Do You Need To Defrost Frozen Onions?

do you need to defrost frozen onions

If you’re looking to save time in the kitchen, frozen onions are a great option.

Since they’re sliced thinly already, you can take your frozen onions straight from the freezer to cook right away without any big issues.

This makes them a convenient, go-to ingredient for recipes that call for onions.

So if you have a bag of frozen onions in your freezer, don’t worry about defrosting them before using them in your next dish.

And if your preferred method is using an air fryer, then make sure to check out these bags of frozen onion rings.

Only if you need your onions to look like raw onions (on a sandwich, etc.), you should thaw them out before use for best results.

Otherwise, it is perfectly safe and fine to add frozen onions directly to any dish that needs cooked onions.

The only thing that may slightly change when using frozen instead of fresh onions is texture.

This small difference becomes noticeable in the case of certain dishes such as salads and salsas where crispness is an important characteristic.

In these cases (where you want crispness), let the dish sit at room temperature for 10 minutes after adding ingredients, including frozen onions.

In certain cases, you may need to add a little oil before cooking your dish, to avoid burning the onions during the reheating process.

As for how long does it take to defrost them?

One hour at room temperature should be enough time for thawing out a few slices of onions from the freezer.

However, this varies depending on the quantity and size of frozen onion pieces (and also on their initial size before freezing).

Therefore, it is important that you monitor the thawing process and only use the thawed quantities in your recipe when they are completely defrosted.

Can you eat onions that have been frozen?

Some people swear you should never eat onions that have been frozen, while other people say it’s fine to use them.

Onions are a tasty ingredient in many dishes, and they come in natural or dried form.

Sometimes, you can even find fresh onions at the grocery store such as Vidalia or Walla Walla sweet onion varieties.

However, sometimes you might not need an entire sack of onions for one recipe, so you may decide to freeze some of your chopped onions until your next cooking adventure comes along.

Does freezing onions ruin them?

Freezing onions may change their texture, making them crispier than before they were frozen.

This makes it difficult to use the onions in certain dishes like soups or sauces.

However, if you are planning on sauteing your frozen onion pieces, then they might work fine after thawing out.

Also, some people say that dried onion bits can be used successfully for both cooking and baking without any problems at all after freezing even if the dried onion bits become slightly harder as a result of being frozen.

If you want to freeze fresh cut-up onions so you can have them ready to toss into recipes later on, then it’s probably best to chop the onions into small pieces right before you freeze them to avoid the possibility of problems with texture.

How long are onions good for in the freezer?

do you need to defrost frozen onions

Once onions are frozen, thawing will not make them fresh again.

But onions should be good for a long time in the freezer.

Longer than six months should be good.

The freezing process does not hurt the onion at all, but you need to freeze it properly so that it will still look and taste great when you take it out of the freezer.

Can frozen onions be caramelized?

Frozen onions can be caramelized, but the process will take longer than using fresh onions.

The good news is that frozen onion pieces can easily be placed in a freezer bag and kept for up to 3 months.

Can you put frozen onions in a slow cooker?

In some recipes, you can add frozen onions, but in others, the slow cooking will damage them.

In general, it is not a good idea to cook with frozen food, because it takes longer for the food to reach the desired temperature and so may contain more bacteria than fresh ingredients.

However, if this is what you have available or prefer, use a large pan to allow plenty of room for heating and avoid putting the lid on so they defrost/thaw quickly – covered parts take longer to thaw.


In conclusion, you don’t have to thaw frozen onions for most applications.

Just put them straight from the freezer into your dish and you’ll be fine.

For those rare cases where crispness is a concern, use the 10-minute room temperature method before using them.

Further reading:

10 Best Frozen Pearl Onions Recipes

Creamed Pearl Onions Recipe – Serious Eats

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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