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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88 Responses to “Kitchen Tip: Green Onions”

  1. #
    1
    Elle — November 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Wow! That’s a great idea! I never knew you could do that. totally trying this. Thanks for sharing!

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    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — November 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. JUST SHUT IT!

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    Sandi — November 10, 2011 at 9:22 am

    You had me at green onions, they give such flavor to a variety of foods. This is a GREAT idea, retweeting now..thanks :)

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    Kris — November 10, 2011 at 10:21 am

    wow – thanks for this – I love Love LOVE green onion flavor, and I am definitely going to try this.

    please keep us updated on the freezing – although I don’t know if I’d want to try? :)

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    Nutmeg Nanny — November 10, 2011 at 10:46 am

    This is so cool! Pinterest is the devil….yet I always go back….hahaha :)

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    Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — November 10, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I have some green onions in the fridge and I am totally going to do this with them! Awesome!!

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    *Just Fran* — November 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I just tried regrowing green onions as well, and am amazed at the tall sprouts in the glass on my windowsill. Haven’t tried freezing, but am anxious to hear how that works.

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    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — November 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    I saw this tip on Pinterest and tried it — LOVE IT! It really is so neat. I was just like a 4-year-old myself ;)

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    Cassie — November 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I saw this same tip on Pinterest and I tried it but they definitely didn’t grow as quickly as yours did. I use more of the white so mine didn’t start as tall as yours did. I’ll try that next time too. They look so beautiful!

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    Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic} — November 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Coolest thing EVER. See, that’s what Pinterest is for! :)

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    Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} — November 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    So cool! Can’t wait to try it!
    Following you on Pinterest now!

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    DessertForTwo — November 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    So cool!

    I’ve heard that freezing green onions gives them an ‘off’ flavor. I think I read that on PW’s website for some reason. It doesn’t make sense because you can freeze every other type of onion. I have some casserole recipes that specifically tell you to leave out the green onion if you are freezing it though.

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    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — November 10, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    This is amazing! Definitely trying this next time I cook with green onions. I was actually going to tell you exactly what the commenter above me said – I read it somewhere on the Pioneer Woman’s site as well that they taste weird after freezing…I want to say it was on her twice baked potato recipe.

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      Rachel — November 10, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      I’m definitely going to test between fresh and frozen when I get around to it to compare. If it doesn’t work – not a huge loss at all. It’s a free experiment in a way. :)

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    Asmita — November 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. I cook all the time with green onions and will try this out at home. Would love to see my 5 year old’s reaction.

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    JulieD — November 12, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Simply amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

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    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — November 13, 2011 at 9:03 am

    This is such a fun idea. I’ve used frozen green onions with no noticeable flavor change. Of course you wouldn’t want to use them as a garnish or where you were using them for texture. You’ll have to let me know what you thought.

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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    These ideas sound great! Too bad I can’t find green onions in a lawn nearby, haha :) I do have some in my fridge, which I could continue to grow though! Love this.

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    Tracey — November 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Best.tip.ever! I am so excited to try this :)

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    Jamie — November 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve frozen green onions in the past. They get really mushy, so you could use them in a recipe but not at all for a garnish. If you are going to regrow them on your window sill, freezing them is almost a moot point! I would rather cook with fresh any day!

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      Rachel — November 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what freezing would do to them since I didn’t actually need those at the time. Not a lost cause at all. I agree that fresh quality is best for topping! :)

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    Diane {Created by Diane} — December 1, 2011 at 1:28 am

    LOVE this idea and can’t wait to try this :)

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    betty — January 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Just so you know celery does the same thing, put the end root in after and watch it grow, its awesome!

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      Rachel — January 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks for the tip! My kids really enjoyed watching the green onions grow so I’ll have to try the celery sometime. :)

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    Debra — January 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I got sick on green onions when I was prego…it’s been 2 years now and I can finally think about green onions without feeling ill. I think I may have to give this a try. Thanks for the tip.

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    fruit.root.leaf. — January 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Found this tip on Pinterest, too – thanks for the idea! We seldom buy green onions, though we like them, b/c it seems like such an indulgence. If this works for us, in our low-light northern winters, it will hit my sweet spot for so many things – homegrown, local, ingeneous ideas, and frugal approach to delish cuisine.

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    Rachael — January 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Normally when I have an overabundance of green onions, I dehydrate them instead of freezing them. They rehydrate well in just about any recipe that has a little moisture in them.

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    Linda Culp — February 18, 2012 at 11:16 am

    i froze the pieces and used them on a salad and could NOT tell they had been frozen. fantastic idea!!

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    cathy schilling — March 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Such a great idea!! Thanks so much!
    Definitely going to soak my scallions!

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    Laura — March 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I have been doing this for the past 2 months with great success. Recently, however, my onion roots have turned to mush – maybe not good for sitting in water for so long? Any ideas on how to treat this problem of prevent it?

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      Rachel — March 16, 2012 at 8:10 am

      It could just be a matter of letting them dry out for a bit or not having quite as much water in the jar. Too much water will definitely cause very wet onions and sogginess over time.

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    michelle — April 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    This works wonderful. Grows faster than in dirt.

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    Sonja Philip — April 16, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I had forgotten all about this… my mom used to do it all the time… I tried it recently – but put it in the fridge, cuz I thought I remembered her doing that… obviously I was wrong :) so I actually did a search on pinterest and discovered my mistake!

    Rachel – the site where I originally found this old/new idea said to change the water every day or every other… perhaps that will solve it… I’m looking around at all the different posts to gather different tips

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    Sarah — June 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I am going to add green onions to my window sill “garden” today!!

    As for frozen, perfectly fine if the onions are being cooked. But stick with fresh if being used as garnish or after the cooking is done. My mom has used pre-chopped frozen for years, they keep well because they don’t hold water like some other greens (bell peppers, celery, etc.)

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    Judy — December 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    How much do you cut off to get the celery to grow? Fresh greens all winter?–wonderful!!

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    Pam — February 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

    We grow and freeze green onion all the time. Works great! If freezing in zip lock bag need to get all of the onions out of the bag while frozen. Much easier than when thawed.

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    kt — February 13, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Frozen method: Not quite as fresh – but still really tasty!
    And those bits usually go bad for me anyway – so it’s a win-win.

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    annbb — February 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    frozen green onions are great in things you cook. They’re too slimy in texture to put in salads and such – at least I thing so!

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    Carol — February 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    This sounds so good, the tops are what I like to use most.

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    Peggi — February 16, 2013 at 10:54 am

    What a great tip, thanks for sharing!
    As to the freezing of green onions, I cut them all up and freeze the first time I use them and they are great to have to add to all recipes requiring cooked green onion. I also chop a lot of other herbs and veggies to freeze including leeks, cilantro, parsley, peppers. They do get too watery to use like fresh but work fine in cooking.

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    tasha — February 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Direct sunlight help them grow faster..thanks for the tip…to help with the slimy part let them dry completely. I just put them in the sun for a day after I cut them. Then I freeze them and they will be good with salad.

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    Paige — February 19, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Great idea! Can’t wait to try. I freeze chives and green onions in ice trays with a little water added. If using in soup, throw the ice cube in. If you need just the onions, thaw and drain. The water prevents that ugly freezer burn.

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    Emily — February 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Tried this and it worked well! Cant believe how fast they grew!

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    LK — March 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I saw a tip about freezing herbs in olive oil to use later in cooking. I’ve done it with fresh parsley and it works great. It might work for onions, as well. They suggest ice cube trays.

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    Deb — March 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    You can do this with the base of a celery root too… set in water and the kids can almost watch it grow… impressive :)

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      Rachel — March 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I may have to try that. :)

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    Nisha — March 22, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    haha i saw this on the biggest time waster and came here :D
    i will do this the next time i buy green onions. i am up for anything simple at home that would save money. and grocery trips.

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    Shelby — March 29, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Green onions are hard to understand! They will not keep very long in the produce drawer- but washed well and chopped and put in a plastic container-they will be fresh and good for a week or more! I also wanted to share a tip for asparagus. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge standing up in about an inch or so of water. My Dollar store vase bought just for this purpose is about the same size and shape of a quart jar. Try it- no more throw away asparagus or green onions at my house.

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    Tracey — April 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Freezing your green onions won’t hurt their flavor at all. I generally buy several bunches, chop and freeze to always have on hand. But from now on, I will grow my own and then chop and freeze!

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    Kala — April 10, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Thank you for posting the idea.
    But do i need to change water everyday ?
    Will it let your kitchen or wherever you put smell too onion ?

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      Rachel — April 10, 2013 at 7:07 am

      You certainly can if you feel you need to. I believe I only added a little bit of fresh water as needed. As for the smell, that’s really a case by case basis – some people have high sensitivity to the smell than others and some onions are more fragrant than others.

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    Devon — April 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    This is the first time trying to grow from previously purchased. I do buy them in bulk when they go on sale and freeze them. They work wonderfully. I actually think it intensifies the flavor like grapes when frozen.

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    Anna — April 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    One of my friend tried it with romaine lettuce and it too worked.

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    Howdyho — May 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Freezing will be fine if you’re planning on using them in soups or casseroles. They wilt very quickly once you take them out of the freezer. I’ve “regrown” my green onions several times and you just have to remember to change the water every few days or it gets grimy. I’ve also planted mine in a pot with soil and regrown them that way. Works great!

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    maria — May 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments but do they need to be put in the sun?

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      Rachel — May 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      That would help them grow faster, yes.

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    Saundra — May 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I have tried this and the onions start sprouting and growing but at about 6 days they start to die…changing water every day or every other what am I doing wrong?

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      Rachel — May 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

      I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice or knowledge to what could be going wrong for you.

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