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Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Gruyere Bites

You must add these caramelized onion, mushroom, apple, & gruyere bites to your Thanksgiving appetizer list.

This is a must-have appetizer for Thanksgiving. It looks elegant and at first thought, it probably looked to you like a difficult and time-consuming appetizer to make. Well, like I said last week, for Thanksgiving or any dinner party, I prefer simple elegance. I don’t want to slave away in the kitchen for two hours on one dish. Simple and delicious is my middle name.

While everyone is waiting for the big meal, have everyone snack on these. You should probably make a double batch, too, because I guarantee you they will not last long. The caramelized onions give this appetizer a sweet flavor but when paired with the sautéed mushrooms and tart apple it completes the palette in your mouth. Mixed together with the earthy taste of gruyere cheese – you have yourself a perfect appetizer everyone will love. Since the gruyere cheese is mixed into the onion, mushroom, & apple mixture, it melts beautifully together when baked. It’s bubbly and cheesy goodness.

I loved how the puff pastry acted like a light, buttery pillow for the filling on top. They just paired so well together and the flavors are out of this world. They’re the perfect size for the perfect bite.

As an after-thought, adding chopped up bacon on top of these would make these even more enticing. Next time I make these for guests, I will definitely be adding pieces of bacon on top or pancetta would work well too.

You need these next Thursday.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, Apple & Gruyere Bites
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: approx. 30-32 bites
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1½ granny smith apples, cubed into ½" cubes
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1½ oz. grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chives, minced
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 package (1 pound) of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats. Set side.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and cook the onions (with 1 tsp. of salt) until they're golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside in the bowl with the onions.
  3. In the same skillet, melt the butter and add in the apples with the sugar. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and add to the large bowl with onions and mushrooms.
  4. Add the cheese, chives, and thyme to the bowl and stir to combine the mixture well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. With a pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 2-inch squares and place them on the lined baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, brush beaten egg on the squares.
  6. Using a tablespoon, place filling in the middle of each puff pastry.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through and switching the baking sheet on the top rack to the bottom and the bottom to the top, until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
  8. Let the tarts cool a bit before serving, you don't want people to burn the roofs of their mouths!



  1. 11/15/2012 at 6:54 am

    Caramelized onions make everything better! Great flavor combo!

  2. 11/15/2012 at 7:05 am

    Totally drooling this morning. Love everything about this recipe!

  3. Jeff
    11/15/2012 at 7:39 am

    Oh my, this is such a great flavor combination, and it compliments beer and football so well!

  4. maria
    11/15/2012 at 7:48 am

    How would these taste if left at room temperature on the buffet table. Would it be better to put them in a chafing dish to keep warm or just best right from the oven? Looking for appetizer size food that can be kept on buffet line in chafing dishes. Thanks

    • 11/15/2012 at 8:07 am

      This would be great to keep in a chafing dish! Room temperature would be great too – to be honest, after I photographed these, they were already room temperature and my fiance and coworker still devoured them :)

  5. 11/15/2012 at 8:05 am

    Whoa! I want! These would be perfect for Thanksgiving! I’m cooking for my in-laws & parents this year—pray for me! haha

  6. 11/15/2012 at 8:34 am

    Man, I love little bites of food like these and this is such a great flavour combination. So delicious!

  7. 11/15/2012 at 8:50 am

    I looooooove gruyere, especially paired with onions and/or mushrooms, so I’d be all over these. YUM!

  8. 11/15/2012 at 8:51 am

    yumm these look amazing!!

  9. 11/15/2012 at 8:57 am

    Oh yes, this is my kind of appetizer! Puff pastry is so heavenly and that combination of toppings is to die for!

  10. 11/15/2012 at 9:15 am

    Yes. I would bathe in gruyere if I could.

  11. Jenn
    11/15/2012 at 9:17 am

    These look amazing!!! How do you think they would turn out if made a few hours ahead and then reheated right before company comes? Space is limited in my oven on Thanksgiving and I feel these are a must!

    • 11/15/2012 at 9:22 am

      They’d definitely work out that way. I’d say for the reheat, cover it in foil so the puff pastry doesn’t brown too much on you and burn!

  12. 11/15/2012 at 9:21 am

    Julie, these have me floored!!! Such amazing flavors here.

  13. 11/15/2012 at 9:39 am

    I am all about simplicity and easy appetizer especially if you have a lot of guests coming i love the fact its such a flexible recipe. absolutely love it.

  14. 11/15/2012 at 9:49 am

    Truth be told, I SO would not mind if this was my Thanksgiving dinner alone. They look perfect, Julie! And I love that “simple and delicious” is your middle name. :)

  15. 11/15/2012 at 10:19 am

    I agree with you on making a double batch — these would good super fast!

  16. 11/15/2012 at 10:26 am

    Oh yum! These flavors sound glorious!

  17. 11/15/2012 at 10:45 am

    Looks delish! And the bacon added to it would make it heavenly.

  18. 11/15/2012 at 11:03 am

    You mean I need these right now.

  19. Kristen M.
    11/15/2012 at 11:32 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks wonderful! What a perfect app for Turkey day.

  20. 11/15/2012 at 12:43 pm

    I totally agree – this is a must-have appetizer on any occassions. I love caramelized onions and mushroom, and apple will make it a perfect bite.

  21. 11/15/2012 at 1:28 pm

    The photographs make the food so appealing that I just want to pick one up and eat it right here.

  22. 11/15/2012 at 2:23 pm

    Puff pastry is just the bees knees!
    Love apples + thyme together too, and caramelized onions are amazing on pretty much everything. This app has it going on!

  23. 11/15/2012 at 3:17 pm

    Gorgeous! I was thinking of making something like this for Thanksgiving – love the apples!

  24. 11/15/2012 at 3:49 pm

    Julie, those flavors sound amazing! Perfect party appetizer.

  25. 11/15/2012 at 4:22 pm

    I am SO making these next week sans shrooms. My mom is allergic. Then again – if I poison her I get ALL the lobster. Kidding kidding!! No poisoning of anyone. In all seriousness I can’t wait to make these!

  26. 11/15/2012 at 5:26 pm

    Oh these are so pretty and I bet they are delicious too! I’m with you on the simple elegance and these are the perfect appetizer for that! My husband is in love with gruyere cheese so I know he would love these!

  27. 11/15/2012 at 5:31 pm

    If I took these bites to a party, I would be standing over the table, hoarding them. They look mouth watering!

  28. 11/15/2012 at 7:11 pm

    These look fantastic!! And really, what’s not improved by bacon? So stealing this recipe, I will be a big hit at christmas bringing this!

  29. 11/15/2012 at 8:10 pm

    How awesome are these?! I love using puff pastry for these little finger foods. :)

  30. 11/15/2012 at 8:32 pm

    This is exactly the kind of appetizer I love! A little sweet and savory!

  31. 11/15/2012 at 9:07 pm

    These look so beautiful Julie! How did you come up with all of these amazing Thanksgiving sides? I think I need to have Thanksgiving with you!!!

  32. 11/15/2012 at 10:07 pm

    Oh gosh, these look amazing, Julie! I think I could just eat them for my Thanksgiving dinner!

  33. 11/15/2012 at 11:47 pm

    My mouth is watering just looking at your pictures!! This looks incredibly delicious!

  34. 11/16/2012 at 2:05 am

    I love these bites, the flavors are perfect!

  35. 11/16/2012 at 3:31 am

    These look amazing, Julie!!! I’m such a sucker for appetizers..and cheese..and caramelized onions. Holy cow. Yum!

  36. 11/16/2012 at 9:43 am

    You had me at buttery pillow lol. I’d need to make a double batch because I’d eat half myself :o

  37. 11/16/2012 at 10:40 am

    you ain’t lying Julie! this IS a must have thanksgiving appetizer! Or really, ANY party appetizer. one bite has nearly everything i love – apples, caramelized onion, mushroom, yummy chives, and of course… the winning ingredient… gruyere cheese!!!! they are so cute. i don’t think i could be trusted around these lol.

  38. 11/16/2012 at 4:02 pm

    Oh yum! I bet I could eat the entire batch of these. They look AMAZING.

  39. 11/17/2012 at 11:03 am

    O.M.G. These look insanely good!

    P.S. I love your middle name! :)

  40. 11/19/2012 at 8:41 am

    You are a Thanksgiving machine! I could eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  41. 11/19/2012 at 1:16 pm

    this does look like the perfect appetizer…and perfect that we are doing apps at 11:00 – ya know pre-dinner eating then eat more. lol

  42. 11/20/2012 at 7:24 am

    These are to die for, they look so good and contain every thing that I love under then sun haha. This is exactly what I’m going to be making this weekend for a Thanksgving dinner I’ve been invited to – first time too! It’s not much of a thing here in Australia but working with Americans means you get such perks ;)

  43. Heather Sloane
    11/22/2012 at 3:49 pm

    I just made these and they are absolutely amazing!! Can’t wait to share them with my family. Happy Thanksgiving!

  44. 11/27/2012 at 7:11 pm

    I’m not sure how I missed these the first time around…thank goodness I caught them from your roundup! These are so right up my alley and could be made all winter! They look delicious.

  45. 11/28/2012 at 10:41 am

    I am eating these right now! They are delicious. I used smoked gruyere since that’s all I could find and they turned out wonderful. Perfect combo of sweet, tart and savory.

  46. 12/03/2012 at 10:19 am

    I think I’d make these even if it wasn’t Thanksgiving! =)

  47. Michelle
    12/10/2012 at 2:44 pm

    I made these for a party yesterday and they were so delicious! I left the puff pastry to thaw for too long (and couldn’t unroll it), so mine ended up a little more puffy than yours, but it was still delicious! Great flavor combination, so thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • 12/10/2012 at 2:46 pm

      Oh great! I’m glad they worked out for you :) puffy puff pastry isn’t a bad thing! ;) Thanks for coming back to share!

  48. Luisa
    12/19/2012 at 11:27 am

    These look INCREDIBLE!!!!!! Would they be AS good if I used cheddar, or does it taste best with Gruyere? Thanks!!!

    • 12/19/2012 at 11:54 am

      I definitely think gruyere is better because of its unique taste and how it compliments so well with caramelized onions!

  49. Joey Youngstrom
    12/27/2012 at 7:43 pm

    Made these today and OMG! They are so good!!

  50. Jackie
    12/31/2012 at 11:19 pm

    Made these tonight and 3 people asked for the recipe! I made them on baguette slices to save some time. Came out awesome!

  51. 01/04/2013 at 8:17 am

    What kind of onions did you use?

    • 01/04/2013 at 8:20 am

      Yellow onions.

  52. Izabela
    02/24/2013 at 11:34 am

    I made this and I thought it was delicious! Some of the party girls said it was too oniony.

  53. Sue
    03/11/2013 at 1:48 pm

    Help! Got stumped with the phyllo sheets….one to a baking sheet seemed too flimsy. Do you use just one or do you stack a couple? These sound delicious but need help with the phyllo….have always been intimidated by phyllo dough. Thanks.

    • 03/11/2013 at 1:54 pm

      Phyllo dough was not used in this recipe. I used puff pastry sheets, which are two different things that, if used interchangeably, can give different results.

  54. Tina
    04/03/2013 at 9:56 am

    I want to try to make this appetizer for a work snack day this week, but would like to prepare it the night before then bake it at work the next day. Will this work out? Or will all the ingredient be sitting to long on the uncooked dough?

    • 04/03/2013 at 10:59 am

      I would keep the filling and the puff pastry separate otherwise your dough would get way soggy.

  55. Tina
    04/03/2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks Julie! That makes sense!

  56. 06/22/2013 at 2:50 pm

    I finally made these last night, and OMG! They turned out fabulously! I made the filling in the morning and kept it in the fridge until dinnertime, assembled them and baked them and wow. Just wow. They were a huge hit at our dinner party, and they’ll definitely be on repeat here :)

  57. Judith
    10/11/2013 at 4:03 pm

    Would it be ok to use parchment paper? I do not have a silicone liner

    • 10/11/2013 at 11:15 pm

      Yup, parchment paper would be ok! :)

  58. 11/08/2013 at 1:50 pm

    Wow these sound so delicious and absolutely perfect for a Thanksgiving spread! Actually any holiday spread really…I might include them in my Chanukah dinner :)

  59. Bev
    11/24/2013 at 3:01 pm

    Definitely adding these to my menu. Do you think it would be okay to make these the day ahead or not? Please advise. Thanks!

    • 11/24/2013 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Bev! So glad you’re adding this to your menu! Makes me happy! As far as your question goes, I advised a lady above that you could make the filling & puff pastry ahead of time but keep the filling and puff pastry separate until you’re ready to assemble & warm them up; otherwise, your puff pastry will just get way too soggy. I hope this helps and I hope everyone enjoys! :)

  60. renita
    12/13/2013 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Julie,

    This recipe looks delicious! I was planning to try it out. Do you use apple with skin or without?

    • 12/14/2013 at 6:46 am

      Hi Renita! I used apples with skin. Enjoy!

  61. VZ
    08/06/2014 at 8:01 pm

    Have made these from this site so many times over the last couple of years. This is one of our party favorites – it has sophisticated flavors yet is easy to make. Highly recommended.

    • Julie
      08/06/2014 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad you have made these so many times :)

  62. 08/29/2014 at 8:03 am

    Julie, I have puff pastry in my freezer!! Going to try this recipe! love it!

  63. Misty
    09/13/2014 at 11:27 am

    These look delicious! I want to make them for a Wine Pairing dinner I’m going to at a friends house. And I was wondering if you had a suggestion of a varietal of wine that would go with these?

    • Julie
      09/14/2014 at 11:44 am

      Hi Misty, I know white wines pair well with the ingredients in this appetizer. My personal favorite is Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc!


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