5 Ingredients or Fewer

ChefSteps' Genius Roasted Onion Cream

April 28, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 1 cup
Author Notes

A brighter (and vegan) alternative to cream—for all your soups, sauces, and sides. Adapted slightly from ChefSteps.com. —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 3 large onions (sweet or regular)
  • salt, to taste
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste
  1. Coat the onions lightly with oil, and roast them at 400º F in a skillet or roasting pan that fits them snugly for about 45 minutes, or until they are very dark on the outside and molten soft on the inside—the insides should not have taken on any color. Let cool.
  2. Once they have cooled, Remove the peels, and add the onions into a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Finish by adding salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil to taste, then blend 20 to 30 seconds more. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  3. Use as you would cream to finish a dish.
  4. To store: Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to two weeks. In either case, blend for 20 to 30 seconds to reincorporate just before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Thomson
    Sarah Thomson
  • Clara Joy
    Clara Joy
  • Ellen Grove
    Ellen Grove
  • cookwhatyouhave
  • Portia Early
    Portia Early
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

42 Reviews

Jennifer M. January 22, 2021
Has anyone tried to add wine to this recipe? Trying to make a dairy-free play on a Red Wine Soubise. Was thinking of reducing some red wine to cook off the alcohol flavor and then blending in a bit when the onions go into the blender to make this a red colored sauce to use over a Portobello mushroom "steak." Wanted to know if anyones added any wine or stock to this sauce when they made it? Also curious how loose this sauce is when making the original way?
Sprudent February 5, 2020
Wow! They don't call it "genius" for nothing. I've never written, but this recipe compelled me. I can already taste it.... Can't wait to try it!
Cathy C. July 26, 2017
I want to make scalloped potatoes, I would like to get rid of the cream, or milk part. Do you think this would work? Ant ideas?
Sarah T. December 2, 2016
Can you do this in a microwave? I'm having an issue with my oven at the moment..
Clara J. October 12, 2015
Love this. I've made it a few times & have put it on a number of things. Soup, sauce, part of a dressing, So good!
Andrea M. August 11, 2017
Clara Joy -- so you have used this recipe to swap out for cream in savoury dishes? I would use it in scalloped potatoes to give it body on top of a rice milk and in a cream pasta sauce...so mix with tomatoes for the effect. You are saying this would work?
mwb126 May 20, 2015
Has anyone used this for a "cream" sauce for meat, like steak?
sunnycooksandhow May 15, 2015
Could you clarify what this means "until they are very dark on the outside and molten soft on the inside—and should not have taken on any color." If the onions are very dark on the outside, then they have taken color, yes?
Kristen M. May 15, 2015
Good point -- I'll clarify. The centers of the onions (the part you use in this) should be soft and sweet but not take on any color. It's not a big problem if they do -- your sauce will just be more of a beige than white.
Mim May 10, 2015
Lesley May 31, 2019
That's why you cook them... 🙄
Ellen G. May 9, 2015
What is the green soup please? This looks great, but needs some serving suggestions.
Kristen M. May 15, 2015
It's a variation on this one! https://food52.com/recipes/22399-justin-burdett-s-chilled-english-pea-soup-with-garlic-cream-pickled-ramps
cookwhatyouhave May 6, 2015
I'm in the middle of making this and my kitchen smells divine. The onions did take much longer to roast (and I have an oven thermometer and know the temp was right and onions were not extra large) 80 - 120 minutes until meltingly soft. Some were done after 80, one took the full 2 hours.
K N. September 22, 2019
Thanks for sharing your cooking times! I’m about 75 minutes in and my onions aren’t even close to being molten soft. I won’t panic and I’ll enjoy the smell of roasty goodness and keep checking them for doneness.
Brian M. April 18, 2020
How do you know when they’re molten soft?
Can you use this in lieu of the cream in cream based dishes? I am lactose intolerant.
Kristen M. May 15, 2015
Sorry for the delay, Stacey -- that's the idea, although it won't necessarily be a one-to-one swap. It's easiest to use it for finishing dishes and adding to soups and pastas and the like where you can add to taste.
Portia E. May 3, 2015
I may have put too much lemon juice but I like it. I'm going to pour it over marinated grilled portobello mushrooms.
Portia E. May 3, 2015
...and there goes my grammar too lol
Juliebell May 3, 2015
Portia, I can't wait to hear how you used the sauce.
Portia E. May 3, 2015
I just finished roasting the onions and had a bite of one. It's caramel onion candy! I cannot wait to make the sauce. Thank you!
Beverly May 3, 2015
"2. Once they have cooled, Remove the peels, and add them into a blender."
Step #2-Blend the peels??
I believe you mean, "Once the onions have cooled, remove and discard the peels; add the onions to the blender"
Kristen M. May 3, 2015
Thanks for pointing that out -- all fixed!
SLC May 3, 2015
Kristen M. May 3, 2015
This is only suited to savory dishes -- for sweet, my favorite is coconut milk (and cream).
Juliebell May 3, 2015
I am really intrigued with this and would love to see ongoing comments from others regarding creative use.
Angella May 3, 2015
Kristen M. May 3, 2015
Angella, it would be most helpful if you could point out the spots that you find confusing, so that we can fix them.
paseo May 1, 2015
It's almost like soubise which I have frozen successfully. If it separates when thawed, put in blender or use a stick blender to bring it back.
Ken P. May 1, 2015
I'd worry about long term storage. Botulism thrives in a garlic/oil mix. It would be an interesting way to extend the Vidalia onion season, though.
Kristen M. May 1, 2015
Ken, please see the response from Amy and ChefSteps that I posted below.