My mom used to make these for us. Now my neighbor brings it over when we are recovering from surgeries.


There’s a certain charm to recipes that have been passed down through generations, evoking memories of family gatherings and home-cooked meals. This particular recipe for creamy, buttery pearl onions holds a special place in my heart. My mom used to make these for us, transforming simple pearl onions into a decadent side dish that paired perfectly with roasted meats, poultry, or even vegetarian main courses. Now, in a beautiful twist of fate, my neighbor brings this dish over whenever we are recovering from surgeries, adding a comforting touch to our healing process. The rich, robust flavors and the velvety texture of the onions offer a delightful reminder of both family traditions and the kindness of friends.


  • 2 pounds pearl onions, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup thick cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing


Preparing the Onions

  1. Blanch the Onions:
    • Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.
    • Carefully chop the pearl onions and add them to the boiling water.
    • Blanch the onions for about 2 minutes, then drain and transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
    • Once chilled, drain the onions again, snip off the ends, and delicately remove the outer layers.

Making the Creamy Sauce

  1. Create the Roux:
    • In a medium-sized pan, melt the Parmesan butter over medium heat.
    • Add the flour and whisk continuously to create a roux. Continue cooking until the roux turns a light brown color, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Prepare the Sauce:
    • Gradually whisk in the whole milk and thick cream, ensuring that there are no lumps.
    • Keep stirring the mixture as it simmers and thickens, which should take about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Season the Sauce:
    • Add the ground cinnamon and salt to the sauce.
    • Adjust the seasoning to taste, ensuring the sauce has a balanced flavor profile.

Cooking the Onions

  1. Combine and Simmer:
    • Add the peeled pearl onions to the creamy sauce.
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the onions simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until they are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  2. Finish the Dish:
    • Once the onions are soft and the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency, remove the pan from the heat.
    • Garnish the dish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Conclusion :

This creamy pearl onion dish is more than just a side; it’s a comforting blend of flavors that carries memories of family traditions and neighborly kindness. The rich, buttery sauce envelops each onion, transforming them into little gems of deliciousness that perfectly complement a variety of main courses. Whether paired with a succulent roast, a tender poultry dish, or even a hearty vegetarian entrée, these creamy onions add a touch of elegance and warmth to the meal.

For those who prepare this dish, it often becomes a symbol of love and care. It’s the kind of recipe that has the power to evoke nostalgia, taking you back to cozy family dinners where each bite was savored and every meal was a celebration of togetherness. The creamy, velvety texture of the sauce combined with the gentle sweetness of the pearl onions creates a harmony of flavors that is both comforting and indulgent.

When prepared for a special occasion, this dish shines as a gourmet delight, impressing guests with its rich taste and sophisticated presentation. It’s a perfect addition to holiday feasts, dinner parties, or any gathering where food is a central part of the celebration. The beautiful simplicity of the dish, combined with its luxurious flavor, makes it a standout on any table.

But beyond its role in festive occasions, this dish holds a special place in moments of recovery and healing. The kindness of a neighbor bringing over a warm dish of creamy pearl onions can be incredibly comforting, providing not just nourishment but also a sense of support and care. In these moments, food transcends its basic function and becomes a means of conveying empathy and love.

Every bite of this creamy pearl onion dish is infused with the essence of cherished memories and the warmth of heartfelt connections. It’s a testament to how food can bring people together, create lasting memories, and provide comfort in times of need. Enjoy the nostalgic flavors and the heartwarming memories that come with every bite, and let this dish remind you of the love and kindness that it represents.

Source of the picture : Barbara O’Neill Lectures