How to Cut Green Onions

Cut the onions as evenly as you can so they cook evenly and look attractive.
Cut the onions as evenly as you can so they cook evenly and look attractive. (Image: mady70/iStock/Getty Images)

Green onions and scallions are not the same. While similar, a green onion has a 1- to 2-inch bulb, while a scallion does not have a white bulb. Use green onions as a garnish or to add flavor to soups, salads, stews and other dishes. Available year-round and sold in bunches, green onions are best when used within a few days of purchase so they're crisp and flavorful.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Paper towel
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp cook’s knife

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Rinse the green onions thoroughly in a colander under cold, running water, and let them drain. Pat the green onions dry with a paper towel, and place them on a cutting board.

Remove any loose layers of skin, wilted leaves, brown parts and the stringy roots of the green onion with a sharp cook’s knife.

Slice the green onions by rocking a cook’s knife across them, creating slivers or lengths, according to recipe instructions. Some recipes specifically instruct you as to what part of the green onion to use, the white bulb or the green stems.

Tips & Warnings

  • Green onions develop a stronger flavor with age and increased size. If you want mild flavor, choose thinner, smaller onions.
  • The white bulb of the green onion cooks more slowly than its green tips. If both parts are called for in a recipe, wait until the white slices are almost tender before adding the green slices.


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