Can You Freeze Onions?
Freezing onions is super easy and works great. They thaw quickly and can even be thrown into cooked dishes right out of the freezer. Frozen, pre-chopped onions are handy and speed up weekday meal prep.
It seems that almost every recipe calls for an onion. I try very hard to keep at least one onion on hand because they truly are a pantry staple. However, there is a wide variety of onions and there is no way I will have the correct onion on hand when needed.
Sweet onions are my go to variety for soups and casseroles. They seem less irritating to my eyes when I chop them and their mildly sweet flavor really appeals to me. Red onions are delicious and tend to be needed for salads and other uses where uncooked onions are called for. I can admit that I never have a red onion on hand.
I have found that rather than chopping half of an onion and leaving the other half to go bad as it gets pushed farther and farther back into the fridge, I chop the other half and freeze it for later. This also works with red onions. I will purchase one or two at a time and slice or chop them when I get home so that they will be ready whenever I need them. Not only does this save a last minute grocery store run, but also speeds up weekday suppers.
How To Freeze Onions
Freezing onions is quick and easy. You will need a sharp knife, a cutting board, some high quality freezer safe bags, a freezer, and of course onions.
1. Chop as many onions as you wish into small pieces or slices. Simply think about how you will use the onions once thawed.
2. Divide the chopped/sliced onions into the portion size that you will use at a time.
3. Placed the divided onions into high quality freezer safe bags. Be sure to use freezer bags and not standard sandwich bags. The onions will be more susceptible to freezer burn and the onion odor will permeate the bag.
4. Remove as much air as possible while tightly sealing the bag.
5. Label and date each bag. Onions will retain their full flavor in the freezer for 4-6 months.
6. Flatten the bags and place in the freezer. Because the onion smell may permeate even a quality freezer bag, storing them in a garage or basement freezer might be advisable.
How To Thaw Onions
The onions will tend to freeze in clumps. No need to worry! Simply bang the bag gently on the counter to loosen the clumps. You can transfer the bag of onions to the refrigerator to thaw in a few hours. If you are pressed for time, simply throw them straight into the pan. They will cook up just like fresh.
Facts About Onions:
- Onions should be stored after purchase in a cool, dry, well ventilated place. Whole onions should never be stored in the refrigerator.
- Do not store whole onions in plastic as it will shorten their life by restricting air movement.
- Chopped or sliced onions should be placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
- Try to use lower heat to cook/saute onions. High heat will turn the onions bitter.
- Onions that have been chilled for about 30 minutes will cause less tearing when chopped.