Kitchen Tip: Green Onions

Not too long ago I finally caved and joined Pinterest aka the biggest time waster ever. But it’s a place full of inspiration, so it’s totally okay. Within the last few weeks I spotted a picture of green onions from Homemade Serenity. You’re probably thinking, why on earth would a picture of green onions catch my eye – right? She gave an awesome tip that for whatever reason I never thought of.

The next time you buy or pull green onions from your garden – don’t throw away the  bottom bulb portion. Cut off what you need for your recipe, dinner, etc then toss the bulbs into a glass with a bit of water. They’ll begin to grow and give you new green onions to use!

I wasn’t totally sold on it so I had to try it out. I happened to see this just before making another batch of amazing stuffed pork wontons, which also happened to be just before we lost power due to snowtober (as the media and twitter hashtag was calling it). Seriously, just before power went out I finally finished making them all. It was a bit nerve wracking wondering if I’d get a warm meal made before it finally went out for good.

Day 2:

Day 6:

Day 12:

My 4 year old was excited to see them grow. She kept saying “the salad is growing!”

Another tip I came across was to chop up your green onions and freeze the extras. Which I’m totally trying as I type this. I’m again not totally sold on that idea. I’m wondering if freezing will ruin them. I guess only time will tell! If you’ve tried the freezing method, let me know what you think… just as good as fresh or not worth the hassle?

So the journey begins again…

(And if you’re a time waster like me (and so many others) feel free to follow my boards and pin whatever you love from here as well!)

**Updated to add: changing out the water every other day is a great idea. Some have even found that they prefer planting their onions in a small pot of dirt or regrowing outside, especially helpful if you’re sensitive to onion smells.

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90 Responses to “Kitchen Tip: Green Onions”

  1. #
    leoans — July 21, 2013 at 1:45 am

    wow this is great idea i never think

  2. #
    Christine - Gold Coast Australia — October 6, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Not just for onions but it works for all herbs – chop your left over herbs as you would to use them and put them into ice- cube trays with fresh water and freeze them
    . You can then take them out of the trays and put them into zip lock bags, label and date. When needed just take out however many you need. The ice melts and the herbs are as fresh and colorful as when you first froze them.

  3. #
    Holly — October 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    You can also freeze them in garlic butter, in an ice cube tray, to use in soups later. Or any herb really, I just can’t remember where it was I saw this. I’m sure if you google freezing herbs it will get you some more info. I haven’t tried it yet.

  4. #
    Linda Cubranich — December 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I was happy to see that you can also put the bulbs into a small pot of dirt, as this is what I recently did. Since i am in Ohio, they are in front of a south facing window in the sun. I am hopeful.

  5. #
    reekaa — March 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Have been doing this for a long time…seems to work better with unchlorinated water and change the water every few days. Have been freezing the green for years …works just fine.

  6. #
    Marlene — March 15, 2014 at 3:16 am

    I saw this tip a long time ago on another site, and it never quite made sense to me. Leftover green onion bulbs? Don’t you use the whole thing, white part as well as green? I do not personally know a single soul who only uses the green part! In fact some people I know do the opposite, they use the white and a little of the green, but toss most of the green. Nor have I ever seen a recipe that called for only the green part.

    • #
      Rachel — March 15, 2014 at 9:13 am

      I’ve only seen the opposite and have only personally used the greens. They’re a great addition to many recipes, both as part of the filling or garnish.

  7. #
    Frances — April 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I find the idea of only using the green very interesting. I’m in the deep South, Texas that is, and have eaten green onions all my life…starting with the bulb and continuing down to most or all of the green (known as the chives.) I can’t imagine leaving the bulb uneaten!

    • #
      Rachel — April 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Technically speaking, the green part of a green onion or scallion are not chives as those are an entirely different plant. :) As for the bulb, it’s all how one was raised and the various recipes they are exposed to or choose to make. Some call for all, some do not.

  8. #
    L. — April 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    This is a Terrific idea! It always grated my, well grated to spend that much money at the store when I knew how easy it is to grow them. I just love it.

  9. #
    Mary Richter — May 4, 2014 at 9:26 am

    This is a great idea for people who have nowhere to plant outside and for northern climes. Several years ago I realized that I did not have to pull my scallions out of the ground but cut them just below the soil I do the same with chives. Also purchased organic leeks with the roots still on from my local farm market a few months ago. I cut about a half inch of white at the root end and planted it in my garden. They are now 10 inches tall.

  10. #
    Don — May 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Great idea and I just happen to have some on my counter. I am going to try to grow some too lol And I too, will freeze them. May never have to buy green onions again ha ha :)

  11. #
    Melody — May 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I cut up the tops and take a damp paper towel .. put the greens down and wrap up in the damp paper towel – them put into a zip lock bag and freeze… for me they come out as fresh as when you cut them up.

  12. #
    Sylvia Neal — May 5, 2014 at 1:18 am

    I have this growing in a north window and doing great. I just wonder if it should be blanched before freezing. I also have celery re-growing beside it. The celery is doing great. I also have a tomato plant that I planted from seed, kept over winter in house and it’s blooming. The story is, I bought a tomato to take to beach last summer. I saved some seeds and wrapped in paper towel. When I got home from beach the seeds had sprouted so I planted two. One took off and I have a nice plant. I tried the celery once before and it regrew into something that looked like broccoli and was bitter. made me think of GMO.

  13. #
    Mary Richter — May 5, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I freeze chives and scallions all the time and don’t blanch. They come out great

  14. #
    Don — May 28, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I did it and it works lol

  15. #
    Don — May 28, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I meant I grew some in water just like you said lol

  16. #
    MarciaLittle — June 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I love to freeze green onions, they work good for anything you are going to cook, just not pretty as a garnish, kind of soggy-the green parts anyway. I freeze homeground chives as well, and they cab be used as a garnish because they are so skinny.

  17. #
    Debbie — August 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Love this idea!. Will immediately try to grow green onions. Thanks.

  18. #
    Estela — October 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I saw your pin of the green onion from Pinterest and was interested in it. I had a question about re-growing the onion bulbs. I have leftover onion greens from the grocery store that I don’t want to throw away. If I cut the old greens that is rotting away. Could I still regrow them, even though they are from the grocery store, not the garden?

    • #
      Rachel — October 29, 2014 at 7:41 am

      As long as you still have the bulb portion and that is in good shape then you can certainly attempt regrowing them. You’re not out any money if it doesn’t work for some reason. Good luck! :)

  19. #
    Lynne — November 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I have wanted to try this for awhile and just bought green onions from the farmers market today. One question….does it require direct sunlight to grow? I don’t actually have any window sills so would have to place it near a north or south window. I’ve only used the green part – never the while bulbs.

    • #
      Rachel — November 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Sunlight is always ideal for plant growth.

  20. #
    emily w — November 29, 2014 at 11:13 am

    good tip if you use only the green parts. here in the south, we use/eat the white bulb part (roots trimmed off) as well as the green tops.

    • #
      Rachel — November 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

      For most recipes it depends on what is called for but yes, in different areas of the country people sometimes use them in different ways.

  21. #
    Sharon Horner — April 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Can you use the same onions to keep it going, or do you need to buy a new bunch each time?

    • #
      Rachel — April 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Eventually you would likely need to switch them out for a new bunch.

  22. #
    Connie Williamson — October 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    When I buy green peppers and onions for a fried macaroni dish we like, I always chop up extra. I put them in smaller portions in fold top sandwich bags, roll them up and put several in a quart freezer bag to pull out for later use in casseroles, omelets, etc. Big time saver as when you freeze them, they are partially “cooked” when thawed! Does NIT affect the taste. Great for cooking dishes, but not a good idea for munching.

  23. #
    Maria E — May 8, 2016 at 10:44 am

    I tried doing this and it really does work. Sadly a couple of them didn’t stand up right and didn’t make it. Thanks for the rubber band idea, you are brilliant! I’m trying it your way for my next batch.

    • #
      Kenneth McLaws — September 12, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Grow them in a narrow vase, they stand up great.

  24. #
    Isabel — April 8, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Reading this in 2020 Covid 19 quarantine… pinterest lead me here lol. Glad I found your site will definitely bookmark it and keep reading :D

    • #
      Rachel — April 9, 2020 at 8:39 am

      I’m glad you found me! I hope you enjoy the tips and recipes. :)

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