The Cajun Holy Trinity

The Cajun Holy Trinity provides a base of flavor for well-known Cajun dishes such as gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya!

Cooking with The Cajun Holy Trinity from The National Onion Association

We are starting our exploration of Onions Around the World close to home with the Cajun Holy Trinity. A mix of onions, celery, and green peppers, this flavorful combination serves as a base for cooking throughout Louisiana in a multitude of traditional recipes. If you’ve enjoyed a Cajun meal, it is certain you have tasted something that first began as the Holy Trinity, or the Trinity, as it is also sometimes called.

It is unclear who first named this mix of ingredients, according to a report from The Times-Picayune. Although, there is evidence that it was popularized by chef Paul Prudhomme in the late 1970s. The name stuck and spread throughout the state in the 80s and has been around ever since.

Onions, celery, and green peppers make up The Cajun Holy Trinity. Learn more at!

Most often using yellow or white onions, this base is a staple in nearly every dish the world associates with Cajun and Creole cuisine such as gumbo, red beans and rice, and other soups and stews of the region. The proper ratio of onions to celery to green peppers seems to be up to the cook and the specific recipe. While some chefs reference a 1:1:1 ratio, others suggest a 3:2:1 ratio. Of course, we can’t argue with the latter. The more onions the better!

While each recipe varies, as a general rule, fat, such as butter or olive oil, is heated in a heavy skillet or pot, like a cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Then the Holy Trinity is added and sautéed over medium-high heat until the vegetables soften. This usually takes about five minutes. Seasonings and spices are added to layer the flavors and create a delicious meal.

Onions create a foundation of flavor in The Cajun Holy Trinity.

The key to the perfect Holy Trinity is consistency in chopping. The onions, celery, and bell pepper are all added to the skillet at the same time, so you want the pieces of each ingredient to be about the same size to ensure even cooking. Other than that, this base of flavor that is full of tasty onions leaves plenty of room for interpretation and experimentation in the kitchen.

Our go-to combination is one large onion, two stalks of celery, and one medium green bell pepper for recipes that serve four to six people. When sautéed in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, it provides a delicious and healthy base for building rich flavors.

Onions, celery, and bell pepper create The Cajun Holy Trinity used in a variety of Cajun recipes. Find out more at

In our next post, we will be sharing our favorite Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Gumbo recipe to help you get started cooking with the Cajun Holy Trinity!

Images by Lori Rice for the National Onion Association


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Onions Around the World

Join us over the next few months as we celebrate Onions Around the World!

Onions around the world! A recipe series from the National Onion Association celebrating the use of onions in traditional meals from Louisiana to Puerto Rico to Italy!

Onions are a timeless ingredient for cooking. For decades, they have served as the core for delicious cuisines around the world. In nearly every country, recipes that range from simple, everyday dinners to those prepared for special occasions all start with onions.

These foods begin with an onion base – a combination of chopped onions with a few other ingredients that are then cooked in the early stages of the recipe to create a foundation that is full of flavor. As cooking continues and flavors begin to layer and build, some of the most well-known foods from around the world begin to emerge.

Close to home, in Louisiana at the heart of Cajun cooking, the Holy Trinity, a mix of chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery is the starting point for traditional dishes such as gumbo and jambalaya. The French version, called Mirepoix, is used in soups. Italy has Battuto that adds garlic and parsley to the mix, while Sofrito in Spain contains tomatoes and Recaito in Puerto Rico includes cilantro. In Germany, the mix, called Suppengrün, often uses onions as a substitute for leeks to create hearty soups and stews.

Onions around the world!

Inspired by these delicious dishes and the necessity of flavorful onions to create them, over the next several months we will be exploring Onions Around the World here on the Onionista blog. We’ll be sharing a bit about the history of these onion bases and how to prepare them, along with a recipe using each one as a meal to enjoy with your family.

Each month will provide a new way to cook with onions with influences from around the world! Not only will the recipes provided create a sense of adventure in the kitchen, it will give you a base for experimenting with some of your own original creations. All with onions!

Are you familiar with the onion bases we’ve mentioned? If so, let us know what you enjoy making with them!


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Breakfast Casserole from Chef Hardette Harris

Louisiana chef, Hardette Harris, has been bringing much-deserved attention to her local cuisine of the Shreveport-Bossier area. In 2015 she became the creator of North Louisiana’s “Official Meal” which includes local dishes such as hot water cornbread.

In 2017, Chef Harris was named “Louisianian of the Year” by Louisiana Life Magazine. She also received the Best Small Town Chef of 2017 Award from Country Roads Magazine.

The culinary world is taking note of her work and the National Onion Association is among that group. When Chef Harris was asked by the Shreveport Times, “What do you consider the most underrated ingredient?” She responded, “Fresh onions – yellow, green, purple – any variety.” She added that the more onions she puts in her curry chicken dish the better it is.

We agree, Chef! We couldn’t be more thrilled with Chef Harris’ efforts to help onions shine in her delicious recipes. Her Breakfast Casserole is the perfect example. She combines yellow onion with turkey sausage to create a hearty, filling casserole that is a simple alternative for a weekend brunch, or an ideal addition to your weekly meal prep plan.

Breakfast Casserole Recipe from Louisiana Chef Hardette Harris. Shared by the National Onion Association. Find it at

Breakfast Casserole

Recipe and image credit, Chef Hardette Harris. Shared with permission.

Makes:  12 servings


3 links sweet ground turkey sausage (removed from casing)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 slices whole-wheat, sugar-free bread
2 cups fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
10 large egg whites
2 large whole eggs
2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Spray the 9-x-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven at 350 F.

In a sauté pan cook sausage until done. Remove and chop into small crumbly pieces. Set aside in a bowl.

Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the green onions. Sauté the remaining green onions, yellow onion, and garlic in the oil until lightly brown and soft. Remove, add to sausage and mix.

Lay bread slices in baking dish. Slightly pull them apart until they cover the bottom of the dish. Then layer equal parts of sausage mixture, then cheese. Repeating.

In a separate bowl, with a whisk, whip egg whites, eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper together until slightly frothy. Immediately pour over sausage and cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes. Sprinkle top with reserved green onion. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

Photo of Chef Harris above by Bianca Nieves.



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Guest Worthy Breakfast Bakes and Casseroles

There’s nothing better than an amazing array of breakfast bakes and casseroles on a holiday morning. When inviting guests over for breakfast or brunch you want to serve them more than scrambled eggs. Surprise your family and friends with some of our favorite ideas for delicious morning eats that all have fabulous onion combinations.

During the holidays serve family and friends delicious and amazing Guest Worthy Breakfast Bakes and Casseroles. These recipes are perfect for any occasion. Guest Worthy Breakfast Bakes and Casseroles

We’ve compiled not only tasty brunch and breakfast ideas, they all have a unique fun twist that will delight all of your guests.  This round-up of savory dishes with onions have so many tremendous food flavors you will have trouble deciding which you’ll want to make first. Whether you are serving a romantic breakfast for 2 on Valentine’s Day or having a family brunch for Christmas or Easter these recipes will become family favorites.

This Roasted Sweet Potato & Kale Breakfast Hash from Minimalist Baker is not only healthy it’s so full of amazing flavors and is a gorgeous preparation.

Gruyère, Ham, and Spinach StrataGruyère, Ham, and Spinach Strata  from Home.Made.Interest is a great way to combine breakfast favorites.  Healthy Breakfast Burritos from our friend over at My Nourished Home is not only a great brunch idea it makes for quick morning breakfasts when on the go.  Cotter Crunch has this simply unique and amazing recipe for Smashed Beet Fried Avocado Toast with Onion Aioli {Gluten Free} These Chicken & Egg Ramekins from Simply Stacie are the perfect little touch to any breakfast or brunch.  Fake Ginger has come up with a entertaining dish with this Breakfast Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.  This Savory Korean Kimchi Pancake from Curious Nut is the ultimate way to wow your brunch guests. Yes to Yolks has this phenomenal recipe for Mini Quiches with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere, & BaconVegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere Our Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere recipe is not only a crowd favorite it’s easy to make and double up when more guests are  attending.

There’s so many ideas to make breakfast yummy, If you’re like us you might even love some of these dishes for dinner!!


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Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere 

Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere 

There’s nothing better than a delicious hot breakfast to start your day on the right foot. Having wonderful breakfast and brunch traditions during the holidays or special occasions are lifetime feel good memories. This Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere recipe is one everyone will be wanting more of, and talking about for a long time.

Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere 

This strata is loaded with colorful veggies and topped with flavorful diced red onion. Strata is a great addition to a breakfast or brunch because it’s easy to throw together whether you have planned for weeks or your guests arrive at the last minute. You can even make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, then bake just before serving on a busy morning.  

Sourdough bread creates a delicious base for the breakfast, but remember that strata is an anything-goes kind of recipe. Feel free to swap out the sourdough for your favorite whole grain bread. White cheddar, Gouda, or Swiss are other great options if you don’t prefer gruyere cheese. You can even add a half cup of cooked and chopped bacon or ham to put your own twist on it.  

Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere 

Makes:  8 servings 

Prep Time:  15 minutes 

Bake Time:  55 minutes 


8 cups cubed sourdough bread
1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup diced white button mushrooms
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 medium red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
6 large eggs 

3 cups whole or low-fat milk
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish, about 9-by-13-inches, with butter or non-stick cooking spray.   

Place the bread cubes in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms over the bread. Next spread the cheese over the top, and then the onion.  

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sea salt, and pepper. Pour the liquid into the casserole dish and gently press down on the bread cubes to soak them with the liquid.  

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until it bubbles around the edges and the corners of any exposed bread start to brown. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting to serve.  

Looking for the perfect breakfast or brunch this Vegetable Strata with Red Onions and Gruyere is an AMAZING choice!

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