creamed onions on black plate topped with breadcrumbs, chives and paprika and served with bread.

creamed onions: my plant-based version

  • Author: Denise
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 side servings 1x


Creamed onions – my healthy plant-based version is a decadent side dish with sweet pearl onions, a rich, creamy cashew sauce and toasty breadcrumbs with chives.  



  • 3 cups pearl onions
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or use 2 cups water and 1 veggie stock cube)
  • 1 cup raw cashews or 1 cup cashews ground in a spice grinder
  • 1 cup plant milk, (I used oat milk because it’s a bit creamier, but any plant milk will do)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  •  ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives (1 tbsp. for the sauce plus the rest for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp. paprika (optional)


  1. Fill a large pot with water and let it start to boil while you cut the stems off each of the onions.
  2. When the water is boiling, add the onions and keep them at a boil for 3 minutes. Immediately drain them and run cold water over them or transfer them into a bowl filled with ice water.
  3. Wash that pot out – we’ll use it again.
  4. 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.
  5. Using your same saucepan, add 2 cups of vegetable broth and the peeled onions. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer. Cover and simmer the onions for 15-20 minutes until most of the broth is absorbed and the onions are very tender. It’ 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.
  6. While the onions are simmering, make the sauce by adding the cashews, 1 cup plant milk. 1 tsp. lemon juice and ½ tsp. salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  7. Preheat the oven to 4250 F (2200 C).
  8. When the onions are done simmering, add the sauce and 1 tbsp. chopped chives, plus ½ tsp. ground black pepper and ¼ tsp. nutmeg (or a few grates of whole nutmeg) to the pan and mix well.
  9. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  10. Transfer the onions to a small baking dish (mine was 10 ½ x 7 inches). Top with the rest of the chives, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and ½ tsp. paprika if using.
  11. Place the onions, uncovered in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until it starts to bubble a bit and the breadcrumbs are toasted.


  • Cooking times account for making the sauce while the onions are simmering.
  • As noted above, grinding the raw cashews will cut down your prep time and the need for a high speed blender.
  • If you reheat the onions (like there'll be any left), cover them in foil and reheat in the oven.
  • Category: On the Side
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: creamed onions

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