How to Preserve Onions After Cutting

Onions are very flavorful and can be the missing ingredient that makes many dishes delicious and fun to eat. You might love to cook with onion but hate how hard it is to preserve your cut onion or the remainder of the onion that you have not used for your recipe.

This can be a common complaint from cooks who love to use this ingredient in their dishes but hate to waste the leftovers after cooking.

Onions are not as hard to store as you might think, and you will find that taking the time to preserve your onion after you have cut it up can make it easy to prevent waste.

Onions are pretty hardy overall, and some simple storage planning will make sure that you do not have issues with your onion losing flavor or texture after it is stored.

If you want to learn some more about how to preserve your onions after cutting them, you will need to read on!

Preserving Onion After it is Cut

Onions are not expensive, but you often do not need much of the onion for any given recipe. This means that you might have leftover cut onion as well as the main body of the onion that has not been used.

You will want to preserve these parts of the onion so that you do not have to throw them out after cooking one recipe.

The biggest key to your storage plans for onions is that you need to put your leftover onion in the fridge.

No matter what other storage plans you use for your onion, you will need to put it in the fridge once it is cut.

You can store uncut onions in a cool and dark place, and they will last for a long time. Once they have been cut up, however, you will need to move them to the fridge.

What Kind of Container do I Use?

The best plan for keeping your cut onion in good condition is to make sure that you use Tupperware with a lid that seals correctly. This will then be placed in the fridge and can keep your sliced or cut onions good for seven to ten days.

You can also use a plastic bag with a Ziploc closure, but this is not as effective as using Tupperware.

The plastic bag option will likely expose the onions to some more airflow, and this can lead to them breaking down inside the bag.

One of the key things that you need to remember about storing your onion is that you will introduce bacteria to the onion with your hands when you are storing it.

This is really what breaks down the onion, and you will want to be sure that you have your hands clean when you are storing it.

This will give your onion a much better chance of making it for the full ten days of expected storage time.

There are still microorganisms in the fridge as well, and the moisture inside the fridge can also lead to the breakdown of the onion that you have stored.

You will need to remember that even if your onion looks good, you should probably do a little taste test before you use it in a recipe.

Sometimes your onion will not have become discolored, but it will still have lost its flavor.

Signs That Your Onion Has Spoiled

You might be wondering how to know if the onions that you stored after cutting have gone bad. This is an important part of choosing to store your onions to use again after they have been cut.

These signs will tell you if your onion needs to be thrown out rather than used for your recipe.

Change in color

This is the most common way to tell that your onion has gone bad. You will need to look for yellowing, gray, or brown spots, and any kind of velvety growth. These are all signs that your onion has not lasted despite being stored properly.

The color of your onion is usually a really good indication that there has been bacterial growth that has made the onion go bad.


You should always check to make sure that your onion still smells like an onion and that it does not have a bad smell of any kind. The absence of onion smell can also indicate that your onion has gone bad.

The smell of your onion can tell you a lot about the condition that it is in and whether or not you can use it for cooking.


If your onion has gone bad, it will probably be slimy, but it could also be spongy and crunchy.

The texture might not indicate that the onion has gone bad where it is unsafe to eat, but it will definitely indicate that your cooking with these onions will not be very flavorful or pleasant.

Remember to Wash Your Hands

The key thing that you need to make sure you remember before storing your onions that have been cut is to make sure that you only store them with clean hands.

Making sure that your onion is not wrapped up and stored with bacteria can make it much more likely that your onion will hold up to storage.

Washing your hands is always a good idea when you store food of any kind in the fridge.

Storing Onion That Has Been Cut Can be Easy

Once you have cut up your onion, you do not have to throw it out. Make sure to wash your hands and then place your cut onion into a plastic bag or a Tupperware container.

This will make sure that you get the maximum expected storage time out of the onion that you have put in the fridge for storage.

You will be able to get as much as ten days out of your stored onion when you have taken the time to store it properly.

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