When to Use the White Part Versus the Green Part of a Scallion

updated May 1, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Scallions may seem like a straightforward allium, but they tend to cause a bit of confusion — even among more seasoned cooks. Their mild, oniony bite adds flavor and color to practically any dish, but a few questions continue to pop up about how to use the white ends in comparison to the green tops. Turns out this kitchen workhorse begs an explanation.

(Image credit: Abbye Churchill)

Go Whole Allium

So how to use them? Do you dice up the white part and toss the remaining green part in the trash? Nope! Perhaps the best thing about scallions is that you can use them in their entirety — including the ends with roots attached. The white part tends to have a sharper, more intense onion flavor and is also more fibrous, so it’s best cooked instead of eaten raw (although it can certainly be eaten raw if you enjoy the pungent taste; it’s still less assertive than a raw white or yellow onion).

The green part is milder and has a slightly grassy note, which means you can eat it raw — sprinkle over dumplings, toss in salads, or use as a garnish for soup.

When cooking both the white and green parts, toss the white part in the pan first to let it soften a bit before adding the green part since it does take a few more seconds to get tender. Then pat yourself on the back for not wasting a thing.

Just a Reminder

It’s important to note that scallions are the same thing as green onions. The terms are often used interchangeably at grocery stores and in recipes, but they are one in the same.