How To Freeze Onions

It has often been argued that you are not to cut an onion and leave it unattended as it quickly absorbs bacteria. If you want to lengthen the shelf life of the onions you have or store some for those days you may be out. Knowing how to freeze onions may be a good option for you. The best thing about it is that for many recipes, you will not even need to thaw it before use! 

Check out How To Freeze Broccoli and How To Freeze Apples. 

Onions are very versatile and are very good for improving the flavor of your dishes. They are one of the most commonly used vegetables in daily meal preparation. There are many types of onions but today we will be focusing on your standard yellow, white, or red onions.  

onions in basket

Health Benefits Of Onions

Onions have vast health benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory properties to be nutrient-rich. When one thinks of Vitamin C, you may consider apples and oranges but onions are also rich in Vitamin C.

They help to lower the risk of hypertension, heart disease and may even be used to treat headaches. Furthermore, onions may even assist with digestive health as they are rich in fiber and probiotics. 

Is It Ok To Freeze Onions? 

It certainly is and will definitely help to preserve the life of an onion. Frozen onions are perfect for soups and a variety of other dishes.

How To Peel An Onion 

Before peeling an onion, first, wash it to avoid transferring any bacteria from the outer layer to the onion itself. Ensure that your knife is sharp. There are different ways in which this may be done.

Option 1

  1. Cut the onion in half vertically, from root to stem.
  2. Cut the stem off.
  3. Use the knife or your fingers to remove the skin.

Option 2

  1. Cut the stem off.
  2.   Hold the end with the root and use the knife to peel the skin off in a vertical 

             manner.     

How To Prevent The Onion From Burning Your Eyes

Does cutting onions make you feel like you are ‘crying a river? Here is a simple tip to avoid those tears. When peeling an onion, do the following:

  1. Try to work in a well-ventilated area as best as possible.
  2. Chill the onion in the refrigerator for a few hours before use.
  3. Before or after peeling the onion, place it in a glass of ice-cold water and let it remain for about 10 minutes. Remove the onion from the water and proceed with your peeling/cutting.

 

How To Cut An Onion

The way in which you cut an onion ultimately depends on the intended use. We will be exploring three ways in which you can cut an onion: dicing, slicing/cutting it in rings, and cutting into strips.

  • Dicing

To chop or dice an onion, after peeling the onion, ensure that it is cut in half vertically and lay the flat side on your cutting board.

Slice the onion lengthwise into half-inch pieces, without cutting through the rot.

Next, proceed to slice the onion horizontally into half-inch pieces until the entire onion is diced. Another option may be to slice the onion into half-inch pieces horizontally and then further cut them into smaller pieces.

Dicing onion with a knife on the cutting board

  • Slicing/Creating Rings

After peeling the onion, ensure that at least one end is flat. Place the onion on the cutting board and begin slicing it into evenly sliced layers.

Continue this process until you are through cutting the onion. After the slicing is complete, use your hands to separate the layers into rings.

onion rings on cutting board

  • Cutting into strips

After peeling the onion, remove both ends and cut the onion in half vertically. Place the flat parts on a cutting board and cut them in pieces from one end to the next. The width of the strips should depend on desired thickness.

Tip: It is not recommended that you use a food processor for chopping your onions as this may release more juice than wanted. This of course depends on the dish you are preparing as if you are making a liquid meal, it would be fine.

Onion strips on a wooden background

How to freeze an onion

To preserve the life of an onion, you may opt to freeze it but simply tossing an unpeeled or uncut onion in the freezer is definitely not the recommended option. The container that you use for freezing is just as important as the method of freezing as some containers may not be freezer safe. 

There are two basic methods that may be used for freezing onions:

  1. You may opt to chop/dice the onions and place them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for later use. This method is fine if you do not mind the onions sticking together based on your intended use.
  2. The other option is to chop/dice the onions and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet. Allow the onions to remain on the sheet for at least an hour before they are transferred to a Ziploc or freezer-safe bag. This will eliminate the onion sticking together and maybe best depending on the desired use. 

Packaging and Temperature

The kind of storage container used to store the onions will have an effect on the length of time they are able to be stored. Using a regular plastic bag or plastic food containers is therefore not the best option. However, if that’s all you have then it will be time for short-term use.  The temperature of the freezer is also important as the colder it is the better. For best results, consume the onions within 6-8 months.

The sulfur content of an onion determines how long it is able to last. Peeled onions may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days but to extend the life and freshness of an onion beyond that, freezing would be best. Before freezing an onion, one may decide on storing it raw or opting to cook it first. Either way, it will be able to last for a minimum of three months in the freezer.  

Happy freezing!

Other Fruits And Vegetables To Freeze

dice onions in a ziplock

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 15 kcal / 63 kJ
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Protein: 0.4 g
  • Carbs: 3.5 g

Cooking Time

  • Preparation: 5 min
  • Ready in: 5 min
  • For:
  • 8 Servings

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends of the onions. Hold the end with the root and use the knife to peel the skin off in a vertical manner.
  2. Chop the onions! You can dice them, cut them into strips or circles.
  3. Transfer the chopped onions into a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.