How to Cut an Onion

7 different cuts of sweet red onion

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Learn how to cut an onion with seven different cut types. We are sharing videos and images to help you up your knife game! All the various onion cuts will suit different dishes and cooking techniques.

7 different cuts of onions on a cutting board

When it comes to cutting anything in the kitchen, a sharp knife is a must! If you are finding this in your kitchen, it’s time to sharpen the knife! If you are unsure of how to do it, watch this video! It is extremely helpful.

How to Cut an Onion Without Crying

Onions contain sulfur compounds (their flavor) and an enzyme called synthase. When you cut into an onion, the two form a chemical compound called syn-propanethia S-oxide that is released into the air in the form of gas. This then irritates the eye and causes them to water.

Using a sharp knife will also cut down on the damage that is done to an onion. A sharp knife will slice easier and quicker. You won’t have to roughly handle the onion to get the knife to go through.


  • Once you slice an onion in half, set the other piece of the onion to the side with the cut side down while you work on the remaining half.
  • Breathe out of your mouth and not your nose.
  • An onion that has been chilled won’t put off as much gas.
  • Place any part of the onion that you aren’t using in a compost or garbage can before cutting the onion.

Tanimura & Antle Sweet Red Onion bag and knife

Do I Need To Keep the Root on When Cutting an Onion?

We surveyed our team at The Produce Moms, and we all leave the root on when cutting an onion. We feel keeping the root intact helps to handle the onion. However, if you are a pro, you can totally remove the root. It’s your personal preference. There are no right or wrong answers.

How to Dice An Onion

Diced Red Onions

Starting at the bottom and working your way up, slice the onion every 1/8″ while pushing the onion down with your fingertips.

how to cut an onion: diced

Next, from the top, slice the onion 1/8″.

onion and knife

Lastly, run your knife down the side of the onion for nice evenly diced onions!

medium-sized diced onions

How to Chop An Onion

medium chopped onions with Tanimura & Antle Sweet Red Onions

Starting at the bottom, slice every 1/4″ all the way through before the root so you keep it intact.

how to cut an onion

Next, slice from the top and the side again 1/4″.

Tanimura & Antle Sweet Red Onion

Finally, run your knife down the side 1/4″.

medium diced red onion

How to Chunk An Onion

large onion chunks

Again, starting at the bottom, slice every 1/2″ all the way through.

Then, from the top slice down into 1/2″.

cuts in red onion

Finally, run the sides every 1/2″ creating even onion chunks.

Chunks of red onion

How to Cut an Onion for Stir Fry

How to cut an onion: large chunks

Start by cutting your onion in half, removing the skin.

top of onion

Next, chop the onion in half again.

Starting from the side, make angled cuts all the way through.

hot to cut an onion

How to Julienne an Onion

julienne onions

If you are new to julienne slices, you can also cut the onion in half, turn it to the side and slice down. These are basic julienne slices (right image below).

how to cut an onion: julienne

If you want a “fancier” julienne slice (left image above), start from right to left and at an angle, slice all the way down. Then when you get about half way through, flip the onion so it’s flat and finish slicing.

The julienne slices can be as thick or as thin as you’d like. We enjoy serving salads with a julienne slice. This is also great for pizzas as well!

How to Slice an Onion for Onion rings

onion rings on a cutting board

Start by removing the ends and the peel.

Once you have that done, lay the onion on its side.

Produce Mom TIP: You can remove a small slice from the onion so it sits flat and doesn’t rock back and forth. This makes cutting onion rings a little easier for the beginner.

When slicing rings, you can cut them as thin or as thick as you want!

Freezing Onions

The rule we go by here at The Produce Moms, is that if you can find it in the grocery store frozen, you can freeze it!

In fact, freezing onions is a great way to not only save money by purchasing produce when it’s in season, but, freezing still allows for the freshness! Not to mention, by freezing your prepped onions you save time!

Overhead shot of onions: cut 7 ways

Want to try more tasty recipes? Check out some of our favorites:

Pinterest Pin: How to Cut an Onion

About Kristin

Kristin Ahaus is the Director of Content and Communications for The Produce Moms. Her focus and passion is helping all of TPM's brand partners share their stories while also helping consumers understand how to select, serve and store fresh produce. Connect with Kristin on LinkedIN.

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