Roasted Shallots With Buttery Sweet-Tart Glaze Recipe

An easy, elegant holiday side dish.

Close up view of caramelized pan-roasted tender shallots.
Meltingly tender roasted shallots.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • These roasted shallots glazed in a buttery sweet-tart sauce make for an easy, elegant holiday side dish.
  • The recipe works with multiple types of sugar and vinegar.

This is a simple recipe for delicious roasted shallots in a sweet-tart buttery glaze. But it's also an example of how simple recipes can sometimes be tricky to nail down.

In this case, the challenge for me was the oven temperature. Everything else about this recipe is quite straightforward—the ingredients include shallots, butter, sugar, vinegar, and salt, and it was pretty easy to figure out the best ratio. The problem was, with each step in my testing process, the oven temperature that I thought would work no longer worked.

I started by trying to determine a good shallot-roasting temperature by doing a simple side-by-side test of shallots cooked at 325°F (160°C) and 400°F (200°C), coating them with just some oil and salt. After that test, I concluded that something like 375°F (190°C) would be the sweet spot.

But then I introduced the glaze and everything changed. Because butter contains some water, and because the vinegar also adds water to the pan, the shallots didn't brown enough at that temperature. With a little more tinkering and testing, I ended up with a recipe that works, but I encourage you to watch your shallots as they roast: If they're not getting enough color, increase the oven temperature; if they're getting too brown too fast, lower it.

It's also worth noting that this recipe works with multiple types of sugar and vinegar. I tested it with sherry vinegar, cider vinegar, and balsamic, as well as granulated sugar and demerara sugar. They all work, as, I suspect, would other options.

Here's how it all comes together.

Start by melting butter in the skillet, then add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the vinegar, bring to a boil, and cook until a glaze forms.

Fresh thyme, butter, sugar, and vinegar simmered down into a glaze.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Some thyme adds great flavor. Add the shallots and stir to coat with the glaze. Then transfer to the oven and cook until well browned and tender. It's worth mentioning that for the holidays, these can be made a day or two in advance and reheated before serving.

It's so easy your turkey could make it...that is, if your turkey weren't already waiting for its own turn in the oven.

November 2014

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 50 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons sugar (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (see notes)

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • 2 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled, root end trimmed but left intact

  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

    Adding sugar to bubbling melted butter in a saute pan.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

    Stir in vinegar, add thyme, and simmer until a glaze forms, about 1 minute.

    Tablespoon of vinegar poured into a pan of simmering butter and sugar.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

    Add shallots, season with salt, and stir, turning to coat with glaze.

    Sprinkling salt on whole peeled shallots and thyme sprigs in a saute pan.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

    Transfer to oven and roast until shallots are browned and tender, about 40 minutes. Serve shallots right away, or refrigerate up to 3 days and reheat before serving.

    Overhead shot of a saute pan with caramelized roasted shallots in a buttery glaze

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Notes

This recipe can work with different types of vinegar and sugar: We tested it successfully using sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar, as well as both granulated and demerara sugar.

Special Equipment

12-inch oven-safe skillet

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
166 Calories
6g Fat
27g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 166
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 254mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 477mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)