How to Freeze Onions in a Few Easy Steps

Save Time and Money By Freezing Chopped Onions

Cooking and chopping onions
Image(s) by Sara Lynn Paige/Getty Images

Frozen chopped onions are great to have on hand when you need to whip up dinner in a hurry. That's why they sell them at the grocery store and charge you for the convenience. You can make your own, so you have less prep work when you are putting together a dish. You might also want to freeze leftover onion when you chopped more than you needed or you only used half of an onion in a recipe. Learn how to prepare your own frozen onions, and you won't need to pay a premium or waste any onions.

Frozen onions are best used in cooked dishes as they won't have the spring of fresh onions. You can use them in soup, stew, casseroles, chili, and anytime you would saute them with ground beef. They retain most of their flavor for three to six months when frozen.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time Required: Minimal

What You Need to Freeze Chopped Onions

  • Onions
  • A knife
  • Freezer bags: don't simply use ziplock sandwich bags. You need the thicker freezer bags both to keep the frozen onions in good shape and to minimize the leakage of odor into your freezer.
  • A freezer: Because onion odor can still manage to escape and permeate your freezer, you may want to consider whether to use an accessory freezer in your garage or basement.

Here's How to Freeze Chopped Onions

  1. Peel the onion.
  2. Chop or slice the onions to your desired size of pieces you would want for upcoming recipes.
  3. Place the chopped onions in a freezer bag, squeeze out as much air as possible; and seal it.
  1. It's best to freeze them in bags with just the portion you would typically use in a recipe. More, smaller bags are better than one large bag you'd need to open more than once to use up.
  2. Label the bag with the contents (Onions) and the date that you froze them. This way you will be able to use up the oldest ones first.
  1. For the easiest storage, first, freeze the bag flat on a cookie sheet in your freezer, pressing it to be as flat as possible. This way you don't end up with oddly shaped bags that don't stack well in your freezer.
  2. When the bags have frozen solidly after a couple of hours, you can now remove the cookie sheet and stack the bags in the freezer.

Using Frozen Chopped Onions

  1. Chopped onions tend to freeze in clumps. To remedy the problem, just bang the bag against the counter a few times before each use.
  2. Frozen onions are best used in soups, stews, and other cooked dishes.
  3. Use within three to six months for the best retention of flavor.

Warning: Onions have a strong smell when first frozen (we're talking strong enough to smell when the freezer door is shut). If you have a chest freezer in your basement or garage, consider sticking them in there for the first week or so. You may also discover that other items in the freezer now have an onion scent as well.

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