If you like cooking with fresh onions, but frequently toss an unused portion, try freezing them! Use frozen onions in cooked products, such as soups and stews, ground meat mixtures, casseroles, etc. For most dishes, frozen onions may be used with little or no thawing.
- Select fully mature onions.
- Peel onion and then scrub with clean vegetable brush under running water.
- Chop or dice onion (about 1/4-inch to 1/2 inch pieces). There is no need to blanch onions.
- Freeze onions using one of the following methods:
- Dry Pack - Pour onions in freezer bags. Placing packages flat in the freezer helps the onions to freeze faster and makes it easier to break off sections as needed. Express out the air and place bags on cookie sheets or metal pans until onions are frozen. Then, restack bags to take up less room.
- Tray Pack - Freeze onions in a single layer on a clean cookie sheet with sides, about an hour or longer until frozen prior to packaging. Transfer to a freezer bag when frozen, excluding as much air as possible from the bag. The onions will remain separated for ease of use in measuring out for recipes.
Packaging Food for the Freezer
Suitable freezer containers include:
- Plastic freezer bags
- Freezer paper
- Freezer aluminum foil
- Plastic containers with the snowflake symbol
Containers not suitable for long-term freezer storage (unless they are lined with freezer bag or wrap) include:
- Plastic food storage bags
- Milk cartons
- Cottage cheese cartons
- Whipped cream containers
- Butter or margarine containers
- Plastic bread or other product bags
Storing Frozen Onions
To extend the time frozen foods maintain good quality:
- Package foods in material intended for freezing.
- Keep the temperature of the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
- It is generally recommended frozen vegetables be eaten within about 8 months for best quality.
Updated in 2020 by Kayla Colgrove. This article was originally writtten by Alice Henneman.