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Best Stuffed Onions with Ground Beef and Rice

4 from 9 votes
Einav Hakoun – @einavhakounfood
Delicious Middle Eastern stuffed onions with ground beef cooked to perfection.
Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time :2 hours
Servings: 8



Rice seasoning:



  • Peel the onions and make a lengthwise cut into the center of each onion, stopping at the middle. Boil them for about 25 minutes. Remove them and transfer to ice-cold water and then drain using a colander. Save the water used to boil the onions for the dish.
  • While the onions are cooking, heat a medium size pot with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the rice and a pinch of salt, and saute briefly. Add a cup of boiling water and simmer over low heat for 6-7 minutes until the water is absorbed. The rice should be half-cooked.
  • Heat a wide pot with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the finely chopped onion and pine nuts, and saute until golden brown. Add the beef and cook until it changes color. Add the partially cooked rice, beef, raisins, and spices, stir well, and turn off the heat. Add the chopped herbs and mix.
  • Gently separate the layers of the boiled onions. Fill each onion layer with a spoonful of the rice and beef mixture, ensuring that the mixture doesn’t spill out. Arrange the stuffed onions tightly in the pot to prevent them from falling apart during cooking. Pour the sauce over the stuffed onions, making sure they are fully covered. Place a moistened parchment paper on top, cover with a lid, and cook for about 35 minutes (preheat your oven to 355F/180C after 25 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat, remove the parchment paper and lid and bake for another 35 minutes on turbo mode until the top is golden brown.


stuffed onions with ground beef recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun

Can I use a different type of meat, like lamb or chicken?

Certainly, you can absolutely experiment with different types of meat in this stuffed onions recipe. Lamb will lend a rich and savory flavor, while chicken will provide a lighter taste.

Are there any vegetarian alternatives for this recipe?

You can replace the meat with cooked lentils, mushrooms, or a mix of vegetables, like eggplant and zucchini. Plant-based meat substitutes or crumbled tofu seasoned with your favorite spices are also great options.

Can I freeze the stuffed onions with ground beef for later use?

After preparing and cooling the stuffed onions, place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Ensure they’re tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.

Tips for making the stuffing more flavorful

Season Liberally: Don’t skimp on seasoning. Use a generous amount of salt, black pepper, and other preferred spices, like paprika, cumin, or coriander, to add depth to the mixture.

Aromatics: Sauté finely chopped garlic and onions in olive oil before adding the meat and rice. This aromatic base will infuse the stuffing with rich, savory flavors.

Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley, mint, or cilantro can make a significant difference. Chop them finely and mix them into the stuffing for a burst of freshness.

Citrus Zest: Add zest from lemons or oranges to brighten the flavors and provide a subtle citrusy note.

Quality Broth: If using broth, opt for high-quality broth or stock, as it can elevate the stuffing’s overall taste.

Cooking Liquid: Utilize the water leftover from boiling the onions as part of the cooking liquid for added flavor continuity.

stuffed onions with ground beef recipe
Credit: Einav Hakoun

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