This creamed peas recipe is a simple homestyle side dish that's easy to make! It's a favorite at the holidays, but you'll find yourself craving them any old weeknight.
Why you'll love it
Creamed peas are one of those old-fashioned side dishes you can't help but like. It's a staple on both my Thanksgiving table and for regular weeknights, largely because they're really quick to throw together with a handful of ingredients that are available at every grocery store year-round.
Naturally, I like to make mine stand out from the rest, so my trick is using garlic powder to amp up that savory goodness without being overpowering in these simple creamed peas. I've since tried making them without, and it's just not the same!
Ingredients for it
- Butter and flour - the building blocks for a quick roux, which will thicken the creamy white sauce
- Half-and-half - it's in the dairy aisle and is half heavy cream, half whole milk and what makes that signature rich sauce
- Garlic powder - my special touch to add a little savory pop of flavor
- Frozen peas - I find fresh peas hard to come by, so I used frozen peas for this recipe. They're frozen at the peak of ripeness, so they're a delicious option any time of year.
- Salt & pepper - in this recipe I'm generous with both
How to make creamed peas
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Start by making a quick roux in a soup pot. Whisk in the half-and-half and garlic powder until smooth.
- Add in the frozen peas and give it a good stir. It'll take a bit for it to start to bubble. When it does, turn the heat down so it's simmering.
- Continue cooking until the sauce has reduced to your liking. This can take 15-20 minutes. Season generously with salt & pepper, and enjoy!
Substitutions and variations
- I would not use canned peas for this recipe. They will turn into mush. You can use fresh peas if you can find them. Just keep an eye on them and adjust cooking time if needed.
- You can absolutely use heavy cream instead of half-and-half. That may reduce cooking time a bit since it'll thicken up faster than half-and-half does.
- This is a fantastic base recipe. I like it as-is, but feel free to jazz it up a bit by adding different herbs, your favorite seasonings or spices (try nutmeg), or even parmesan cheese to make it your own!
- It's difficult to capture the thickness of the cream sauce in photos. I don't make it super thick, but it's definitely not thin or watery either. You can reduce the sauce as much as you need to! Just cook it a little longer if it seems too thin, and if it gets too thick at any point, add a splash more half-and-half.
- Be careful not to boil the heck out of the half-and-half. It's not too likely that it'll curdle, but it's always possible. These peas are best cooked fairly slowly. They plump up a bit as the sauce gradually thickens.
What to serve with creamed peas
- They're a great sidekick for any number of main courses. Try them with my Parmesan Crusted Chicken or Easy Baked Pork Tenderloin.
- They would also be perfect as a side dish for holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, so serve it in a feast alongside my Easy Roast Turkey and other classic sides like my Green Bean Casserole and Easy Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes.
Leftovers and storage
- These creamed peas will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container easily.
- Reheat in a small saucepan over a low heat, giving it the occasional stir, until warmed through.
- I wouldn't recommend freezing leftovers. The texture of the peas may change, and dairy doesn't normally do well in the freezer.
Any questions about these creamed peas? Let me know in the comments below, or drop me a review if you made them!
Easy Creamed Peas
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups frozen peas
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook it for a minute or so.
- Whisk in the half-and-half and garlic powder.
- Stir in the peas. Once they start to bubble, turn the heat down (don't let them rapidly boil).
- Simmer the peas, uncovered, until the cream has thickened up to your liking. Keep an eye on them, and stir them occasionally (this can take around 15-20 minutes). Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken up a bit more as they cool. If the sauce gets too thick at any point, add in a splash more half-and-half.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed (I'm pretty generous with both).
- You may use heavy cream instead of half-and-half.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.