What Type of Onion Should You Be Using?

Because sometimes the produce section can be majorly overwhelming…

There is what can feel to be an overwhelming variety of onions in our stores, and sometimes you just don’t know which type of onion works best. Each onion has its own, distinct flavor profile that adds an extra bit of personality to the dish you incorporate it into. Sometimes, a certain type of onion works best with the flavors you are working with compared to others. It might seem like they all taste the same, but we promise that you will be an onion expert in no time. We are here to make it easier for you, and let you know the inside scoop on these three types of onions. Don’t worry, unlike onions, this info won’t make you cry (except maybe some tears of joy after you master it).

White Onion

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The mildest of all the onions, it’s flavor profile is best for salads and sandwiches. They are beautifully soft, and add the perfect amount of flavor when eaten raw. You can enjoy the tang of onion without feeling like it overpowered your food. We recommend slicing them thin and topping them on your next sandwich for the beach or boat.

Red Onion

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Red onion has a perfect balance of sweet and sharp, and is the most intense smelling of the bunch. It is notorious for giving you that onion breath we know you’re trying to avoid. Cooking it brings out all the sweetness, followed by a bit of tang. They are perfect for pickling and grilling. Anytime a grill is involved, red onion should be there. They taste great when the smoky flavor from the grill mixes into the sweetness of the onion, making for a really great pulled pork sandwich.

Yellow Onion

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Not the best option to eat raw, yellow onions are overwhelming and pungent. The Spanish onion (another name for yellow onion) is high in sulfur, which leads to that very powerful smell when it’s being cut. Because they have such strong flavor, always cook yellow onions before serving. These onions are the perfect onion to caramelize. They have a much more intense flavor than white onions when caramelized, and taste amazing on a burger. Their strong flavor holds up after cooking, without being overbearing on your taste buds.


This isn’t the end-all, be-all guide to onions. Some people really LOVE their red onions, and put them on everything, and that’s totally okay too. This guide is meant to make your onion grocery shopping easier next time you come in, and now you can feel like an onion expert amongst the pungent produce. Let your inner chef come out through the personality of the onions with this fun guide. The world is your onion now, go forth.

Happy Shopping,

Lees and Clements’ Market



Information adapted from: Bon Appetit

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