Whats the Difference with Different Types of Onions?



I’ve been really working on my cooking skills the last five years of my life but it took me until this year to actually understand the difference with different types of onions. It all started with a ruined batch of my “cream” of broccoli soup. I grabbed a red onion instead of a white onion and didn’t think it would make a difference… think again!

So first lets start out with the different types of onions:

  • Yellow Onions
  • White Onions
  • Red Onions

So what is the difference? Here is the onion lowdown!

Yellow Onions- This is the most popular onion sold and grown in the united states. They work very well in soups, stews, with meat and are sweet in taste. The smell of yellow onions is very strong… hello watery eyes, they are so pungent that most of the time they are served cooked as raw yellow onions are VERY strong in taste. If you are after that carmelized onion taste this should be your go to option.

Not So Perfect Life


Red Onions- While not very popular in the US red onions are a favorite among Europeans and are gaining popularity as raw salad and sandwich toppers. Red onions are the most mild and many complain that the onion flavor gets lost when cooked.  If you are going to cook them they have the best flavor when grilled or roasted.

Not So Perfect Life


White Onions- White onions are very popular in Italian, Mexican and Southwestern dishes. I find that they are a perfect complement to any dish with tomatoes in it. The flavor is very middle of the road and they have a crisp finish, making them excellent in sauces and salsa! White onions do not store as long as the other two options but they are my favorite of the three.

Not So Perfect Life


Scallions are another great alternative to onions. I have a very hard time even chopping them they make my eyes water sooo bad! I tend to stay away from them but I do admit they are pretty tasty in roasted vegetable dishes. I find that they do not work as well with meat.

To pick a good onion go with ones with a nice firm texture and a flaky outer skin. If you cut open an onion and see any dark or moldy spots just cut those spots away and use the rest of the onion. I hope you feel better informed next time you head to the grocery store with a recipe in hand. I am trying to make sure to be specific in my recipes to avoid confusion.

Hopefully you all had a nice long weekend. I can not believe it is September already. Time is flying this year. There is still some news I need to tell you all but I’m afraid it’s going to have to wait another week :( In the mean time I’ll be working on getting back into my normal posting routine!

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About rebacox

Pseudo athlete and vegan, learning to love all the imperfections in life. Follow me in my journey, training for races (a half marathon in all 50 states to be exact) and my adventures in the kitchen!
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11 Responses to Whats the Difference with Different Types of Onions?

  1. I’ve actually always wondered what’s the difference between these types of onions. This is great! Thanks for sharing!
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat recently posted…WIAW #12 – Labor Day Weekend EatsMy Profile

  2. Hyedi says:

    Mmmm, I love onions!

    Also — my mini-mingle deets are up now! I’m leading the Sandcastle one for Friday’s lunch!
    Hyedi recently posted…FAB Fitness: Foot EditionMy Profile

  3. Ha- its like you read my mind! i was actually standing in whole foods the other day wondering what type of onion i should get. i went with a red onion, as i usually do, but this is good to know!
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…I’m In The Wall Street Journal Today!My Profile

  4. THANK YOU!!! I always forget the difference! Lesson learned when trying to caramelize red onions this past weekend…
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Sunflower Butter Carob BitesMy Profile

  5. It makes me laugh that some people don’t like all types of onions. They all have such great flavors, in general I prefer red in salads and other raw uses and yellow for everything else. White onions are fine but I like the stronger flavors. If I want milk I choose green onions.
    Casey @ Salted Plates recently posted…What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

    • rebacox says:

      I didn’t like onions growing up and it took awhile for me to get where I love them. I still perfer onions minced in soups because i dont like biting into a big piece of it.

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