Prep 40 mins
Cooking 30 mins
Serves 4

Pretty much everything we cook up in the Cape Herb & Spice kitchen starts with an onion. After all, a mirepoix made of finely chopped onion, carrots and celery is the rock star foundation of many a superb stew, ragu and casserole. Of course the humble onion deserves to be celebrated in its own right too. Think French onion soup, or this onion pie. Cheese and onion is always a winner, but we add a cheeky twist with a shake of our Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli. All this chilli cheese and onion pie needs is a leafy green salad on the side.


  • 1 packet store-bought short-crust pastry
  • 6 strips streaky bacon, diced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 800g finely sliced onions
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Cape Herb & Spice PIRI PIRI CHILLI
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 2 Tbsp cream (or milk)


Start off by preheating your oven to 190 ˚C. Spray a loose-bottomed pie or quiche pan with non-stick cooking spray (this filling is sufficient for a 24cm x 3cm pan). Dust a work surface lightly with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out the short-crust pastry to be large enough to line the pan’s bottom and sides. Use a sharp knife to trim off excess pastry level with the top of the pan. Cover the pastry completely with baking paper and top with baking beans (if you don’t have ceramic baking beans, simply pour a cup of raw rice onto the baking paper). Bake for 12 minutes, then remove baking beans and baking paper and set aside. The pie shell is now ready for its filling.

Make the filling while the pastry is getting its blind bake. We used ten large onions, but weighed it after slicing as this is one instance when precision matters – 800g is what you need. (Top tip: spare yourself the onion tears – if you have a food processor, slip on its slicing attachment and have the job done in seconds!)

Then fry the bacon in the olive oil until cooked and set aside. (If you are vegetarian, simply leave it out, it’s still delicious.) Add butter to the same pan and fry the onions over low heat until soft. Take care not to brown it. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and fry for a further minute or two. Now add two shakes of our Cape Herb & Spice Piri-Piri Chilli. Taste it and if you like it hotter, add a bit more. Now it needs some salt, so taste to see if the onions are perfectly seasoned and adjust as needed.

Allow onions to cool to room temperature. Whisk the eggs with the cream and stir eggs and parmesan into onions. Spoon into pie shell and bake at 190 ˚C for 25-30 minutes. This onion pie is best served slightly warm, not piping hot. It’s also lovely at room temperature, making it perfect for picnics.


Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at