This is such a classic holiday dish; our Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without it. I always think it’s pretty interesting that in America, many of us only eat cooked onions as a dish on our own, but once or maybe twice a year.
They are so delicious and just perfect with roast turkeys, standing rib roasts, legs of lamb, and all of that kind of festive fare. But they would also be delicious with Greek Roasted Chicken Thighs or Loin Lamb Chops with Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce for a not-necessarily-a-holiday dinner.
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Creamed Pearl Onions: This classic side dish belongs on any holiday table. It is easy to make and pairs perfectly with turkey, rib roasts, leg of lamb, and more.Tweet This
- Heavy cream – Gives this dish its signature decadent and creamy taste.
- Chicken or vegetable broth – Keeps the dish from becoming too heavy.
- Bay leaf – Grounds the sauce with a subtle, almost piney flavor.
- Pearl onions – You can use fresh or frozen; see how to peel pearl onions!
- Minced parsley – A bright, clean herb to top off this recipe.
- Adding a bit of grated cheese — especially a hard, salty, nutty cheese like Parmesan — lifts up the flavor. It provides a richness and a savoriness that doesn’t necessarily come across as cheesy but just as a little more flavor. It thickens the sauce a bit — this is a pretty thin sauce, but it’s also very simple and really lets the flavor of the fresh onions come on through.
- You could add 2 or 3 cups of frozen or shelled peas after the onions have become mostly tender. Learn the tricks to this simple addition in the Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions recipe!
How to Make Creamed Pearl Onions
- Cook onions: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, broth, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Add the onions and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the onions are tender and the liquid has thickened somewhat into a sauce.
- Serve: Remove the bay leaf, stir in the Parmesan (if using) and parsley, and turn into a serving bowl. Serve hot.
Just like a regular onion, it’s not good for you to eat the skin. Make sure to peel the skin off before cooking and eating.
It’s easiest to peel pearl onions after you’ve boiled them in water for a few minutes and dunked them quickly in an ice bath. After doing this, the skin should slide right off! See this easy peeling method for some more guidance.
Visually, the difference is easy to spot. A pearl onion is tiny compared to a regular onion. A pearl onion is also sweeter than a regular onion.
Make-Ahead and Reheating
If you want to make these a day or two ahead of time, you can warm them up in one of two ways. Either reheat them in a covered baking dish in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or heat them in a pot over medium-low heat until warm throughout, also stirring occasionally. If you think of it, let the onions in their sauce come to room temperature before reheating them.
What to Serve With Creamed Pearl Onions:
More Onion Recipes
- Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions
- Caramelized Onions
- Grilled Onions
- Pickled Onions
- Braised Cipollini Onions with Dried Cherries
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Creamed Pearl Onions
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, broth, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Add the onions and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the onions are tender and the liquid has thickened somewhat into a sauce.
- Remove the bay leaf, stir in the Parmesan (if using) and parsley, and turn into a serving bowl. Serve hot.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.