Creamed Onions-For Tradition’s Sake

I like onions. I like them a LOT. I almost wrote an ode to yellow onions over the summer when I was going through a jag of craving them. I didn’t though. Something else I’ve never done is make creamed onions. I know these appear on many a Thanksgiving table–but never mine. I remember my mother having an incredibly visceral reaction when I saw pearl onions at the grocery for the first time. She literally recoiled in horror. Since then, I periodically consider adding them to a meal, but I am afraid that no one will like them…not even me.

Maybe I will this year–because according to this cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook, 1959) “it’s not Thanksgiving unless this specialty is on the table.” The description goes on to mention southern accents: peanuts and cheese! How could I not like it? Oh wait–should I substitute cheddar cheese for the American? Or will Velveeta work best? Hmm. Ok…dish to me about your creamed onion experience! Do you eat them? Do you like them? Is this the recipe your grandmother served?

Creamed Onions

18-20 medium onions
1/2 cup salad oil
3 tablespoons enriched flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded process American cheese
Peanuts, chopped

Peel onions and cook in a large amount of boiling, salted water until tender; drain. Blend salad oil and flour; stir in milk and cook slowly until thick, stirring constantly.

Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the onions and heat through. Place in vegetable bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


  1. No wonder your mother recoiled! This recipe is NOT for creamed onions! At least not where I grew up – Buffalo, New York. Creamed onions were small peeled white onions in a white sauce!

  2. Yeah, no cheese in the onions when I was growing up, in Ithaca, NY. I too, love the creamed onion, but I never did learn or make my grandmother’s recipe. By guess is butter and flour, make a roux, add milk, salt and pepper. Not sure if she cooked the onions first or put them in the oven? I’ll have to ask my mom.

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