suggested video
suggested video

Creamed Pearl Onions: a tangy, creamy comforting side dish for any occasion

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Creamed pearl onions are a classic comfort dish that's often enjoyed around the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. With its tangy, tender onions served in a cheesy, creamy sauce, it's a fantastically flavorful dish that goes beautifully with holiday favorites like ham, potatoes, turkey, and stuffing.

But you don't need to wait for Thanksgiving to roll around to whip up this delicious side dish – creamed pearl onions are amazing with everything from steaks to roasts. It's an easy dish to make and prepare, and one that will satisfy with every bite!

What are Pearl Onions?

Pearl onions are a type of small allium that is related to the leek. They're often used for pickling and have a sweeter flavor when compared to common onions. Pearl onions have also been a featured ingredient in casseroles, relishes, stews, soups, and various other recipes.

Creamed Pearl Onions Ingredients 

You can use fresh or frozen pearl onions to make this dish, however, frozen tend to be more widely available and have the added benefit of being peeled.

To make that gorgeous, rich, creamy sauce, you'll need broth, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese.

Flour and butter will help thicken the sauce up, while a dash of nutmeg gives the dish an extra pop of flavor.

Of course, you can always mix in extras like peas, bacon, or your favorite herbs and spices.

How to Make Creamed Pearl Onions

Ready to whip up a tasty dish of creamed pearl onions to serve as a side dish for your next meal? Here's what to do! Start by boiling water in a large pot, then adding in the frozen onions and simmering them for 5 to 8 minutes, or until they get nice and tender.

Once the onions are tender, drain them and set them to the side. Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, or until the raw smell of flour goes away. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream and broth. Reduce heat to low and cook for another minute or two.

Take the pot off the heat and add in ¼ cup parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir onions into the sauce, making sure to coat them well. Put the onions and sauce into a greased baking dish, then sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top. Bake the creamed pearl onions for 30 to 35 minutes at 375F, or until the top browns.


Creamy Pearl Onions Variations to Try

There are plenty of fabulous ways to mix up your creamed pearl onions. Try adding peas, bacon, pancetta, sausage, or smoked salmon to make this tasty dish even more delicious.

If you want to add a bit of a kick, a dollop of Dijon mustard or a dash of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika work beautifully.

What to Serve With Creamed Pearl Onions

Creamy pearl onions are a favorite around the holidays. They go well with roast turkey, roast chicken, glazed ham, and steaks.

Serve as a side dish along with mashed potatoes or creamy mashed cauliflower, roasted veggies, and freshly baked bread.

Tips for the Best Creamed Pearl Onions

Use either salted or unsalted butter to make this recipe.

Use fresh or frozen pearl onions. Frozen ones are more widely available and are already peeled, which is a real time saver.

Add leftover creamed pearl onions to stews or casseroles.


How to Store Creamed Pearl Onions

Once cooled, place the creamed pearl onions into an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days.

Can You Freeze Creamed Pearl Onions?

While it's possible to freeze creamed pearl onions, it isn't recommended. Cream sauces don't freeze well.

pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
24 oz
3 tbsp
All-purpose flour
3 tbsp
Vegetable broth
3/4 cup
Heavy Cream
3/4 cup
1/4 tsp
grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking dish with cooking spray.

Boil water in a large pot. Pour pearl onions into boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium flame. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in the heavy cream and broth. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Take the pot off the heat and add in ¼ cup parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Stir onions into the sauce.

Make sure to coat onions.

Pour the onion mixture into the baking dish. Garnish with remaining parmesan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top browns.


Use an 8×8-inch baking dish to make your creamed pearl onions.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views