How to Store Green Onions

Updated: May 03, 2024

They're one of the most versatile types of onions to have on hand, from adding flavor to recipes to serving as a gorgeous garnish. These tips for how to store green onions will help them stay fresh longer.

This easy-to-find ingredient is a home cooking essential—it’s hard to find a savory dish that doesn’t benefit from the addition of green onions. The mild flavor enhances soups, casseroles, nachos and spreads. Fold them into a simple batter and make scallion pancakes. Green onions add crunch and color when sprinkled over food as a final touch, especially stir fries and tacos.

As a home gardener, I love that green onions are an easy-to-maintain addition to the veggie patch. It’s a cinch to snip off just as much as I need for my recipes, and then they keep right on growing. (In some climates they can be grown as a perennial vegetable!)

When you know how to store green onions properly, they’ll last a good long time—whether harvested from the garden or plucked from the produce section.

How to Store Green Onions, 3 Ways

How to store green onions in water

green onions stored in water on a kitchen counterTMB Studio

This method works best for green onions that still have their white ends fringed with roots. Rinse the green onions under cold water, handling the roots gently. Remove any straggly or wilted outer leaves. Place the green onions in a tall glass and fill it with water to come halfway up the stalks. Keep the green onions on the counter out of direct sunlight.

It’s important to change the water every other day, and occasionally rinse the scallions under running water. These steps are necessary to keep the onions from turning slimy. Store them this way for two to three weeks, where they’ll continue to grow. This gives you lots of time to explore all kinds of green onion recipes.

How to store green onions in a damp paper towel

green onions prepped for storage in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel TMB Studio

Use this method for both whole green onions with white ends intact and cut green onions. Rise them under cold water and pat away the excess moisture with a kitchen towel. Place a lightly damp paper towel inside a storage bag, then lay the scallions on the towel. Loosely close the bag and place it in the fridge. The green onions will last this way for two to three weeks. If the paper towel dries out, re-moisten it; this light moisture is crucial to preserving the onions.

How to store green onions in the crisper

green onions in the crisper drawer of a refrigeratorTMB Studio

This is definitely the most fuss-free method, though they won’t last as long. Just toss your whole scallions into the refrigerator crisper drawer, making sure to not place any other produce on top. Close the vents on the crisper drawer to keep moisture inside, as some humidity is key to helping the onions last. You can also lay a damp paper towel in the bottom of the drawer to help with this.

Green onions stored this way should last about a week, perhaps longer if you keep an eye on them: wilted and shriveled stalks are signs that they’re drying out and should be used right away.

Tips for Storing Green Onions

How long do green onions last?

These fresh onions can last a surprisingly long time when stored properly—anywhere from one to three weeks. Whichever storage method you choose, remember that your green onions need some humidity to stay fresh. Check refrigerated green onions often to be sure they don’t dry out or develop mold. When storing them at room temperature, frequent changes of the water are important, especially during warm weather, so that the onions don’t get swampy.

Can you freeze green onions?

You can freeze green onions for longer storage. However, because freezing ruptures the plant cell walls, the onions will be very soft once thawed. Although you won’t be able to use thawed green onions as a crisp garnish on dishes, they still work perfectly well to flavor sauces, stews and casseroles.

For the best results, chop or dice green onions first, then spread them on a tray. Freeze until they’re solid, then transfer the green onions to a storage container or resealable bag, with as little air left inside as possible. Store green onions in the freezer for up to three months.

Can you dehydrate green onions?

It is possible to dry your green onions, and it’s a great option if you have a lot on hand from your garden. Dried green onions will be much milder than fresh, but they’ll still have a light onion flavor. Grind them to use in spice blends, use them to flavor soups or stir the dried onions into creamy dips.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, spread diced green onions on a baking sheet and set the oven to the lowest temperature, about 170°F. Bake them for several hours until they’re completely dry and crispy. Once the green onions cool, transfer them to an airtight jar or container. Use your dried green onions within three months for the best flavor.

Can I regrow green onions?

Yes, it’s easy to regrow green onions. Instead of discarding the root ends, place them in a small jar with some water on a windowsill. They’ll grow taller in a few days!