This is THE BEST and most authentic German onion pie recipe (called Zwiebelkuchen in Germany) that I have to make at least once every fall! I have perfected this popular fall baking recipe over the last 5 years for you, so you don't have to think twice about making it. Follow my easy steps to make a simple yeast dough, then add in an addictive onion filling made with cream, eggs, and top with smoky bacon. We eat it as a main course with a side salad or as a side for the holidays.
To make authentic German onion pie, you need a few basic ingredients that are easy to find at a regular grocery store.
- Onions. I use yellow onions for my onion pie.
- Butter. A bit for the filling and a bit for the crust. Don't skip adding it on top either!
- Flour. You'll need it for the crust and just a little more to thicken the filling.
- Eggs. Just a couple of eggs go into the quiche-like filling.
- Heavy cream. It makes the filling super creamy and delicious! No regrets.
- Bacon. I use Whole Foods bacon purchased at the deli counter because it's extra thick sliced, but any thick-cut bacon will work.
- Yeast. I use active-dry yeast and keep it in the fridge when I don't use it, so it keeps longer. Don't be scared of using yeast!
- Sugar. You'll need just a touch to wake up the yeast.
- Caraway Seeds. My Oma Sieghilde used to add some whole caraway seed (one tablespoon or so) to help with digestion. I am not a big fan of them, but feel free to add some if you like them!
How to make authentic German onion pie
You may find it surprising that German onion pie is easy to make. First, you will prepare a simple, buttery yeast dough. While that rises, you'll cook the onions until translucent, mix up the egg-cream mixture, cut up your bacon, and before you know it, you're filling your tart or pie pan (you could also use a square brownie pan or double the recipe for a sheet pan). There is no pre-baking of the yeast dough involved and the oven-crisped bacon on top is the crowning glory to this recipe. I know you will LOVE making, smelling, eating, and sharing this recipe with your family and friends to celebrate the fall season.
What To Drink With Zwiebelkuchen?
Traditionally in Germany, onion pie is served with Federweisser, which is a young, sweet wine or must that can usually be picked up seasonally from local wineries in Germany. While I haven't been able to find it in the United States, I am dreaming about homemade Federweisser becoming a reality one day. If you have any tips to share, please comment on this post below. Other wine pairings that would work really well are young Rieslings (a semi-dry or dry Riesling would be lovely, which is my favorite!).
German side dishes for the holidays
I received so many compliments for this recipe from Jason's family and friends (and even my kids) and I even get requests to make it for the holidays as a German side dish! I will be making German onion pie again for Thanksgiving this year because it is simply addictive! The fluffy, buttery crust and the creamy, savory, but yet slightly sweet onion filling are a winning combination. Other German side dishes that would be great to make for Thanksgiving are my German bread dumplings (Semmelknödel) instead of stuffing, my Bavarian potato salad or German potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer). My homemade pretzels are always a great appetizer for any get-together!
Should I add caraway to Zwiebelkuchen?
My Oma Sieghilde would also add whole caraway to hers, which aids in digestion because onions, while so healthy, aren't easy to digest. Caraway helps! I am personally not a fan of caraway, so I leave it out, and instead follow up with a warming tea for digestion (when I remember).
Try it for yourself and please let me know your results in the comment section below.
Onion Pie (Zwiebelkuchen)
- 500 grams yellow onions
- 55 grams butter plus some more for greasing the baking pan
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 100 milliliters heavy cream
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon cut into little strips or cubes
- caraway seeds optional - I did not use them, but my Oma Sieghilde always did to aid in digestion.
- Dissolve the dried yeast and sugar in some of the warm milk and allow to sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes.1 teaspoon sugar, 155 milliliters milk, 3.5 grams active dry yeast
- Add the remaining dough ingredients and knead for 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 ½ to 2 hours. In the meantime, butter your quiche pan or baking dish.250 grams all-purpose flour, 55 grams butter, 1 teaspoon salt
- Press down the dough evenly in baking pan using your hands and fingers - no tools needed! Set aside while you prepare your filling. Note: My quiche pan has a 9.5-inch diameter, but if yours is larger, your Zwiebelkuchen just won't be quite as tall.
- On medium heat, cook the onion rings with the butter until they are clear and soft. This can take 10 minutes or longer. Take care not to brown the onions. Add the flour and let the mixture cool down. Season with a good amount of salt.500 grams yellow onions, 55 grams butter, 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Whisk together the eggs and cream and add it to the cooled-down onion mixture.2 large eggs, 100 milliliters heavy cream
- Add the filling to the baking dish and add the cut-up bacon (and sprinkle with caraway seed if desired). Bake on the middle rack at 390° F (200° C) for 35 to 45 minutes. Gentle wiggle your baking dish. The middle should not shake when it's ready.2 slices thick-cut bacon, caraway seeds
- Allow cooling for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with Federweißer or Riesling. Guten Appetit!
- Onion pie is served with Federweisser: a young, sweet wine that can usually be picked up seasonally from local wineries in Germany.
- Other wine pairings that would work really well are young Rieslings (a semi-dry or dry Riesling would be lovely, which is my favorite!).