Onions are one of those ingredients that can make a dish if you have them or break one if you don’t. Really one of the best things out there to really enhance a recipe.
So, you ended up on this page trying to figure out if you can freeze onions and store them for future use in the freezer.
We answer that question, along with presenting you with some important information to storing this bulb.
Can You Freeze Onions?
Yes, you absolutely can freeze onions and it is the storage method of choice if you have cut/chopped a raw onion and had leftovers that you wanted to store and use at a later date.
The great thing about freezing onions is that you can keep them up to 12 months or longer in the freezer. When stored properly, the onions will retain its quality, but keep in mind that there is slight changes to the onions that
snappy texture disappears as onions freeze. What’s left preserves the flavorful punch that onions bring to the table, but you’ll find it works best added to hot dishes, like soups, stews, and browned ground meats.
Why Freezing Onions is a Good Idea
There are many reason why you should think about freezing onions, however the three most common are:
Saves You Time: Chopping onions sucks, but, if you had frozen onions on hand, you wouldn’t have to go through the process of peeling and chopping every time you needed some for a recipe or dish.
Once you start doing this, you would realize how much time you save by having access to onions when you need them.
Always Have Some on Hand: If you are doing a recipe that calls for onions, you can always pop into the freezer and take out the right amount you need, as you will always have access to fresh onions when you need them.
Value for Money: If you got a bunch of onions on sale and have more than you could possibly use, then freezing them is another option to consider.
According to the National Onion Association, the shelf life of onions is about a month, however, when you freeze them, you can keep them for up to a year.
So, if you see onions on sale, buy as much as you need, seeing that you can keep them for use at a later date.
How to Freeze Onions Properly: A Step-by-Step Guide
Freezing onions is quite an easy process and you only need the onions themselves and some freezer bags/containers to get the process started and completed.
Below we take a look at the steps to take to properly freeze onions.
Step1: Prepare Your Onions for Freezing
You are going to peel the onions and then slice or chop them up. If you are doing a lot of onions, consider using the food processor to get the whole batch chopped up.
Step 2: Separate into Portions
It is a good idea to portion out your chopped onions before freezing. It makes life easier, as you will now have access to the exact portion you need for whatever recipe you plan on using them in.
Step 3: Place in a Freezer Bag/Container
You are now going to take your chopped or sliced onions portions and place them in individual freezer bags.
It is important to use freezer bags and not regular sandwich bags. Sandwich bags are too thin and there is the possibility that the onions could absorb various scents from whatever you have stored in the freezer.
Step 4: Label the Bag
It is always a good idea to label the bag before you place it in the freezer. This allows you to see the date in which it went into the freezer and you can have an idea as to how long they have been sitting there.
Remember, for optimal freshness, you can store cut onions in the freezer for up to a year.
Thawing Out Frozen Onions
For the most part, frozen onions can be used with little to no thawing if you are using them in cooked dishes such as casseroles, stews, soups, etc.
If you do wan the onions thawed, then the whole process is quite easy. You can take out the servings size that you need from the freezer and just let them sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes.
Once full defrosted, you can use in burgers, sandwiches and other dishes that call for fresh onions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are just some of the questions some people have asked as it relates to freezing onions.
Can You Freeze Whole Onions
Yes, you can freeze whole onions. If you do plan on placing whole onions in the freezer, you should blanch them before you store them.
Blanch the whole onions for 3 minutes (smaller onions) to 7 minutes (larger onions). Cool immediately, drain and dry the onions. Once finished, you can place the whole onions in a freezer bag for storage.
Is It Possible to Freeze Caramelized Onions?
Like cut and whole onions, you are also able to freeze caramelized onions with no problems.
It can take a really long time to create caramelized onions and it would be easier to pop them out of a storage and use them when needed.
You can cook up a big batch, let it cool and store in freezer bags/containers. It is a good idea to put them individual servings, so that you can take out the caramelized onions you want when needed.