From dicing to slicing, learn how to cut an onion.
Advertisement
4 differennt types of cut onions on a cutting board with a knife
Credit: Casey Barber

From a sharp red onion to a milder, slightly sweet Vidalia, this important member of the allium family is a tasty addition to any recipe. Onions can be the star of a dish, like in our Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Toast, or they can be used as an aromatic, like in our Spinach, Feta & Rice Casserole. Before you can successfully cook with onions, you should first learn how to properly cut an onion. (And if you're worried about tearing up, check out these tips for cutting an onion without crying.)

two onions resting on a cutting board at eye level
Credit: Casey Barber

How to Dice an Onion

Midsection of woman cutting white onion on table
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 1

Cut off stem end, leaving root end intact, then cut the onion in half through the root end. Peel the onion.

Midsection of woman chopping white onion on wooden board at table
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 2

Place the flat end of one onion half on the cutting board. With the knife parallel to the cutting board, make one or two cuts lengthwise from the stem toward (but not through) the root end. (Stabilize the onion with your fingers on top and out of the path of the knife.)

Midsection of woman chopping white onion on cutting board
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 3

With your knife now perpendicular to the cutting board, make a series of lengthwise cuts through the onion half, from stem to root end. Cut crosswise into dice.

How to Slice an Onion

Midsection of woman cutting onion on wooden board at table
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 1

Cut off root end.

Midsection of woman cutting onion on wooden board
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 2

Cut off stem end.

Midsection of woman peeling onion on cutting board at table
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 3

Peel the onion. 

Midsection of woman chopping onion on wooden board at table
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 4

Cut the onion in half lengthwise.

close up of cutting a red onion
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Step 5

Place the flat end of one onion half on the cutting board. Cut parallel to the grain of the onion from stem to root end, adjusting the cuts to the desired slice thickness.

How to Slice an Onion into Rings

Close up of cutting an onion
Credit: Karla Conrad

Step 1

Cut off stem end, leaving root end intact. Peel the onion.

Close up of slicing an onion
Credit: Karla Conrad

Step 2

Slice across the onion (widthwise) to create rings. Separate the onion into individual rings. Discard the root end. (To keep the onion from rolling when you slice, you can cut a small, flat spot to rest against the cutting board to help stabilize it.)

How to Cut an Onion into Wedges

A close up of cutting an onion
Credit: Casey Barber

Step 1

Cut off root end.

A knife cutting off the end of an onion
Credit: Casey Barber

Step 2

Cut off stem end.

close up of hands peeling an onion
Credit: Casey Barber

Step 3

Peel the onion.

Close up of a knife being used to cut an onion in half
Credit: Casey Barber

Step 4

Cut the onion in half lengthwise.

A close up of someone using a knife to cut an onion
Credit: Casey Barber

Step 5

Place the flat end of the onion on the cutting board. Make lengthwise cuts from stem to root end parallel to the grain, adjusting the cuts to the desired wedge size.

Once you have your cut onions, there are plenty of delicious possibilities. From Slow-Cooker French Onion Soup to Sour Cream & Onion Melting Potatoes, onions add savory flavor to any dish. And if your recipe doesn't call for a whole onion, learn how to freeze onions to save time and money.