Everything Onions: A Complete Guide to This Culinary Staple

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Onions are one of, if not the most important ingredients to have on hand when it comes to preparing almost any recipe. They’re incredibly versatile and are considered essential in culinary cultures around the world, and for good reason.

It’s hard to go wrong when cooking with onions—heated with a little oil or butter and salt, they can lend a complex sweetness to any dish that they’re a part of. Raw onions have a spicy bite that very few other ingredients can bring. With so many different types to choose from, it can be tricky to know which variety to use when. We’ve created a guide to help clear things up so you’ll always know which onion to choose.

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are typically considered to be the most flavorful and work best when cooked in dishes like soups and stews. They’re a great “all-around” onion that you can’t go wrong adding to any hearty dish. 

Red Onions

Red onions have a light, peppery flavor that’s generally lighter than other onion varieties. As a result, they can be added raw to everything from salads to salsas. They’re also delicious when pickled with a little white wine vinegar.

White Onions

White onions are the blue jeans of the culinary world—they’re incredibly versatile and can fit in almost anywhere. Feeling fancy? Heat them slowly with some butter and salt to create golden caramelized onions. In the mood for something casual? Chop them up and throw them in some guacamole to enjoy with tortilla chips.