Buttered Peas is a lovely universal side dish. It is best prepared with fresh green peas to bring out all those good sweet natural flavors.
Here you will learn how to make it and I share some flavor variations, tips to store it properly and a how-to video.
📕 What are Buttered Peas?
Butter peas are green peas sautéed in butter. It's a popular side dish that you may have come across in French cuisine or some American homes.
In France, they use garden fresh green peas shelled and stove-top boiled. The peas are then tossed in butter, which adds a lovely light flavor profile to this side dish.
You will need a few ingredients to make this vegetable side dish at home now. Here is a quick overview.
The full recipe card with US and metric measurements is located further below with the video and further instructions.
- Green Peas
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
If you want to make the best buttered green peas, use garden-fresh green peas or at least fresh peas from your farmer's market or your local store. Fresh peas need to always first be boiled soft!
Conveniently you can also use frozen green peas, but the result just won't be the same. There is a vast difference in flavor when you use fresh peas, which you just can't replicate with frozen peas.
For the onion, use either white, yellow or purple onion, whichever you prefer. Shallots are a great tip too if you just want mild onion flavors.
We use olive oil to sauté the onion and butter to add flavor. My mother says that salted butter is the best option. If you can't get salted butter, use regular butter. She also says to use both for the best taste experience!
The only seasoning that you need here is salt and black pepper. Freshly ground black pepper is, of course, preferred.
🔪 How to make it?
Here is how to make this pea side dish with fresh raw green peas. If you use frozen or canned soft peas, skip step 1. If your frozen or canned peas have been parboiled, skip step 2.
You will find the full recipe at the bottom with US and metric measurement options, including a video.
Shell your green peas. Rinse them in water with a dash of vinegar. Strain
Place peas into a pan and cover with water. Boil peas for about 5 minutes soft. Strain.
Heat up olive oil and butter in a skillet. Sauté onion soft.
Stir in green peas and season with salt and black pepper.
Cook for 2 minutes. Top with freshly chopped parsley. Serve up.
Store leftovers in an airtight container. I like to use rectangular or square glass containers with a lid.
These are containers are great because they can be stacked over each other in the fridge or freezer, and you can just take it out and place the glass dish into the oven to reheat your meal quickly.
They are also microwave save (of course without the lid on)!
The glass containers can be purchased from IKEA and they are affordable.
You can store these buttered green peas for up to 7 days in your fridge without them turning bad. They are a great side dish for bigger events, and you can prepare them in advance.
Buttered peas can be frozen as well. Keep in the fridge overnight to thaw or place in the oven to thaw and cook gradually at a moderate heat setting.
✨ Flavor Variations
Buttered green peas is one of Paul's all-time favorite side dishes, and he always asks my mum to make it whenever possible.
He is one who grew up eating Indian spiced food, but in his humble opinion, this side dish doesn't require another addition of ingredients.
Nonetheless, I will give you the freedom to call this dish your own. You can add any of the following ingredients:
- Carrots – just add baby carrots to your peas
- Leek – instead of onion use sliced leeks
- Corn – adds a splash of color and crunch to your peas
- Beans – as in black beans, kidney beans.
- Cumin – a dash of cumin can elevate the flavor
- Garlic – fresh garlic chopped and sautéed with the onion
- Chives – fresh chives as a topping
- Thyme Herb – Fresh or dried
- Rosemary – Goes hand in hand with Thyme
- Parsley – fresh herbs as a topping are always a good idea.
- Tarragon – Adds a slight bitter side to the dish
- Fresh Mint – If you want a middle eastern touch to your peas.
- Ransom weed – aka wild garlic weed, grows in spring and goes well with green peas.
- Honey – But that will make it sweet. Recommended for the sweet tooth.
- Lemon Juice – just a few drops
Use fresh peas, that's your best option. If you want to use frozen peas, prepare your own batch of frozen peas. Buy fresh peas, unshell, clean and place them into vacuum bags and store in your freezer. Homemade frozen peas are still more flavorful than store-bought peas.
Cumin and cayenne pepper go well with peas. Garlic but in its fresh form add flavor to peas. Not a spice, but fresh or dried thyme herb can work magic on green peas.
Fresh peas need to be boiled soft. Canned peas don't need to be boiled. Fortunately, green peas take only 5 minutes to cook through. Frozen peas mostly don't need to be boiled because they have been par-boiled, check the label on the packaging.
👁️ More stove-top side dishes:
Simple Buttered Peas Recipe
Cook Fresh Green Peas
- 1½ Cup Green Peas *See Notes
- Water To Boil
If you use fresh shelled green peas (skip this step if you use frozen or canned)
- Shell your fresh and raw green peas. Collect your peas in a bowl and measure them.1½ Cup Green Peas
- Pour water and vinegar to your green peas to rinse them. The vinegar will help get rid of tiny bugs and pesticides (if any). Strain.
- Place green peas into a smaller sauce pan and cover with water. Boil the peas for about 5 minutes covered over a medium heat setting or until they are cooked through.Water
Prepare buttered peas
- Dice your onion and keep aside.1 Small Onion
- Heat up a small skillet with olive oil and the butter. Keep over a lower heat setting.1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon Butter
- Stir in onion and sauté until soft and somewhat translucent.
- Stir in the green peas and season with salt to taste and the black pepper. The salt quantity depends on your butter and if you used salted butter or not.pinch Salt, ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Mix and cook for about 2 minutes over a higher heat setting.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve up hot.Parsley Fresh
- Fresh peas are preferred, but you can use canned or frozen and thawed peas too. Use the same quantity for all three options.
- If you use already cooked frozen or canned peas, reduce the prepping time by 15 minutes and the cooking time by 5 because they are already cooked.