Appetizer Day 1- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Smoked Cheddar Tart


Last week I prepared you for all things sweet with my perfect easy Christmas treat recipes and this week I plan to bombard you with three amazing appetizer recipes that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. They are absolutely delicious and again the key word here is-SIMPLE!

I can’t really take credit for this recipe. I found it in an old Junior League cookbook. So although it is not my creation I am so excited to share it with you all because something this amazing and simple shouldn’t be keep a secret.

It’s what I like to call an upscale appetizer. Rich ingredients of not just any mushrooms and onions but caramelized mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, wine and herbs. It creates the most irresistible atmosphere for the buttery perfect layers of puff pastry and or dough. I decided to use puff pastry for one batch using medium size muffin tins and biscuit dough (taking the easy route) and making miniature appetizer pockets so to speak for the second batch. Both were out of this world! The best part of this appetizer is it can be made ahead of time and frozen until time to serve. If you are having a party then Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Smoked Cheddar Tarts should be on your table!

Appetizer Day 1- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Smoked Cheddar Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP butter, unsalted
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of smoked cheddar, grated
  • 2 sheets of thawed puff pastry or 1 can of biscuit dough or both
  • egg wash (1 egg and 1 TBSP water beaten together)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until they are completely soft and all of the liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and the thyme and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to pull up all of the browned bits, and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
  3. Unfold the thawed sheets of puff pastry and cut out circles from the dough, placing them evenly spaced into a muffin tin or if using biscuit dough then cut out into circles and place on baking sheet. Top the rounds of puff pastry or biscuit rounds with a small spoonful of the onion and mushroom mixture. Top with the shredded cheese. Brush the edges of the dough rounds with the egg wash and place another round on top sealing with your fork. If you are using the muffin tins and puff pastry then just brush the sides with the egg wash.
  4. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, about 15 to 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, green onions or chives.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 8-12 (as an appetizer)



  1. lindsay

    these look awesome jess!! i hope yall are adjusting well with baby connor! can’t wait to see more pictures of him!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  2. Collette Osuna

    Awesome! Im usually requested to bring appetizers to most events…..cant wait to give these a try!!!

    A Funky Little Fashion Blog

    14 . Dec . 2011
  3. Erica

    I WISH I liked mushrooms. The other components of this sound fantastic. Caramelized onions- so good!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  4. kitchen flavours

    I absolutely love mushrooms! And these sounds and look really delicious! Hey, aren’t you supposed to be resting? 🙂
    Take care!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  5. erica

    Oh my goodness this looks beyond amazing. I am definitely making this for Christmas! xo

    14 . Dec . 2011
  6. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    We are big onion and mushroom fans at our house so I know this will be a real hit here! Looks delicious!!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  7. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray

    These look SO good! I love all the ingredients.

    14 . Dec . 2011
  8. Marina {}

    Seriously the perfect appetizer!

    14 . Dec . 2011
    • Kassi

      This post has helped me think tighns through

      26 . Nov . 2012
  9. Jessica @ Cajunlicious

    Wow Jessica those tarts look incredible! I love mushrooms so I think I will be giving this a try soon!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  10. jo-lyn@jo-lyns cutie(cup) cakes

    ooohhh, these sound delicious!! and so easy!! perfect for a holiday appetizer!! thnx!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  11. Pam

    This is my idea of a great appetizer and I’m sure I could make a meal of them! They look delicious and what’s not to love about mushrooms!!!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  12. Three-Cookies

    You are right, that does look complex. Don’t tell your guests its simple, let them think you spend hours of your culinary expertise in creating these masterpieces:)

    14 . Dec . 2011
  13. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    Ohhhh…mushrooms! Such a perfect appetizer for my girls who are big mushroom fans!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  14. Torrie @ a place to share...

    oh- so happy about this next wave of appetizer recipes… i’m in need of a few for this month!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  15. Zoe

    This is awesome! Love the onions and mushroom combination. Will bookmark this recipe to serve these for a party.

    14 . Dec . 2011
  16. Roz

    oh my how I love ‘shrooms! I’d head to your appetizers over dessert first and foremost with absolute glee all over my face! A new baby? where the hell have I been for so long? I love your incredible blog and send my sincere apologies for my absence during my insane life! I’ll do my best to try and catch up with your posts and be a better bloggin’ friend in 2012. Pinkee promise! Merry, merry, and BLESSED Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

    Big hugs,

    14 . Dec . 2011
  17. daphne

    What a wonderful idea!!! A bite of this, and I can have another bite of this- given the size!!!! You must be great in multitasking with the posting and taking care of the newborn!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  18. Candace

    I thought your sweet treats were fantastic; but, this one is, by far, my favorite. I can’t wait to make these, Jessica.

    14 . Dec . 2011
  19. chef_d

    Oh yum, caramelized mushrooms and onions sound so decadent!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  20. anthony stemke

    Carmelized onions are great in many ways. This is a great appetizer.

    14 . Dec . 2011
  21. sportsglutton

    Two of my favorites, mushrooms and caramelized onions, wrapped up into an appetizer. sounds phenomenal to me!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  22. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Mmm….caramelized mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, wine and herbs with buttery layers of puff pastry… I’m in love!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  23. val

    I’m truly convinced you are super-woman!!

    14 . Dec . 2011
  24. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Absolutely heavenly!
    🙂 Mandy

    15 . Dec . 2011
  25. Alexis @ There She Goes

    totally making these for a cocktail hour this weekend! perfect! and i have all of the ingredients – thanks!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  26. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything}

    mushrooms and onions caramelized in butter, wine and herbs, say no more! i want some right now!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  27. lena

    jess, you rock! i’m impressed at your christmas sweets last week and this will be another great week looking at your appetisers!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  28. yummychunklet

    Gasp! How fantastic do these look?? OMG, I would love a tray of them right now. And, no, I wouldn’t share with others. =D

    15 . Dec . 2011
  29. Suzi

    Oh yummy I am so happy to see food. I love these appetizers and caramelized onions with mushrooms make me very happy. Thanks!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  30. Kristy

    Oh Jessica! I love it! These absolutely should be on my table. 🙂 And the best part….simple. I LOVE simple! 🙂

    15 . Dec . 2011
  31. Liz

    What an amazing appetizer! Don’t you love those Jr. League cookbooks? Filled with so many treasures!!!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  32. Vianney Rodriguez

    these look amazing!! great pics!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  33. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Junior League cookbooks can be worth their weight in gold for simple but very good appetizers. Usually the recipe is from someone who likes entertaining. Your appetizer is perfect for this time of the year!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  34. Linda

    Wonderful little bite! I love these types of recipes and so does everyone at the party!!

    15 . Dec . 2011
  35. Eva

    These look delicious Jessica. Caramelized onion and cheddar are an excellent combo! both puff pastry tarts and the little pockets look wonderful.

    15 . Dec . 2011
  36. Caroline

    I’m not sure if I’d be able to serve these at a party…I feel like I’d eat the entire platter before I could do so! These sound seriously amazing. Great flavor combo and that golden crust is gorgeous. 🙂

    15 . Dec . 2011
  37. Stefanie

    How wonderful to keep things simple around this time of year! They look delish! Wonderful flavor combo, and wonderfully simple 🙂

    15 . Dec . 2011
  38. Pure Complex

    I am absolutely in love with this savory Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Smoked Cheddar Tart. Usually, I eat sweet tarts, but I can totally see myself loving this on a relaxed day

    15 . Dec . 2011
  39. Reem | Simply Reem

    These are so so good…
    How simple and elegant…
    Mushrooms and onions, love them….

    B/W how are you feeling now? How is the baby doing?

    15 . Dec . 2011
  40. Blond Duck

    I want them all for dinner!

    16 . Dec . 2011
  41. Kristin

    You had me at mushrooms! Yum!

    16 . Dec . 2011
  42. Teresa Blackburn

    Yum-a-licious…this is just what I have been looking for to take to a party. Thanks.

    16 . Dec . 2011
  43. the good soup

    Wow, can you really get biscuit dough in a can? Wow, this Australian learns something new every day! Thanks Belle, they look totally scrummy!

    18 . Dec . 2011
  44. Nicole-Lynn

    Genius! Sounds delicious!

    19 . Dec . 2011
  45. Greg

    Oh wow, these look great. What are you guys doing for the Super Bowl. Kidding!

    19 . Dec . 2011
  46. GEni

    My husband (and I!) would love these. We are such mushroom nuts and carmelized onion…cheese…it sounds divine. What a perfect appetizer to start New Year’s Eve with. Definitely on my list of New Yea’rs Eve musts now. Take care and Happy New Year!

    29 . Dec . 2011

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