Creamy and perfectly seasoned, this homemade Creamed Peas recipe is ready in under 15 minutes! It’s made with simple ingredients including frozen peas, so it’s an easy side dish to prepare for holidays or any night of the week, and pairs well with just about everything.
Easy Creamed Peas Recipe
Peas – people either love them or hate them. We love them. LOVE. THEM. Two of my favorite recipes where peas are the star is Pea Salad, which is served cold, and these Creamed Peas, which is enjoyed warm. Made with baby sweet peas, onions and garlic, and cooked in a lightly seasoned creamy sauce, it’s so simple and flavorful.
I often turn to this easy creamed peas recipe when I’m in a pinch for a quick and easy side dish. Using frozen thawed peas makes it come together in a snap – from start to finish you only need about 15 minutes. A wonderful addition to a holiday meal and certainly great for any weeknight meal all year long.
Half-n-half provides the creaminess while garlic, onion, and a few spices add just enough flavor to make these creamed peas a memorable side dish.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Frozen peas: Using frozen peas makes this dish crazy easy and one that’s easily made all year round. Thaw and remove the excess moisture before using.
- Onion and Garlic: For aromatics, great flavor, and texture.
- Unsalted butter: I prefer unsalted butter to control saltiness of the dish.
- Half-n-half: This provides richness and creaminess to the dish.
- All-purpose flour: Used to thicken the sauce.
- Parmesan cheese: Use freshly grated cheese for the best flavor.
- Spices: This pea side dish is simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne for heat.
- Garnishes: A sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley and cracked black pepper before serving.
How to Make Creamed Peas and Onions
This easy side dish comes together in less than 15 minutes.
(Don’t miss the complete printable recipe card below with all the details.)
- Cook the onion and garlic. Melt the butter and sauté the onion until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Make the roux. Stir in the seasonings, then whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Slowly pour in the half-n-half and whisk until the roux isn’t clumpy.
- Add the peas. Add in the peas and cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and peas are warmed through.
- Add the parmesan. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan.
- Taste test and serve. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed. Serve immediately with a garnish of cracked pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
Variations and Tips for Success
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned, whether you want to use canned peas, add in some spice, or make this dish extra creamy.
- Can I use canned peas? It’s not our preference, but yes, you can use well-drained canned peas to make creamed peas. Add them in at the very end or they will be far too mushy.
- Don’t forget the salt. Since minimal seasonings are added to this side dish, salt plays an important part in bringing out all of the flavors. If you don’t add it, the dish will taste flat – don’t skip it.
- Use heavy cream or whole milk. We prefer half-n-half, which is simply equal parts heavy cream and whole milk, since it provides the perfect combination of creaminess and richness, but you can also use all heavy cream (for ultra creaminess) or all whole milk (for fewer calories. Note that it won’t be as thick or creamy.)
- Add in some bacon. For even more flavor and some added texture, add in some cooked crumbled bacon.
- My creamed peas are too runny – what can I do? The easiest thing to do here is just continue letting it cook for a few more minutes. This will usually thicken it up just enough. You can also use a cornstarch slurry of equally parts cornstarch and water whisked together then added to the peas. Start with 1 tablespoon and add more if necessary.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- How to store leftovers. Leftover creamed peas should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat leftovers. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. If needed, you can add a splash of milk to loosen it up again.
- Can I freeze creamed peas? Yes, you can freeze creamed peas. Allow to cool completely then transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving at least 1-inch of head room for expansion. You can also freeze in one-cup portions to pack with lunches. It will keep frozen up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
More Recipes with Peas:
- Pea Salad
- Bacon and Peas Pasta
- Split Pea Soup
- Chicken Pot Pie Noodles
- Meatball Rice Skillet with Peas
- Easy Paella
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small sweet onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups half-n-half (see note)
- 4 cups frozen baby peas , thawed and excess moisture removed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- finely chopped fresh parsley , for garnish
- In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until softened and translucent, stirring frequently, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne. Then whisk in the flour until fully incorporated and no white streaks remain to create a roux, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.
- Slowly pour in the half-n-half and whisk to combine, making sure the roux isn't clumpy.
- Add in the peas; cook, stirring frequently for about 4 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and peas are warmed through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Serve immediately while hot and still shiny with a little cracked black pepper and fresh chopped parsley.