An easy step-by-step guide to cutting green onions. ♡ Plus, learn the parts of a green onion, tips for buying and storing them, and ways to use them.
If you’ve ever wondered how to cut green onions properly, you’ve come to the right place.
Green onions are a flavorful ingredient that can add a pop of color and taste to a variety of dishes. Whether garnishing soups and salads or adding to stir-fries and other savory recipes, using these tasty onions can make all the difference in presentation and taste.
What Are Green Onions?
One of the key characteristics of green onions is their mild and slightly sweet taste. For cooking purposes, they have three main parts:
- The long, thin, green leaves on top.
- The white and light green stem.
- The white bulb with roots at the base.
All parts can be used in cooking, although most people do not use the roots. The white bulb and stem have a subtle onion flavor, and the green tops provide a fresh, bright taste.
The picture below lists some common uses for each part, but you can use the greens and stem for all ways mentioned. It’s really up to your preference.
Are chives the same as green onions?
Chives are often confused with green onions, but they are not the same thing. While they are in the same family of veggies, chives are much thinner and have a milder flavor than green onions.
🧅 Try our Green Goddess Dip with chives.
Here are the tools you’ll need when slicing green onions.
- Sharp knife – chef’s knife
- Cutting board – we love these Teak wood cutting boards
- Mason jars – a great way to store cut veggies (optional)
Preparing Green Onions for Cutting
Here are a few simple steps to follow before cutting your onions.
Clean Green Onions
Before using your green onions (or any produce), it’s essential to wash them thoroughly. Hold the onions under cool running water, gently rubbing each layer to remove any dirt or debris. Pay extra attention to the white parts and roots, as these areas tend to hold more dirt.
Discard Unwanted Parts
After washing your green onions, it’s time to discard any undesired parts. Inspect the onions for any damaged or wilted layers. Remove these parts by gently peeling them away from the onion and discarding them.
How to Cut Green Onions
Follow this simple process for cutting green onions.
#1 – Cut Off the Roots
Before cutting green onions, you want to remove the root area, which is the white bottom part of the bulb, about an inch above the roots. You can discard these or save them for regrowing green onions in your own garden.
#2 – Separate the Greens and Whites
Chop the green onions with a sharp knife to separate the top green leaves from the white/light green stalks in the middle of the plant.
#3 – Cut Using Preferred Method
Here are four ways we like to cut green onions. Choose the method you prefer or what your recipe calls for.
- Coins or thin slices – with the onions arranged side by side on your cutting board, slice them crosswise to the desired thickness. It can vary depending on the recipe, but it is about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices for most dishes. You can use this method for both the green and white sections.
“whites” or light green portion of green onion
“greens” or top green portion of green onion
- Chunks – use the same process, but cut the onions about 2 to 3 times as wide as the coins.
- At a bias (diagonally) – slice the onions diagonally across at a 45-degree angle, about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.
- Hairs – using the greens, slice the onions length-wise into thin strips for thin, long reeds or hairs of onion. (Run your knife parallel with the green onions lengthwise.)
Ways to Use Green Onions
Green onions are a delicious ingredient that can add flavor, color, and texture to any dish. Here are different ways to use green onions in your cooking.
As a Garnish
Green onions are commonly used as a garnish. Sliced thinly, they can be sprinkled on soups, noodles, and stir-fries. You can also use them to garnish egg dishes, like omelets and egg salad, or mix them into potato salad.
If you’re looking for a way to add more greens to your salads, green onions are a great choice. You can slice them into thin rounds or chop them to mix with other vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados. They also pair well with grains (like quinoa or couscous salads).
In Sauces and Dressings
Green onions add delicious flavor to sauces and salad dressings. They can be chopped and mixed with herbs like garlic or parsley to create marinades for meats or fish. For a simple salad dressing, combine chopped green onions with lemon or lime juice, olive oil, salt, and a touch of honey.
In Soups and Stews
The mild flavor of green onions complements the ingredients of many soups and stews. Add chopped green onions to a classic chicken noodle soup or stir them into a hearty beef stew before serving. If you love Asian cuisine, include green onions in your next bowl of ramen, pho, or miso soup.
Green onions are a popular ingredient in stir-fries, bringing both color and flavor. They taste great with other vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms. You can mix them into the dish or use them as a garnish.
In Pancakes and Breads
Make traditional scallion pancakes by folding chopped green onions into a savory pancake batter. Or mix them into cheesy biscuits or homemade bread.
Remember, green onions can be used both raw and cooked, depending on your preference and desired dish outcome. There are plenty of different ways to incorporate green onions into your meals, so have fun experimenting.
Recipes with Onions
Tips for Buying Fresh Green Onions
When selecting green onions at the store, look for fresh-looking green tops and clean white ends. The stems should be firm, and the leaves should not be wilted or damaged. Keep in mind that one medium green onion is equivalent to about 2 tablespoons of sliced green onions.
How to Store Green Onions
Once you’ve purchased your green onions, proper storage helps to maintain their freshness. Here are three of our favorite ways to store green onions:
- Take a mason jar and fill it with about an inch of water. Then add the green onions with the root end entirely submerged in water. Make sure to change out the water every few days.
- Slice them and store them in a sealed mason jar in the fridge.
- Wrap them in a damp paper towel (not dripping wet otherwise they may get slimy) and place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Then refrigerate the bag. This keeps onions in a humid environment which can extend their freshness.
How to Freeze Green Onions
Freezing green onions is a great way to preserve their flavor and texture for longer periods of time. Follow these easy steps:
- Clean the green onions under cool water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Gently pat them dry with a clean towel.
- Trim off the root ends and any wilted or damaged tops.
- Lay the green onions on a cutting board and chop them into the desired size, whether you prefer minced or larger pieces. (see cutting methods)
- Spread the chopped green onions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they are not touching each other.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 1-2 hours or until the green onions are frozen.
- Once frozen, transfer the green onions to a freezer-safe bag, label it with the date, and store it in the freezer for up to 10 months (for best quality and freshness).
When ready to use them, add the frozen green onions directly to your dish, as they will thaw quickly.
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