How Long do Onions Last in Pantry?

You probably landed here because you’re wondering how long do onions last in pantry. Great questions. Let’s get started…

Onions are one of those vegetables that you always want to keep on hand, a kitchen staple. That’s because all of the various types of onions can be used in so many different ways.

Onions are used in so many different recipes because they’re one of the most versatile ingredients.

Sweet onions, white onions, green onions, shallots, and more all show up regularly on our grocery lists.

Sometimes I like to just throw an onion or two in the cart just because I know I’ll have something to add it to.

Choosing the right storage method for onions is the key to extending their life once you get them home from the grocery store.

It’s so frustrating when you buy a whole bag of onions and half of them go bad before you have the chance to use them. If you learn how to store them properly, you can make them last much longer.

We can take a hint about the best storage for our onions from the way we find them displayed in the produce section.

But that’s not always the best option to extend the shelf life of onions.

Onions don’t stay in the produce section of the grocery store very long because we take them home to our kitchens.

There are some ways that we can store them differently once we get them home for the best results.

Proper Storage for Onions

In your grocery store, onions are usually displayed in a basket or a bin, not refrigerated, and sometimes in a mesh bag. The mesh bag allows the onions to stay dry, but in the store, it’s mostly for keeping a number of onions together for sale.

The mesh bag is used because onions like air. They need air circulation and don’t want to be in something like a plastic bag where moisture can collect.

Before long, in a place like a plastic bag where warmth and moisture are allowed to collect, your onions will start sprouting. A mesh bag is not necessary for storage at home.

In general, onions like a cool, dry, dark place.

They need to be kept in a well ventilated area, out of direct sunlight, which encourages moisture and the growth of bacteria.

Moisture and heat will also cause your onions to sprout. Once that happens, you cannot eat them.

To prevent the spoilage of onions, the best place to store whole onions is in a pantry, cellar, or even a garage.

Once an onion has been cut, however, you will need to store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

A chopped onion kept at room temperature will turn into a bad onion pretty quickly.

After you cut into the onion and bacteria (which cannot be avoided) is introduced, spoilage of the onion is fast-tracked.

The low temperature of the refrigerator will slow down spoilage and your chopped onion will last seven to ten days in an airtight container.

A peeled onion will last 10 to 14 days in the refrigerator.

Freezing whole onions is not recommended, but sliced or chopped onions can be stored in a freezer bag. Keep in mind that freezing them will alter the texture of the onions, making them almost mushy when they thaw out completely. You should use them for cooking rather than adding them to things like sandwiches or salads.

Pro tip:

Never store onions near potatoes or you’ll risk speeding up the aging process of both of these vegetables because of the gases they naturally release.

Always discard any onions that are showing signs of going bad, like soft spots, immediately. These will start to speed up the aging processes of the other onions.

Even if you want to use what’s left of an onion that may be on the verge of going bad, remove it from the other fresh onions right away and store it somewhere else.

Do different types of onions require different storage?

White, red, and yellow onions, arguably our most commonly used onions, can all be stored as mentioned above. But what about green onions, chives, and shallots?

Shallots can be stored the same as white, red, and yellow onions.

A cool, dark, and dry place provide ideal conditions for long-term storage of a couple of months.

An open basket in a cellar or pantry is a great option. If you have excess moisture in your cellar, stick with the pantry or even your garage.

You can even store these on a kitchen counter if they won’t be in direct sunlight. Just like other leftover onions, chopped shallots will last for about a week in an airtight resealable bag in your refrigerator.

Chives are more delicate than regular onions and should be used as quickly as possible. Store chives in a zip-top bag with some air sealed inside. Keep them in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Your chives may still wilt, but you can cook with them as long as they are green.

Green onions need to be refrigerated or they will wilt. The best way to store them is to remove the rubber band from the bunch and place them root-side down into a container with an inch of water in the bottom. Use an opened zip lock bag or plastic wrap to cover the top of the green onions. They will last a few days like this.

How Long Do Onions Last in Pantry?

Now for the answer to your question, “How long do onions last in pantry?”…

Whole, unpeeled, uncooked onions can last several months in the pantry if they are stored correctly.

Make sure you throw out any rotten onions immediately. That means you’ll need to keep an eye on any developing dark spots on the onions and remove them if they start to progress.

Keep your onions dry and out of direct sunlight, a big bag of onions can be stored for use over time.

It’s a good idea to store onions by themselves to extend their life. They tend to speed up the ripening process for other vegetables since they release ethylene gas.

You can store onions in paper bags, bins, burlap sacks, or special containers as long as you keep these things in mind.

Onion Storage solutions on Amazon

There are a lot of different options for storing onions. Keep in mind that a lack of sunlight and a well-ventilated place are key for keeping your onions fresh longer. Here are some of our favorites from amazon.

MSC International Joie Fresh Stretch Pod for Onions

For those onions that you’ve just cut a portion off of, these stretch pods work great to keep them fresh in the fridge.

Fruit and Vegetable Storage Containers for Fridge 4 Piece Set

This set comes with an onion storage container that seals airtight to prevent those gases from the cut onion from affecting your other foods in the fridge.

Esschert Design Onions Storage Tin

This metal storage container is great for keeping your onions in your kitchen. The holes help ventilate the container so it can stay dry.

LandHome Onion and Potato Storage Bamboo Vegetable Bins

These cute, engraved bins are the perfect storage for your onions and other root vegetables. They’re space saving because they’re stackable and they keep your onions fresh.

Evriholder Fresh Fare Double Drawstring Onion Storage Bag

This onion bag hangs conveniently in your kitchen. It protects the onions from light, delays spoilage, and prevents sprouting. It has an easy access hole so you can take onions from the bottom of the bag as needed.

Bamboo Storage Bins for Pantry & Kitchen Cabinet Organizer

These stackable bins are great for storing your opinions on a shelf in your pantry. This is great for keeping your pantry neat and has plenty of room for different kinds of onions.

3 Tier Basket Stand – Foldable Fruit and Vegetable Storage Cart with Detachable Wheels

These foldable baskets are great for storing onions because there is plenty of space to separate them from your other vegetables. Then it can be folded and stored when it’s not in use.

Storage Baskets For Potatoes And Onions With Handles

The strong and course burlap material of these storage bags will stand up for regular use. These are so cute to display in your kitchen and they allow your onions to stay dry and ventilated.

AHYUAN Hanging Mesh Storage Onion Bags

The mesh storage bags are reusable and washable. They create the perfect storage conditions for onions because they hang and air can circulate around the onions.

Gmirdec Jute Hanging Wall Vegetable Baskets 

These hanging baskets offer both function and beauty. They’ll be so cute in your kitchen and do a great job of keeping your whole raw onions fresh for a long time.

COLE & MASON Fresh Herb Keeper Container

This container is perfect for storing green onions in the fridge. Remember that onions release gases that cause other vegetables to ripen faster. So don’t store herbs in this with the onions.

4-Tier Metal Kitchen Storage Tower Baskets

These baskets are super convenient for storing your onions and other vegetables. You can roll it where you need it and rotate the baskets in and out as needed.

Creative Co-Op Stoneware Vented Garlic Storage Container Onion Keeper

This stoneware ceramic container will look beautiful on your kitchen counter and give your onions the maximum shelf life possible.

YOYI Reusable Produce Bags Cotton Mesh Grocery Bags

These bags pull double duty! Take them to the store to buy your onions and then just bring them home and hang them up in a dry cool place. These are so cute you’ll want to display them anyway and they’ll keep your onions dry and fresh.

Iconikal Fruit And Vegetable Food Savers Storage Containers

This container will keep partially cut onions fresh longer with its easy snap lid. We love that the lid is attached so it can’t be lost when you’re not using it.

I hope you found your answer to “How long do onions last in pantry?” There’s more to come on the blog. Be sure to follow and subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

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How Long do Onions Last in Pantry?