Creamed Pearl Onions

Elevate Your Holiday Table: Classic Creamed Pearl Onions, a Timeless Delight

Step into the world of culinary nostalgia with our Classic Creamed Pearl Onions—a timeless dish that graces holiday tables with elegance and flavor. This recipe, a celebration of simplicity and tradition, transforms humble pearl onions into a creamy sensation that complements any festive spread. Join me as we embark on a culinary journey, unraveling the secrets behind this classic dish that brings comfort and warmth to gatherings and evokes memories of holidays past.


For the Creamed Pearl Onions:

  • 2 pounds pearl onions, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Prep the Pearl Onions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add the peeled pearl onions and blanch for 2 minutes.
  • Drain and transfer the onions to an ice bath to cool.
  • Trim the ends of the onions and gently peel away the outer layers.

2. Create the Cream Sauce:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Add flour and whisk continuously to create a roux, cooking for 2-3 minutes until it turns golden.
  • Gradually add milk and heavy cream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently.

3. Season and Simmer:

  • Stir in ground nutmeg, salt, and white pepper into the cream sauce.
  • Add the peeled pearl onions to the sauce and let them simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until tender.

4. Garnish and Serve:

  • Once the onions are tender and the sauce has thickened to your liking, remove from heat.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Cooking Notes:

  • Choose firm, unblemished pearl onions for the best texture.
  • Use a sharp knife to make the peeling process more manageable.
  • Adjust the thickness of the cream sauce by adding more milk or cream if needed.


Bacon Infusion:

  • Enhance the flavor by adding cooked and crumbled bacon to the cream sauce.
  • Reserve some bacon bits for sprinkling on top as a garnish.

Cheese Lover’s Twist:

  • Stir in 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese into the cream sauce for a decadent variation.
  • Opt for sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Parmesan for a bold flavor profile.

Mushroom Medley:

  • Elevate the dish by sautéing a mix of mushrooms and adding them to the cream sauce.
  • Shiitake, cremini, or wild mushrooms work well in this variation.

Keto Version:

For those dedicated to a keto lifestyle, Classic Creamed Pearl Onions can be adapted to align with your dietary preferences.

  • Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour for the roux.
  • Use a keto-friendly milk substitute, such as almond milk or coconut milk, and replace heavy cream with unsweetened almond or coconut cream.
  • Adjust the thickness of the sauce with xanthan gum or another keto-friendly thickener.

Low-Carb Version:

If you’re watching your carb intake, here’s how to modify Classic Creamed Pearl Onions without sacrificing their rich, creamy goodness.

  • Substitute all-purpose flour with a low-carb thickener like arrowroot powder.
  • Choose a low-carb milk alternative, such as unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
  • Serve the creamed pearl onions over cauliflower rice or another low-carb side.

A Symphony of Simplicity and Tradition:

As we conclude our exploration of the Classic Creamed Pearl Onions recipe, savor the essence of timeless comfort and culinary tradition. This dish, gracing tables for generations, invites you to experience the delicate balance of creamy sauce and tender pearl onions—a combination that transcends seasons and creates lasting memories.

Whether served alongside a holiday roast, a festive turkey, or enjoyed as a stand-alone side dish, Classic Creamed Pearl Onions adds a touch of sophistication to your gatherings. So, embrace the simplicity of this classic recipe, gather your ingredients, and let the warmth of tradition fill your home. Here’s to the joy of holiday cooking and the enduring charm of Classic Creamed Pearl Onions—a dish that promises to bring a sense of timeless delight to your festive celebrations.

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