ChefSteps' Genius Roasted Onion Cream

April 28, 2015

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: A brighter (and vegan) alternative to cream—for all your soups, sauces, and sides. Adapted slightly from Recipes

Makes: about 1 cup


  • 3 large onions (sweet or regular)
  • salt, to taste
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste
In This Recipe


  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.

More Great Recipes:
Condiment/Spread|Soup|Vegetable|Onion|Lemon Juice|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Make Ahead|Spring|Fall|Winter|Vegetarian|Vegan

Reviews (37) Questions (2)

37 Reviews

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 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
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!
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.
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.
Rose K. April 30, 2015
I doubt this would freeze well....
Kristen M. May 1, 2015
Rose, please see the response from Amy and ChefSteps that I posted below.
witloof April 29, 2015
This is so wonderful. I have had to forgo dairy except as a special occasion food and it makes cooking quite a challenge at times. Thank you Mrs. Larkin!!!!