How to Chop Onions

  • 01 of 08

    Start With Firm, Smooth Onions

    Yellow Onions. Photo © Molly Watson

    Onions are great storage vegetables, when they're stored in a cool, dark place. When exposed to heat or light, they spoil quicker. Look for onions with smooth skins, that feel heavy for their size, and that are very firm.


    (If you just need sliced onions go here.)


    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Cut Off Stem End

    Cutting Off Onion Stem End. Photo © Molly Watson
    Using a very sharp knife, cut off and discard stem end, being careful to hold the onion steady as you do so.
    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Halve the Onion

    Halve Onion Lengthwise. Photo © Molly Watson
    Set the trimmed onion on the flat cut-end and cut in half lengthwise (through the root end), using the intact root end to hold each half together.
    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Remove Onion Skin

    Peel Onion. Photo © Molly Watson

    Peel the onion, removing any and all papery skin and the external layer of onion if need be to get all of the skin off. (Doing this under water can make getting all the papery bits easier and reduce tears.)


    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Make Horizontal Cuts Into Onion

    Horizontal Cuts Into Onion. Photo © Molly Watson
    Hold the onion steady by pressing down with the ball of your hand and, using a very sharp knife, carefully make horizontal cuts into the onion, leaving the root end intact. The horizontal cuts you make will partially determine how small the final chop is, so make as many horizontal cuts as far apart as the size chop you want in the end. When you get to the final, top cut, hold onion by the still-intact root end.
    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Make Lengthwise Cuts Into Onion

    Make Lengthwise Cuts Into Onion. Photo © Molly Watson
    Keeping your finger tips at the root end to hold the onion steady and keep your fingers out of the way, use a very sharp knife to make cuts into the onion lengthwise, again being careful to keep the root end intact (and thus holding the onion half together). Like the horizontal cuts, the number and spacing of the lengthwise cuts help determine the size of the final chop, so make them accordingly.
    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Cut Onion Crosswise

    Cutting Onion Crosswise. Photo © Molly Watson
    Hold onion by the root end and cut onion crosswise—resulting in a perfectly, evenly chopped onion!
    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Chopped Onions

    Chopped Onions. Photo © Molly Watson
    Marvel at the beauty and evenness of your chopped onions before using them in the recipe of your choice.