This puff pastry tart with balsamic caramelized onions and whipped goat cheese is the most delicious (and impressive!) appetizer. Frozen puff pastry serves as the base, which is topped with honey whipped goat cheese and plenty of sweet caramelized onions in every bite. Serve this puff pastry recipe at your next gathering!

sliced puff pastry tart with balsamic caramelized onions on a piece of white parchment paper

As a Registered Dietitian who primarily follows a plant-based diet, I love making creative vegetarian recipes that even meat eaters will love. This puff pastry tart is a super flavorful vegetarian appetizer that will impress guests with all different dietary preferences! Cut it into small bite size squares for appetizers, or larger slices as a vegetarian entree.

This caramelized onion goat cheese tart takes about two hours to prepare, but it is not a challenging recipe. Each step is simple and straightforward, and you’ll use frozen puff pastry for foolproof flaky layers. If you’ve never caramelized onions before, don’t be intimidated! They’re easy to make – they just need enough time on the stovetop to fully cook.

This recipe makes 12-16 servings as an appetizer, or 6 servings as a vegetarian entree.

Looking for more puff pastry ideas? Try my puff pastry tarts with mushrooms and leeks.

Step-by-step video

Ingredients in caramelized onion goat cheese tart

  • Frozen puff pastry
  • Onions – I used one red onion and one white onion
  • Goat cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Honey
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Salt
  • All purpose flour, for dusting the surface when you work the puff pastry

Kitchen tools needed

caramelized onion and goat cheese tart ingredients measured out on a light grey backdrop

How to caramelize onions

Making caramelized onions was the most intimidating part for me when developing this recipe, but I can assure you they are easy to make! The most important aspect of caramelized onions is time. With about an hour of time, a little patience, and occasional stirring you’ll have soft, sweet caramelized onions for this tart.

I’ve found that the best way to caramelize onions in on the stovetop, in a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, stock pot, or saute pan. Avoid using nonstick pans, because the onions won’t develop as deep of a flavor.

What are the best onions to caramelize?

You can caramelize any type of onions, including shallots! The best type depends on how sweet you want the end product to be. Red onions and white onions will yield a less sweet product, while Vidalia onions and yellow onions will be sweeter.

For this tart, I chose to use one red onion and one white onion, which I find balances out the sweet tart flavor in the balsamic vinegar and the honey in the goat cheese and drizzled on top.

How to make caramelized onions

  1. Peel and thinly slice the onions. They don’t have to be perfect slices, but try to slice them as uniformly as you can to ensure even cooking.
  2. Heat olive oil in your stainless steel or cast iron pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Add onions and a generous pinch of Kosher salt to the pan.
  4. Give the onions a stir to coat everything in oil.
  5. Let the onions sit for 10 minutes without stirring. Then, give them a good stir.
  6. Wait another 10 minutes, then stir the onions again.
  7. Continue this process for a total of 45 minutes. At this point, your onions should be super soft and will have shrunk down significantly.
  8. Add balsamic glaze and water to deglaze and loosen up all the browned crispy bits from the bottom of pan. Cook for a few more minutes, then remove from heat.
  9. You’re ready to use your soft and delicious caramelized onions!
white bowl filled with caramelized onions

How to make caramelized onion and goat cheese tart

  • Remove puff pastry from the fridge and defrost according to package instructions.
  • Make caramelized onions as outlined in the instructions above.
  • While the onions are cooking, prepare the whipped goat cheese: add goat cheese Greek yogurt, honey, salt, and lemon zest to a food processor. Blend until well combined and creamy. You may need to scrape down the food processor bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Carefully unfold the puff pastry on a floured clean surface. Gently fix any cracks with your fingers.
  • Carve a 1/2 inch border into the puff pastry with a paring knife, being careful not to cut all the way through. Poke a few holes around the puff pastry with a fork.
  • Transfer the puff pastry sheet to the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Parbake the puff pastry for 10 minutes until very lightly brown and puffy. This will help ensure the pastry is fully cooked.
  • Use a fork to gently press the air out of the center of the puff pastry.
  • Spread the whipped goat cheese all over the puff pastry except the border. It’s OK if a few pastry flake fall off.
  • Sprinkle the goat cheese layer with fresh sage and thyme.
  • Add the caramelized onions.
  • Continue to bake the puff pastry for 17-22 minutes, until the edges are rich golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and slice into squares or rectangle for serving.
  • Garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a drizzle of honey, flaky sea salt, and fresh sage leaves.
caramelized onion and goat cheese puff pastry tart cut into 6 pieces on a piece of white parchment paper

What to serve with puff pastry tart

You can add this recipe to your list of appetizers for your next gathering. Or, serve a larger slice as a main dish! It makes for a delicious meal when paired with a salad or roasted vegetables. Try it paired with roasted cauliflower, a kale salad, or roasted carrots.

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Puff pastry is best enjoyed right after it comes out of the oven when it’s flaky and warm. I recommend preparing the components of this recipe in advance, but baking it right before you want to eat it. So, you can make the whipped goat cheese, caramelized onions, and defrost the puff pastry in advance.

If you happen to have leftovers, the best way to reheat puff pastry is in the oven. Put the puff pastry tart on a baking sheet and reheat in a 300°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

hands grabbing a piece of caramelized onion and goat cheese puff pastry tart

Onions nutrition & health benefits

Onions are a versatile ingredient and nutritious food to include in your diet. One cup of raw onion provides:

  • 2.7 grams of dietary fiber (10% of your daily needs)
  • 0.192 mg Vitamin B6 (11% of your daily needs)
  • 11.8 mg Vitamin C (13% of your daily needs)
  • Small amounts of other nutrients, including B Vitamins, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium

Onions are rich in plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. These compounds help keep our cells healthy by fighting inflammation, and can protect against certain diseases.

Let me know if you love these recipes by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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sliced puff pastry tart with balsamic caramelized onions on a piece of white parchment paper

Caramelized Onion & Whipped Goat Cheese Tart

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: oven, stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This puff pastry tart with balsamic caramelized onions and whipped goat cheese is the most delicious (and impressive!) appetizer. Frozen puff pastry serves as the base, which is topped with honey whipped goat cheese and plenty of sweet caramelized onions in every bite. Serve this puff pastry recipe at your next gathering!


Ingredients

Scale

Puff pastry tart

Caramelized onions

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water

Whipped goat cheese

  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Defrost the puff pastry according to package instructions.
  2. Caramelize the onions. Heat olive oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet, saute pan, or pot over medium-low heat.
  3. Add sliced onions and a generous pinch of Kosher salt. Stir to coat.
  4. Cook onions for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Do not stir constantly – the onions will brown by having contact with the bottom of the pan.
  5. When onions are soft and dark, add balsamic vinegar and water to deglaze. Use your mixing spoon to scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. *see blog post for detailed instructions for caramelized onions.
  6. Cook for another few minutes,then remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Prepare the whipped goat cheese by adding all the ingredients to a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute until creamy and well combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  8. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Unwrap the puff pastry onto a floured clean surface.
  10. Use a paring knife to cut a 1/2 border into the puff pastry, not cutting all the way through. Poke some holes in the puff pastry with a fork.
  11. Par-bake the puff pastry on the parchment paper lined baking sheet for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown and puffy.
  12. Use a fork to gently press down the center of the puff pastry.
  13. Spread whipped goat cheese all over the tart, except the border you made. It’s OK if a few flakes of pastry come up.
  14. Sprinkle fresh thyme and sage onto the goat cheese layer.
  15. Top with the caramelized onions.
  16. Continue to bake the puff pastry for 17-22 minutes, until edges are rich golden brown and very flaky.
  17. Let cool for a few minutes. Slice into 12-16 small pieces for appetizers, or 6 large rectangles for main dish.
  18. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, honey, and flaky sea salt for serving.

Notes

*see full blog post for detailed instructions on how caramelize onions

Can I make this recipe in advance?

Puff pastry is best enjoyed right after it comes out of the oven when it’s flaky and warm. I recommend preparing the components of this recipe in advance, but baking it right before you want to eat it. So, you can make the whipped goat cheese, caramelized onions, and defrost the puff pastry in advance.

If you happen to have leftovers, the best way to reheat puff pastry is in the oven. Put the puff pastry tart on a baking sheet and reheat in a 300°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through.

Keywords: puff pastry tart, caramelized onion goat cheese tart, how to caramelize onions