Grilled Vidalia Onions – The Easiest Side Dish For Summer BBQs

Growing up, I was afraid of onions. They smelled funny and according to every cartoon I watched, they made people cry. Why would I want to eat something that smelled funny and would make me cry?

It wasn’t until I spent some time living in the south that I realized that I had misjudged onions for far too long.

I lived in Savanna, Georgia for about a year. During that time I found it difficult to AVOID onions, especially the states pride and joy: Vidalia Onions. Not only are they the official state vegetable, Vidalia Onions are so special, they are trademarked by the Georgia Department of Agriculture!

What makes these onions unique? They have a soft sweet flavor that is deemed significantly milder than most onions. There is a lower level of sulfur in the soil of Vidalia, Georgia and surrounding counties where they are exclusively grown.

Vidalia Onions are perfect for soups, dips and jellies. You can roast them with potatoes or meats or, simply grill them and enjoy!  

Here is my recipe for Easy Grilled Vidalia Onions:

What You Need:

1 Medium to Large Vidalia Onion

Olive Oil (or vegitable oil)

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt / Pepper

Metal Skewers

Let’s Get Cooking:

With a sharp knife cut the top and bottom off the onion. Peel the layer of “paper” and the tough outer layer of the onion.

With the onion flat on your cutting board, run both skewers parallel through the onion (one at a time is safest) leaving as much space between them as possible. This can be tricky because Vidalia Onions already look like someone sat on them. If it’s a relatively “short” onion, only use 1 skewer and skip the next step.

Position the onion on its side and slice between the skewers leaving enough onion on each side so your onion doesn’t fall off the skewer. It is best if each side is ½ to ¾ inch thick.

Score the top and bottom of each onion with the tip of the knife. Do not cut deeply into the flesh.

Place the onions on a dish and drizzle, dabble or drench with balsamic, depending on your taste, and a little bit of olive or vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can let the onions marinade for 5 minutes to 5 hours, again, depending on how much you like balsamic. Flip occasionally. A quality vinegar will add to the sweetness of your onions.

If you like super sweet and sticky, add a teaspoon of honey over the onion, too.

Pre-heat your grill, or fire up the charcoal! When the grill is ready, treat the onions the way you’d cook a burger. Start with 5-8 minutes per side. Repeat if necessary.  If you like a soft texture, use a lower heat for a longer period of time. I prefer a little charring on the outside, so I will turn up the heat half way through the cooking process.

Because there is a lower sulfur level in Vidalia Onions, you don’t have to cook them until the rings fall apart like limp noodle. They should have some ‘body’ to them. In fact, some people like them with a little crunch like an apple.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Slide them off the skewers and enjoy!

If for some strange reason there are leftovers, you can enjoy them cold on a salad or reheat them the next day.


Please let me know if you try this recipe, or if you have one you want to share: [email protected] 


About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
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