Have you ever found yourself with more onions than you can use? If you’re anything like me, you probably hate to see good food go to waste.
That’s why today, we’re talking about an often overlooked, yet super helpful kitchen hack: freezing onions!
Yes, you heard that right. In this post, we’re going to break down the steps, benefits, and best uses of frozen onions.
How to freeze onions
To freeze onions, chop them into desired size, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Then, transfer the frozen onions to a freezer-safe bag or container and store them for up to 6 months.
Freezing onions is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get you started:
- Peel the onions and chop them to your preferred size. If you’re not a fan of teary eyes, a sharp knife can help minimize this!
- Spread out the chopped onions on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t clump together. This is called flash freezing and it helps keep the onions from forming a solid mass in the freezer.
- Put the baking sheet into the freezer until the onions are frozen solid, which usually takes about 2-3 hours.
- Once they’re frozen, quickly transfer the onions into freezer-safe bags or containers. Seal them tightly, making sure to push out any excess air before closing.
- Label your bags or containers with the date. Frozen onions can last up to 3-6 months.
What are the benefits of freezing onions?
Freezing onions comes with a multitude of benefits. It’s a real time-saver for those busy weeknight dinners when chopping vegetables can feel like a chore.
Plus, it helps reduce waste if you find yourself with a surplus of onions that you can’t use up before they spoil.
Another great benefit is that it saves money! If you come across a sale or a bulk buy deal, you can stock up on onions without worrying about them going bad.
And let’s not forget, with frozen onions on hand, you have an essential ingredient at the ready for a variety of dishes anytime.
Find out how to tell if an onion is bad to that you know what to look for before it’s too late to freeze them.
How to use frozen onions
So, you’ve frozen your onions. Now what? Well, the beauty of frozen onions is that they can be used in nearly any dish where the onions need to be cooked. Soups, stews, stir-fries, casseroles—you name it!
There’s no need to thaw them before using, simply toss them straight into your pot or pan.
Just remember, frozen onions might have a slightly softer texture compared to fresh ones. That’s why they’re perfect for dishes where the onions will be cooked down and their texture won’t matter as much.
Do onions freeze well?
Now, you may be asking, “Do onions freeze well?” The answer is a resounding yes! While the texture of thawed onions won’t be as crisp as fresh ones, their flavor remains pretty much the same. This makes them a great addition to cooked dishes.
Freezing doesn’t affect the nutritional value of onions either. You’ll still get the same beneficial compounds and nutrients found in fresh onions, which is a huge win if you’re looking to maintain a healthy diet.
Storing frozen onions
Storing frozen onions correctly is crucial to maintaining their flavor and longevity. As mentioned before, it’s best to store frozen onions in freezer-safe bags or containers to prevent freezer burn.
Try to use up your frozen onions within 3-6 months. While they’ll still be safe to eat after this time, you might start to notice a decline in their flavor and texture.
Be sure to label your bags or containers with the date so you can keep track of how long they’ve been in the freezer!
When it comes to frozen foods, it’s important to know how to determine if they have gone bad. I have dedicated an entire post to it, which includes valuable insights on recognizing signs of spoilage in frozen foods. Feel free to check it out for detailed information on this topic.
Frequently asked questions about how to freeze onions
In conclusion, freezing onions is a practical and economical method to have this essential ingredient readily available. It may take some practice, but the process is generally simple. Use frozen onions in your cooking and observe the results.
How to freeze onions
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Freezer bags or airtight containers
- Fresh onions of choice (yellow, white, or red)
- Begin by peeling your onions and removing the ends. Ensure that you're working on a clean, sanitized surface.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the onions into your desired size and shape. You might want them finely chopped, into larger dice, or in rings, depending on what you plan to use them for in the future.
- Spread out the sliced or chopped onions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are not overlapping. This is called flash freezing, and it will help to prevent the onions from sticking together in one big clump.
- Once the onions are completely frozen (usually after 1-2 hours), transfer them into freezer bags or airtight containers. Don't forget to squeeze out as much air as possible if using bags. For easy use later, consider freezing in portion sizes you commonly use in recipes.
- Use a permanent marker to write the date and the contents on each bag or container.