How to freeze raw onions

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Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Extension in Lancaster County

If you like cooking with fresh onions, but frequently toss an unused portion, try freezing them! The following method works for fully mature onions:

  1. Wash, peel and chop raw, fully mature onions into about 1/2" pieces. There is no need to blanch onions.
  2. Bag and freeze in freezer bags for best quality and odor protection. Package -- flat -- in freezer bags to hasten freezing and make 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.
  3. Use 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. (Will keep 3-6 months.)

Did you know ...

According to the National Onion Association:

  • After you purchase onions, you should store them in a cool, dry, ventilated place — not in your refrigerator. Avoid storing onions in plastic bags during storage outside of the refrigerator; the lack of air movement will reduce their storage life. After onions are chopped or sliced, store them in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days

  • One medium onion yields about 1 cup of chopped onions.

  • Use low or medium heat when sautéing onions. High heat will make them bitter.

  • Reduce crying when cutting onions by first chilling them for 30 minutes. Leave the root end intact when cutting onions. The root end has the highest concentration of the sulphuric compounds that cause tearing.

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