What To Do With Too Many Onions: 18 Tasty Ideas

In this article: Easy, tasty ways to use up a surplus of onions before they go bad, from spreads to breads.

by Andrea Norris-McKnight

What To Do With Too Many Onions photo

Do you buy onions in bulk when those 3-lb. bags are on sale? That bag should last a few months if stored properly. But you may not have the space with the necessary conditions to store onions long-term, or maybe you overlooked that bag of onions in your meal planning, and now you need to use them up quickly.

What To Do With Too Many Onions

There’s no need to let those onions go bad. A surplus of onions offers a perfect opportunity to explore a variety of culinary creations. Here are 18 ideas for using up onions creatively and deliciously.

Onion-Based Condiments

1. Caramelized Onions

Slow-cooking onions until golden and sweet is a simple yet transformative process. Caramelized onions can elevate everything from burgers and pizzas to soups and salads with their rich, sweet flavor.

2. Pickled Onions

Quick-pickling onions in vinegar, sugar, and spices yields a condiment that adds a bright, tangy crunch to tacos, sandwiches, and salads.

Recipes to try: Pickled Onion from Taste Of Home or Pickled Red Onions from Love & Lemons

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3. Onion Chutney

You can also whip up a chutney using onions and many of the same ingredients used to pickle onions: vinegar, sugar, and a blend of spices. Spread chutney on sandwiches, burgers or crackers to pair with cheese and meats.

Recipe to try: Restaurant-Style Onion Chutney from Food.com

4. Onion Jam

Simmer onions with sugar and seasonings until they form a sweet, savory jam. It’s an excellent accompaniment to poultry, roasted meats and grilled salmon.

Recipe to try: Caramelized Onion Jam from Food & Wine

5. Salsas and Relishes

Fresh or cooked onions add texture and flavor to salsas and relishes, making them perfect for grilling season or spicing up any dish.

Onion Side Dishes

6. Grilled Onions

Grilling onions brings out their natural sweetness and adds a smoky flavor. They’re perfect as a side dish or topping for burgers and steaks.

7. Boiled Onions

Gently boiling onions until tender can be a simple side dish or a starting point for mashes and purees seasoned with butter, salt, and herbs.

8. Roasted Onions

Roasting whole onions or wedges until caramelized at the edges brings out their inherent sweetness, making a great side or salad ingredient.

9. Onion Rings

Onion rings are a classic and beloved dish perfect as a snack or side. Dip onion slices in a batter, fry until golden, and enjoy a crunchy, savory treat.

Recipe to try: Old-Fashioned Onion Rings from AllRecipes.com

10. Onion Soup

A classic French dish, onion soup is rich and comforting and showcases the onion’s depth of flavor, especially when topped with a crusty, cheese-covered crouton.

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Main Dishes

11. Onion Frittata or Quiche

Combine onions with eggs, cheese, and other fillings to create a hearty frittata or quiche, ideal for any meal of the day.

12. Onion-Stuffed Meat

Stuff meats like chicken breasts, pork chops, or meatballs with a mixture of onions and other ingredients for a moist, flavorful dish.

13. Savory Onion Tart

A savory tart filled with caramelized onions, cheese, and herbs makes for an elegant appetizer or light meal.

Recipe to try: French Onion Tart from The Food Network

14. Stir-Fries

Onions are a fundamental ingredient in stir-fries, contributing sweetness and a satisfying crunch, complementing other vegetables and proteins.

15. Onion Curry

Cook onions with spices, tomatoes, and cream or coconut milk to create a rich, flavorful curry that pairs well with rice or bread.

Onion Baked Goods

16. Onion Bread

Incorporate caramelized or raw onions into bread dough for an extra layer of flavor in each slice.

17. Onion Bagels

Add finely chopped onions to your bagel dough for a savory option. (See also: Frugal DIY Breads From Around the World)

18. Cheese and Onion Scones

Cheese and onion scones are a perfect savory snack or accompaniment to soups and salads, blending the sharpness of cheese with the sweetness of onions.

The Easiest Thing To Do With Too Many Onions

A common question is, “Can I freeze fresh onions?” Yes, onions freeze well, especially when pre-chopped or sliced, ensuring you have a ready supply for future cooking needs. So, if you can’t eat them up before they go bad, just chop them and pop them in the freezer. Just make sure to store them properly to prevent freezer burn.

Reviewed February 2024

About the Author

Andrea Norris-McKnight took over as the editor of The Dollar Stretcher and After 50 Finances after working under the site founder and previous editor for almost 15 years. She has also written for Money.com, GOBankingRates.com, HavenLife.com and The Sacramento Bee.

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