The Best Way to Store Whole and Cut Onions

published Oct 20, 2022
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The onion is a many-splendored thing. Humble but important, it’s essential to countless recipes, where it often plays a back-up role to the star ingredients. But make no mistake: The onion is its own star. So versatile and affordable, the onion is one of those ingredients you should have on-hand at all times. But how to keep your onions fresh for as long as possible? It’s easy — just follow these steps, and enjoy your alliums for weeks at a time.

How to Store Whole Onions

The best way to keep onions (meaning bulb onions like red, yellow, white, pearl, cipolline, and shallots) fresh is by storing them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. This could be on the counter or in your pantry. The National Onion Association says 45°F to 55°F is the ideal storage temperature. Keep onions away from other vegetables because they can cause each other to spoil faster. Properly stored whole onions can last three to four weeks, according to Robert Schueller, director of public relations for the specialty produce purveyor Melissa’s Produce.

How to Store Cut Onions

Once you’ve sliced into your onions, the remaining parts should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll last about a week in the fridge. Or, if you plan on cooking them, you can store diced or sliced onions in the freezer for a few months. Simply place them in labeled, dated resealable freezer bags, and then use them as you would fresh onions, but note that thawed, frozen onions will have a softer texture than fresh, raw onions.

What Is the Best Thing to Store Onions In?

For whole onions, these natural cotton onion bags are excellent at blocking light and allowing air to flow through. Plus, they can be hung on a hook, keeping your pantry floor free of clutter. For cut onions, look for airtight glass containers that can keep your fridge from getting perfumed with oniony smells. 

A Few of Our Favorite Onion Recipes