Creamed Onions

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One of the perks of food blogging is all the creative and thoughtful gifts that people bestow once they find out about your blog. I’ve received wonderful things like fresh, home-grown produce, exotic spices, and unique baked goods (you wouldn’t believe how tasty potato chip cookies are!). Despite all these treats, I think my favorite gifts are heirloom recipes. This particular recipe is a holiday tradition that comes from my grandfather on my mom’s side.


My mom told me this dish is one of my grandfather’s absolute favorites and nary a holiday feast goes by that he doesn’t make creamed onions to accompany. According to my grandfather, this is a traditional American farmer dish typically made to go with holiday meals. Sweet onions were always used because this recipe was a good way to use up a lot of them at once, since their shelf life is shorter than regular cooking onions.


Creamed Onions
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 6½ cups, or about 13 (1/2 cup) first course or side dish-sized servings
  • 3 large sweet onions (such as Vidalia), peeled and sliced into ¼ to ½-inch strips
  • 8 tablespoons (115 g) salted butter
  • 1 pint (2 cups/475 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  1. Add the onions to a lidded 3-quart pot and barely cover them with water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down, cover the pot, and simmer until the onions are soft and translucent but not mushy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the onions and put them back into the pot.
  4. Add the butter, cream, sugar, and salt and cook over low heat until warm throughout.
  5. Serve in small soup bowls as a first course.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup


Be sure not to overcook the onions; they’re ready to drain when they’re soft and translucent but not mushy, as pictured in the photo above.

I’m wishing a very Merry Christmas to all! May you and yours have a very happy and safe holiday!

Update (March 13, 2013): I made this dish again and snapped a few pictures, so I decided to update the photos in this post. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).


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  1. says

    This is really unique. I have never seen this dish. It does sound delicious. I agree; those recipes passed down are the best, even more special that it is your grandfather’s favorite:)

    I hope you had a very merry Christmas!

  2. says

    I was guessing this was a side dish. But a first course? How interesting! I bet it’s just perfect on a cool winter evening, too. Nothing like a bowl of creamy goodness to warm you up from the inside out. Happy holidays! ;)

  3. Megan says

    I make something like this, but with parmesan added and we serve it with steak…yummy goodness! I’ll have to try this!

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