Can You Freeze Green Onions?

Green onions are available all year round but they are especially bountiful during the cooler seasons. That’s why green onions or scallions make the perfect add-in to soups and stews!

When grown in the garden, green onions grow so fast, you’ll have lots of it within just a few weeks. Now if say, you have too many green onions, is there a way to keep the rest for future cooking? Can you freeze green onions?

Green onions
Image used under Creative Commons from ih

Spring onions have a short shelf life. When kept in the fridge, green onions should be good for a week or so. At this point, you will likely find that your onions are no longer crisp in your “vegetable crisper.” Instead, you will likely be greeted by soggy, slimy, and limp onions; just wilting away in your refrigerator.

Forget about giving excess green onions away, you can freeze green onions to extend their shelf life. When kept in the freezer, green onions will keep for 10 months to a year!

The fact is, any part of the onion can be frozen, including the green stem. That being said, the green stem can be a little delicate. This means while green onions can be frozen, texture changes are inevitable. The scallions could become a little softer and less pungent after thawing. But despite the texture changes, scallions remain safe to use in cooking.

But why do people freeze green onions anyway?  Gardeners have a wealth of these tasty little onions and will need to find something to do with them before they go bad.

Another reason for freezing green onions is that when you buy them, you have way too many to use. Anyone who has bought a bunch of scallions can confirm, they come in a bushel far too large to go through in a timely manner. Most people, growers, and buyers of the vegetable will end up giving away or tossing out half of their supply of green onions.

Other reasons why people freeze onions include stocking up on the vegetable while it is still in season, preserving the green onions for future uses, or buying in bulk for special occasions. If you want to a steady supply of green onions all year round, freezing them is your best bet.

No matter your individual reason, anyone would hate to waste their food, and in essence their money. Freezing is actually a perfectly viable option for preserving your onions so that you can make the most of them.

Some people may be wary of freezing green onions for fear that it will ruin the product. In truth, the only thing that will happen to the onion is that it will lose some of its crispness. Because of this, you should only use your frozen onions in dishes that do not require fresh crisp onions.

Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze green onions:

How to Freeze Green Onions?

Do note that green onions are extremely pungent. It’s likely that the odors will emanate from improperly packed green onions. As such, seal the green onions well prior to freezing. Let’s take a look at the different ways to freeze green onions:

Green onions
Image used under Creative Commons from Emilian Robert Vicol

Flash-Freezing Green Onions

Although green onions do not require blanching, flash freezing will extend the freshness of the vegetable. You can also freeze the bulb and stems together but it’s best to do this separately.

Flash freezing is an extra step but it will improve the texture of the green onions after defrosting. Start by prepping the vegetables, washing the green onions to remove dirt and debris. Then, pat the vegetables dry, they should be completely dry prior to freezing. Chop the green onions into desired pieces and you’re ready for flash freezing.

Place the chopped green onions onto a parchment lined baking tray. Pop the baking tray into the freezer and freeze for an hour or until solid. Once the green onions are frozen, take the baking tray out of the freezer and divide the vegetable into single serving portions. Spoon the vegetables into snack sized resealable plastic bag then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Fresh Green Onions

If you don’t want to flash freeze the green onions, that’s fine. Just wash the green onions and onion bulb well, removing bits and dirt that might’ve been stuck in the crevices. Then, pat the green onions dry with paper towel. You want the green onions to be as dry as possible to maintain the integrity of the vegetable during freezing. Leftover moisture will turn to ice crystals during freezing and this will ruin the texture and flavor of the green onions.

Once the vegetables are dry, get your knife and cutting board and start chopping the green onions into desired pieces. Get a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid or snack-size resealable plastic bags and spoon the green onions into the container. Do not overfill the container so the vegetables won’t bruise. Close the lid or seal the plastic bag, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

Green onions cut
Image used under Creative Commons from Mark Bonica

No matter how you decide to freeze your onions, it’ll be a good choice. Just make sure that you use a big enough container to where you aren’t packing the onions in too tight. Remember, onions are incredibly pungent vegetables. They will stain your freezer and everything around them with their scent. To prevent this, ensure that you packing the scallions properly. You may even use double or triple bagging. Store the scallions as far away from other foods as possible.

How to Defrost Frozen Green Onions?

Unless you did not divide the green onions into single serving portions, there is no need to thaw the vegetable. Green onions will thaw as they cook. But if you need to thaw green onions, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the green onions to thaw overnight and they’re ready to use.


Green onions add a punch of flavor and crunch to stir-frys, sautéed dishes, soups, and stews. Now that you know how can you freeze green onions, you can extend the shelf life of this vegetable for future uses!