Dairy-Free Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions the Whole Family will Enjoy


As a child, the creamy sauce and adorable pearl onions in my grandmother’s pea and onion recipe were the trick to get me to eat peas. And onions. I wanted to create a dish for the holidays that would work the same magic on my children. So I whipped up this recipe for dairy-free creamed peas and pearls, and was pleased when every last bite disappeared!

Dairy-Free Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions Recipe - also vegan, nut-free, soy-free, and optionally gluten-free. Great for weeknight meals and holiday feasts!

Dairy-Free Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions the Whole Family will Enjoy

This delicious recipe takes very little hands on time, and can simmer while the main dish cooks. It’s great for weeknight meals, but it’s also a wonderful dairy-free side for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter feasts.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Milk Beverage: I use refrigerated coconut milk beverage here (not canned coconut milk) because I like the flavor and color. You may substitute another type of refrigerated dairy-free milk beverage if you wish. Many creamed pea and onion recipes call for a bit of sugar. If you use plain dairy-free milk beverage, the sauce is sweet enough. If you use an unsweetened version, you might want to at 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar with the milk beverage.
  • Peas & Onions: When I first created this recipe, the bags of vegetables were each 16 ounces, but now the standard sizes have shrunk! In the pictures shown, I used a 14-ounce bag of onions and a 12-ounce bag of peas. As you an see, it makes the dish a little saucier. Feel free to use the higher amount of vegetables, or the lesser amount for a saucy side.

Dairy-Free Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions Recipe - also vegan, nut-free, soy-free, and optionally gluten-free. Great for weeknight meals and holiday feasts!

Special Diet Notes: Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

For gluten-free, dairy-free creamed peas, you can substitute your favorite gluten-free flour or flour blend for thickening sauces. Alternatively, you can omit the flour and skip steps 2 and 3. Grind a generous 1/4 cup cashews into a powder. Blend them with the milk beverage before adding the milk beverage to the pan.

Dairy-Free Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes a thick, creamy sauce that reheats well.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plain coconut milk beverage (can sub another milk beverage; see Tips in post above)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 (12- to 16-ounce) bag frozen peas (see Tips in post above)
  1. Melt the buttery spread in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Whisk in the flour until blended.
  3. Once the mixture is bubbling, cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk beverage, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  5. Increase the heat to medium and cook until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. This will take approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peas and onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until hot.
  7. I prefer to add the vegetables while they are still frozen to help them retain their texture. This makes the final cooking time closer to 15 minutes. If you microwave the vegetables first, the cooking time will be closer to 5 minutes.

More Family-Friendly, Dairy-Free Side Dishes

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Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe - How to get anyone to love Brussels sprouts! Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, allergy-friendly.

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Dairy-Free Green Bean Casserole Recipe (Campbell's Copycat!) - it's also vegan and nut-free with gluten-free and soy-free options.

Mama’s Artichoke Rice Salad

Dairy-Free Artichoke Rice Salad Recipe - naturally allergy-friendly, optionally vegan and gluten-free, and a family favorite! So easy, kids can even make it.

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. Her previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at Travelago.com, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sarah was a 'mom blogger' for many years but now mostly hangs out on Go Dairy Free and Instagram.


  1. This recipe for creamed peas was a hit with the hubby! Wanting to make this with what I had on hand, I used almond milk instead of coconut milk, chopped onions instead of pearl onions, and olive oil instead of butter substitute. Also, I added 2 Tbsp of wasabi paste to give the mashed potatoes a little kick. Super quick and easy. Definitely will use this recipe again soon!

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