When stored properly, green onions can stay fresh for up to five weeks, helping you reduce food waste. The problem is that many people have no idea how to keep green onions fresh for long. Luckily, there are many methods you can employ to store green onions at home.
You can store scallions on the counter, loose in the fridge, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, a jar of water in the fridge, a glass of water on the windowsill, or in the freezer. Storing green onions keeps them fresh and is a vital ingredient in many recipes.
This article explains the different green onion storage methods and how to implement them quickly at home. Keep reading learn everything you need to store green onions safely at home.
What Are Green Onions?
The green onion or scallion (Allium cepa) is a fresh onion with a slender shape a mild flavor compared to other onion varieties. The usual onion bulb has a white stalk that retails the same sharp, sulfury taste of the allium plant.
This particular onion has a green part with a fresh, grassy flavor. Straight from harvesting, scallions have the same strong smell as regular onions. Sometimes, green onions have the name “bunching onions.”
How to Store Green Onions in Six Easy Ways?
Did you know that you can keep green onions fresh by adequately storing them? The following are some of the easiest methods to have fresh green onions in your kitchen for longer:
1. Keep in A Water Jar in The Windowsill
If you want to keep green onions alive for a long time, keep them in a water jar on the windowsill. It is the best way to regrow green onions to maintain a steady supply of your favorite vegetables. As they regrow, you’ll have more green onions with which to prepare food.
Onions kept in this manner absorb water through their roots and sunshine from the window, so they keep growing. So, instead of having the original bunch of fresh onions, you’ll have much more to last you for longer.
But just how long would green onions last in a water jar placed on the windowsill? The simple answer is that the onions stay fresh for months, increasing in number as they grow.
However, storing green onions in this manner is only effective if they still have intact root ends. If you’ve already cut off the root ends, you can refrigerate or freeze the onions to prolong their shelf-life.
Here are step-by-step instructions on keeping green onions in a jar of water on the windowsill:
Step 1: Remove the rubber band (if any) holding the green onions and leave the roots intact.
Step 2: Put the scallions into a glass or jar filled with water, roots first. Ideally, the water should rise to one inch from the base of the glass and submerge the roots.
Step 3: Place the glass container or jar in a windowsill or anywhere with plenty of sunlight. Make sure the sunshine reaches the leaves of the green onions.
Step 4: Keep the green onion roots moist, and remember to change the water frequently. Pour out the stagnant water and refill with a fresh supply every two days.
Step 5: Take stock of the onions’ growth progression. Essentially, they will grow by two to three inches weekly and produce fresh green onions.
2. Refrigerate Green Onions in a Water Jar
If you’re wondering how to store green onions for two or more weeks, keep them in a jar of water in the fridge. Your green onions will likely stay fresh until you need to use them.
This method works as an excellent substitute for placing onions in a jar of water on a windowsill. Here, all you need is to submerge the roots in one or two inches of water and loosely cover the green tops with a plastic bag.
With this method, you’ll prolong the shelf-life of your green onions by more than a week. However, it would help if you kept checking and changing the water to remain fresh.
Here is how to implement this method at home:
Step 1: Once you’ve gotten your scallions from the grocery store, put them in a mason jar with one or two inches of water. Be sure to submerge the root ends in the water.
Step 2: Have the green part of the onions loosely covered with a plastic bag.
Step 3: Place the glass jar inside the fridge. It should stand upright to prevent the water from spilling out.
Step 4: Check frequently to ensure that the roots are constantly submerged in water. Change the water often (after two days) to prevent it from causing wilting in your green onions.
Step 5: Take and use the onions according to your needs. This method helps green onions stay fresh for up to two weeks.
3. Refrigerate Green Onion in Plastic Bags
Did you know that you can store chopped green onions in a plastic bag in the fridge? It’s one of the best ways to pre-wash and prep spring onions for express use in any recipe.
If your green onions come with their roots already cut off, this is the method to use. However, if the roots are still intact, cut them off before putting the onions in a plastic bag.
Using this method, you can keep scallions fresh for two to three weeks and have an endless supply of your favorite veggies. However, since there’s no source of moisture or hydration, you should use the onions within a few days.
Here are step-by-step instructions to help you quickly implement this scallion storage method at home:
Step 1: Remove the Rubber Band and Split the Bunch
Straight from the store, green onions come bunched with a rubber band. You have to remove the rubber band before prepping the onions for storage.
Step 2: Chop the Green Onions
On a cutting board, chop the root ends at the bottom of the green onions just below the scallion’s white parts. Now chop the green onion in half, separating the white parts from the green tops. Ideally, the pieces you get should easily fit into a plastic bag, freezer bag, or other packaging containers.
Step 3: Wash and Dry Green Onions
Sometimes, your green onions will come pre-washed. If not, you should rinse them with cold water and a toxin-free veggie spray.
Pat-dry the green onions using paper towels to remove excess moisture that could cause rotting. After disposing of the paper towels, wrap the green onions in new ones.
Step 4: Cover Onions in Paper Towels
Lay one paper towel lengthwise on the counter and use it to cover the green onions. Be sure to fold the paper towel over the green and white parts, covering the cut ends.
Completely cover the bunch of green onions by rolling the paper towel. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture during storage and prevents the onions from developing slimy parts.
Step 5: Put the Onions in a Storage Container and Refrigerate
Put the wrapped onions into a storage container, freezer bag, or plastic bag. Seal the container, ensuring it’s completely airtight, and put it in the fridge, preferably in the crisper drawer.
Remember how delicate they are as you keep green onions in the fridge. Avoid keeping other foods or veggies on top of the onions as they could get crushed.
4. Freeze Green Onions
One of the best ways to save money and reduce food waste is to freeze green onions, especially if you don’t plan to use them within a week. It’s important to freeze the onions as soon as you get them from the store to keep them fresh.
Here is how to freeze green onions:
Step 1: Split the Bunch
Start by removing the rubber band to split the bunch of green onions. Stores usually keep onions bunched up before selling.
Step 2: Wash the Green Onions
Before storing green onions, be sure to wash them under a stream of cold water from a faucet to remove dirt and debris. Get rid of all limp and slimy parts.
Step 3: Cut the Onions
Put the onions on a cutting board, chop the root end, and cut them into halves to fit into a freezer bag. Alternatively, you can have the green onions completely diced. It all depends on how easily you want to use the onions for easy incorporation into many recipes.
Step 4: Dry the Onions Using Paper Towels
Now you have to pat-dry the green onions using paper towels. Be sure to remove all moisture from the onions to prevent rotting.
Step 5: Store and Freeze Green Onions
Put the sliced onions onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, spreading them in a single layer. Then, please place it in the freezer for one to two hours until it’s completely frozen to prevent the frozen green onions from getting lumped together when frozen.
Step 6: Transfer Onions to a Storage Container
Transfer the frozen onions into two resealable freezer bags or other containers. Label the containers with their contents and date. Freeze your onions for up to six months and use them in most of your recipes.
After thawing the frozen green onions, they’re likely to be a little too limp. Therefore, they are not the best for eating raw. Instead, use them for cooking in many recipes.
5. Store Green Onions Loose in the Refrigerator
If you plan to use your bunch of green onions within a few days, store them loosely in the fridge. For this, you don’t need to chop the onions into halve or smaller pieces. You also don’t need a storage bag to maintain the onion’s freshness.
However, this is not how to store green onions to prolong their shelf-life by more than one week. That’s because green onions can quickly get dehydrated and would likely start wilting and shriveling up even when stored in a fridge.
Here is how to store scallions loosely in the fridge:
Step 1: Loosen the Bunch
Once you’ve bought your green onions from the store, loosen them by removing the rubber band. It should be possible for you to put each green onion separate from the rest.
Step 2: Wash the Green Onions
Unless they come pre-washed, be sure to wash the green onions before storing them. Remove any dry or slimy portions and rinse them under a faucet of cold running water.
Step 3: Dry the Green Onions
Since you intend to keep the onions loose in the fridge, you don’t need to cut them or remove the root end. Instead, use paper towels to remove excess moisture as you prepare to store the onions.
Step 4: Keep Green Onions in the Fridge
Once adequately dry, take the green onions and keep them loose in the fridge. That should prolong their shelf-life by a few days. Therefore, you should be ready to use the onions in your recipes within the shortest time possible.
6. Store Onions on the Counter
Storing green onions on the counter may not be optimally effective, but it can work if you have no other option. Fresh green onions soon start wilting within two days when exposed to air and heat.
If you must leave green onions on the counter, be prepared to use them soon enough. Even better, keep the onions in a plastic bag in the fridge or a glass of water on the windowsill.
Additional Tips on How to Store Green Onions/Scallions
- Remove any dried, slimy, or shriveled parts of the onions, and be ready to use the good portions soon enough.
- Regardless of how you store your green onions, be sure to check on them every other day.
- Cut off the root ends before storing green onions in a plastic bag. That ensures that the onions do not rot.
- Return unused green onions to storage after getting some to use in your stir fry.
- Keep green onions at the back of the fridge to keep them coldest but not frozen.
- If your green-cut onions become limp but non-slimy, they can still work in lots of food recipes. Chop the onions and add them to a cooking or cooked meal. Whole scallions, especially those stored loose in the fridge, are great for adding ice cubes and water for rehydration.
- Storing green onions in cold water requires you to change the water every other day to stop them from getting spoiled.
How to Store Green Onions – FAQs
How Long Do Green Onions Last in the Fridge?
When stored properly, green onions can last for more than one week. They stay longest when kept in a glass of water before storing in the fridge. Also, you can cut fresh green onions, wash, and wrap them in a paper towel before putting them in a sealed container.
While that can prolong the shelf-life of your green onions, it’s not as effective as the first method. Alternatively, you can store green onions loosely in the fridge.
Is Storing Green Onions in Water Good?
Yes. Storing scallions in green water is effective in helping them gain extra moisture. One way is to regrow green onions by keeping the water container on a window sill.
It is effective in keeping green onions fresh and helps you get a constant supply of your favorite onions throughout the year.
Should I Wash Green Onions Before Storing Them?
Yes. You need to wash green onions before storage to use them in your favorite food recipes afterward easily.