The F.N. Sharp Guide to Slicing, Dicing, Ringing, Wedging and Blooming an Onion
There are many ways to use onions for adding some flavor to a meal. They can be sliced up and added to burgers, sandwiches, Greek gyros, salads, fajitas, stir-frys and other skillet meals. They can be diced up to add flavor to many, many dishes (like meatloaf or pizza), or you can dice it even smaller and add to ground beef to make delicious little homemade White Castle burgers (I’m so hungry).
But yes, the onion is such a useful vegetable. In fact, it is such a useful vegetable that it may even be used as a deterrent for close talkers – that is after you’ve followed these steps to slicing, dicing, wedging, ringing and blooming an onion (and finished eating whatever you made).
Here’s everything we’ll cover in this guide:
How to Cut an Onion 5 Different Ways
You’ll need just a few tools in order to perfectly slice, dice, wedge, ring and bloom an onion. First, you’ll need to go out and buy a tactical gas mask, unless you actually enjoy crying over nothing, which some people do – not judging because…guilty! If you can’t afford a gas mask, then a pair of snorkeling goggles may do the trick. Or, you can get even fancier and order a pair of onion goggles (yes, they exist).
But really, the most important tool you’ll need is a sharp knife, whether it’s the heavy duty chef’s knife, the precise Santoku knife, the handy utility knife, or even the small but mighty paring knife, depending on the size of your onion (hello shallots).
Knife Knowledge 101: The Best Knives for Cutting Veggies
The knife you use is up to you – just make sure it’s (F.N.) sharp! This is an important step for not only slicing and dicing onions like a total boss (and avoiding injuries that often come with working with a dull knife), but also cutting up those pungent veggies without crying your eyes out.
You’ll also want to get to know your onion just a little better. Imagine the onion as a globe with two poles. The root end (the hairy looking part) is the South Pole and the opposite end, or stem end, is the North Pole. When you peel the onion, you’ll see lines that resemble the longitude lines on a globe. These serve as a great guide for recipes that call for thinly sliced onions. Pretty cool, huh?
Once you’re armed with eye protection, grab a sharp knife and you’ll be all set. Oh and don’t forget the onion and a good cutting board (unless you hate your landlord).
Get All of the F.N. Sharp Essentials: The F.N. Sharp's 6-Knife Set & Magnetic Knife Block
How to Peel an Onion
Ah, how to peel that onion… It’s a lot like peeling garlic cloves – you either know the tips and tricks or you stand there peeling forever in frustration.
The best trick to peeling an onion is wrapping it up in a dish towel and slamming it on the counter seven to ten times.
Okay, that is so not true, but it does sound really fun. And well, that’s how Jamie Oliver peels and onion – and he’s a real chef so you should definitely believe him over me. But really, the Internet is full of tips for how to peel an onion, but the easiest (and most professional) way to do it will depend on how you plan on cutting the onion.
For slicing and dicing, there are three different ways to peel an onion:
- Slice the onion in half and peel.
- Slice off the root and stem ends and peel.
- Slice off the stem end and peel and slice from there.
If you really want to keep those tears at bay, try slicing from pole to pole, or against the grain, to minimize the release of compounds that give off the pungent odor and flavor.
More on Veggies: The F.N. Sharp Guide to Cooking With Fresh Produce
How to Slice an Onion
When you come across recipes that call for sliced onions, thinly sliced onions, thin cut onions, julienne or French cut onions, they’re basically asking for the same thing – sliced onions.
Probably one of the easiest ways to cut up an onion, this is the way to go for topping off salads and flatbreads, or for caramelizing and serving atop burgers and steaks.
To slice an onion, grab a sharp knife and follow the steps below:
- Cut the onion in half from pole to pole, then peel.
- Place the onion halves cut side down on the cutting board (or the counter if you hate your landlord).
- Morph your non-dominant hand into “the claw” then run around the house and try to scare the crap out of your kids or pets. If you don’t have kids or pets, a roommate, significant other or neighbor will do.
- Use “the claw” to hold one of the onion halves in place on the cutting board (or the counter if you hate your landlord).
- Pick up the knife with your dominant hand and wrap your fingers around the handle (not the blade, in case you were wondering).
- Make sure you’re holding the knife (by the handle) in a way that is most comfortable and gives you the most control.
- With the knife gripped in your dominant hand and your curled non-dominant hand holding the onion in place, begin slicing from one end to the other, following along those lines of longitude we mentioned earlier.
There you have it – a perfectly sliced onion! Easy, right? Moving on…
Knife Skills 101: The F.N. Sharp Guide to Knife Cuts & Techniques
How to Dice an Onion
Diced onion is probably one of the most common recipe ingredients you’ll come across. You’ll find it in just about every recipe, from salsas and chilis to soups and stews to casseroles and skillet meals. All the more reason to practice becoming an onion-dicing pro, amiright?
There are a couple of extra steps to dicing onions, but it's still super easy once you get the hang of it.
To dice an onion, grab that sharp knife and follow the steps below:
- Cut the onion in half from pole to pole.
- Slice off about an inch from the stem end to give you a nice edge to peel.
- Peel both halves (if using both), then place the halves cut side down on the cutting board.
- Begin making evenly spaced slices from the cut end, leaving that root end intact to keep the onion in place (and the tears at bay).
- Next, hold your knife horizontally to the onion and make about 2 or 3 slices from bottom to top.
- Turn the onion to a slight angle and start dicing.
Need to see how to dice an onion in action? Check out the video below:
How to Cut an Onion Into Wedges
Cutting an onion into wedges is just as easy as slicing. This is how you’ll want to cut your onion when making kebabs, oven-roasted veggies or any recipe that calls for bigger pieces of onion.
You could even try frying up the wedges and serving them as a "deconstructed bloomin’ onion” with dipping sauce, like this recipe by cookingpanda.com.
To cut an onion into wedges, grab that sharp knife and follow the steps below:
- Slice off the root and stem ends, then cut in half.
- Lay the onion half cut-side down on the cutting board and make about 3 to 4 slices across.
- Make one slice going perpendicular to those first 3 to 4 slices to give you some nice wedges to work with.
- Repeat with the other half if needed.
Need to see how to wedge onions in action? Check Out This How-To Video
How to Cut an Onion Into Rings
Mmm onion rings. Even people who hate onions (me, unless they’re cooked) can love onion rings (me again, because they’re cooked).
Then there are people who don’t like onions but like onion-flavored snacks, like sour cream and onion chips. And Funyons (mmm Funyons). Anyway, back to those onion rings...
To create the onion ring, grab a sharp knife and follow the steps below:
- Slice off about half an inch from the top and the bottom of the onion and peel.
- Use “the claw” to hold the onion in place on the cutting board, or the counter (if you hate your landlord). Then slice from one cut end to the other and bam – you’ve got onion rings!
Need to see how to ring onions in action? Check Out This How-To Video
How to Bloom an Onion
Ah, the blooming onion – one of the best ways to eat an onion! This popular restaurant appetizer also involves one of the easiest ways to cut up and fry an onion, so why not learn how to make it yourself?
What’s even better about making your own blooming onion is you get to decide what you want to dip it in, and you'll find plenty of ideas on Pinterest.
To cut a blooming onion, grab a sharp knife and follow the steps below:
- Slice about an inch off of the stem end and lay the onion cut-side down.
- Begin making downward slices from the root, making them as evenly spaced as possible.
- Flip the onion over and press down lightly to open up the bloom.
Want to see how to wedge, ring and bloom an onion in action? Check out the video below!
How to Store Cut Onions
If your recipe only calls for half an onion, or if you cut up more than you need or want to make meal prepping a breeze, you can store cut onions in the fridge or freezer in plastic wrap or in a storage bag or container, as long as it's airtight.
Sliced or diced onions can be stored for up to 10 days in the fridge or up 6 months in the freezer. For leftover onion halves, you’ll want to store those either in the fridge or chop them up before freezing.
When storing onion halves in the fridge, be sure to store cut sides down to keep them as fresh as possible (up to 2 weeks). If the cut side feels a little dry after storing, simply slice a thin layer off the surface and discard.
F.N. Sharp Tip: Save your refrigerated onion halves for recipes that call for cooked onion, rather than raw, as they tend to lose flavor and can give off a harsh, sour or metallic taste, compared to freshly sliced onions.
Now that you know how to cut an onion 5 ways, it’s time to practice!
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33 Recipes for Practicing Your Onion Cutting Skills
When it comes to recipe hunting for new and exciting meal ideas, just about every single one you come across will call for some kind of onion, from thinly sliced to finely diced. Here are 33 recipe ideas to add to your collection while practicing your onion-cutting skills!
Recipes that Call for Onion Slices or Wedges
Greek Pasta Salad With Grilled Lemon and PomegranatePractice your onion cutting skills and treat your taste buds with this bright and tangy Greek pasta salad recipe! Orzo pasta, thinly sliced red onion, diced cucumber, quartered cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped sundried tomato, grilled lemon wedges, pomegranate, feta cheese and lemon-parm dressing all come together in this recipe for Greek pasta salad!
Blood Orange Winter Salad With Vinaigrette DressingCold and/or gloomy rainy days call for sunshine on a plate, and this blood orange winter salad recipe is sure to brighten up your day! Baby kale, baby spinach, sliced red or white onion, blood orange slices, roasted and diced golden beet, crispy air-fried chickpeas and homemade blood orange vinaigrette dressing all come together in this deliciously healthy and filling salad!
Steakhouse Chopped Salad With Tarragon Vinaigrette DressingAnother deliciously healthy recipe, this steakhouse chopped salad comes with BIG flavors! Your choice of lettuce, baby spinach, roughly chopped cauliflower and radicchio, thinly sliced red onion, cherry tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, homemade black pepper parmesan croutons and tarragon vinaigrette dressing all come together in this BIG salad!
Crispy Parmesan, Sundried Tomato, Onion and Olive Focaccia BreadWe say “focaccia”, you say “Yum!” This crispy focaccia bread recipe is loaded with fresh and dried herbs, then topped with roughly chopped sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, finely chopped fresh oregano, roughly chopped olives and salty parmesan. Try it paired with some pasta with red sauce, dipped in a creamy soup, served alongside a cheese platter, or whatever you fancy!
Pork Tostadas With Broccoli Apple SlawSpice up Taco Tuesday with this recipe! Toasted tostada shells, ground pork, sliced red onion, diced yellow onion, chopped broccoli florets, thinly sliced broccoli stalks, diced Granny Smith apple, diced jalapeno, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, a medley of spices and a little bit of beer all come together in this deliciously healthy recipe for pork tostadas with spicy broccoli apple slaw!
Caramelized Onion Dip
Get those onion goggles ready and make sure your knife is F.N. Sharp because the onions do double-duty in this caramelized onion dip recipe! Sliced white onions upon sliced white onions, sliced shallots, fresh or dried chives, sour cream, cream cheese, butter worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, onion powder, salt and vermouth all come together in this super delicious appetizer recipe!
Greek Lemon Chicken Kebabs with Talatouri Sauce
Fire up the grill and turn your backyard into a Greek island vacation with this recipe for lemon chicken kebabs with homemade talatouri dipping sauce! Cubed chicken breast, wedged red onion, grated shallots, lemon zest, lemon juice, grilled lemon, Greek yogurt, grated English cucumber, grated garlic and fresh mint all come together in this light and healthy summer recipe!
Bechamel Vegetable Lasagna
Eat your veggies with this deliciously cheesy bechamel vegetable lasagna recipe! Thinly sliced zucchini, thinly sliced red onion, diced shallots, broccoli rabe, egg, unsalted butter, unbleached white flour, milk, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan, lasagna noodles and homemade creamy bechamel sauce all come together in this healthy-ish veggie lasagna recipe!
Recipes that call for Chopped or Diced Onions
Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites with Gruyere SauceTurn chicken cordon bleu into a finger-food dipping appetizer with this F.N. Sharp recipe! Panko breaded boneless chicken breast pieces, sliced black forest ham, finely diced red onion, sliced gruyere cheese, heavy cream, unsalted butter, dijon mustard and a medley of spices all come together to create this recipe for chicken cordon bleu bites with gruyere dipping sauce!
Irish Guinness Beef Stew
This recipe is great for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, or any day that calls for a hot bowl of hearty soup! Cubed top sirloin steak, diced yellow onion, chopped celery, chopped carrots, quartered baby red potatoes, frozen green beans, all purpose flour, tomato paste, chicken stock, Guinness stout beer, salt, pepper and fresh herbs come together in this Irish beef stew recipe.
Sweet & Spicy Apple SalsaGet those taste buds dancing with this sweet and spicy apple salsa recipe! Diced apple, diced English cucumber, diced red or yellow onion, diced watermelon radish, diced jalapeno, roughly chopped fresh cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice, agave and salt all come together to create the perfect salsa for chips and dip, or for topping off proteins like chicken and pork.
Cherry & Thyme Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Combining the sweetness of cherries with the savory loveliness of spinach and thyme, this stuffed pork tenderloin recipe is perfect getting in some fruit and veggies while stuffing bellies! Diced frozen sweet cherries, diced yellow onion, roughly chopped fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped fresh thyme, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning blend all come together in this stuffed pork recipe.
Savory Cheddar, Bacon, Potato and Cabbage Hand Pies
Move over Hot Pockets – these homemade cheddar, potato, bacon and cabbage hand pies are bursting with healthy veggies and Irish flavor! Puff pastry, crumbled smoky bacon, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, finely diced russet potato, finely diced white onion, finely diced green cabbage, hot sauce, dried dill, caraway seeds, salt and pepper all come together in these savory hand pies.
Bison Medallions in Bourbon Cream Sauce
Explore the world of game meat with this recipe for bison medallions in bourbon cream sauce! Diced shallot or red onion, chicken broth, heavy cream, salted butter, roughly chopped fresh thyme and flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper, bison medallions and some good bourbon all come together in this easy recipe! If you can cook steak, you can definitely whip up this recipe!
Spreadable Mexican Cheese Ball
If you’ve been looking for the world’s best cheese ball recipe for your next party, well then you just found it! Shredded Monterey jack cheese, shredded sharp cheddar, cream cheese, diced green chilies, finely diced yellow or red onion, finely diced jalapeno, finely chopped cilantro, chopped pecans, pepitas, Worcestershire sauce and spices come together to create this delicious ball of yum!
Red Wine & Gruyere Pub Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Add a little wine to your cheese and say “Yes, please!” to this adult version of grilled cheese! With this recipe, your choice of French, sourdough or other rustic bread, merlot wine, diced onion, shredded gruyere cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese, salted butter, salt and pepper all come together to create this gourmet-at-home grilled cheese sandwich!
Basil & Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Another great recipe for stuffing bellies and satisfying Italian cravings, this basil and ricotta stuffed chicken breast recipe is full of Italian flavor! Boneless chicken breasts, roughly chopped fresh basil, finely diced yellow onion, egg yolk, whole milk ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, lemon juice and Italian spices all come together in this skillet-to-oven stuffed chicken breast recipe!
Double-Spiced Heirloom Tomato Salsa
What better way is there to get a good dose of veggies than a bowl full of some fresh homemade salsa? Packed full of diced heirloom tomatoes, diced red onion, diced cucumber, diced jalapenos, pickled jalapeno brine, frozen corn kernels, lime juice and a medley of spices, this double-spiced salsa recipe let's you double up your appetite with an extra dose of flavorful veggies!
Creamy Japanese Potato Salad
A variation of the American classic, this Japanese potato salad recipe uses rice vinegar and Kewpie mayo to create a deliciously creamy texture everyone will love! Diced russet potatoes, finely diced red onion, diced radish, thinly sliced carrot and scallion, finely diced boiled egg, diced ham and sesame seeds come together in this creamy recipe!
Instant Pot Turkey Chili
Homemade chili on a weeknight? Yes, it’s possible with this recipe for Instant Pot turkey chili! Ground turkey, diced red onion, diced green bell pepper, diced shallot, diced jalapeno, diced garlic, diced tomatoes, black beans, frozen corn kernels, chipotles in adobo and a ton of flavorful spices all come together to create this smoky spicy chili recipe, make faster and easier with F.N. Sharp knives.
Instant Pot Arroz con PolloSpice up your weeknight meals with this deliciously healthy chicken and rice recipe! Known as Arroz con Pollo, this recipe combines basmati rice, sliced boneless chicken breasts, diced red onion, diced poblano pepper, dice bell pepper (choose your color!), roughly chopped green olives, frozen baby peas, fresh lemon, lime and a medley of spices for a deliciously healthy Instant Pot meal!
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
Explore the flavors of Indian cuisine with this recipe for Instant Pot butter chicken! Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced red or white onion, diced ginger, diced garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, butter, cream, thinly sliced fresh cilantro or parsley, garam masala and other spices all come together in less than 15 minutes with the Instant Pot and some F.N. Sharp Knives!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Many can agree this recipe is chicken soup for the soul (they even made a movie about it)! Shredded rotisserie chicken, diced red onion, sliced celery, diced carrot, sliced jalapeno, finely diced garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, frozen corn kernels, fresh lime juice and spices all come together in this deliciously healthy recipe for chicken tortilla soup!
Splendiferous Veggie Soup
This one pot recipe offers another great and easy way to eat all of your veggies! Loaded with herbaceous flavor, this splendiferous veggie soup recipe combines chicken broth, quartered purple baby potatoes, sliced red onion, diced celery, diced garlic, sliced carrots, thinly sliced purple cabbage, baby spinach, fire roasted tomatoes, freshly grated ginger and spices.
Japanese Burgers With Pickled Cabbage
Take your burgers to the next level with this Japanese flavor-inspired recipe! A combination of ground chuck and ground pork, panko bread crumbs, finely diced white onion, thinly sliced Napa cabbage, diced cucumber, kombu, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, dried red chili pepper and other spices all come together in this recipe for Japanese burgers with pickled cabbage.
Mahi-Mahi Fish Tacos With Mango Poblano Salsa
Fishing for Taco Tuesday recipe ideas? Give your dinner guests something to taco ‘bout with this recipe! Corn tortillas, mahi-mahi fish, sweetened corn flakes, eggs, coconut flour, finely diced poblano pepper, finely diced red onion, chopped mango, fresh basil, finely chopped cilantro, finely chopped garlic, fresh lime juice and spices all come together in this recipe for fish tacos with mango salsa!
Espagnole Steak and Potatoes
Steak lovers, this one is for you! This steak and potatoes recipe serves gourmet on a plate! Juicy t-bone steak, red potato wedges, diced red onion, diced carrot, minced garlic, diced celery, roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped fresh thyme, and other herbs and spices all come together in this recipe for steak and potatoes with homemade espagnole sauce!
Paleo Chicken Sauce Tomat
If you’re following the paleo lifestyle and find yourself craving some Italian fare, then look no further than this Paleo chicken recipe! Boneless breasts, chopped red onion, finely chopped carrots, finely chopped celery, roughly chopped artichoke hearts, roughly chopped roasted red peppers and homemade sauce tomat all come together to create this deliciously healthy Italian meal!
Easy Beef Stroganoff
Few dishes can warm up your body and soul like a big bowl of beef stroganoff. This creamy noodle dish will leave you thanked by your “babushka”. Egg noodles, thinly cut steak, diced white onion, mushrooms, beef broth, sour cream, butter, flour, Worcestershire sauce, dry white wine, salt and pepper all come together in this beef stroganoff recipe!
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
There's nothing like stuffing your face with stuffed mushrooms while socializing at a dinner party. These delicious bite-sized snacks are always a winner at get-togethers. Ground hot pork sausage, egg yolk, cream cheese, white button mushrooms, finely chopped white onion and garlic, grated parmesan cheese and fresh parsley all come together in this stuffed mushrooms recipe!
MasterChef Steak & Hash with Chili-Espresso Ribeye
What’s better than steak & hash? How about a MasterChef-worthy recipe featuring chili-espresso rubbed ribeyes with chorizo and sweet potato hash topped with charred tomatillo and poblano salsa verde? Think that's a mouthful? Wait 'til you take a bite! In this follow-along video recipe, MasterChef Season 8 contestant Jeff Philbin shows us how to create this gourmet meal at home!
Recipes that call for Onion Rings
Hand Chopped Steak Burgers
If you love onions on your burgers, then check out this follow-along video recipe for hand-chopped steak burgers! While this recipe offers more of a starting point for how to make hand-chopped steak burgers at home and doesn’t include onions in the ingredient list, you can feel free to get creative and add some onion rings to the mix, whether they're raw, fried or caramelized 😋
Dessert Onion Rings
Onion rings for dessert? Oh yeah, of course someone figured out hoow to make this a thing, so don’t knock it until you try it! This recipe from justapinch.com sweetens up this finger food by dipping and frying onion rings in pancake batter, then coating them with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and crushed pecans. Sounds interesting enough to take a stab at it (pun intended).