Learn How to Cut an Onion, whether white, sweet, yellow or red!, using this very unique method: with minimal cuts, maximum efficiency, and the least risk of cutting your fingers!

One whole onion on a wooden counter with diced onions underneath it.

The Best Way to Cut an Onion

I’ve been told by numerous people that I cut an onion in a very weird way.

Maybe it’s because my Mom was left-handed, or perhaps she just made it up…

But you know what?

It’s hands down the best method I’ve found that uses the least amount of cuts to remove the skin.

The trick? You start by cutting both the ROOT and TOP ends of the onion. Then you have a base that easily lays flat, making it safer for cutting! It’s also MUCH easier to cut here since the ends are much thinner than the middle of the onion.

Plus, by using the thicker (and often sharper!) portion of the knife, you limit the risk of cutting your fingers!

A whole onion placed on a wooden countertop with diced onions scattered throughout and a knife on the side.

How to Cut an Onion

Once you know how to chop, slice and dice an onion, cutting becomes an easy and quick part of the cooking process.

1. Cut and Remove the Roots

Place the onion on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to trim the roots and the top off.

The end of an onion is removed with a knife on a cutting board.

2. Cut it in Half

Place the onion on the cutting board with the flat-side down and cut it in half.

The onion is cut in half on a wooden cutting board and a knife.

3. Remove the Peel

Remove the peel and outer layer from both halves. (This is the thin, papery feeling portion of the onion!)

The skin is removed from the onion half.

4. Slice Onions

Place one half of the onion cut-side down. Make cuts vertically into thin or thick slices. Repeat with the other half.

Onion on a cutting board being cut into slices.

5. Dice Onions

Place one half of the onion cut-side down. Cut vertical slices that are parallel to each other, trying to keep the onion together as you go. Turn the sliced onion 90 degrees and make additional cuts that are perpendicular to the original cuts. Make cuts closer together for a finely diced onion and cuts further apart for a coarsely chopped onion.

Onion slices are diced into small pieces on a cutting board.
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FAQs

What are the benefits of eating onions?

Onions are a low calorie, nutrient dense food. One cup of diced onion, which is about one medium onion, has: 40 calories, calcium, potassium, and other minerals. Onions are a beneficial effect on heart health and are disease-fighting antioxidants.

What are the types of onions?

The most common types of onions are:
White onions: slightly pungent and good for using in cooked dishes,
Yellow onions: perfect for caramelizing,
Red onions: mild to spicy flavor that makes them delicious in salads and salsas, and
Sweet onions: mild, sweet and lovely in any dish that needs a raw onion.

What if I don’t have the right onion for my recipe?

Some recipes call for particular kinds of onions, but you can substitute one kind for another with no problem.

How to select an onion?

When picking onions, look for firm ones with dry skins. Stay away from any with brown spots or any parts that are soft and mushy.

How to store an onion?

Keep whole onions in a dry, cool spot on the counter away from sunlight up to several weeks.

How to store a cut onion?

Wrap partially used onions tightly in plastic wrap or put them in a sealed, airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 10 days.

How to freeze onions?

Freeze cut onions in a freezer bag for 3-6 months and then add them directly to soups or other cooked dishes.

Why does cutting onions make me cry?

Onions release chemical irritant known as syn-propanethial-S-oxide, which bothers glands in eyes until they release tears.

Stop crying while you’re cutting them by following these suggestions:

  • Chill the onions in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
  • Use a very sharp knife when cutting.
  • Cut under a kitchen fan or vent.
  • Wear glasses/goggles.
Perfectly golden, sweet, and savory caramelized onion recipe to add to steak or chicken.

Best Onion Recipes

Onions add pizzazz and flavor to so many dishes. The best onion recipes include:

Tap stars to rate!

4.58 from 7 votes

How to Cut an Onion

Learn How to Cut an Onion using this very unique method: with minimal cuts, maximum efficiency, and the least risk of cutting your fingers!
The end of an onion is sliced off.
Yield 1 serving
Prep 2 minutes
Total 2 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 onion sweet, red, or yellow

Instructions 

  • Using a sharp knife, trim the two ends of the onion.
    1 onion
    The end of an onion is removed.
  • Place the onion flat-side down onto the cutting board and cut it in half.
    The onion is cut in half.
  • Peel and remove the outer layer from both halves of the onion.
    The skin is removed from the onion half.
  • To cut into slices: Place one half of the onion cut-side down. Make cuts vertically into thin or thick slices. Repeat with the other half.
    The onion is cut into thick slices.
  • To dice an onion: Place one half of the onion cut-side down. Cut vertical slices that are parallel to each other, trying to keep the onion together as you go. Turn the sliced onion 90 degrees and make additional cuts that are perpendicular to the original cuts. Make cuts closer together for a finely diced onion and cuts further apart for a coarsely chopped onion.
    Onion slices are diced into small pieces.

Tap stars to rate!

4.58 from 7 votes

Video

Notes

Storage Directions
Keep cut onions in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to to 10 days. Partially used onions can also be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Place cut onions in a freezer bag for 3-6 months and then add them directly to soups or other cooked dishes.
Recipe Tips
To reduce crying while cutting onions, try these tips:
  • Chill the onions in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before cutting.
  • Use a very sharp knife when cutting.
  • Cut under a kitchen fan or vent.
  • Wear glasses/goggles.

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 161mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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