I use green onions a lot in my cooking. I find they offer a great pop of freshness, flavor, and color to recipes, making them the perfect final touch to just about everything. The problem is, you can’t just buy one or two green onions, and they tend to wilt rather quickly in the refrigerator. Now that we’re all stuck at home and not going to the grocery quite as often, I wanted to offer some solutions for keeping green onions on hand without having them go to waste. Below you’ll find tips for keeping green onions fresh in the refrigerator and a quick tutorial on how to freeze green onions for longer storage.
How to Shop for Green Onions
Before we even get to how to keep your green onions fresh, it’s important to make sure your green onions are fresh when you buy them. If they’re already on the way out before you take them home, you’ll only get 2-3 days out of them once they’re in your fridge.
Look for green onions that are firm (the green ends don’t flop over easily) and they aren’t broken or torn. I also tend to get a much longer storage life out of green onions that are sold unwrapped (just held together with a rubber band) than those that come in a sealed plastic bag. This is probably because the unwrapped green onions are allowed to breathe and absorb moisture from the misters on the produce wall.
How to Store Green Onions in the Refrigerator
Green onions need moisture to stay fresh. You’ll get the most life out of the green onions if you place the root end in a glass or jar with 1-2 inches of water. Placing a loose plastic bag (like a produce bag from the grocery store) over the tops will also help reduce evaporation from the high amount of air circulating through the refrigerator. But do not close off or secure the bag to prevent air flow. Depending on how fresh the green onions were when purchased, this method can extend the life of your green onions for a week or more.
When to Freeze vs. Refrigerate Green Onions
If you have simply bought more green onions than you know you’ll be able to use within a week, then it’s a good idea to freeze some for later. Make sure to freeze the green onions as close to purchase as possible. You want to freeze them while they’re still fresh.
While I still prefer fresh green onions over frozen, having frozen green onions on hand is far better than having none at all. So when in doubt, freeze half of the bunch you buy just in case.
How to Freeze Green Onions
- 1 bunch green onions
- Rinse the green onions well, then pat dry with a paper towel or clean, lint-free dish towel.
- Slice the green onions.
- Place the sliced green onions in a jar, freezer bag, or other air-tight, freezer safe container. Close the container tightly to prevent air flow.
- Freeze the green onions for 3-4 months. To use, simply sprinkle the frozen green onions over your meal. The green onions will thaw within seconds and be ready to eat.
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Need recipe ideas for your green onions? Scroll down to see my favorites…
What to Make with Green Onions
As I mentioned above, I use green onions on just about everything. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use green onions:
- On eggs – Ultimate Southwest Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile Migas
- Vegetable Salads – Cumin Lime Coleslaw, Sesame Slaw, Thai Cucumber Salad, Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad
- Protein Salads – Curry Chicken Salad, Tuna and White Bean Salad, Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad, Sriracha Egg Salad, Sesame Tuna Salad, Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad
- Soups – Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup, Vegan Creamy Mushroom Ramen, Easy Homemade Egg Drop Soup
- Stir Fry – Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry, Hoisin Stir Fry Bowls with Peanut Sauce, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry
- Noodles – Garlic Noodles, Spicy Dragon Noodles, Stir Fry Beef Noodles, Mushroom and Broccoli Stir Fry Noodles, Lime Shrimp Dragon Noodles, Cajun Cabbage and Noodles
- Skillet Meals – Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta, Southwest Chicken Skillet, Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet, One Pot Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
- Bowl Meals – Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls, Sweet n’ Spicy Chicken Bowls, Poor Man’s Burrito Bowls, Loaded Mashed Potato Bowls
- Pasta – Pastalaya, Blackened Shrimp Pasta, Skillet Cheeseburger Pasta, One Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
I only cook for myself but appreciate recipes that I can store some and use later in addition to some to eat now.
Never knew this. Thank you. I’m going to do this for sure
To store green onions, stand them roots down in a tall glass with a couple inches of water and top the glass with a small loose ziploc bag. They have to breathe. I keep the jar in my fridge and they grow like wildfire. I trim the tops with a scissors, and cut off outer leaves that have gone soft. Change the water about once a week. I rarely have to buy green onions, they last a long time. And yes you can plant the root bottoms and they will still grow. Not much waste this way. They are great to add to many salads and for topping soups and cooked dishes.
Trim the tops with scissors when you need some.