Spiral Onion Rolls

spiral onion rolls
Spiral Onion Rolls

These rolls are equally good served with a holiday dinner or dunked into hot soup or stew. The onions in the filling are first caramelized with pears or cherries and then seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and nutritional yeast.

As with most rolls, you can’t make Spiral Onion Rolls in time for a weeknight dinner, but you can definitely get them prepared on a day when you are at home. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a kitchen filled with the scents of simmering onions, herbs and freshly baked rolls. Your house will smell like comfort and happiness.

To make Spiral Onion Rolls, start by caramelizing onions with chopped up pears or cherries. Both fruits work equally well. This time of year, you can either buy fresh pears or frozen cherries for this recipe. Don’t bother to peel the pears – the peels disintegrate when cooked for such a lengthy period. If you use dried herbs, add them as the onion-fruit mixture caramelizes. If you have fresh herbs available, add them with the nutritional yeast after cooking:

onion for rolls
Caramelized onions with fruit, herbs and nutritional yeast

While the onion mixture is cooking, start the dough. Either use a bread machine on the dough cycle, or dissolve the yeast in water in a large bowl, add the dry ingredients, mix and knead. After rising, roll the dough into a rectangle and spread with the onion mixture:

dough with onion spread
Dough spread with onion mixture and partially rolled up

Roll the dough into a rope, cut, and place rolls in a baking pan:

cut dough with onion spread
Cutting dough into rolls


Allow to rise:

risen dough with onion spread
Risen dough ready for the oven

Bake and serve!

spiral onion rolls
Spiral Onion Rolls

I hope you enjoy these rolls as much as we do.

As always, thanks for reading, everyone.

I wish you holidays filled with family, friends, joy and peace.

Hugs of kindness,


Spiral Onion Rolls

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 6 medium onions, or about 2 pounds, chopped
  • 2 medium pears, chopped but not peeled, or about 3/4 – 1 pound pitted, fresh or frozen cherries
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon no-salt seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the onions. Stir, lower the heat, and cover so that the onions sweat. Once they are translucent and beginning to brown, add the chopped pears or cherries, and, if you are using dried herbs, add them. Cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to brown. Remove the lid and continue to cook, scraping the pan bottom and adding a couple tablespoons of water if the onion/fruit mixture begins to stick. Once the mixture is nicely browned, remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast, and, if you are using fresh herbs, add them. It will take 45 minutes or longer to caramelize the onions and fruit. Allow the mixture to cool. 
  2. In the meantime, start the dough: Place the remaining ingredients into a bread machine and set for the dough cycle. Alternatively, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and then stir in the flour and no-salt seasoning. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan lightly with oil spray.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter, and roll it out so that it is about 20″ wide by 12″ deep.
  6. Spread the onion mixture on the dough almost all the way to the edges of the dough (the mixture will help the dough stick together once rolled up). 
  7. Roll the dough to make a rope about 20″ wide. Pinch the rope and the edge of the dough together to seal. If it doesn’t seal, add a few drops of water to the edge, spread the water out along the edge, and seal.
  8. Cut the dough into 12 evenly-sized pieces and place into the pan. 
  9. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  10. Cover the pan with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise until nearly doubled, about 45 – 60 minutes. 
  11. Once the dough has risen, place the rolls into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and cook another 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are nicely browned and cooked through.
  12. Serve hot. These rolls are lovely when served as part of a holiday meal. They are equally good dunked into a thick soup or stew, like Thai Cauliflower Soup.

Nutrition information per serving: 189 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 4 mg sodium, 149 mg potassium, 36 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 6 grams sugars, 8 grams protein, 1% Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 5% calcium, 13% iron.

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