A holiday staple in many households, creamed onions are usually bathed in a rich white sauce made with heavy cream. In this version, we roast the onions for an added layer of flavor and lighten up the sauce with low-fat milk. The result is a luxuriously silky sauce with a sweet roasted onion flavor for far fewer calories and less fat. We like the smaller size of pearl onions, but boiling onions also work well.

EatingWell Test Kitchen


Recipe Summary

1 hr 50 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • If using fresh onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain. When cool enough to handle, trim both ends, leaving enough of the root end to keep the onions whole while roasting. Peel off the skins. Toss the prepared fresh onions (or frozen onions) with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer in a roasting pan large enough to accommodate all the onions in a single layer. (If you're using fresh onions, a 9-by-13-inch pan is large enough; if using frozen, you may need a larger pan.) Roast the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown in spots, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven and add broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Return the pan to the oven and roast for 10 minutes more.

  • About 30 minutes after the onions start roasting, start the cream sauce. Melt butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and is free of lumps, about 30 seconds. Whisk in milk, then add bay leaf, thyme, pepper and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; bring to a gentle boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to the barest simmer and cook, whisking often, until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of thick gravy, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf.

  • Stir the roasted onions and any broth from the pan into the cream sauce. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.


Make Ahead Tip: Reheat in the microwave on High, covered, stirring frequently, or on the stovetop over medium-low heat.

Nutrition Facts

117 calories; protein 3.5g; carbohydrates 14.7g; dietary fiber 1.8g; sugars 7.4g; fat 5.2g; saturated fat 1.5g; cholesterol 5.8mg; vitamin a iu 154.4IU; vitamin c 8mg; folate 30.3mcg; calcium 101mg; iron 0.4mg; magnesium 17.7mg; potassium 250.3mg; sodium 243.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (1)

Read More Reviews
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Very good side dish This was really good - roasting the onions first gave them a sweet dense flavor. I put the lemon juice and thyme in according to the recipe and it was great! The lemon juice brightened the flavor a tad and gave the dish balance. We loved it and will serve it again. It's suitable for any special winter dinner. Pros: Delicious deep roasted flavor Cons: If you use fresh pearl onions it takes a long time to prep them Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was easy to make and has so much more flavor than the prepackaged creamed onions from the store. Unless you were told you'd never guess it's a healthier version of the standard recipe. The only thing I added was a dash of nutmeg. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yum! This is so good. You can also slice large sweet onions and do the same thing. Excellent with a little swiss cheese in the sauce! (Kinda defeats the healthy recipie though). Very easy to turn into a tart. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I agreee... I used 1 lg sweet onion slivered. I skipped the thyme and lemon juice and also added some red-fat Parm to the sauce. It was a tad too runny without it. Otherwise these were for my dad and he loved them!!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Wonderful! I made this as an alternative to my mother in law's horrible in my opinion weird onion dish that I have only had to endure at her house...if I didn't get it it she would actually put it on my plate...so this year our dinner was last night and I had this dish prepared ahead of time. I made a big deal about promising to make this recipe from my "aunt" and serve it...making sure I said I knew it wouldn't be near as good as hers no doubt...but a promise is a promise you know! Well...the proof was in the empty dish...mine...and the request FROM HER!!! for a copy of the recipe. Only bad thing is that now I am still up preparing another one for the dinner at my brother's today. I followed the other suggestion and grated a small amount of fresh nutmeg into the onions and the very end just before serving...really took it over the top to me as I had tried it exactly as written before the nutmeg...but if you don't have nutmeg don't worry as it will still be great! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Best Ever Everyone in the family loved the flavor...from now on it will be part of the Thanksgiving menu Pros: The best flavor and simple to make Cons: none Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Proportions are absolutely off Maybe this is o.k. if you want to serve people cream sauce with a few onions in it but when I reduced the recipe to use 30oz. of onions fresh pearl (because who needs 12 servings for 2 people?) it produced barely a cup of cooked onions. The cream sauce if far too thin as well though fortunately I caught that right off the bat and adjusted it. Roasting the onions is a good idea but for the rest I sure won't bother again. Read More