Creamed pearl onions are a comforting side with tender sweet onions cooked in a simple cream sauce.

This recipe is traditionally served around the holidays but we love it year-round. They go with everything and come together easily.

top view of cooked Creamy Pearl Onions in the dish

What are Pearl Onions?

Pearl onions, or “baby onions” are simply regular white onions that are harvested before they get too big. Look for bright white skins that aren’t broken and have firm flesh. They are crunchy and have a sweet, savory flavor. They can also be caramelized in a sauté pan for a colorful and healthy side dish.

Fresh or Frozen

Pearl onions can be purchased either fresh or frozen. When buying fresh, they will need to be peeled first which is easy but takes a lot of time. I personally prefer to buy them frozen (since they usually come peeled) if I can find them.

ingredients to make Creamy Pearl Onions

Ingredients and Variations

ONIONS: Pearl onions are perfect on their own in this recipe, but for extra color, texture, and taste, add green peas, bacon bits, even smoked salmon for an elegant entrée.

THE SAUCE: The sauce has a smooth, velvety finish. However, some Dijon mustard will give the dish a whole new dimension of flavor.

making sauce for Creamy Pearl Onions

How to Make Creamed Pearl Onions

A roux is so simple and tastes great with pearl onions:

  1. Blanch onions to remove the skins & then simmer (or use frozen pearl onions).
  2. Make a roux and add the liquids per the recipe below. Once thickened stir in parmesan.
  3. Combine onions and sauce in a small and bake until bubbly.

PRO TIP: Crush the bouillon cube with the back of a fork before adding it to the sauce so it breaks down faster.

Creamy Pearl Onions in a dish before cooking

What to Serve with Creamy Pearl Onions

Creamed pearl onions are so good on their own, and they are great as leftovers. But they really shine as a side dish alongside Rosemary Balsamic Glazed Ham, a Slow Cooker Rosemary Beef Roast, or add them to these simple Grilled Marinated Vegetable Kabobs.

How to Store

Keep creamy pearl onions in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove and add a little milk and cheese. Leftover creamy pearled onions are perfect to add to soups or casseroles.

Creamy & Comforting

Did you make these Creamy Pearl Onions? Don’t forget to leave a rating and a comment below! 

cooked Creamy Pearl Onions in the dish
4.95 from 34 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Creamy Pearl Onions

These creamy pearl onions are fancy & flavorful, the perfect addition to any dinner table!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 pound pearl onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • If using fresh onions, peel by cutting off the top and adding to the water for about 1 minute. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place in ice water. Pinch the onion to remove the outer skin. Place peeled onions back into the water and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  • If using frozen onions, simmer 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain well.
  • While onions are simmering, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Add stock and cream a little bit at a time stirring after each addition whisking until smooth. Stir in a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Remove from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste. Stir in onions.
  • Spread into a small baking dish or pie plate. Top with remaining parmesan cheese and bake 20-25 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned.


Frozen pearl onions are usually peeled (double check when you buy them) making this dish a bit easier.
Heavy cream can be replaced with light cream, stir in about 1 tablespoon of butter once the sauce is mixed.
Fresh herbs can be added to the sauce along with the onions.
Frozen green peas are a great added to this dish too. Place the frozen peas in the strainer and drain the onions over the peas. The hot water will thaw them enough to cook along with the sauce. 
4.95 from 34 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 94 | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 213IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
close up of Creamy Pearl Onions with writing
Creamy Pearl Onions in a casserole dish with writing
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Creamy Pearl Onions in the dish and with a spoon with a title



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


    1. Yes, this can be made ahead of time and baked before serving. If it is chilled from the fridge, you may need to increase the baking time a little bit.

  1. One serious correction should be made. Do NOT cut off the top of the onion before blanching; cut off the ROOT end. I’m surprised no one has mentioend this. Otherwise a terrific recipe.5 stars

  2. I’ve been unable to reproduce ny step-moms creamed onions and gave up trying long ago. I knew my son would like a creamed onion dish with Thanksgiving if I could pull it off & when i saw this recipe (so easy when using frozen pearl onions) I was pretty confident it would be as good as everyone claims, and it REALLY is!!!5 stars

  3. Great recipe ! I used frozen pearl onions and it was fantastic ! Loved the Parmesan – just as good as my Mom’s. It will be on my menu every Thanksgiving!3 stars

  4. Couldn’t find frozen so used fresh pearl onions. It was well worth the time and effort to peel them. So yummy served them with beer can chicken air fryer asparagus and roasted Brussels. A real hit. Thx so much5 stars

    1. Hi Margie! You can add as many peas as you would like. If I’m adding peas I often do an equal amount of peas to pearl onions (1 pound of each) but you can add more or less to your liking!

  5. Tried this recipe today. It was amazingly rich, delicious and perfectly balanced. I will definitely be making this again!5 stars