{Tips & Tricks} Peeling Pearl Onions


They’re beautiful, delicious and add so much flavor to countless dishes. They’re small, covered in layers and frustrating…until now. Yes, I’m talking about pearl onions. Before I discovered this trick, I would stand at the counter with my trusty cutting board and knife, dreading the first cut and peel. Recipes often call for quite a bit of these so I would find myself peeling away and growing more and more frustrated by each onion.

The next time you need to cook with pearl onions, follow the steps below to relieve some of the stresses that come with these tiny gems and to make the whole process more enjoyable:

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Cut off the tip of each onion opposite the root end.
  3. Place onions in the pot and boil for two minutes and then drain.
  4. Place into a bowl of ice water in order for them to cool and then drain.
  5. Squeeze the root end and the onion will pop out.
  6. Cut off the remaining roots.

I told you it was going to be easy…and painless…and simple. Try this the next time you are face-to-face with pearl onions and feel the frustration beginning to boil inside.


  • Reply breadandputter February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I have to try this one of these days. I've always been so put off by the thought of it that I only ever buy the peeled frozen ones. I am sure fresh is even better!

  • Reply Maria February 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Another great tip! Thanks!

  • Reply Jenny February 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    These are tricky little onions! Great tips Jen!

  • Reply Tiffany February 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Complicated little things aren't they?! Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply Eliana February 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    This can be such a pain in the but but you've given some awesome tips here :)

  • Reply Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker February 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Wonderful tips!! I despise pearl onions because of the peeling!

  • Reply RecipeGirl February 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    This is a terrific tip- I love to put pearl onions in stew, but the pain of figuring out how to peel them… Thanks!

  • Reply Monica February 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Well, this is just too clever for words. Thanks so much for the great tip. I will use pearl onions more often, now that I know how to easily peel them.

  • Reply Tracy February 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Oh my gosh, I NEEDED this! I am always standing over the sink with watering eyes peeling all of these tiny onions. I can't wait to try your method next time!!

  • Reply Fuji Mama March 1, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Ok, creamed onions is one of my all-time favorite holiday dishes, but I dread preparing it every year for this exact reason! I think I'm going to make them this week "just because" so that I can try out your trick! THANK YOU!

  • Reply Cookin' Canuck March 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This is a fantastic post, Jen! I am bookmarking this one and will be referring back to it.

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