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Monday, March 14, 2022

Diced and Ready to Use Frozen Onions.

Diced and Ready to Use Frozen Onions. We have been dicing and freezing onions for a few years now. And while this is not my favorite task in the kitchen, I am glad I only peel and dice onions once every month, and so will you! Plus you will save money with less food waste!

An investment of time now saves time and money later!

It takes about an hour to peel, dice, and freeze a bag of onions from the market. And I do have to be honest, it is not my favorite hour in the kitchen, but it is the best hour I spend. But why? Well there are actually a few reasons, so here goes:

Onions are shipped from the farmer to the marketplace and often during that journey, they will often be too cold and the outside layer(s) will get frosty leading to rot when thawed. It can also happen in a refrigerated truck or at the warehouse. And we all know, that deteriorating produce is never a good thing...because deterioration spreads to all the other food directly around the rot.

This onion shows signs of mild frost/freezing on the upper edges. They always look good in a produce box or even in the bag. This onion looked fine before I cut it in half. So it would have continued to rot in my root cellar and spread the rot to all the onions touching it. 

Plus the dreaded aging process!

Sometimes the onions are maturing faster than you can use them up, like this one which has sprouted. 

As the onion continues to grow and support the sprout (new growth) the part of the onion that you want to use is drying out and will soon be too tough or mature to eat. 

And of course, there is the simple fact that everything that grows, will reach the end of its freshest point and begin to age in preparation for composting back to the earth. Which means there can be a lot of waste with onions. To prevent this, we purchase dice and freeze a bag of onions when they come home from the market. 

Now that I have told you the downside of storing onions until used, let's talk about that hour invested in prep work to peel, dice and freeze a bag of onions. 

A cleaner work surface when cooking.

Personally, I have always felt onions are messy. Small pieces of the roots and the outside papery skin always seem to be left behind when you cut and peel an onion. Annoying yes, but not critical. When I process a whole bag of onions, I can focus on the task and catch those little pieces. 

Reduced fumes!

And then there are the fumes that can sting at your eyes. I am fairly lucky in that department, my eyes only water with the strongest of onions. But others I know are not so lucky. My daughter has a pair of "onion goggles" to wear when she cuts onions. 


And my favorite reason is that when you have a bag of diced onions in the freezer, every recipe goes faster and with less clean-up!

In this house, we measure onions in much the same way many measure garlic, with the heart and not always bound by a recipe listed amount. With that said, I wanted to establish a measurement for a medium-sized onion. And a funny thing occurred, I did not have a medium-sized onion in the last bag of onions we purchased, they were all super large. So when I decided to write up this method for Diced and Ready to Use Frozen Onions, I had to hunt for a medium-sized onion at the grocery store...

My method.

My preferred method for dicing an onion is to cut the onion in half from the top through the taproot. Peel back the paper layer and any outside onion layers that are dry or not tender and usable. With these outside layers peeled back over the roots, they become a little handle to hold on to as you dice the onion. Cut slices lengthwise from top to bottom, then crosswise to get diced onion pieces. 

To get a "standard for recipes measurement", one medium-sized onion equals approximately 1 cup of diced onion. This may be helpful for those cooking from vintage recipes that specify onions by size versus measuring cup amounts. 

Once all the onions have been diced, I place them in heavy-duty freezer bags. And due to the strong odor of diced onions, I double bag them. Fortunately, the outside bag can be used again and again! 

I do not date or worry about storage time for the bags of onions, they will be gone soon, and it will be time to fetch another bag and get dicing! But it is not just diced onions we keep around for quick meals in the kitchen, we also enjoy having Diced and Ready to Use Celery as well as my original frozen convenience product Ready to Use Minced Garlic available to lend a hand in our busy kitchen!

A final thought, depending upon the moisture content in the onions, they may cling together while freezing. The first time you pull the bag from the freezer you may think, "ugggh a solid frozen mess!" 

But never fear, the flat side of a meat tenderizer hammer will take care of the problem. A couple of quick taps on the outside of the bag and you will have freed the onion pieces from each other. 




Recipe featured at: 
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Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household featured at Crafty Creators Link Party.

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Scratch Made Food! & DIY Homemade Household featured at Grace at Home Link-up and Blog Hop. 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Thank you. This post was extremely helpful and I have experienced everything you said with onions in my pantry. I'm going to give it a try. Any advice for potatoes? In Florida ( and in Pennsylvania but not as much) they start to sprout within a few days of buying a bag..

    1. Sorry, no advice yet for potatoes! But I am working on it...thanks for stopping by!

  2. I can see that this is a great way to plan ahead and avoid waste.

  3. I know what you mean about onions being messy. Freezing onions in a glass jar would be such a practical "sustainable" idea for me without using plastic. Have a great week. Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

    1. Nancy I love your idea for storage, but for our large family we go through too many onions for glass jar storage! While I used new bags for this post, often times at home I reuse bags or other reusable items, and always reuse the outside bag as indicated. Plastic is the one item we are phasing out here in our little homestead.

  4. I can't believe I have never thought about this! I throw away onions all the time. I will have to start doing this! Thank you!

    1. Right! There is nothing worse than going for an onion and it is not usable! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  5. I am always so grateful to have pre-cut onions in the freezer when making something that needs just a handful of them like a breakfast casserole. Your tip about how to measure out a medium onion is so helpful! This is a really useful post!

  6. I did this a few times when we got lots of onions in our farmer's boxes and I knew we would never use them all up as we don't really like onions. I found that having them cut up and ready to use I often tossed a handful in to whatever I was cooking up.

    1. Onions are quite good for us, but I know they are not everyone's favorite. We seem to use them a lot, and this process really helps save waste and prep time as well as clean-up! Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I keep both onions and garlic in the freezer -- so easy!

  8. Thanks for sharing at My Big Fat Menopausal Life's Share the Wealth party. Have a wonderful week!! And happy Spring!

  9. Wow, I've never thought to do this! It's such a great way to save time and money (which is soooo important right now!). If I peeled a bag of onions, they would last me a year, so an hour in the kitchen would be so worth it. I'm like you, my eyes never water when I cut onions. Thanks for sharing this with us on Crafty Creators at! I'll be featuring your post this Thursday. If you come over and follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, I'll share your post across all of my accounts (FB, IG, Twitter, MeWe, Pinterest, etc) over the weekend or just before the next party. Don't forget to come by and grab your "I was featured" button!
    Niki ~ Life as a LEO Wife

  10. This is so helpful especially that some of us hates slicing onion every single time. Thanks a bunch for sharing at Fiesta Friday party! I hope to see you next week.

  11. Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing at the FWF party!

  12. Okay, this is great advice. I've thrown away too many onions because I thought they were past saving--I'm so glad to get this tip!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

  13. Such a simple thing, but it would really make life easier. As long as you have ample freezer space, this seems like a great idea!

    Thanks for sharing this at the Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop 12!

    Have a great week!

    Ridge Haven Homestead


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