Raw or cooked, green onions add a great pop of flavor to any savory dish. Whether baked into a quiche or muffins, added to an omelet, stir-fry, or used in a salad, green onions are less assertive than regular large onions yet still bring a huge amount of flavor.
Green onions are a spring vegetable, although they can be found in grocery stores year-round. Often, you only need one or two sprigs and the rest of the bunch goes to waste. Green onions don’t have a long shelf life as fresh ingredients.
Whether your own harvest has been too plentiful or your store purchase was more than needed, you can freeze green onion for up to 10 months to prolong their shelf life. No reason to toss any slimy green onions again.
Here is exactly what you need to know about freezing green onions and how to store green onions.
Types of Green Onions
Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are vegetables in the same Allium family as garlic, shallot, leek, chives, and onions.
With a milder taste than most onions, they have long thin hollow leaves and some varieties have a small undeveloped white bulb from which the leaves grow.
Green onion leaves can be used as a vegetable raw or cooked, but mostly they are chopped and added as flavoring to other dishes such as soups, stews, stir-fry, salads, eggs, or quiche, in a similar manner to garlic and onions.
How to preserve green onions
If you purchase green onions or scallions in a bunch with roots, the best way to preserve it is to gently place your bunch in a jar with a little bit of water (about 1 inch or 2cm), just like how you keep cut flowers fresh. Do not overfill your water or it will rot the onion stalks and leaves.
You can also wrap your scallions stalks in paper (such as newspaper) and place it in the fridge to keep it fresh for a few days.
Can I Freeze Green Onions?
Yes, green onions can be frozen although it is important to note that the crisp texture will change somewhat in the freezer. Ice crystals form, damaging the cell walls on freezing which results in a softer, less crisp vegetable once defrosted.
All this really means is that the frozen green onions won’t be suitable in a salad or where they are used to bring crispness into a dish, but they are perfect for use in any cooked meal. Freezing green onions can, therefore, save you money, food waste, and preparation time.
Due to the strong onion flavor and odor, improperly packed green onions will easily permeate their flavor into surrounding food items. Therefore, it is essential to package and seal the spring onions well before placing them in the freezer, or fridge for that matter.
How To Freeze Green Onions
Step 1: Sort and Clean
Remove any damaged or slimy leaves from the bunch as they won’t freeze well and trim off the roots.
Step 2: Wash
Wash the green onions thoroughly to remove any sand or bugs. To ensure the scallions are completely clean, soak them in salt or vinegar water.
Fill a bowl with water and add one to 2 tablespoons of salt or vinegar. Soak and wash the green onions in the vinegar water and rinse well.
Step 3: Dry and Chop
Once clean, dry the green onions with a clean kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Excess moisture will form crystals on freezing causing textural damage.
Chop the leaves into the desired size pieces. If the green onion has a small bulb, you can freeze these separately as well.
Step 4: Flash Freeze
Place the bulbs and chopped pieces on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer. Only leave them for 1 hour which is long enough to freeze. You do not want the green onions to be exposed to air for too long in the freezer.
The flash freeze method prevents the green onions from clumping together once packed allowing you to only take out as many as you need at a time for cooking.
Step 5: Pack
Once fully frozen, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and pack the green onions into small resealable freezer bags straight away.
Press out all the air and seal tightly. The more air around the scallions, the greater chance there is of freezer burn developing and textural damage.
Step 6: Label and Freeze
Write the date of freezing on the packaging so you know how long the green onions have been stored.
How To Thaw Frozen Green Onions
Since green onions are best used in cooked dishes after freezing, there is no need to defrost them. You can take the green onions straight out of the freezer and add it to the dish you are cooking.
If you are adding it to a baked dish such as a quiche or savory muffins, thaw it in the refrigerator or place the freezer bag in a cold water-bath for a few minutes. They defrost very quickly.
Keeping green onions frozen will allow you to use your harvest all year round.
Make sure the scallions are very well sealed in an airtight freezer bag as surrounding foods may pick up the odor and flavor of the onion which could be unpleasant especially when you have milk or sweet baked goods nearby.
A fantastic addition to soups, stews, sauces, breakfast scramble, hash, salads, quiches, and stir-fry, green onions can be added to almost any savory dish to bring a wonderful pop of flavor.
Up next: Can You Freeze Cucumbers?
*Image by depositphotos.com/phuongphoto