Freezing Onions

Extend your onion harvest by tossing excess bulbs in the freezer. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze.



Growing Onions

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Maybe your garden yielded an abundant onion crop and you lack a cool storage space. Or maybe you just found a great deal at the farmers’ market on specialty onions. As you wonder, “Can I freeze onions?”—know that you can. Freezing onions is really easy and super fast. Best of all, the resulting product is versatile in the kitchen.

Before freezing onions, it’s important to realize that freezing does change an onion. That pungent crunch that gives chicken and spinach salad a 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.

You can freeze onions with or without blanching. You must blanch when freezing whole onion bulbs. Use a blanching time of three minutes for small onions, seven minutes for larger. For safe freezing, blanching must heat onions all the way to the center of the bulb. One medium size onion yields roughly 1.25 cups chopped; a large onion yields 2.25 cups chopped.

To freeze chopped onions, wash bulbs well and chop as fine as you like. Thawed onions tend to lose their shape, so if you chop pieces super fine in a food processor, your thawed product may resemble mush. Slip chopped onions into zipper bags, arranging in a thin layer. To use, break off a piece of the frozen layer. Place the bag under running warm water to make removing a chunk easier. To use frozen onions, toss what you need into your dish and let them thaw as they cook.

Freeze Vegetables From Your Garden

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Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time

Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.

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Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?

Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.

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Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes

While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.

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Freeze Spinach for Soups and More

While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.

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Can You Freeze Kale?

Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze

Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.  

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor

While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.

©2013, Image courtesy of Ben Rollins

Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?

You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.

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How Do You Freeze Eggplant?

Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.

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Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year

Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.

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How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Steps to Freezing Cabbage

Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.

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Freeze Celery for Soups

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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Overstocked on Mushrooms?

Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.

©2010, How to Grow Practically Everything, Dorling Kindersley Limited

You can also individually quick-freeze onions by placing chopped onions on a parchment-lined tray and popping it in the freezer. When onions are frozen, shift them into freezer containers or bags. To use, grab or scoop out as many onions as you need.

If onions have sprouted and are soft, puree them in a food processor with a little olive oil. Freeze the slurry in ice cube trays. Store the onion cubes in a container or zipper bag. Use them to flavor soup or gravy. Consider caramelizing onions before freezing. This type of frozen onion brings slow-cooked flavor to time-crunched meal prep.

As you prep onions to freeze, avoid chopping-induced tears by chilling onions for 30 minutes prior to cutting. Start cutting from the shoot end, leaving the root end whole. The sulfur compounds in onions that cause tears are concentrated in the root end. Some cooks do all their chopping outdoors to allow breezes to remove sulfur-laden onion fumes. Others swear by lighting a candle, allowing the flame to consume the fumes. Don’t toss root ends. Remove roots and use end chunks to create flavorful broth or stock.

Regardless of how you freeze onions, seal them in an airtight container to avoid onion odors in your freezer. When packing onions in containers, leave half an inch of headspace. Double and even triple bag onions stored in freezer bags. Use onions within three to six months for best flavor.

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Freezing Brussels Sprouts

It’s worth freezing this cabbage cousin when you have homegrown or locally raised versions that boast frost-kissed sweetness.

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Can You Freeze Celery?

Home-grown celery has a bold flavor that’s tough to beat. Preserve that tangy flavor by freezing celery—we’ll explain how.

Freezing Eggplant

Homegrown eggplant is delicious and then some. When you have more than you can eat, learn how to freeze eggplant for later use.

Freezing Cabbage

Scratch store-bought cabbage off your grocery list—and fill your freezer with homegrown cabbage instead.

Freezing Cherry Tomatoes

Keep fresh cherry tomato flavor on your meal-time menu well beyond the garden season by preserving excess fruits in the freezer.

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Whether your garden produced a bountiful harvest or you scored a great deal at the farmer’s market, don’t let any of that good food go to waste.