Can You Freeze Onions? Yes – Here’s How

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Magda Ehlers

Fresh onions last quite a long time in the cupboard or fridge. So freezing onions is a last resort method. We’ll take a look at what you should keep in mind. 

Thanks to their skin, onions keep fresh for a relatively long time. You can store them in a box in a cool and dark place, like a cellar or bottom of the pantry.

We’ve all experienced it: a recipe calls for half an onion and you have no idea what to do with the rest. You can always choose to ignore the recipe and use the whole onion, of course. But if you like following recipes exactly, simply store the leftover onion in a resealable container in the fridge. It’ll keep there for another two to three days. If you can’t do that because you either have no way of using them in the near future or because won’t be home to use them, there’s always the option of freezing onions. 

Keep in Mind: frozen onions become mushy when they thaw out, making them suitable only for cooking and frying.

Can You Freeze Onions?

chopping onions
Consider chopping up multiple vegetables to freeze in one go to save time. If you know you always use onions, carrots and celery together, freeze them in ready made packs. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Jenna Ebert)

You absolutely can freeze onions! Here’s what you should keep in mind:

You should not freeze onions as whole pieces. Why? It takes longer for larger pieces to freeze, and subsequently defrost when you take them out of the freezer. Therefore, cut your onion into small pieces before you freeze them to save yourself the hassle when you defrost them.

2 Easy Ways to Preserve Onions in the Freezer

1. Spread the onion pieces out on a tray and then place it in the freezer. Once frozen, you can pit them into a resealable container and take out the portions you need. This ensures the pieces won’t stick together and will be less mushy when thawed. The downside is that it takes up a lot of space and the smell can spread a lot.

2. Put sliced onions in ice cube trays and freeze them that way. This is great because you can add the frozen diced onions directly to your cooking when you need them. While this saves space, it can also cause the strong onion odor to spread.

Conclusion: if your onions are on the verge of spoiling, you should freeze them to avoid unnecessary food waste. Choose whichever method suits you best. We recommend storing onions in the fridge and using them up within a timely manner, but if you can’t, use your freezer!

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Zwiebeln einfrieren: Wann ist das sinnvoll? 

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