Everything you ever wanted to know about how to cut an onion, from finely chopping onion for Ceviche, to slicing for French Onion Soup and cutting into Onion Rings. Watch the video tutorial and learn how to chop an onion the easy way.

It’s true, I have an onion complex. Onions are never in short supply at our house. I think they make everything taste better; except dessert, I haven’t found a way to put those together… YET.

Basket of onions ready for cutting

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Onion area staple in my cooking and especially in Ukrainian cuisine; baked, stewed, broiled, boiled, tossed into salads, sautéed, seared, marinated, and even raw with a bit of salo (not that I eat salo, but it is customary in Ukraine). This means I probably won’t be making a salo tutorial. Please stop crying.

Watch How To Cut an Onion:

I hope you found the onion cutting video tutorial helpful. Thanks for stopping by my blog to watch the videos, cook the recipes, and for leaving your thoughtful comments and suggestions. I’m so happy I started blogging or I may never have met you. You are wonderful.

Before you start…

Use a sharp knife – For safety and to minimize tears, it is critical to use a very sharp knife. A dull knife is more likely to slip while cutting. Check out our tutorial on How to Sharpen Your Knife and learn basic knife skills to protect your fingers while slicing and dicing.

How to finely chop an onion

Here’s a quick photo reference from the video tutorial above.

  1. Cut the onion in half from root to stem.
  2. Set the onion on the flat side and cut off the stem end, leaving the root intact.
  3. Slice the onion parallel with the lines of the onion, going as close to the root as you can without cutting all the way through.
  4. Pull the onion together and cut halfway into the center of it with your knife at an angle.
  5. Chop the onions crosswise into fine dice or to your desired thickness.
Step by step how to chop an onion

How to thinly slice an onion

Sliced onions are wonderful for French Onion Soup and Stir Fry.

  1. Cut the onion in half from root to stem/
  2. Set the onion on the flat side and cut off both ends.
  3. Thinly slice the onion, cutting parallel with the lines of the onion (root to tip)
Step by step how to slice an onion into strips

How to cut an onion into rings

For recipes like Onion Rings or Burgers, sometimes you’ll need onions sliced into rings. Here’s how to cut onions into rings:

  1. Cut the stem off (leave the root intact).
  2. Use a pairing knife to pull back and remove the peel.
  3. Optional – remove a small slit from one end to give the onion a more stable surface.
  4. Cut the onion into rings to your desired thickness, parallel to the root.
Step by step how to slice an onion into rings

How much chopped onion does an onion yield?

Some recipes call for measurements in chopped onion, i.e 1 cup onions, finely chopped. Here’s a helpful guide for choosing the correct size of onion based on its yield when chopped.

  • Small Onion = 4 oz (1/4 lb or lemon-sized) = 1/2 cup chopped
  • Medium Onion = 8 oz (1/2 lb or apple-sized) = 1 cup chopped
  • Large Onion = 12 oz (3/4 lb or orange-sized) = 1 1/2 cups chopped
  • Jumbo Onion = 16 oz (1 lb, or grapefruit-sized) = 2 cups chopped

I’ll do my best to stay on track with this chart throughout my recipes to minimize confusion (my mom grows plenty of onions for the whole family and those can come in cute extra small and extra small, baby sizes also.

measuring cup with chopped onion

How to store chopped onions

Once onions are sliced, transfer to an airtight storage container (to contain the strong onion aroma) and refrigerate for up to a week. Refrigerated onions tend to get more potent in flavor the longer they sit. If you want to enjoy them raw (in Homemade Salsa, Guacamole, etc), they should be used within 2 days of refrigerating. Onions stored for longer should only be used for cooking.

onions in airtight container for storing in the refrigerator.

How to cut an onion without crying

I have read countless tips over the years for how to not cry cutting an onion. The only tip that works every time is to use onion goggles, and although it always gives someone a good laugh, it’s definitely not practical. Here are my best tips to reduce tears:

  • Do not cut off the root or it will cause the onion to juice and make you cry.
  • Use a sharp knife to make clean strokes through the onion (do not saw through the onion)
  • A kitchen range hood vent can help reduce some of the fumes that are released from the onion. Slice the onion near the vent.

If you have any tricks up your sleeve to prevent onion tears, let me know in the comments.

onions in a basket
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

How to Cut an Onion

Learn how to easily chop an onion. You can use this method whether you are cutting large dice or finely dicing an onion, just cut to your desired thickness.
Prep Time2 minutes
Total Time2 minutes
Course: How to
Keyword: how to chop an onion, how to cut an onion
Skill Level: Easy
Servings: 1 cup chopped onion
Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Ingredients

Servings: 1 cup chopped onion

Instructions

  • Cut the onion in half lengthwise from the root to the stem.
  • Set the onion on the flat side and cut off the stem end, leaving the root end intact.
  • Slice the onion parallel with the lines of the onion. Get close to the root but don't cut all the way through.
  • Pull the onion together with your fingers and cut halfway into the center of the onion with your knife at a slight angle.
  • Chop the onions crosswise into fine dice or to your desired thickness.

Video

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Carole Berg
    March 1, 2024

    I turn the gas burner on high and chop an onion next to the flame. Never feel the burn in my eyes. Love you web site.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 1, 2024

      Thank you for the tip, Carole!

      Reply

  • Jane J.
    March 21, 2023

    Thanks for the instructions. I’ll be using this everyday. I also use onions almost everyday. I just had no idea it was a super food.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 21, 2023

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Jane!

      Reply

  • Ron Grant
    March 4, 2023

    Through 65 years of cutting or chopping onions we have the cutting board within a couple of feet of the kitchen water faucet. We turn on the cold water and look toward it while cutting the onion. We never have tears period, whether it’s a sweet or strong onion.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 4, 2023

      Great idea! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Jennifer Stidwell
    September 4, 2022

    I love trying you resipe and I love your stile of cooking. Who you are comes out I your cooking Bless you and your family

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 4, 2022

      Thank you and I hope you’ll love the recipes that you will try!

      Reply

  • Beverly Hirschfield
    March 23, 2022

    I love watching your videos I learn more from you than any other cooking shows out there you make cooking fun

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 23, 2022

      Thank you, Beverly. I am so very happy to hear that.

      Reply

  • Margie
    March 22, 2022

    I find that starting with a refrigerated onion helps cut down on the tears.
    Your tip of leaving the root attached for dicing is brilliant!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 22, 2022

      Thank you for sharing that with us, Margie!

      Reply

  • Diana Morgan
    March 22, 2022

    Chopped onions can be frozen. I have kept them chopped in Freezer ziploc bags for as long as 6 months. They were great for adding into eggs or omelettes, adding to meatloaf, or adding to the tops of frozen pizzas. The same thing for bell peppers. Now you can actually purchase them that way, and I have been doing this for Decades.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 22, 2022

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Diana!

      Reply

  • Jonne Willson
    March 21, 2022

    Thank you for sending me this extremely informative link to surviving the eye agony from chopping onions! So many great tips, however, I’m sure I’d enjoy wearing those goggles just for a laugh😂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 21, 2022

      You’re very welcome, Jonne! haha! I’m glad you had a good laugh with me!

      Reply

  • Sebastian
    March 21, 2022

    I always cut the onions across the middle so this was so helpful. Can’t wait to try it. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 21, 2022

      I hope this is helpeful!

      Reply

  • John Connally
    March 20, 2022

    My age causes my eyes to water profusely and the only time they don’t is when I’m chopping onions! Maybe I’m just strange.

    Reply

  • Nola McLaren
    March 20, 2022

    I SING. I sing when I chop onions and I don’t cry. Ok well my family cries when I sing so they leave.
    I think singing makes you breath through your mouth not your nose. Give it a try sometime.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 20, 2022

      Sure, that sounds good!

      Reply

  • Tanya Rust
    March 19, 2022

    I was very sceptical but tried cutting an onion right beside a wet paper towel and it worked!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 20, 2022

      Thanks for sharing, Tanya. We appreciate it!

      Reply

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