Braised Rice and Onions

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Add that extra bit of taste, flavor, and texture to a favorite main dish when you make this recipe for Braised Rice and Onions by the celebrated Julia Child. This recipe may sound intimidating, but your mind will be at ease when you see that it only has a total of five steps. You can make this mixture in advance, giving you more time to entertain guests at your dinner party. Just reheat and you're ready to serve it! Your dinner guests will be suitably impressed when you add a bit of French cooking to the dinner menu.

This is a savory mixture of sliced onions, rice, and butter cooked slowly together until they melt into a purée. The natural moisture of the onions is sufficient to cook the rice; no other liquid is needed. Soubise is particularly good with veal or chicken, or boiled leg of lamb à l’anglaise. It may be turned into a sauce soubise by puréeing it with a sauce béchamel or velouté and enriching it with cream.

Serves6 people

Cooking MethodBaking, Braising



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseSide Dish


Taste and TextureButtery, Cheesy, Creamy, Savory

Type of DishCasserole


  • ½ cup rice
  • 4 quarts rapidly boiling water
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 lbs. (6 to 7 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Equipment
  • A 3-quart fireproof casserole
  • A hot vegetable dish


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Drop the rice into the boiling salted water and boil for 5 minutes exactly. Drain immediately.

  3. Melt the butter in the casserole. When the butter is foaming in the casserole, stir in the onions. As soon as they are well coated with butter, stir in the rice and seasonings. Cover and cook very slowly in the 300-degree F oven for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The rice and onions should become very tender and will usually turn a light golden yellow. Correct seasoning.

  4. May be cooked several hours in advance and reheated later.

  5. Just before serving, stir in the cream and cheese, and then the butter. Taste again for seasoning. Turn into a hot vegetable dish and sprinkle with parsley.


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