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Are You Cooking With the Best Type of Onion? Probably Not.

White Onions.

Of all of the main types of onion, white onions are the least common. Sharper than yellow onions, crisp and clean white onions are great raw and cooked. You can cook white onions like you would yellow onions.

White onions have a slightly shorter storage life than yellow onions, but should not be kept in the fridge.

Best For: Mexican food, white sauces, pasta salads, raw in salads, in chili, and potato salads.



Sweet Onions.

They tend to be larger, and have thinner skin, than other types of onions. Some are so sweet that you can actually eat them like an apple. You may have seen sweet onions called Vidalia, Walla Walla, and, less commonly, Texas sweet onions and Maui onions. Sweet onions are much less pungent, and yes, sweeter, than yellow onions. They break down quickly and aren’t very complex, so it’s best not to use them in lieu of regular yellow onions as an aromatic flavor.

Unlike other onions, sweet onions spoil quickly and should be stored in the fridge.

Best For: Gratins, roasted vegetables, onion rings. They’re also great raw on salads and sandwiches. My favorite? On the grill with a little olive oil, salt and pepper!

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
11:24PM PDT on Apr 1, 2014

Thank you!!

3:12AM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

The way of cooking also counts

4:49AM PDT on Mar 27, 2014


7:35PM PDT on Mar 26, 2014

Red onions look so pretty in a salad, but other than that I never knew when to use any particular type of onion. Thanks!

7:22AM PDT on Mar 26, 2014

Onions are so nutritious and delicious! My favourites are the standard yellow cooking onions.

10:34AM PST on Feb 28, 2014

I love onions and grow my own every year - yellow, red, white, shalot, leek, chives. Lovely!

8:35AM PST on Jan 14, 2014


11:10AM PST on Jan 8, 2014

Thanx. I am confused. I was told no onions should be kept in the refrigerator, now they say, put sweet onions in the refrigerator. Someday they will get their act together and then we will know what to do.

5:56AM PST on Dec 12, 2013

I love onions, we tend to buy ours from the local farm, usually they are brown onions but sometimes red ones. Reducing the carbon footprint of our food is important to us.

11:37PM PST on Dec 9, 2013

I didn't know sweet onions should be kept in the refrigerator, and I can't imagine eating an onion, no matter how sweet, like an apple.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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