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Easy Creamed Onions

This easy creamed onions recipe is baked with butter, whole milk, and crushed crackers for a delicious side dish to serve with ham, turkey, or any roast.

Winter holidays bring with them a variety of traditional foods; turkey and stuffing, ham, pumpkin pie, and many other options. If you haven’t already made creamed onions a tradition at your holiday table, you’re going to want to after making this dish!

Creamed Onions

Why Make Creamed Onions

Full of creamy goodness this is an American classic at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. This side dish is made with yellow onions and served in a béchamel sauce (fancy word for equal parts butter and flour, and milk mixture).

This easy recipe only takes a few pantry ingredients to make the sauce and most ingredients are incredibly flexible and easily substituted.

Creamed Onions Ingredients

  • Yellow Onions – These onions have a mild sweet flavor to go with a rich, indulgent creamy sauce (see substitute guide for other onions below).
  • Flour – All-purpose flour works just fine for this recipe.
  • Whole Milk & Butter – These ingredients are responsible for the creaminess of the dish.
  • Salt & Pepper – Use this to taste — if you like a lot of salt & pepper, add what you prefer.
  • Tabasco Sauce – I like a little spice to my creamed onions but you can leave it out, if you prefer.
  • Saltine Crackers – Baked crushed crackers add a crunchy flavor to this dish.

Can I use any Onion to make Creamed Onions?

With the creamy rich sauce all onions are delicious in this creamed onions recipe. 2 onions equals about 1 pound so use 3 pounds of any onion as a substitute for 6 yellow onions. Here’s a flavor guide for choosing:

  • Yellow Onions – The all-around onion. The flavor is pungent, yet milder and sweeter than other onions.
  • Sweet Onions (Vidalia, Walla Walla, Bermuda, Maui) – As the name suggests these onions taste sweeter and are less pungent than other onions.
  • White OnionsSofter and milder than yellows and reds.
  • Pearl Onions – A savory, sweet, and slightly less pungent flavor than full-sized onions when cooked. The main challenge with working with pearl onions is peeling them! Frozen pearl onions are a great workaround from having to peel.
  • Red OnionsSharper and spicier than yellow onions.

How to Make Creamed Onions

(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and recipe instructions.)

First, the onions are boiled until soft and translucent. The onions are then tossed in a rich and creamy sauce with a bit of Tabasco and topped with buttery cracker crumbs. The results are baked into a bubbling golden brown dish so good you’ll wish you made enough for leftovers.

Boil Onions Until Soft
Boil Onions Until Soft
Mix Onions with Sauce and Add to Baking Dish
Mix onions with cream sauce, and add to baking dish
Add Crackers To Onions & Bake
Add Cracker Topping To Onions and Bake

Variations & Substitutions

This recipe is great as is but if you’re looking for a little variation for taste or dietary concerns try these variations and substitutes.

  • Substitute Worcestershire sauce for the Tabasco to go from spicy to tangy, savory, sweet, and salty or for a little of both add Tabasco Worcestershire Sauce, yes that’s a thing!
  • Add fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese over the cracker crumbs.
  • Panko, Ritz crackers (or your favorite cracker), and breadcrumbs are all wonderful substitutes.
  • Make gluten-free by substituting flour with almond, buckwheat or another gluten-free flour and go with the parsley and parmesan instead of crackers.

Make Ahead

Creamed onions can be made up to 3 days ahead of time! Just remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking and sprinkle with crushed saltine crackers. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.

Store in the refrigerator covered with foil or saran wrap. Do not add the crackers before storing to keep the crackers from getting soft.

Easy Creamed Onions

Easy Creamed Onions

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Creamed onions are a combination of sweet and savory flavors in a rich, buttery cream sauce topped with a browned crust. You can also call this dish Creamed Onions au Gratin because it's sprinkled with crackers that get browned in the oven for a crunchy complement to the soft onions.


  • 6 Large onions
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups whole milk
  • Tabasco sauce (optional), 3-4 drops or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Saltine crackers or panko crumbs


    1. Preheat oven to 300 °F
    2. Slice onions into thirds (root ends trimmed, skin removed)
    3. Pour salted water into a medium pot and bring to a boil; add onions and cook until, onions are soft, translucent and separated, about 15-20 minutes.
    4. Drain in a colander; set onions aside in ungreased baking dish.
    5. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat; whisk in flour. Add milk mixture slowly, stirring constantly; add Tabasco, salt and pepper and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.
    6. Pour sauce over onions, sprinkle with crushed saltine crackers or panko breadcrumbs.
    7. Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Monique McArthur
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