If you wonder how long chopped onions last in the refrigerator, you’ve come to the right place. Using the correct storage techniques, you can keep your onions fresh for up to a week.
The lifespan, storage, and rotting of onions are all covered in this article. Find out how long they last, when to throw them out, and how to preserve them properly.
What are Onions?
Like garlic, onions are bulbous vegetables belonging to the lily family. Onion is frequently used worldwide, much like garlic. We use it to sauté vegetables, fish, and meat. You can boil, steam, or bake it. To put it simply, onions are a delicious and adaptable culinary plant.
The onion is not only the foundation of innumerable cuisines, but it is also incredibly nutrient-dense. Like jalapenos, it is high in vitamins A and C. Additionally, it has a lot of natural sugar, salt, potassium, iron, and fiber. Like saffron, it is a fantastic source of folic acid.
How to Store Chopped or Cut Onion?
You can store additional chopped or diced onion in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator for five to seven days. The longer onions lie in the fridge, the stronger their odor becomes, and you don’t want your refrigerator to be infused with onion odor. Optionally, you can follow the instructions below and freeze your leftover onion, keeping the smell away and extending its shelf life.
Keep Moisture Away
To store your onions, pick a dry spot free of humidity. This will help them survive as long as possible and prevent mold from growing.
Set the Thermostat Properly
The ideal place to keep onions, whether whole or chopped, is a cool location. If your refrigerator’s crisper drawer doesn’t put them at risk of freezing, think about putting them there. Or a dry, cool basement would be great.
Store Apart from Other Foods.
To keep your onion separate from other foods in your refrigerator, if it has already been cut, make sure it has been put in an airtight container or zippered food storage bag.
If not, you risk the onion flavor affecting anything nearby. It’s a crucial step in maintaining the freshness of an onion.
Onion is often best kept in the refrigerator. Both whole onions and cooked onions are true in this regard.
Use Appropriate Packaging
Before putting chopped onions in the fridge or freezer, ensure they are wrapped in an airtight container or zipped food storage bag.
How Long do Chopped Onions Last in the Refrigerator?
If they are stored properly in an airtight container, chopped onions can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to seven to ten days. To get the most out of their flavor and freshness, you should consume them within five days after purchasing them.
|Fresh whole onions||2 – 4 weeks||3+ months|
|Fresh red onions||2 – 4 weeks||3+ months|
|Sliced or chopped onions||4 – 7 days|
|Sweet onions||4 – 7 days||2 – 4 weeks|
Can you Freeze an Onion?
Because they will become very hard and not defrost well, we do not advise freezing whole onions but strongly recommend freezing chopped onions. Chop the entire onion whenever a recipe calls for half of one. Everything you don’t use should be placed in an airtight plastic bag. Before sealing the bag, squeeze out as much air as possible and put it in the freezer.
Freezing Chopped or Sliced Onions
Sliced or diced raw onions can be frozen for up to six months. However, whole raw onions require a lot of effort (learn how to freeze onions here). Consider double bagging them to keep onion odors in and other odors out as you store them in airtight freezer bags labeled and dated so you can keep track of them.
Onions defrost rapidly, but you can hasten the process by putting the bag in a bowl of cold water. Frozen onions work fine in recipes like soups, stews, and casseroles, even though they won’t be as crisp as fresh ones.
How Long do Onions Last in the Freezer?
To increase the shelf life of raw onions, you can freeze them. The onions should first be peeled, then chopped or sliced as desired. Put them in a freezer bag or airtight container, or carefully wrap them in plastic or aluminum foil. In the freezer, raw onions can be stored for up to eight months.
If kept in an airtight container or freezer bag, cooked onions can be frozen for up to a year.
How Long do Red Onions Last?
Similar to regular onions, red onions keep in the refrigerator for two to four weeks at room temperature and for longer than three months. No matter where you store them, they need airflow.
As you can see, red onions don’t differ significantly from “regular” onions in terms of shelf life. They have a unique flavor and blend nicely with various foods but don’t keep as well as their yellow counterparts.
How Long do Sweet Onions Last?
When kept at ambient temperature for up to a week, sweet onions survive around a month in the refrigerator. Because they contain less pyruvic acid than conventional ones, they don’t last as long.
Because of this, you should put them in the refrigerator as soon as you reach home, even though they are being marketed without refrigeration.
Again, these times are all estimations, and your sweet onions may last a few extra days. They won’t last nearly as long as conventional yellow and red onions.
How Long do Onions Keep Fresh After Being Cooked in a Dish?
Providing the onions are cooked in a casserole, soup, or another dish will probably be alright if the meal is still tasty.
In the refrigerator, leftovers will normally last for 3–4 days as a general rule of thumb. After that, they ought to be discarded or put in the freezer.
White Onions Last Longer than Yellow Onions
Onions have a shelf life of about four to six weeks if left unpeeled. If you want to keep onions longer, chop them and freeze them for up to two to 12 months.
Storing onions is important to prevent them from spoiling. They easily absorb moisture. Moisture will speed up the rotting process. This can affect the texture and flavor of the onions. The best storage method for onions is to put them in a cool, dry, and dark place.
To store onions, you can use an airtight plastic container. Still, keeping them in a glass container is preferable. Glass containers do not allow moisture to collect and affect the onion’s texture. However, if you choose to keep them in plastic, make sure you don’t use plastic bags. Plastic can absorb flavors and may also cause the onions to rot faster.
Whole onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark area away from heat sources. You can also place them in a mesh tube to keep them fresh and ensure proper air circulation.
Yellow onions, meanwhile, last for about one to two months in a refrigerator. When you cut them, it is recommended that you keep them in an airtight freezer bag.
Where and How to Buy Onions?
Good onions must be chosen, and they must be stored correctly.
Choose normal, yellow, and red onions with dry, papery skin. Furthermore, there should be no spots or dampness on the outer layer.
To guarantee that they are juicy and not overly ripe, they should also be firm and weighty for their size. Picking those that have started to sprout is risky since they will decay rapidly.
Additionally, onions with a stench have to be avoided. These might be swollen or overripe.
Pick spring onions with bright white, spotless bulbs and sturdy stalks. A sticky film or withering plants should be avoided.
Leeks with a lot of white and green should be sought out. Their stems ought to be strong, crisp, and colorless.
How do you Determine if the Chopped Onion is Bad?
A badly chopped onion may have an odd odor, an odd appearance, or an odd flavor. Onions that have been chopped up may start to grow mildew, get black patches, or lose their color. Additionally, it could begin to smell like rotting food. You should discard the chopped onion and not use it in dishes if you think it may have gone bad.
How long are chopped onions good for? If an onion is going to be eaten raw, it should be eaten the same day it has been peeled and diced. An onion cut left out overnight risks developing bacteria and should only be used cooked.
Contaminated Onions May be Harmful
An incident involving tainted onions occurred back in 2012. According to Dr. Kundu, there have been instances where consumers have believed that food was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a microorganism that can grow at temperatures below freezing. “Listeriosis is a deadly condition caused by Listeria monocytogenes that primarily affects immunocompromised individuals, or those with weakened immune systems, including pregnant women, young children, the elderly, those with AIDS, and those who have received chemotherapy. It may result in their death.”
Cladosporium, Alternaria, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus are typical genera of fungi that can be found inside, according to Up to Date. According to the article, exposure to fungi can lead to negative health impacts such as infections, hypersensitivity disorders, and toxic/irritating effects from their byproducts. One study found a connection between pollutants and allergy reactions.
Dr. Kundu adds that these fungi “may be involved in toxin-associated diseases when ingested in bigger concentrations.” “Several types of fungi create harmful poisons such as mycotoxins, aflatoxin, fumonisin, ochratoxin, etc.
It’s also crucial to remember that the NOA confirmed last year that onions could not treat the flu (yep, people truly believed this!) and are not to blame for foodborne illness. Phew!
What should I do with Rotten or Moldy Onions?
According to Cooking Light, onions have a very small chance of having E. coli, salmonella, or other viruses that can be spread by toxic fertilizers, just like any other food cultivated in soli. Overall, though, there are “no safety precautions that are specific to an onion,” and the danger is quite minimal.
Like most vegetables, handling onions requires thorough hand- and kitchen-tool washing. You should also wipe down the counter before making your meal. Onions with minor mold or spots can be chopped off and still be used, but badly moldy onions should not be eaten, especially if they have softened.
One of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen is the onion.
They come in various forms, sizes, and colors, each with a special cooking application. The best storage practices are necessary to ensure onions survive as long as possible.
If you store whole onions properly, they should survive between one and three months, according to the National Onion Association. However, onions that have been cut only keep for one to two weeks. Onions that have been chopped can be frozen for around eight months.