January 30, 2023

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Creamed Peas – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Vegetables

Creamed Peas are a favorite side-dish and these are the best of the best! Frozen peas are cooked in a savory Parmesan cream sauce with bacon and onions. These easy creamed peas are prepared all in one dish–no need to thaw or cook the peas ahead of time!

Love creamed side dishes? Us too! Be sure to try our Creamed Corn or these Creamed Potatoes.

If you’re looking for a milk-free recipe using frozen peas, try our favorite Frozen Peas Recipe!

Overhead image of creamed peas

Creamed Peas Recipe

During the holiday season, I’m all about indulgent-tasting and simple-to-make side dishes. These types of dishes are the perfect addition to any holiday table spread. Simple sides are also a great dish to bring when you’re asked to supply a dish for an event or party. And finally, simple sides are a great way to make a simple dinner seem fancy.

Whip up a delicious side dish to go with a protein and you’ve got a seemingly fancy dinner that didn’t take all that long to whip together. Creamed peas on the side of a seared skillet steak, pan-seared salmon, or this super quick Blackened Chicken and you’ve got a fancy-looking, downright-delicious dinner (with minimal effort expended).

But–be warned–this creamed peas recipe is good enough to over-shadow even the most perfectly cooked steak ;).

Process shots-- images of the oil, onion, bacon, butter, peas, salt, and pepper being added to the pan

VARIATIONS

How Do You Make Peas Taste Better?

Cook them in bacon, add butter, and a savory Parmesan cream sauce! Seriously, if you’re skeptical of frozen peas being tasty, you are going to be a convert after trying these Cream Peas!

Here are some other ideas to change up this recipe:

  • Make creamed peas and carrots: use 4 cups of a frozen peas & carrot blend instead of just using frozen peas
  • Replace the bacon with pancetta. Pancetta is cured and unsmoked while bacon is cured and smoked–both can be used interchangeably in this recipe–it all depends if you want a smoky flavor or not!
  • Swap the yellow onion for shallots. The flavor is more sweet and delicate with shallots.
  • If you’re looking to really up your creamed peas game, try Parmigiano Reggiano–it’s incredible in this dish. (Use the leftovers in our favorite Fettuccine Alfredo!
  • Make creamed peas and potatoes: boil diced potatoes in salted water and drain well. Mix through once the peas are cooked and double (or triple) the cream sauce!
  • Add fresh herbs. A pinch of fresh herbs add vibrancy and life to this cream peas recipe!
Process shots of creamed peas-- images of the flour, milk, and sugar being added to the pan

How To Make Creamed Peas 

  1. Sauté bacon and onion. Dice up the bacon then sauté it in olive oil with finely diced onions. The bacon will nicely brown while the onions slightly caramelize.
  2. Add in peas and season. Add frozen peas (straight from the freezer), butter, and seasoning to taste. Sauté until peas are warmed through and butter is melted. Mix through flour next which will help thicken the mixture.
  3. Add milk! Pour in the milk and sugar and simmer until nicely thickened. Remove from heat, stir through the cheese and serve while the peas are nice and hot.

QUICK TIP

We make this creamed peas recipe with milk, instead of heavy cream. We tested these peas with cream as well and couldn’t tell that much of a difference flavor-wise for the amount of fat that is saved from the swap! That said, this dish is best with whole milk and does suffer a loss of flavor and thickness with lower-fat milks. Avoid plant-based milks, they don’t work the same in this recipe.

Process shots of creamed peas-- images of the sauce being thickened and then parmesan cheese being added

Creamed Peas FAQs

1Can I use canned peas instead of frozen?

Canned peas will work fine here, but we definitely prefer the taste and texture of frozen peas best!

We’re partial to Birdseye frozen peas (not sponsored), but any will work!

2Do you put butter in canned peas?

We add butter to this dish which begins the process of creating the roux. The butter plus flour is what ultimately thickens the cream sauce so it nicely coats the peas. (So, don’t leave out the butter here!)

3What seasonings taste good with peas?

Peas are so versatile that they pair well with a myriad of seasonings. In a dish like this though, they really only need salt and pepper to come alive!

If you are looking to add something extra, try a touch of onion powder or garlic powder.

4How do you dress up canned green peas?

Following this recipe to cream canned peas will certainly dress up your can of peas!

5How do you put cream on peas?

We make the cream sauce in the same pan that we cook the peas in (simpler and less dishes!) Here’s how to add the cream:

  • Melt butter with the peas
  • Mix through flour. This is creating the “roux” that will thicken the milk to make a nice cream coating for peas.
  • Add in the milk. Stir until nicely thickened and creamy.

6What do I do with frozen peas?

After you make this easy cream peas recipe, try some of our other favorite recipes with frozen peas:

7Do you thaw frozen peas before cooking?

No! No need to thaw before adding–they’ll warm through in minutes.

8What to serve with creamed peas?

If you’re looking for a meaty main to serve alongside this side, try one of the following:

Up close overhead image of the side dish ready to be enjoyed

More Tasty Side Dishes:

Creamed Peas

Creamed Peas are a favorite side-dish and these are the best of the best! Frozen peas are cooked in a savory Parmesan cream sauce with bacon and onions. These easy creamed peas are prepared all in one dish–no need to thaw or cook the peas ahead of time!

Creamed Peas

Creamed Peas are a favorite side-dish and these are the best of the best! Frozen peas are cooked in a savory Parmesan cream sauce with bacon and onions. These easy creamed peas are prepared all in one dish–no need to thaw or cook the peas ahead of time!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Milk: We tested these peas with cream as well and couldn’t tell that much of a difference flavor-wise for the amount of fat that is saved from the swap! That said, this dish is best with whole milk and does suffer a loss of flavor & thickness with lower-fat milks. Avoid plant-based milks, they don’t work the same in this recipe. (If you want to use heavy cream, leave out the flour, it thickens plenty without it!)
Note 2: Sugar: Add this ingredient slow and to taste (omitting fully if desired or adding even more if peas aren’t as sweet as you’d like). The amount you add will vary depending on how sweet and fresh the peas being used are.
Note 3: Parmesan cheese: Packaged grated Parmesan (in the can) is very salty and won’t melt as nicely in this recipe. We highly recommend grating a block of Parmesan cheese on a microplane or the small holes of the grater (or use a microplane!) for ultra-fine cheese shreds.
Note 4: Salt: Depending on how salty the bacon and Parmesan is, you may want less (or more) salt. Add gradually, tasting, until flavors come to life!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.5g | Protein: 9.8g | Fat: 13.1g | Cholesterol: 22.6mg | Sodium: 269.5mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 9.6g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.