Cipolline Agrodolce Recipe

pressure cooked onion antipasto
Sweet and tangy this appetizer can be made days in advance and left to macerate in the sweet and sour sauce to intensify it’s flavor. Six minutes in the pressure cooker and it’s ready!
Fresh pearl onions are not the easiest thing to find outside of Italy – do not substitute frozen.  Instead, use very large green onions, very small regular onions or normal-sized onions cut into quarters. Italians also have the advantage of picking-up these Cipolline at the supermarket already cleaned. I cleaned my own to show you how it’s done.  To endure cleaning these pungent little guys, wear water-proof mascara and do it in a well ventilated kitchen!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger none 5 min. Low(1) Normal

Pressure Cooker Recipe: Sweet & Sour Pearl Onions (Cipolline Agrodolce)
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 lb (500g) Cipolline
  • ½ cup (125ml) water
  • 1 Bay Laurel Leaf
  • 1 pinch of Salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon AP Flour
  1. Clean the pearl onions by cutting both ends, and then removing the first white layer - you can try to remove the paper-thin skin only but after spending 5 minutes for just one of these tiny little jewels you won't hesitate getting more aggressive.
  2. Put the onions in the pressure cooker with half a cup of water, a pinch of salt and the Bay leaf.
  3. Close and lock the top of your pressure cooker and raise the heat to high. When your pan has reached pressure lower the heat to minimum and count 5 minutes cooking time at LOW Pressure.
  4. When the time is up, turn off the heat and release all of the vapor and remove the top.
  5. While the baby onions are cooking, you can make the sweet and sour sauce: In a small sauce pan, put the flour, honey and balsamic vinegar. Turn on the heat very low and start stirring quickly with a wooden spoon and as soon as all the lumps are out turn off the heat - the whole process should only take about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the sweet and sour sauce in the pressure cooker and mix in with the baby onions. Transfer to serving dish and serve, or let sit overnight in refrigerator prior to serving to intensify flavor.

Pressure Cooked Balsamic Vinegar Baby Onions

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  1. Your recipes really help me get over my fear of using pressure cookers.This is great!I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and if you won’t mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

  2. Thank you for asking me to participate in “the wikipedia of food”! I have added the link and am happy to share my pearl onion knowledge with your readers.

  3. For onions and garlic, running under hot water for 30 seconds or so softens the skin so it just slides off.

    Should work for pearl onions.


  4. Pearl onions only seem to be sold in balsamic vinegar here, but I think I’ll give this a try with shallots instead and see how it turns out.

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