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This heirloom Creamed Onions recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavor in a rich, buttery cream sauce. Serve it up for any holiday or special occasion meal!

Easy Creamed Onions Recipe in a White Bowl with Spoon on Dark Wooden Table

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 Creamed Onions 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 cooking onions.


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

What Are Sweet Onions?

Sweet onions are onions that taste sweeter and less pungent than other onions. According to Wikipedia, their sweetness is due to their low sulfur content and high water content. Types of sweet onion include Vidalia, Walla Walla, and Maui.

How to Peel Pearl Onions:

  1. Fill a 5-quart pot 2/3 full with water, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the unpeeled onions to the boiling water.
  3. Bring back up to a boil, and then let it boil for 3 minutes.
  4. Drain the onions, and transfer them to a large bowl full of ice water.
  5. Once cooled, drain the onions.
  6. Cut the root end off an onion and gently squeeze the other end. The onion will slip out of its skin. Continue this way until all the onions are peeled.

Close Up Top View of Creamed Onions Recipe in White Bowl on Wooden Table

Can I Use Pearl Onions to Make Creamed Onions?

Yes, pearl onions are delicious in this Creamed Onions recipe! Use about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of pearl onions, and peel them as directed in the section above. Then continue on with the recipe below.

More Traditional Holiday Side Dish Recipes:

Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith

Creamed Onions

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Yields: 13 servings
This heirloom Creamed Onions recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavor in a rich, buttery cream sauce. Serve it up for any holiday or special occasion meal!

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  • 3 large sweet onions such as Vidalia sliced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch strips
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Put the onions in a 3-quart pot with a lid and barely cover them with water. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat, cover the pot, and simmer until soft and translucent but not mushy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain the onions and put back into the pot.
  • Add the butter, cream, sugar, and salt, and cook over low heat until warm throughout.


  • This recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead. Keep it covered in the fridge and reheat until warm on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 754IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creamed Onions

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

Easy Creamed Onions Recipe Pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 22, 2010. It was updated with new photos on March 13, 2013, and more information on December 18, 2019. As a point of comparison to show how much my photography has evolved, I kept one of my original photos (below).


Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items, which helps me keep this site alive – thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I haven’t tried it yet but from the ingredients (sugar) I know it’s the recipe I’ve been looking for. Many thanks for sharing.

  2. Kyle Simms says:

    I cannot wait to make these onions!!! Living in south middle Florida, onions are plentiful!!

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

  4. 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! ;)

  5. nancy at good food matters says:

    Hi Faith–I love the white-on-white look of this dish—the way you’ve sliced the onions elevates the appearance. This is always such a delicious, savory-sweet treat.

  6. 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!

  7. Wishing you the happiest of holidays.

    I am an onion lover and this is an ideal way of serving onions.

  8. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    Merry Christmas Faith! It is heavenly what things we can give & receive as food bloggers. I have never heard of creamed onions, sounds so interesting! XO

  9. Susan: My Food Obsession says:

    I agree, Heirloom recipes are truly something special!

    Merry Christmas :)

  10. jen cheung says:

    Passion4Food here to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. May 2011 bring you lots of happiness and friendship. Have an awesome day with your love ones!!

    jen @

  11. This is a wonderful recipe Faith, one which I have never tried but would love to taste! So special knowing its origin too! (I would also like to keep that onion water)
    Happy Holidays to you and your lovely family.

  12. I adore heirloom recipes too. They always infuse my baking and cooking with love. These creamed onions look and sound delicious. I wish you the Merriest Christmas. Thank you for always infusing my days with such great eats, sweet words and thoughtful comments….I’m thankful for you!

  13. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    I could really use those onions for my cold right now! Sounds great!

  14. deana@lostpastremembered says:

    Faith, here’s hoping for a wonderful christmas for you and yours… I do miss creamed onions.. haven’t had them in years!!! The photos are so dreamy and gorgeous… who knew onions could ‘clean up’ so well!

  15. I don’t tell my friends about my blog – they dont cook – but it must be lovely to receive blog-related gifts.
    The creamed onions sound good – and look very nice and creamy and pale – and I hope you have a lovely holiday.

  16. Chef Dennis says:

    I love sweet onions!! I have never had creamed onions and oh my they sound delicious!!
    Have a very merry Christmas!

  17. My mother serves creamed spinach at nearly every holiday meal, as it was my grandmother’s favorite. I guess our grandparents were on the same page!

  18. This sounds amazing Faith! I’ve heard of creamed onions but never seen them before. I didn’t picture them like though. I’m so curious about them now. I hope you and Mike have a wonderful Christmas! :D

  19. Another great dish~ I’d love to make more dishes that my grandma made me when I was a kid.
    Happy holidays Faith! :)

  20. Faith, thanks for sharing this interesting recipe. I think it’s wonderful that you are making a recipe that was passed down from your grandfather. Have a very merry Christmas and all the best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

  21. Faith,

    What a fabulous onion dish. I love onions and this would really hit the spot. Gorgeous.

    Have a fantastic holiday season

    Be well

  22. Oh Faith , i so agree , nothing like a fantastic recipe and this is a delicious example!
    Loveee the onion soup and honestly i wouldn wanna drain them , not wanting to loose on any goodness ,must try this lovely warm soup and babe happy hols with love!
    Merry Christmas!!

  23. That is so incredibly creamy that at first I thought it was a HUGE bowl of butter! Much better that it’s a creamy delicious bowl of creamed onions. heirloom/passed down recipes are the best. They stood the test of time for a good reason after all!

  24. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I feel left out. I’ve never had creamed onions before. They certainly sound wonderful.
    *kisses* HH

  25. I love creamed onions and love to serve them at least once during the holiday season. Yours really do look scrumptious. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  26. Creamed onions always grace our holiday table but are made with pearl onions. I love yours made with Vidalia onions. Thank you for sharing your heirloom recipe! Merry Christmas Faith!

  27. Merry Christmas to you, too! Hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  28. That looks just so delicious, I want some right now :) Diane

  29. Your pictures are still look wonderful. I’m struggling with the lack of light as well. This sounds interesting and delicious all in one! I think I’ll be trying this one.

    Have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  30. theUngourmet says:

    I know what you mean about the winter photos. I’ve never heard of creamed onions but they sure do sound and look tasty! Merry Christmas to you too!

  31. Looks great!

    Ah longer days, won’t be dark when I return home from work!

  32. I too love these old heirloom recipes!! I’ve never heard of creamed onions but I’d say it sounds like a winner. I hear you on the pictures–it’s so hard to get good ones during the winter, esp when you work until after dark.

  33. Faith, that’s so funny about what you said at the beginning of your post. I’ve also noticed that ever since my friends and family found out I have a food blog, they bring over prettier, more unique looking dishes. Lol.

    Your grandfather’s recipe sounds wonderful. I love how little ingredients it requires and how easy it is. Definitely a great way to use up your onions. Thanks for sharing. I hope you and Mike have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  34. Anna Johnston says:

    Fabulous Lovely one.., just fabulous. I love a white on white theme… :)
    Take care, be happy & have a wonderful Christmas & holiday season.

  35. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the simplest of ideas are incredible… like this one as a first course… and a little herb on top, like a fresh sprig of thyme would be pretty on it, too – but your photos are gorgeous. I agree with you about the importance of traditional family recipes, Faith. As a school teacher, some of the students would proudly arrive with a beautifully wrapped gift for the teacher… and some would look very sad when they came into the room empty handed. So, I have had a tradition most of my teaching career that they all HAVE to give me a gift, and that is the one family recipe that is their favourite, or the one that everyone always raves about, or the one their family is “famous” for. I have had such lovely recipes with such incredible stories gifted to me through the years. Some have become part of our own family traditions!!!
    Now, enjoy your break… and have a wonderful, splendorous holiday!

  36. How great to have recipes handed down through the generations. How can you go wrong with sweet onions and heavy cream.

  37. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit says:

    I’ve never had creamed onions but they do look delicious! That it’s your grandfather’s recipe makes it even more special. :) I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

  38. Biren @ Roti n Rice says:

    Thanks for sharing this family recipe. Sounds like a great accompaniment to the holiday feast. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

  39. Elizabeth says:

    Faith, thank you for showing off my dad’s recipe! I can’t imagine anyone making it and not loving it. Love, Mom

  40. What an interesting onion soup, love the it…and it is so nice of you sharing such an special recipe ;-) Merry Christmas to you too Faith!

  41. Merry Christmas, Faith!! Thanks for sharing this family recipe. I love seeing the traditions that different people have for the holidays, they are always so fun and unique :)

  42. I love onions so I’m sure I would love this recipe. What a unique idea!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and Mike as well Faith!

  43. Again a recipe from you so new to me. i have never made something like this. I will try it for sure.

  44. BeadedTail says:

    I’ve never had creamed onions but I love onions so can imagine that it is really delicous and satisfying! Thanks for always providing such unique, fabulous recipes!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  45. I love creamed onions, yours look amazing! Potato chip cookies? I bet they’re good, salty-sweet maybe?

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  46. I love onion soup and this one looks so yummy! A pinch of ground black pepper would be perfect on its top!

  47. I love onions…this looks wonderful. Heavy cream, butter, and onions…you can’t go wrong :) Merry Christmas, Faith!

  48. Yummy tempting creamed onions, Happy Xmas wishes!

  49. What a wonderful dish Fatih, easy to make but awesome tasty.

  50. What a beautiful looking dish. I have never heard of creamed onions before, but I would love to try them! And I agree with you about the gifts thing… a friend gave me two brand new cookbooks for my birthday this year and that was definitely one of my favorite birthday presents! I too struggle with the lighting in my house as far as pictures… any time of the year. It’s frustrating! Your pictures still look wonderful.

  51. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    What a soup, for sure for farmers. Like Julia Child would say More butter, More cream. Looks awesome. Merry Christmas to you and all your family. Evelyne xoxox

  52. The creamed onions (which I’ve never tried before) look delicious. Have a great holiday season.

  53. A tasty soup! I love onion and this should be really good!

  54. As a child, I feared getting onions in my Christmas stocking…and now I would actually welcome them. LOL
    A very interesting heirloom delicacy.

    Faith…I wish you the merriest of Holidays with your family and friends ;o)

    All the best and flavourful wishes,

  55. This sounds fantastic! And since we are fans of onions, I am going to give the recipe a try!
    Merry Christmas!

  56. Faith, I agree – the heirloom recipes are greatness, and this looks to be no exception; I’d never thought of creamed onions before, but they sound and look fantastic.

  57. What a lovely recipe for the winter and festive season, Faith. Yes I do love to get gifts from my friends :)

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