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Red wine glazed pearl onions are caramelized in a flavorful sauce. Delicious and festive side dish for any holiday meal.


When I was working as an editor at Martha Stewart magazine, I used pearl onions in a recipe for the first time. I thought they were so cute, just mini little white onions. However I soon realized I did not like cooking with them!

They were so hard to prep and it took forever! You peel the dry skins off but there is still a tough skin left, that if you pulled off with a knife would peel the first layer of the onion away with it. Seeing as how these onions are tiny, you do this, and you’re left with nothing. So you have to blanch the onions. Simmer in boiling water for about a minute then plunge into ice cold water. Then, and only then, you can spend the next half hour with a paring knife peeling the loosened skin from the outside layer.

Red wine glazed pearl onions are caramelized and delicious. The perfect festive side dish.

Then you’re done, and can use them in your recipe. Just like that! Well, I’ve wised up. I’ve been around the kitchen if you will! You can buy pearl onions already peeled in the freezer section of your grocery store! WHAT? It’s amazing. Someone, or probably some machine, has peeled those little suckers for me.

Red wine glazed pearl onions can be made in a fraction of the time with frozen onions, already peeled!

And so I can make my glazed pearl onions in a fraction of the time. They are decadent little morsels after being simmered in reduced red wine. Rich, caramelized and flavorful. A glorious side dish to my Prime Rib. I’ve also paired this dish with my other beautiful side dish, Baby Broccoli with Hazelnut Butter.

The onions get cooked with herby goodness like thyme and bay leaf. I’ve added a little acid in red wine vinegar with the dry red wine. It becomes a lovely mix of sweet onion and savory herbs.


5 from 1 vote
Red Wine-Glazed Pearl Onions
Work Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Red Wine-Glazed Pearl Onions - a glorious side dish for prime rib.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Red Wine-Glazed Pearl Onions, Side dish
Calories: 459 kcal
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bags (1 lb each) frozen white pearl onions thawed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 thyme springs plus more for garnish
  • cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  1. In al arge skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 bag of onions, the bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn deep golden brown in spots, 6 to 8 min. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining 1 tbsp oil, onions and thyme sprig. Return first batch to skillet.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together vinegar, wine, sugar and salt. Add to onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is the consistency of a syrup and onions are glazed, 20 to 25 min. discard bay leaf and stir in pepper. Garnish with thyme.
Recipe Notes

Use pearl onions from the frozen foods section at the grocer.  So much easier that fresh!

Nutrition Facts
Red Wine-Glazed Pearl Onions
Amount Per Serving
Calories 459 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Sodium 1170mg 49%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Sugars 24g
Vitamin A 1.9%
Vitamin C 3.9%
Iron 3.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Prime Rib with Creamed Horseradish










Favorite Roasted Turkey








This post may include affiliate links. For more information please see my disclosure agreement.
Recipe & food styling Tara Bench
Photographer Quentin Bacon
Prop Stylist Bella Foster
Originally published Ladies’ Home Journal Dec 2007


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