onion appetizer

Onion Appetizer with Blue Cheese and Bacon

Sparks BBQ in downtown Traverse City started with a passion for backyard grilling. Encouraged by family and friends’ endless compliments, owner and pitmaster Dean Sparks opened up a food truck at The Little Fleet. Serving slow smoked pulled pork, baby back ribs, and sandwiches topped with homemade coleslaw; the truck was a flaming success.

Today, barbecue lovers can also find Dean at his new brick and mortar restaurant at 439 E. Front St. Or fulfill your grill desires at home with one of Dean's favorite recipes for an onion appetizer with blue cheese and bacon.


  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Slice off the top of the onions, remove outer skin, leaving root intact. Using a tablespoon, begin to core out the center of the onion to create a basin for fillings, approximately the size of a half tennis ball. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and fill onions. Wrap onions in heavy duty foil, and cook directly in the coals of a bonfire or charcoal grill, making sure mixture is up. Remove after 45 to 60 minutes and set in a bowl to cool. Rest for 15 minutes, remove foil and any charred layers of the onion and serve.

Photo(s) by Dean Sparks