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Freezing Onions

Freezing Onions, An unpeeled whole onion.

Storing onions in the freezer is a good way to preserve them before they go bad or start to put out green shoots, and makes cooking with them quick and easy. This is a guide about freezing onions.



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Tip: Freeze Chopped Onions

What to do with all those bulk onions? I almost always buy my onions in the 3 lb. bags, but used to end up on the losing end when half of them went bad. I've found a solution to that!

I dice up all the onions that I'm not going to use right away and put 2/3 cup of the chopped onions into ziplock bags. These bags go into the freezer until the onions are needed. I make a lot of soups and gumbos so the slightly limp texture is fine, and the taste is the same as fresh.

This also works for celery and bell peppers!

By Ann B. from New Orleans, LA

Tip: Save That Half Onion

Whenever you have part of an onion left over from the recipe you are making, don't throw it away, instead wrap it up in some foil or put in a kitchen container and freeze it. Later, when you are out of onions for something like stew, soup, or chili you can just defrost in micro for one minute and throw it in with the other ingredients.

By Debbi C. from southern AL

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Here are questions related to Freezing Onions.

Question: Recipes and Freezing Instructions For Red Onions

I recently received about 10 pounds of red onions and am looking for ways to use them up or save them. My mom said they don't freeze well... anyone have any luck with this?



Most Recent Answer

By Sandee (Guest Post)01/22/2005

They last a long,long time in a leg cut from your stockings tie a knot between each onion so not to touch each other and hang. Easy to just snip one loose when you need to use too!

Question: Freezing Onions

How do you freeze onions?

By Karen

Most Recent Answer

By Anonymous12/19/2011

Ditto with what Lilac says :-) Just be sure to pat them dry after cutting and remove as much air as possible from the freezer bags to help prevent freezer burn.

Question: Freezing Onions

Can I freeze onions?

By Frank

Most Recent Answer

By Judy Dreyer08/08/2011

Yes, We freeze onions. Dice them or quarter them and freeze on a cookie sheet. When frozen, seal in a plastic bag. I usually double bag or wrap them to be sure they contain the smell.

Question: Freezing Fresh Onions

What effect does it have on onions to freeze them when they are fresh?

By Jo Ann M

Most Recent Answer

By Wynter02/11/2012

In my experience, they get kind of mushy when they're thawed, so not good to use in a recipe that needs fresh, crisp onions. I've had great success in pre-dicing them and then throwing them in the pan to carmelize for use in recipe that calls for that sort of thing (chili, soups, casseroles, etc...).

Question: Freezing Onions

Can you freeze onion?

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By Franco from Fayetteville, AR

Most Recent Answer

By Patty02/02/2011

This is great information! I'm glad you asked the question! I'll start freezing my onions from now on! Thanks everyone!

Question: Freezing Onions

Is cutting up onion and keeping it frozen carcinogenic or safe?

By zozo

Most Recent Answer

By beverly Conner09/20/2011

I do it all the time, especially when onions are on sale. I use them for cooking only.

Question: Freezing Onions

When freezing onions, do they have to be sliced? or can you freeze the whole onion?

By Ginger from OK

Most Recent Answer

By Vicki04/16/2012

You can freeze the whole onion but unless you are going to put it in a soup whole or something, I'd suggest chopping it up. It's just easier to handle when you defrost it. And you can also get out small amounts as-needed, if you plan on using the onions a little @ a time.

Question: Freezing Fried Onions

Please can someone tell me if you can freeze fried onions, and if so how?

By Dee from Essex


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Freezing Onions

Bulb onions store well in a cool, dry place. Freezing is usually not recommended since onions change flavor when frozen.

Preparation: Chose mature bulbs and clean as for eating. Water blanch for 3 to 7 minutes or until center is heated. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Seal, label and freeze. These are suitable for cooking only.

Source: MSU Extension

RE: Freezing Onions

Although I greatly respect what any extension office is recommending, I have done mine a somewhat different way for decades. I want to chop cooking onions only once a year, and although it takes me almost a week to get them all done, when it is finished, I am always satisfied.

I did note in your original directions that the onions are not further diced or chopped. Is this type of preparation what is being recommended for using in perhaps stews? Is the onion used whole then?

My methods are for general use chopped or diced onions, such as you would use in chili, sauces, casseroles, etc. I clean the onions (peel) and then rough chop to be able to grind in an electric mini-grinder I have. I then pack in a zippered ziplock freezer bag, expressing all of the air I can so the package is flat. I freeze these packages on cookie sheets until frozen and then restack in another part of the big freezer until I have a sufficient quantity to additionally wrap into a Wal-Mart shopping bag. When all onions are processed, I transfer the Wal-Mart bags to a brown paper grocery sack for permanent storage (leave the plastic bags in place).

If I want loose packed frozen onion, I simply "dry freeze" the pcs. on a cookie sheet before packing in a ziploc bag. When I am doing this procedure, I make sure all other items in the freezer of a second refrigerator in the garage are removed because you will have some onion smell. The onion pieces are not pulverized quite as completely with this method.

I have not ascertained that the flavor of the onion is changed in any way following either of these two methods.

When I am ready to use the frozen onion that is not dry frozen, I simply whack the side of the flattened container against a countertop, causing some break lines within the product. I then guess-timate the amount of onion I will need and either defrost or throw the chunk of onion into the cooking pot.

Of course, this method does not work for those times you want to have sliced onion but it sure saves time and money for me to have the bulk of the onion I grow each year in the freezer and ready to go. (05/02/2005)

By ronsan

Archive: Freeze Chopped Onions to Avoid Waste

If you like cooking with chopped or diced onions but don't like spending extra money buying prepared onions, try making your own. Wash, peel and chop the onion to your preferred fineness. Place in a plastic storage bag and toss in the freezer. When you're ready to use them, there's no need to thaw first. Just remove the amount you need from the bag. This is a great money-saver for me, since we buy the three-pound bags of white onions but don't always use them before they spoil. (Note: I don't recommend freezing onion you're going to want to eat fresh.) Happy cooking!

Source: This is something I figured out on my own.

By Lelia from Springfield, OH

RE: Freeze Chopped Onions to Avoid Waste

You can also chop celery and put it in the freezer without blanching. I also cut it in longer pieces sometimes. Like you and the onions I wasted a lot of celery before I discovered this. (11/21/2008)

By dajavooi

RE: Freeze Chopped Onions to Avoid Waste

This is a very good time-saving tip, but freezing the onion reduces the strength of the flavor. Most people don't like strong onions, anyway, so it may be a moot point, but it should be mentioned that the onion flavor becomes milder after freezing. (11/21/2008)


RE: Freeze Chopped Onions to Avoid Waste

I found that after I dice onions or celery, spread it out on a pan sprayed with cooking spray and put it in the freezer for a little while. Then put in containers. It is a lot easier to separate when you get it out of freezer. Otherwise when you get it out of freezer it is in one big clump. I learned this from my sister. (11/22/2008)

By Mimi in Pensacola

RE: Freeze Chopped Onions to Avoid Waste

This also works for green bell peppers and other colored bell peppers. When the peppers go on sale, I will buy extra, cut into strips and freeze for fajitas or I can cut the strips for diced peppers. Do as mentioned before and freeze on a cookie sheet, then put into a bag. (Don't use these if you need the crunch of fresh peppers, just in your cooking.) (11/22/2008)

By Toolgirl

Archive: Freezing Onions

Bulb onions store well in a cool, dry place. Freezing is usually not recommended since onions change flavor when frozen.

Preparation: Chose mature bulbs and clean as for eating. Water blanch for 3 to 7 minutes or until center is heated. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Seal, label and freeze. These are suitable for cooking only.

Source: MSU Extension

Archive: Freezing Onions

Can you freeze onions or will they last chopped in a container in the refrigerator for a week?

By Linda from Brooklyn, NY

RE: Freezing Onions

I always chop up two onions and put 1/2 cup at a time in baggies, then put them in a ziploc type container and freeze them. I do the same with green and red peppers. (11/21/2009)

By redhatterb

RE: Freezing Onions

I chop them, lay them on a cookie sheet, and put the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once they're frozen, I transfer them to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer (sometimes I use canning jars with plastic lids. I'm not sure how long they'd last, but I've kept them for a few months in there. I do the same with celery and bell peppers. (11/21/2009)

By tsiegl

RE: Freezing Onions

When I used the frozen onions they are always soggy so I don't know if there is a way round that - anyone know? (11/22/2009)

By Angie

RE: Freezing Onions

tiesgl definitely freezes them correctly and, yes, they will be okay chopped in the refrigerator for up to a week fresh but not for a week after freezing. (11/23/2009)

By Deeli

RE: Freezing Onions

I am a big fan of Food Network ,esp. Alton brown he explains the chemical aspect of a lot of cooking; why something does or does not work. Onions have a lot of water in them by nature. You need to have anything that you freeze to be as dry as possible.

Alton used a pan to spread his veggies on and placed in the fridge to dry. Once dry they were placed in freezer bags with as much air removed as possible. He used a straw to suck out the air, I don't know. 11/24/2009)

By nunley10

RE: Freezing Onions

Yes you can freeze onions. When I make spaghetti sauce, I chop fine one whole onion in the food processor. I use about half and put the rest in a sandwich bag and throw it in the freezer. When I make spaghetti sauce again I have onions already chopped and they thaw in the hot sauce. (11/24/2009)

By kittykat58

RE: Freezing Onions

I always chop one whole onion and store them in a plastic container in the fridge. They stay good for a week! (11/24/2009)

By jackie.mantel

Archive: Freezing Onions

I buy onion in 5 pounds or more. I prep all the onions at the same time to avoid wasting any of it. I peel them, quarter them, then toss into my blender to puree them. I use the zip lock snack size bags to measure out what one small/medium onion would be.