Buttery Peas with Thyme

Since I’m already half-doctor (seriously, I am amazingly good at diagnosing my children with general attitude discomfort, infection of the ornery and other such syndromes, not to mention my insanely instinctual ability to know when they are about to throw up – but that’s definitely not a topic for this blog), I might as well play half-statistician and scientifically state that we eat peas as our dinner vegetable 67.2% of the time.

In my effort to get a little creative with my side dishes, of course I had to start with the obvious and figure out a way to put a little zest into the ol’ pea. Now I’ll admit that I usually cook my peas in the microwave in a glass bowl covered with saran wrap – nuking the little suckers for about five minutes. They are average at best. We eat them. But there aren’t a lot of requests for seconds on the peas, please, know what I mean?

Take those microwaved peas and kick them up about 15 notches and you have this dish that resulted in everyone at our table asking for seconds. Not a whole heck of a lot more work than throwing the peas in the microwave, these buttery peas are tender, perfectly cooked and surrounded with the simple flavors of garlic, thyme and onion. And start to finish, they take about six minutes.

Definitely my new favorite way to cook this simple and sweet veggie.

Buttery Peas with Thyme

Buttery Peas with Thyme

Buttery Peas with Thyme


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in the peas and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the peas are just heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper (and additional salt if desired) and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes by Cook’s Illustrated

28 Responses to Buttery Peas with Thyme

  1. Tim says:

    I just figured this out on my own. I was wowed, and then, found your recipe. All I did was frozen peas 3/4 cooked per package and drained. Then dry thyme, fresh ground pepper, salt, and garlic and onion powders (1:3 ratio respectively), 2 Tbsp of butter and a splash of water. Simmer until reduced to a butter sauce. To be honest, it’s so good I’m going to try the fresh route next “thyme”…

  2. Jocelyn says:

    Who knew peas could taste so good? We love this recipe! Many thanks.

  3. Adriana says:

    This recipe is absolutely delicious! Simple, quick & tasty! I’m don’t like peas much (except fresh) but I’m sold on this one! Thank you!

  4. Tracey says:

    Best damn peas I’ve had in a very very long time. Thanks so much !!!!!!

  5. Bonnie T says:

    Ok, i just made these cause i saw them on your fabulous side dish meal planner! Thank you! What is your secret to soft peas? They got all shrively and hard 🙁

    • Mel says:

      Bonnie – Sorry they didn’t turn out soft! I am not sure what went wrong. I use the Green Giant brand if that makes a difference.

  6. ELIZABETH says:

    Hello I just found your recipes,love them.!

  7. Jill says:

    Any suggestions on a different herb than thyme that would work well with the flavors?

    I have tried and tried and tried again to tolerate thyme, but I just don’t like it. This may or may not have some sort of tie in to my propensity to be late to just about everything – including my own birth.

    Thyme and I, well, we’re just not friends. And it doesn’t seem to matter how I try…

    • Mel says:

      Jill – thanks for the smile! As for another herb – you might try oregano or even basil. To be honest, I think several herbs would go well with the peas.

  8. Liz K. says:

    These were so good. I don’t know if I will be able to eat just plain old peas again. I loved all of the flavors. Thanks!

  9. Melanie says:

    Mary Karlee – I’m glad you liked this recipe! I actually have several side dishes up my sleeve to post soon so hopefully you’ll like them, too!

  10. Mary Karlee says:

    I made these last night and they were soooo good. I formerly would have said I don’t like peas, but now I am converted. Could you do more veggies or side dishes? I get in such a rut!

  11. Katy ~ says:

    Perfection. Pure perfection.

  12. Miss Liz says:

    These sound delicious! I’m always looking for new ways to cook veggies for my little one. Some times its all she’ll eat!

  13. Janell says:

    Yumm! Keep the veggie dishes coming. I need new ways to serve veggies at dinner, for the adults and the kiddos! I’ll be giving these peas a try.

  14. Melanie says:

    Teresa – glad you liked the spiedie sandwiches!

  15. Sook says:

    Would fresh thyme work? I’ve got some leftover thyme in the fridge and have been wondering about what I’d do with it. I love green peas. I’ll have to try this. Thanks, Melanie!

  16. Angela Baird says:

    I can tell it’s dinner time because my mouth is watering and both the peas and the ck spiedie sandwiches look/sound sooo yummy! Can’t wait to try them!

  17. Barbara says:

    We never ate a lot of peas…except when we could get fresh ones and everyone loved popping them out of their pods.
    Your recipe is a delight, a simple and delicious way to serve them. Going to try them this weekend.

  18. grace says:

    i lurve peas. that pop of slightly sweet yet still savory goop is always welcome in my mouth, and i love your use of thyme.
    so, shall i henceforth refer to you as melanie, md (mother divine)? 🙂

  19. Amy and David Ziehl says:

    When ever I think of Peas I think if the video you sent Mom and Dad of walker eating a TON of peas.

    p.s. These look totally yummy!

  20. Ashlie says:

    I don’t know how often (if ever) you are on tastebook, but they have 20% off right now until Tues.
    I’m still working on mine. I have 85 recipes and didn’t want to get it printed until I had them all, but I guess that is the good thing about tastebook-you don’t have to have them all in there before you can order it! Love it. Also in December (I think that was when) they had a $50 gift card for $40. I jumped on that. So my cookbook is going to be a lot cheaper than I thought! Cool. Thanks again for the recommendation.

    Now for another recommendation-do you know of any really good cooking type schools online. Not necessarily an actual school-but somewhere to learn not-so-super-basic kitchen tips, cooking, etc. ? I’ve seen a few but wanted to ask the pro.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Made the chicken spiedie sandwiches for lunch and they turned out perfect!

  22. Lane and Katie Eyre says:

    hmmm, I hate peas… but I have to tell you that this recipe has given me some hope! I’ll have to try it!

  23. Cammee says:

    If this works for my 12 year old, who has an aversion to ALL vegetables, I’m going to have to fly out there and kiss you!

  24. Veronica M. says:

    We eat a ton of peas too! My favorite way to prepare them is with butter & Italian salad dressing mix (dry, not prepared). It’s so easy and amazingly delicious! Your recipe reminds me a lot of that, except it has natural ingredients and not a mix, which is always a plus. Except when you’re super lazy like me and would rather just pour on a seasoning packet. 🙂

  25. Elizabeth Joy says:

    that’s so funny, we end up eating a lot of peas at our house too, probably b/c all the kids like them and they are the easiest to prepare (quickly in the microwave, just like you). I would love to jazz them up a bit, but I am afraid our kids would probably not eat another pea if I tried to sneak little flavours in there. Gotta love 4 picky eaters in the household! love the recipe though, maybe hubby and i will eat some jazzed up peas one day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *