Glazed Pearl Onions Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Tender pearl onions in a sweet, glossy glaze.

Note: Frozen pearl onions can be used in place of fresh. To use frozen onions, cook direct from frozen, skipping step 1.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 2 pounds pearl onions (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Using a paring knife, trim off the ends of each onion and score a light "X" into one cut side. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add onions and cook until outer layers are soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain onions and run under cool water until cold enough to handle. Peel onions with your fingers and discard peels.

  2. Transfer onions to a large saucepan or high-sided sauté pan and cover with water. Add butter and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring and shaking pan occasionally, until onions are completely tender and sauce water has reduced and emulsified with the butter into a glossy glaze, about 25 minutes (if butter looks greasy or broken, add 2 tablespoons of water and shake pan to bring glaze back together). Season to taste with salt. Stir in parsley, and serve.

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