21 Types of Onions: Taste and Uses

We all use onions in our cooking, right? Be it red onions, white onions or even green spring onions, they are an essential part of a dish in most cases. From sauces to soups, curries, sautéed vegetables and more, onions make for a very versatile ingredient, which can add texture to a dish and enhance its flavour to a great extent.

21 Types of Onions: Taste and Uses

Did you know that there are 21 different types of onions that you could use in your cooking and more? Well, here’s everything you need to know about them!

21 Types of Onions: Taste and Uses

1. Red Onions

Red onions are sweet, but have a mild flavor. They are best added into salads, into sandwiches, for roasting and served with roasted meats, into antipasto trays etc.

2. Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are pungent, but not as much as the white onions. They can be used in general cooking (when you wish to have a strong flavoured dish). Note that they aren’t the same as Spanish onions.

3. Spanish Onions

Spanish onions have a mildly sweet taste and are best used for salads, can be stuffed and baked, to make onion rings etc. They make for great substitutes shallots and Bermuda onions.

4. Shallots

Shallots have a mild and a very delicate taste and some even do not consider them to be “onions” because of their taste. They are best used to make sauces, dressings, dips, mild types of sautés etc.

5. Chives

Chives have a very mild flavour and they are best used for cream soups, in potato dishes, in salads, in egg dishes etc.

6. Green Onions

Green onions, often well-known as ‘Spring Onions’ or ‘Salad Onions’. These onions have are often eaten raw and have a mild and a slight peppery taste. They are added into salads, sandwiches, into dips, into omelettes, stir-fries, into fried rice and noodles etc. Both the parts of these onions (the green and white) can be separated and used as well.

7. White Onions

These onions have a very strong and pungent taste. They are very flavourful and best added into salads and into any general cooking dishes (those that require a strong and pungent flavour).

8. Maui Onions

These onions have a sweet taste and are very juicy. They are often made into onion rings, added into salads, into sandwiches, when caramelized or grilled after being marinated.

9. Pearl Onions

Pearl onions are very often known as ‘Button Onions’ or ‘Baby Onions’. They have a sweet and mild taste. They are best used for pickling, in curries and gravies, casseroles, while sautéed, with roasted meats etc. They are often used as a whole, without being chopped.

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10. Leeks

Leeks have a mild flavour and can be added into soups or fried vegetables or meat dishes. They can also be eaten raw, but note that their leaves are inedible.

11. Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onions are unusually sweet and are best when added into salads, into dips, dressings, relishes, quiches, pickles, made into onion rings and more.

12. Red Wing Onions

These onions have a very mild taste and are best suited for adding into sandwiches, into salads, etc.

13. Texas Supasweet Onions

Texas supasweet onions are mild in taste and have a very delicate flavour. They are best added into salads, sandwiches and salsas.

14. Walla Walla Sweet Onions

Walla walla onions have a complex flavour, but tends more towards a sweet flavouring. They are best used in salads, in pastas pizzas, quiches, in sandwiches etc. They are best eaten raw or when slightly cooked.

15. Cocktail Onions

Cocktail onions are also called as ‘Silver Skin Onions’ and have a sweet flavour and is most often used for pickling. They are also sometimes used for cocktail garnishes, in strong cheeses, in cold meats, crusty breads etc.

16. Pickling Onions

Pickling onions have a strong and pungent taste. They are best for pickling, as their name suggests them to be used and can also be added into casseroles etc. They make for a great substitute to regular onions in any dish.

17. Boiling Onions

Boiling onions have a rather mild taste and they are best used when added into creamed dishes, soups, casseroles, stews etc., which require to be boiled during preparation.

18. Bermuda Onions

Bermuda onions are sweet to taste and can be used for salads, in baking recipes, they can be stuffed and then baked as well. These onions are good as a substitute for Spanish onions or for shallots.

19. Cipollini Onions

These onions are sweet and have a rich taste. They are best for roasting, to be added into salads, tarts, for caramelizing etc.

20. Egyptian Onions

These onions are also called ‘Tree Onions’ or ‘Winter Onions’. They have a very mild flavour and are best used in potato dishes, salads, creamy types of soups and in egg dishes.

21. Welsh Onions

Welsh onions are moderately pungent in taste and they have a taste very similar to that of green onions. These onions are best when added into stir-fries and stir-fried dishes.