Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions are a staple in many cuisines and many of our favorite dishes.
They are good raw or cooked. However, what happens when you have lots of green onions leftover from a recipe.
Maybe you have been growing them yourself in your own garden or allotment and you are suddenly left with more green onions than you ever thought possible.
You are likely wondering, “are they destined for the trash, or can they be saved?”.
The good news is they can indeed be saved. You can freeze your green onions to be used for another day.
The trick to ensuring your green onions will be good for another day comes in proper freezing and defrosting of them.
This article will explain exactly how to do that, as well as telling you about any factors you may need to consider before you freeze your green onions.
How to freeze green onions
Freezing green onions involves a very small amount of preparation first. Sadly you can’t just throw them in a freezer bag and forget about them until you need them again.
Green onions must be cleaned thoroughly, exactly as you would do if you were using them fresh in a recipe. You can do this just with cold water, or you can use a solution of water and white vinegar if you are worried about harsh fertilizer.
After cleaning them to ensure all the dirt and grit comes off them, you need to cut them!
Cut them or chop them as you would usually do, if you like them chopped up small, do that now, if you like bigger cuts of them, then do that.
Make sure to cut off the bulbs too, as well as any dead bits of the green onion (y’ know, those browning bits that could probably be used but look kind of gross?). When they have been prepared, we can get to the next step!
The next step is the cool bit. We recommend placing your chopped or cut green onions onto a large sheet pan, with some parchment paper underneath. Spread them out as evenly as possible, try not to let them lay on top of one another, or touch other pieces.
Make sure you have an empty shelf ready in your freezer and pop them right in. they should be left in the freezer for 1 hour, and then removed.
This step may seem pointless right now, but trust us, it is extremely important as it is this step that stops them all from sticking together in one big lump.
When they have chilled for one hour it is time for them to be properly frozen. All you need for this is a strong resealable bag that is suitable for use in the freezer.
Put all of the onions in the bag, making sure to squeeze out any air that may be left in there before sealing. You should then label the bag stating what is in there, and more importantly, the date that you are freezing them.
This is to ensure you use them in time. They can freeze for up to 3 or 4 months, and the good thing about this freezer method is that you can just take the amount you need and put the rest back in the bag!
How to defrost green onions
Defrosting green onions couldn’t be simpler! You don’t need to defrost them for hours on end (unless you want to, of course).
If you are using them in a recipe, such as a stir fry or a sauce, or anything that is being heated, you can just sprinkle the amount needed from the bag whilst they are still frozen!
They will defrost in seconds as they will be chopped or cut up very small. If you want to use them in a salad, they will need a little more defrost time, so you can just sprinkle what you need into a bowl and let it stand, covered, at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes or until thawed out.
Keep in mind that it will not have that same crispy crunchiness as their fresh counterparts once had, however, the taste will still remain.
Factors to consider before freezing green onions
The first thing to consider is the freshness of your green onions. Being a vegetable, green onions do not have heaps of freshness guaranteed, especially if they have already been hanging around in your refrigerator for a few days.
Ensure that you inspect each onion for signs of going off. Look for smells, brown spots, sogginess, and super dryness. If they have any of these signs they should not be frozen or else you risk becoming ill when you finally get around to eating them.
Another factor to consider is the cleanliness of the green onions. We mentioned this as a whole step under our ‘How to freeze’ section above, but we cannot stress the importance of this.
Due to the nature of the vegetable, green onions often end up being very dirty when they are freshly picked, and because of the layers they have, that dirt can be in really hard to reach areas. This is not something you want to eat, especially if there has been fertilizer used in the growing process.
Ensure they are as clean as possible, using a white vinegar solution if you want to be particularly safe.
Lastly, consider what you want to use the green onions for. Often, a recipe calls for fresh green onions, and whilst these frozen green onions will have the exact same flavor, due to be frozen and then defrosted, they will not have that same crunch to them.
This crunch is what recipes often need, so consider what you will be using them for before you go ahead and freeze them. That being said, they will be perfect to use in recipes that don’t mind if they are a little more on the soft side.
To summarize, we are sure you will be thrilled to find out that your green onions can be saved by being frozen!
No more green onions going to waste at the back of your refrigerator.
Remember to follow our guide for the proper freezing method, as well as taking care to ensure that they are fresh and clean before doing so.
We are sure that your green onions will taste delicious, whether they are in a stir fry, a sauce, a salad, or even just eaten on their own!