If you love onions, you have to try these Creamy Pearl Onions made on the stovetop. This delicious recipe is the perfect side to roast beef and is popular as a side dish to any holiday meal. You'll love these luscious, flavorful, and tender pearl onions in a cream sauce.
What do you get when you slowly cook down fresh pearl onions in a creamy sauce with herbs? It's something pretty simple, yet exquisite.
These baby onions can accompany nearly anything you can think of, and they certainly have a place on the ultimate holiday table. Simple, yet decadent, this velvety side dish shouldn't be overlooked!
Make sure to get started with this guide on how to blanch and peel pearl onions! You should also try this pressure cooker beef bourguignon, a classic French beef stew that uses pearl onions.
❤️Why you'll love this
- Minimal and staple ingredients - There aren't too many ingredients to keep track of in this dish. Anything you don't already have on hand can be found at most grocery stores.
- Made on the stovetop - This recipe comes together right on the stovetop, though it can also be placed in a baking dish and cooked in the oven if you prefer.
- Versatile - Anything that goes well with onions could benefit from this yummy and creamy dish.
- Easy to prepare - There are just a few simple steps to make this dish come together!
Here are the ingredients you will need, plus a few extras. You can find full quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card.
Here is a list of ingredients, you can see the recipe card for quantities.
- Pearl onions - Any color you like. We used yellow. Fresh onions can be used but will need to be blanched and peeled first. You can also use frozen pearl onions.
- Unsalted butter - We recommend using unsalted because you can control the salt level easier this way.
- Chicken broth - Or any liquid of choice. Chicken stock, beef broth or stock, white wine, dry sherry, and port wine are all excellent choices to help deglaze the pan and infuse the sauce with a lot of flavor.
- Heavy cream
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Ground nutmeg - An optional ingredient, but we highly recommend adding a small amount. It adds a lovely warm flavor to the onions.
- Fresh thyme & parsley - Optional, but yummy!
To peel pearl onions easily, you first have to blanch them in hot water for a few minutes. After boiling, plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Then, you cut them from the stem end and peel them easily. Check out our guide on how to blanch and peel pearl onions for step-by-step instructions and photos!
Melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan or skillet. Place onions in the pan in a single layer, and season with salt. Don't move much, for at least 3-4 minutes, then move gently with a wooden spoon. We want to caramelize the onions.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook to allow onions to soften and turn golden brown on all sides. Add a little water or broth if the pan becomes too dry to deglaze. Sauté for roughly 15 minutes until the onions are nice and soft.
After the onions are golden brown, add in any remaining chicken broth, and heavy whipping cream. Stir to combine.
Add black pepper, nutmeg, and thyme. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Pro tip: don't allow the sauce to boil, or the cream will curdle.
Adjust seasonings to taste, and add more liquid for a thinner sauce if desired. Serve with roast beef, or nearly any meat, poultry, or game. Enjoy!
✨More delicious side dishes to try
Planning a big meal? Try some of these other sides!
- Maple glazed carrots
- Crispy smashed potatoes with herbs garlic & parmesan
- Creamy mashed turnips
- Keto green bean casserole
- Redskin mashed potatoes
Here are our top suggestions for altering these delicious baby onions.
- For more of a creamy white sauce - you can skip caramelizing these on the stovetop and cook them in a baking dish in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350°F.
- Add parmesan cheese - Another delicious addition to this dish is to add freshly grated parmesan cheese when you add the cream. It adds a saltiness and umami flavor that is simply irresistible. Just make sure you are grating it fresh, so that it melts properly.
- Vegan - Simply swap the butter for vegan butter, and the cream for your favorite vegan substitute, like coconut or cashew cream.
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Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. We don't recommend freezing these.
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Creamed Pearl Onions Recipe
- 20 ounces pearl onions, blanched and peeled (can use frozen)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- 6 ounces broth of choice (or can use wine)
- 6 ounces heavy whipping cream
- minced parsley & fresh thyme for garnish
- Melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan or skillet. Place onions in the pan in a single layer, and season with salt. Don't move much, for at least 3-4 minutes, then move gently with a wooden spoon. We want to caramelize the onions.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook to allow onions to soften and turn golden brown on all sides. Add a little water or broth if the pan becomes too dry to deglaze. Sauté for roughly 15 minutes until the onions are nice and soft.
- After the onions are golden brown, add in any remaining chicken broth, and heavy whipping cream. Stir to combine.
- Add black pepper, nutmeg, and thyme. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add more liquid for a thinner sauce if desired. Serve with roast beef, or nearly any meat, poultry, or game. Enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Pro tip: don't allow the sauce to boil, or the cream will curdle.
- These onions can also be made in the oven, by adding all ingredients to an oven-safe dish and baking at 350*F for about 30-35 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg & fresh herbs.
- Use any broth or wine of choice for the liquid.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.
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