How To Slice A Green Onion Or Scallions?

Short answer: To slice green onions or scallions, start by rinsing them under cold water and patting them dry. Cut off the root end and the very top of the green end. Lay the green onions on a cutting board and slice them crosswise into small rounds, using a sharp knife.

Green onions, also known as scallions, are a versatile ingredient that can add a fresh, mild onion flavor to numerous dishes. A scallion can be sliced by cutting both ends and slicing it in the round. Whether you’re garnishing a stir-fry, topping a taco, or adding some crunch to your salads, knowing how to properly slice these slender vegetables will come in handy in your culinary journey.

What Is A Scallion?

What Is A Scallion
Green Onions or Scallion

Scallions, also known as green onions, spring onions, or salad onions, are a type of onion that is harvested when young. They have a milder taste compared to fully matured onions and consist of a white base that hasn’t fully developed into a bulb and long, straight green stalks. Both parts of the scallion can be used in cooking, with the green tops often used as a garnish, and the white base used for its mild, slightly sweet flavor. Scallions are commonly used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stir-fries, and noodle dishes.

Uses Of Green Onions

Green onions can be used both raw and cooked, which makes them a truly versatile ingredient. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Salads: Thinly sliced green tops add a fresh, crisp texture and a mild onion flavor to any salad. They can be used in a variety of salads, such as potato salad, pasta salad, or green leafy salads.
  • Stir-fries: The white bottoms of green onions, which are a bit more robust in flavor, are excellent in stir-fries. They can be added near the end of cooking time to retain a bit of their crispness.
  • Soups and Stews: Add chopped green onions towards the end of cooking for a flavorful boost. They can be used in a variety of soups and stews, like chicken noodle soup or beef stew.
  • Garnish: Green onions make for an excellent garnish due to their bright green color and mild flavor. They can be sprinkled on top of dishes like chili, casseroles, or baked potatoes.
  • Dips and Sauces: Green onions can be added to a variety of dips and sauces, like guacamole, salsa, or sour cream-based dips.

How To Slice A Green Onion Or Scallions?

Method 1:

Use a knife to carefully cut off
Cut off the root end

Step 1: Use a knife to carefully cut off the root end of the green onion.

Step 2: After you’ve removed the root end, use your hands to peel away any outer layers of the onion that seem dirty or damaged.

Step 3: Once you’ve cleaned the onion, move on to chopping. Begin with the ‘white bottoms’, which include the white section and a bit of the light green area.

Ensure that your knife is sharp
slice the ‘white bottoms’ cleanly

Step 4: Ensure that your knife is sharp, then slice the ‘white bottoms’ cleanly.

Step 5: After you’ve sliced the ‘white bottoms’, continue to chop the ‘green tops’, the part where the green color deepens and starts to branch out.

Method 2: 

Step 1: Use a sharp knife. It’s important to slice the onions, not break them.

Step 2: Wash the onions thoroughly to remove dirt, and white skin layer, and any leftover fertilizers or pesticides.

Step 3: Bunch the onions together and cut off one end.

Step 4: Flip the onions over and cut off the uneven ends of the green part.

Step 5: Square up the onions and start cutting them into your desired dimensions.

Step 6: Slice the white part of the onion slightly larger because this part is typically sautéed or cooked with.

Step 7: Slice the green part of the onion thinner as it’s often used in salads or as garnishes.

Method 3: 

Step 1: Take a fresh spring onion and chop off the end.

Step 2: Using a rocking motion with the knife, start slicing the onion from the bottom, keeping your fingers back.

Step 3: Continue slicing until the onion starts losing its crunch.

Step 4: Once you reach a section that’s not crunchy, stop chopping and discard that bit.

Step 5: If the outer layer of the spring onion is dry, peel it off.

Step 6: Your chopped spring onions are now ready to be used in your hot potato salad.

Method 4

Step 1: Trim off the root of the green onion and wash it thoroughly.

Step 2: For garnishing, cut the green onions diagonally.

Step 3: For cooking in stir-fry or pot recipes, give the onions a quick straight cut.

Step 4: If you need more green onions, take the harder part of the onion, cut it to the same length, and split it in half or quarter it.

Step 5: To infuse the oil, chop the white part of the green onion and add it to a mix of ginger, garlic, and vegetable cooking oil.

Step 6: For flavorful garnish, split the hard part of the onion in half (without cutting all the way through), and give it small julienne cuts.

Step 7: Soak these cut onions in ice water for five minutes to make them curl for garnishing.


Method: Mincing

Method Mincing
Mincing green onions

Step 1: To mince green onions, start by slicing the onions. This means you’ll need to have green onions that have been cut into thin circular pieces, generally across the grain of the onion.

Step 2: After you have your sliced green onions, take your knife and run it through the slices. The goal is to cut the slices into even smaller pieces. Keep chopping and moving the knife over the sliced green onions until the pieces are very small.


Can you substitute leeks for green onions?

Yes, you can substitute leeks for green onions, but keep in mind that leeks have a milder flavor compared to green onions. The white and light green parts of leeks can be used in place of green onions in many recipes. However, the taste and texture will be slightly different.

How are scallions different from onions?

Scallions, also known as green onions, are young onions that are harvested before the bulb has had a chance to swell. They have a milder flavor than regular onions. Their green tops are often used as a garnish or in salads, while the white bottoms are commonly used in cooking.

Which part of green onion should you use?

You can use both the white and the green parts of a green onion. The white part has a stronger flavor and is usually used in cooking, while the green part has a milder flavor and is often used as a garnish or added at the end of the cooking process.

How long should I cook green onions?

How long should I cook green onions
Prepare Green Onions

Green onions cook quickly. If you’re sautéing them, it only takes a couple of minutes until they’re tender. If you’re using them in a stir-fry, add them near the end of the cooking process to maintain their crispness.

Are green onions and spring onions the same thing?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, they’re technically not the same. Green onions are younger and harvested earlier than spring onions, so they don’t have a fully developed bulb. Spring onions, on the other hand, have slightly matured and have larger, rounder bulbs.

How many times can you regrow green onions?

Green onions can be regrown from their roots. If you leave about an inch of the onion above the roots and place it in a glass of water, it will start to regrow. You can do this multiple times, but each time the flavor may become a bit weaker.


Green onions, or scallions, are versatile ingredient that can add flavor and visual appeal to many dishes. Knowing how to properly slice them expands your culinary skills and allows for a better presentation of your dishes. Remember that the white and light green parts have a stronger flavor and are usually cooked, while the dark green parts are milder and often used raw or as a garnish. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, mastering the technique of slicing green onions is a simple and valuable skill.