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Versatile, dry onion soup mix is more than just an onion dip

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By Norm Harding, Reporter

Mixing sour cream with one of those dry onion soup mix envelopes was a staple at parties at our house for years. It was a cheap and easy way to make a pretty darn good dip. And, with a bag of nacho chips and a bottle of wine, the dip would make the occasion festive.
Then one day, I read the label on the onion soup mix envelope. The company suggested mixing its onion soup with ground beef for an onion meatloaf. It really added some zest to it. I decided to ask some friends what they used it in.
“I always add some, not a whole package, when I make my beef gravy from my roasts.”
“I use some in my meatloaf, and I even like to put some in my hamburgers.”
“Always use it when I do a roast in the crockpot, either beef or pork or in a chicken/rice casserole.”
“I like to use it for a pork chops and sprinkle it over oven-roasted potatoes. I pour it over the vegetables and the roast when I make a pot roast.”
“It gives ham and beans a little extra zip!”
And of course, there are still those of you out there who will echo the words of this homemaker: “I have only used it in sour cream for an onion dip!”

Dry Onion Soup Mix
For those of you who want to make your own, this recipe equals one package of store-bought Lipton onion soup mix.
4 tsp. instant beef bouillon granules
8 tsp. dried onion
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. celery seed or celery salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until blended. Store in a resealable plastic bag.

Coca-Cola Roast Beef
1 3 to 4 lb. beef roast (sirloin tip, round or boneless chuck)
1 can Coca-Cola
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
Place unseasoned roast in baking pan. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Pour on the Coca-Cola. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 3 to 4 hours or until tender.

Baked Onion Chicken
This recipe is courtesy of Susan Melanson of Ocean Isle Beach.
This is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes I’ve tried for baked chicken. It uses only three ingredients, not counting the chicken, of course!
4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken legs
Sour cream
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Using a Ziploc bag, mix the onion soup mix and seasoned breadcrumbs together. Coat chicken with a thin layer of sour cream, and then add pieces, one at a time, to the bag of seasoning; shake and coat well.
Place chicken on a broiler pan or shallow baking pan. Bake in a 400-degree pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Three Ingredient Crockpot Turkey
Think about using different types of fruit sauces in this super easy crockpot three-ingredient turkey entree recipe. Note the different cooking times if you’re using a bone-in or boneless breast.
1 frozen turkey breast, not thawed, bone-in (about 5 lbs.) or boneless (about 3 pounds)
16 oz. can cranberry sauce
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
Place all ingredients into 5-6 quart crockpot, cover, and cook for 2 hours on high. For bone-in turkey, reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 4-5 hours until turkey registers 165 degrees on instant meat thermometer.
For boneless turkey breast, once you reduce the crockpot heat to low, start checking the turkey after 1-2 hours. It may only need that much time to reach 165 degrees.
Slice turkey breast and serve with sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
This recipe is courtesy of Monica Jones of Ocean Isle Beach.
This is so easy and tastes like there are more ingredients than there actually are!
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle (8 oz.) Catalina or Russian salad dressing
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
10 oz. jar apricot preserves
Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Pour remaining ingredients on top of chicken. No need to mix. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Makes 8 servings.

Almost White Castle Hamburgers
1-1/2 lbs. ground chuck
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 egg
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsps. water
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
24 small square dinner rolls
American cheese (optional)
Sliced pickles (not optional)
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first 6 ingredients and press into an ungreased 10x15-inch jelly roll sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Drain off juices (if there is a lot of excess). Allow to cool, and then cut into 24 squares. Place squares on dinner rolls.
Combine mustard and ketchup and spread on rolls. Top with pickles and cheese. Makes 12 servings of two hamburgers each.

Pork Chop Casserole
4 (1-inch thick) pork chops
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1-1/2 cups uncooked regular rice
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (10-1/2 oz) can beef consommé
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown chops in oil in heavy skillet. Place rice in a greased shallow 2-qt. casserole; lay chops on top. Combine tomatoes, consommé, onion soup mix, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour over chops. Cover and bake for 1-1/4 hours. Rich, but good. Makes 4 servings.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at nharding@brunswickbeacon.com.