18 slices.
  • Pantry: Olive oil, salt.
  • Produce: Onions, mushrooms, garlic, fresh thyme.
  • Dairy: Swiss cheese slices, cut in half.
Ingredients: Loaf of bread, mushrooms, onions, salt, olive oil, cheese slices, garlic and thyme sprigs.

Full ingredient amounts and directions are in the recipe card below.

How To Make Bruschetta With Caramelized Onions

Caramelizing onions deepens and sweetens their flavors. The process can take some patience but is worth it.  Once the onions start to brown and release their sugars it may look as if the bottom of the pan is burning but just add water to release the sugars from the pan and stir it into the onion mixture. 

Once you add the mushrooms to the mixture they will release some of their liquid and help keep the sugars from sticking as well.

TIP: You could double or triple the batch of caramelized onions and use the extras to add amazing flavor to cheese omelets, smoked baked potatoes, steaks or our onion and cheese quiche.  This mixture also freezes well, just divide it into separate servings and place in a sealed container for a quick weeknight condiment.

Toast The Bruschetta Slices

  1. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil to brush on one side of the slices.
  2. Place the baguette slices under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until they are golden. Set aside. Turn off the oven.

How To Caramelize Onions

Caramelizing onions deepens and sweetens their flavors. The process can take some patience but is worth it. Once the onions start to brown and release their sugars it may look as if the bottom of the pan is burning but just add water to release the sugars from the pan and stir it into the onion mixture.

Once you add the mushrooms to the mixture they will release some of their liquid and help keep the sugars from sticking as well.

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until the onions caramelize and are soft and a deep brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, Transfer to a dish and reserve.
A skillet with carmelized onions, fresh thyme leaves and a silicon spatula.

Saute The Mushrooms Until Moisture Cooks Off

  1. In the same skillet set over medium heat add the mushroom slices. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have released their liquid.
  2. Remove the lid, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and cook until the mushrooms are a golden brown. Add the garlic, fresh thyme and salt. cook for another 30 seconds until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
A skillet with sauteed mushrooms and a black silicone spatula.

Assemble The Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

  1. With the toasted bread on the baking sheet, add a portion of the cheese to each bread slice, transfer to the oven and allow the cheese to melt slightly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and assemble the bruschetta.
  2. Divide the onion and mushrooms over each of the slices of bread, and garnish with fresh herbs. Transfer the bruschetta to a platter and serve warm or at room temperature
A small plate with a bruschetta appetizer serving of caramelized onions, mushrooms and cheese. Garnished with microgreens.

Serving Suggestions

Caramelized onion bruschetta can be served as a simple appetizer, or you can dress it up by adding different toppings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Goat cheese
  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, or rosemary
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Fried capers
  • Arugula leaves
A small plate with a serving of a bruschetta appetizer in the foreground and a plate of appetizers in the background.

Substitutions and Variations

Here are a few substitutions and variations when making this caramelized onion appetizer recipe:

  • If you don’t have a baguette, you can use any other type of bread, such as ciabatta, sourdough, or rye.
  • To add a bit of sweetness, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to the caramelized onions.
  • For a spicier version of this recipe, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or chili powder to the caramelized onions.
  • To add a bit of smokiness, add a pinch of smoked paprika to the caramelized onions.

Storage Options

  • Caramelized onion bruschetta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • This savory appetizer can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply place them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat frozen caramelized onions, simply thaw them and then cook them in a skillet over medium heat until heated through.

Tips For Success

  • For the best flavor, use sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla onions.
  • To caramelize the onions quickly, add a pinch of sugar to the skillet.
  • You could double or triple the batch of caramelized onions and use the extras to add amazing flavor to omelets, baked potatoes, steaks or anything that suits your fancy.
  • Caramelized onions also freezes well, just divide it into separate servings and place in a sealed container for a quick weeknight condiment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of mushrooms should I use?

Any type of mushroom will work in this recipe, but I recommend using Cremini mushrooms, Portobello mushrooms, or Shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have a richer flavor than white button mushrooms.

How do I clean the mushrooms?

To clean the mushrooms, simply wipe them clean with a damp paper towel. You can also rinse them quickly under cold water if necessary. However, be careful not to soak the mushrooms in water, as this will make them soggy.

What type of bread should I use?

I recommend using a crusty bread, such as a baguette or sourdough bread. This type of bread will hold up well to the weight of the caramelized onions and mushrooms.

How do I keep the bread from getting soggy?

Melting the Swiss cheese on the toasted bruschetta slices before adding the caramelized onion and mushroom topping prevent the bread from getting soggy.

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Bruschetta appetizer with caramelized onions, cheese, mushrooms and garnished with microgreens.

Caramelized Onion Bruschetta with Mushrooms

Yield: 18 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A delicious appetizer or snack of richly browned, sweet onions and meaty mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Italian bread cut into 18 slices
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 9 slices of Swiss cheese, cut in half
  • Fresh herbs for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven broiler.
  2. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil to brush on one side of the slices.. Place them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until they are golden. Set aside. Turn off the oven.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until they are soft and a deep brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, Transfer to a dish and reserve.
  4. In the same skillet set over medium heat add the mushroom slices. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms have released their liquid. Remove the lid, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and cook until the mushrooms are a golden brown. Add the garlic, fresh thyme and salt. cook for another 30 seconds until the garlic is soft and fragrant. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

Turn on the oven broiler again:

  1. With the toasted bread on the baking sheet, add a portion of the cheese to each bread slice, transfer to the oven and allow the cheese to melt slightly. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and assemble the bruschetta.
  2. Divide the onion and mushrooms over each of the slices of bread, and garnish with fresh herbs. Transfer the bruschetta to a platter and serve warm or at room temperature

Notes

  • The topping can be prepared 1-2 days in advance, stored in the refrigerator and re-warmed before serving.
  • Options for a good melting cheese: Monterey Jack, Havarti, Provolone, Munster, Smoked Gouda
  • Garnish with any fresh herbs or microgreens.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 6gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 1.2gProtein: 4g

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Ashley @ My Midwest Table

Friday 28th of February 2014

Caramelized onions AND mushrooms? Two of my favorites. I love bruschetta, and this version looks like a winner!

Dahn

Friday 28th of February 2014

Thanks Ashley, I love a dish that has versatile components in it. It is a must to make extra onions and mushrooms for another use. Thanks for the comment.

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