Braised Onions

Braised Onions


Pearl onions are slowly braised in stock and fresh herbs.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
  • Views: 54,991
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Peeling the Onions

• 2 cups (8 oz) pearl onions*


Peel the pearl onions and set aside.

*If using frozen pearl onions, make sure they have been thawed and drained well; otherwise, they will not saute properly. Also note: you can use any other type of small onion for this recipe.

Step 2: Gathering Your Mise en Place

• 1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy butter, such as Earth Balance
• 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
• 1/2 cup vegetable stock
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 sprig fresh thyme
• 2 sprigs fresh parsley


To prepare your mise en place, gather the butter, oil, stock and bouquet garni.

Step 3: Sautéing the Onions


Heat a stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and butter and saute the onions for approximately 10 minutes or so or until golden brown. Make sure to roll the onions around in the pan from time to time so they color evenly.

Step 4: Adding the Stock & Bouquet Garni


Once the onions have colored nicely, add the stock and the bouquet garni.

Once the stock comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Let the onions braise for approximately 40 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

Step 5: Finishing the Onions

• sea salt, to taste
• freshly ground black pepper. to taste


Once almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are soft all the way through, remove the lid.

Turn the heat back up to medium high and reduce most of the remaining liquid.

Remove the herbs and taste for seasoning. Serve immediately or use in another dish, if desired.


  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    This is one of the most delicious things I've had in recent memory!
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    Any tricks for peeling these little suckers?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    To make them easier to peel, you could blanch them for about 10 seconds in boiling water. Then quickly shock them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. I will say though, they do get a little bit water logged, but it does make it easier to peel them. If I have the patience I actually just peel them (with out blanching them), but it sure does extend the prep time. Hope this helps!
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    I thought that you might respond with "blanch them and then shock them in an ice bath", but I've been apprehensive to try this with onions which are going to get sautéed. I didn't want them to take on too much water as you suggested might happen. Oh well, good things take patience. Thanks for the response.
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    I have made these 5 times now. The second time I used the blanching method but I think I may have blanched them longer than 10 seconds. I found that I lost more of the outer layer of onion doing it this way. Although it was definitely faster, I went back to the original way. I just peel them sitting at the kitchen table and am mentally prepared that it is going to take awhile but the end result is so worth it.
  • David G
    David G
    It seems the insides of the pearl onions want to push themselves out while cooking. Anyone know how to prevent this? I peeled my onions 48 hours prior and kept them in the fridge. I also noticed some of the insides started pushing themselves out in the fridge.
  • Wade K
    Wade K
    do you cut off one the ends first or just peel away
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There are a couple of ways of doing these onions. You can blanch them first and then peel them. This method is the quickest; however I find it wastes more of the onion as not only does the skin come off, so does the entire outer layer Instead, I usually just cut off the very tip and then peel the pearl onions like I would a regular onion. Because the skin is very delicate and thin on pearl onions, they are a bit of a pain to peel, but they are delicious so I suppose it's worth it. Cheers!
  • Abby K
    Abby K
    Would you cut the root end off for peeling or should you try to leave most of it?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As mentioned above, I would cut off the "very tip" (or root end) and then peel them. Cheers!
  • Zebedee C
    Zebedee C
    How about blanching them in boiling stock and shocking them in cold stock ?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    For blanching, I don't think you will gain much (or any) flavor benefit from a quick blanch in stock. It certainly wouldn't hurt. I personally would do this in boiling salted water only. Love that you are putting on your thinking cap. Really. This is great thinking. I say try it once and prove me wrong (or right). This is how you will become a really great cook - by thinking and trying things. Cheers, Joe.
  • Keith L
    Keith L
    I am adding these onions as side to my prime rib Christmas dinner. However I think a nice addition would be adding a gourmet mushroom medley I buy at the grocery store. At what point in the recipe would I want to add the mushrooms. I'm thinking maybe at the same time you add the stock? Or perhaps even later than that. I don't want to cook all the flavor out of them or dissolve them to nothing. I want the dish to have a nice presentation. After reading all the questions about peeling the onions I am planning on using frozen pearl onions.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I would saute the mushrooms separately as they will release a lot of moisture. You also want them to have nice color so sauteing them separately will help this. Also note, that frozen pearl onions will work but you may not achieve the same rich color when sauteing them due to the excess moisture. Good luck and enjoy!
  • Monique O
    Monique O
    All that peeling and crying was well worth it!!! I did the braised onions for my boeuf Bourguignon that I'm going to eat today. They looked so good in the pan, that I had to sneak and eat one before putting it in the dish! Next time I'll make them to go along with steak! Oh so yummy!
  • Lisa M
    Lisa M
    I have noticed that grapeseed oil is recommended in several recipes. Is there something special about this oil? I tend to use canola oil for most cooking reserving olive oil for dishes where I want to impart its flavor.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Grapeseed oil is used in several recipes as it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, which makes it a pretty good choice for cooking. You may also want to search for "oil" or "grapeseed" in the forum (and then click on the discussion tab) you will find many other discussions on this subject. Cheers!
  • Eric H
    Eric H
    What depth of flavor, how rich and sinful! A wonderful addition to the plant based menu (ok, I cheated and used my Rouxbe Dark Chicken Stock)--it brought me straight to my childhood memories of Roast Beef. I couldn't believe my taste buds, it was almost too rich. I think next time I'll make this to put over rice (which was always my favorite part of mom making roast beef, anyway)!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    How cool.... I'm glad that you had food revelation moment. Those onions have amazing depth and the go well on so many foods (sliced on a sandwich even). Cheers!
  • Jim M
    Jim M
    Why use non-dairy butter for this? Is it because of the risk of the butter burning, and if so could you use clarified butter instead?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    You can use whatever type of fat you prefer. We used non-dairy in this recipe to make it plant-based diet friendly. ~Ken
  • Roberta C
    Roberta C
    Just curious why they use non dairy butter than the real thing to saute?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This recipe was part of another plant-based recipe, which is why it called for non-dairy. That being said, you could use substitute, or even omit the butter all together if you like. Cheers!
  • Hsiao hui W
    Hsiao hui W
    Here is very difficult to get pearl onions, can I use shallots instead? Or any other subsitute? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes, indeed you can use shallots — we often do this same method with other types of onions. Just note that the cooking times will likely vary.
  • Paula K
    Paula K
    This recipe was truly awesome! I made it and then paired it with roasted delicata squash and garlic over brown basmati rice! So amazingly delicious
  • Melanie B
    Melanie B
    If using other types of onions (not shallot or pearl) do you quarter them to make them smaller or keep them whole and increase the cooking time?
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Melanie-you figured it out! Keep them whole, and increase the cooking time. If you cut them, once finished, you would not have that dramatic effect of the braised, whole pearl onions. My favorite onion are cippolini, they are sweet and mild. And, they braise well. -Char

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