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Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions

Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions are a super quick, easy and delicious vegetable side dish that you can serve with a weeknight dinner, a holiday dinner, or for any occasion!

I use frozen peas and pearl onions along with butter, salt and pepper to keep things simple, fast and flavorful. This goes with just about any entrée and is perfect for spring and all year long!

So here I am writing another post for a recipe with peas. I can’t even believe it.

Why is that? Because, for most of my life, I had a very strong dislike (okay, hatred) for peas and didn’t eat them. I thought I’d never see the day where I would actually enjoy them.

But thanks to David’s green thumb and some peas in our garden the past few years, I’m now a big fan. They’re so fresh, crisp, sweet, delicious, and the total opposite of the not-so-green and mushy canned peas of my youth.

The season for fresh peas comes and goes quickly, though, so frozen peas are the next-best thing and as close to fresh as you’ll get. Plus, they’re always available and you don’t have to spend time shelling them.

Pearl onions are mild, sweet and so good. And the frozen variety lets you forget all about the process of boiling and peeling them.

Put ’em together, and you’ve got yourself one yummy side dish that’s ready in less than 10 minutes!

Just melt some butter in a skillet, add a bag each of frozen peas and pearl onions (no need to thaw), cook until they’re thawed and tender, and season with salt and pepper. Done!

And not only is this a quick and easy side dish, but it’s also really pretty too!

sautéed peas and pearl onions in a skillet with a serving spoon and salt and pepper shakers in the background

Ingredients you need:

Note: Exact amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Butter
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen pearl onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Here’s a look at how to make Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of butter melting in a skillet with text that says melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat; the other of frozen peas and pearl onions in the skillet being stirred with a wooden spoon with text that says add the frozen peas and pearl onions, stir
2 images; one of peas and pearl onions in a skillet covered with a lid with text that says cover, cook until thawed and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes; the other of the peas and onions being seasoned with salt and pepper with text that says season with salt and pepper, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • I love pearl onions, so I always add the whole bag, and I think it’s the perfect ratio of onions to peas. If you don’t want as many, you can always add less.
  • Drained jarred pearl onions can be used instead of frozen if you prefer. Since they’re not frozen, you won’t have to cook them as long. Just make sure you don’t accidentally get pickled pearl onions (not the flavor we’re going for here).
  • For the best fresh flavor, color and texture, be careful not to overcook these. They are ready when thawed and tender.
  • If you want your onions cooked longer or with a little bit of color on them, add them to the skillet with the butter first without the peas, cook them to just about where you want them, and then add the peas and finish. This will prevent the peas from becoming overcooked.
  • And yes, you can absolutely use fresh peas and pearl onions if you can get them and want to do the extra prep work! Sauté them in the butter until they are tender and done to your liking, and then season.
  • Variation idea: a little minced fresh garlic added to the butter for about a minute would also be delicious and would kick up the flavor even more (or you could add some garlic powder).
  • Another variation idea: fresh or dried herbs can also be added, if you’d like, such as thyme, mint, rosemary, dill, or tarragon. If using fresh herbs, add them at the very end. If using dried, add them with the peas and onions.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat gently in a skillet on the stove just until heated through. Or you can reheat them in the microwave.
sautéed peas and pearl onions in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon on the side

Yep, it’s so ridiculously simple that you really don’t even need a recipe. But hey, there’s always room for a new side dish idea that maybe you’ve never heard of or tried before.

And this one is a winner in my book. I’ll be serving it tomorrow with my Easter dinner!

I hope you make this Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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sautéed peas and pearl onions in a pan with a spoonful being lifted out

Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions

Sautéed Peas and Pearl Onions are a super quick, easy and delicious vegetable side dish that you can serve with a weeknight dinner, a holiday dinner, or for any occasion!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6 (about ½ cup each; recipe makes about 3 cups total)
Estimated Calories: 109

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (13-ounce) bag frozen sweet peas, or the closest sized bag
  • 1 (14.4-ounce) bag frozen white pearl onions, or the closest sized bag
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
    Note: I use a 10 to 12-inch skillet.
  • Add the frozen peas and pearl onions; stir to combine.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid; cook until the veggies are thawed and tender (or to your desired level of doneness), about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Note: For the best fresh flavor, color and texture, be careful not to overcook.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If you want your onions cooked longer or with a little bit of color on them, add them to the skillet first without the peas, cook them just about to where you want them, and then add the peas and finish. This will prevent the peas from becoming overcooked.
  • Variation idea: a little minced fresh garlic added to the butter for about a minute would also be delicious and would kick up the flavor even more (or you could add some garlic powder).
  • Another variation idea: fresh or dried herbs can also be added, if you’d like, such as thyme, mint, rosemary, dill, or tarragon. If using fresh herbs, add them at the very end. If using dried, add them with the peas and onions.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat gently in a skillet on the stove just until heated through.
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