Wednesday, April 18, 2012

caramelized onion, bacon & gruyere cheese monkey bread

I feel like I haven't been in my kitchen in forever. Sadly, I think it's mostly due to the fact that I've been lazy but I did get a chance to think up some super delicious recipes. This savory monkey bread is my absolute favorite, I couldn't wait to share! I'd sadly never heard of monkey bread until this past year, much less tried it. I'm not sure how I went twenty-three years without ever trying it considering I'm a cinnamon sugar freak. I'm going to blame it on my parents as I've realized they never introduced me to monkey bread or sausage balls. Have you ever had a sausage ball? It's just bisquick, sausage and cheese, served warm and so addicting. I love and hate when coworkers bring them into work because I have no self restraint. I do have to give my parents some credit though, they have always encouraged me to try new foods so I'm thankful for that!

This savory monkey bread is inspired by well-known baker, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. In her cookbook, she has a recipe for Volcanoes which are large homemade bread bowls filled with caramelized onions, bacon, scalloped potatoes and then stuffed with Gruyere cheese. My family made these for Easter breakfast this year and they were awesome. They just took forever to make from start to finish. There are tons of steps to all of her recipes. Each step is totally worth it in the end but I wanted to find a way to create something similar but easier. This savory monkey bread does require some prep work but once you have the onions caramelized, the bacon cooked and the butter melted, it is a quick assembly. I absolutely love the caramelized onion, bacon and Gruyere cheese flavor combination and all of them stuffed inside pizza dough only makes it that much better.

Caramelized Onion, Bacon & Gruyere Cheese Monkey Bread
makes 4 small ramekins

for the monkey bread:
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp oil
5 strips of cooked bacon, diced
1 1/2 c. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 can of pizza dough (I used Pillsbury from the refrigerated section of the grocery store)

for the garlic rosemary butter:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp garlic
2 tsp rosemary, removed from stem

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Melt butter in small pan over medium heat and then add garlic, saute garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add in rosemary and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Brush inside of ramekins or loaf pan with this garlic rosemary butter mixture and then set remaining butter aside.

In a separate pot, over medium-high heat add oil. Once oil is hot, add in onions and cook for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown, stirring every 4-5 minutes. Set onions aside.

Pull off large marble-sized pieces of pizza dough and flatten each one. Then place a small amount of onions, bacon pieces, and gruyere cheese in the middle of the flattened dough ball. Wrap the dough around the onions, bacon and cheese, pinching well to seal the ball shut.

Lightly brush each pizza ball with the melted garlic/butter/rosemary mixture.

Repeat until all the pizza dough has been used. Add pizza balls to your baking dish of choice. Sprinkle top with gruyere cheese.

For ramekin sized monkey bread, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is very brown.

Note: If you want to make this into a bundt sized monkey bread, double the recipe and bake for 35-40 minutes.


  1. I love Christina Tosi, I have such a chef crush on her. This looks amazing, Shannon. I love the onion and Gruyere combo!

    1. Thanks Cassie! I love her too, everything I've tried from her cookbook goes to the top of my favorites list!

  2. That is some amazing looking monkey bread! Yum! Congrats on Top 9!

  3. Major congrats for being in the foodbuzz top 9, today!

  4. Thank you, this looks delicious!!

  5. I've never had savory monkey bread and now I really want to try it. Looks so so good.

  6. I adore monkey bread, both savory and sweet. But I never once considered stuffing each little bread ball with a treasure trove of goodies. imagine all the other possibilities! This looks amazing!

  7. I can't wait to try the next yummy thing you make :)

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