Creamed Onions Recipe - pearl onions in vegan cream sauce)

A black plate with pearl onions in vegan cream sauce with breadcrumbs, chives, and paprika.

4.7 from 3 reviews

Our creamed onions recipe is an elegant, tasty side dish of sweet pearl onions in a mouth-watering vegan white sauce topped with crispy breadcrumbs.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups pearl onions
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (broth)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup plant milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (1 tbsp. for the sauce plus the rest for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)


  1. Soak the cashews. Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak while you cook the onions.
  2. Prep the onions. Heat a large pot of water while you cut off the root ends of each onion. Don’t peel them. When the water is boiling, add the onions and cook them at a slow boil for 3 minutes. Immediately remove them from the heat, drain them and rinse them under cold water or place them in an ice bath.
  3. Peel the onions. Once the onions are cool enough to handle, take each onion, trim the tips off using kitchen shears and squeeze to pop off the skins.
  4. Cook the onions. Using your same saucepan, add 2 cups of vegetable broth and the peeled onions. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and cook the onions for 15-20 minutes until most of the broth is absorbed.  It’s ok to leave a bit of broth in the bottom of the pan (up to ½ inch is fine). This will help the sauce to thin out a bit.
  5. Make the cream sauce. While the onions are simmering, drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a blender. Add 1 cup plant milk and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  Blend until smooth. It should be the consistency of thick gravy.
  6. Preheat. Preheat the oven to 4250F (2200C).
  7. Finish the creamed onions. When the onions are done simmering, turn off the heat. Add the cream sauce to the pan. Mix in 1 tablespoon of chopped chives, plus ½ teaspoon black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg (or a few grates of a whole nutmeg). Taste and adjust the seasoning and add salt if necessary.
  8. Transfer to baking dish. Transfer the onions to a small baking dish (mine was 10 ½ x 7 inches). Top off 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, the rest of the chives, and a sprinkle of paprika if using.
  9. Bake the onions. Place the onions, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until it starts to bubble and the breadcrumbs are toasted. 


  • You can make this dish ahead of time. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Add the breadcrumbs right before baking.
  • This recipe can be made with frozen pearl onions or a mix of pearl onions and other vegetables. Add the frozen onions to the vegetable broth (step 4). 

Keywords: creamed onions, vegan cream sauce, pearl onions in cream sauce

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