Can You Reheat Onions?

Cooking Tips

Most people I know does not like to eat raw onions because of its strong taste and smell, but even if they do not like to eat it raw, they enjoy eating it cooked onions as when cooked it tastes savory. Onions cooked with other spices makes it even more delicious.

There are different ways to enjoy onions and getting its health benefits as it can be added to almost every kind of dishes. You can cook it together with the dish or use the raw onion as toppings to cooked meals. You can have it on burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas.

You could have picked the biggest onion to add to your dish and never expected to have leftovers to deal with. In this case, what can you do with the onion leftovers? Can you keep it refrigerated and reheat it for the next meal?

Good news is you can. Onions leftover can be stored and then reheated, but you need to consider how it is cooked prior reheating.

Here is the simplest yet detailed guide on how you can reheat onions and also use them in a dish including tips on how to store them.

A Guide to Reheating Onions

Onions are the most common vegetable we used every day to spice our dishes. It is very versatile, and you can eat it raw or cooked with different kinds of dish. There are different kinds of onions like white, red, and yellow. Each kind of onion has almost similar yet distinct taste.

Although it is not always identified in the recipe book as to which onion you should use, sometimes you can choose which kind of onion taste best with your dish. For example, white onion is best served raw rather than red onion, whereas if you want to make onion rings, white or yellow onion tastes better than red onion. However, that is what the majority prefers, you can always choose what suits your taste.

Whatever kinds of onion you prefer to use, it will make your dish taste better. If you worry about onion leftovers, we will give you the guide on storing and reheating it. Since how onions are cooked can affect onions appearance and texture after it has been refrigerated or stored, it important to know the proper handling and reheating process.


Common Uses for Cooked Onions

Have you tried eating sautéed onions separately or fried onions which is often called onion rings? These are just a few dishes to enjoy cooked onions.

You may not notice it, but you can find onion in almost every dish. There are some recipes where onions were cooked together with the dish while there are some where onions are cooked separately to be later added as toppings to a dish or just to be eaten separately.

Here is a list of dishes you will enjoy with cooked onions:

  • Hamburger fill-in
  • Gravy
  • Onion blossoms
  • Quesadillas with onions
  • Soups
  • Pasta sauce or pasta with onions
  • Ingredient in a hot pot or slow cooker
  • Toppings on pizza
  • Garden or vegetable salad
  • Quiche or frittata
  • Spice on steaks


There are many recipes which include onions. We listed just the common way you can try with cooked onions. You can even be creative with recipes and onions, and probably invent a delectable dish.

Keep in mind however that if you will store cooked onions or leftover, there is a proper way storing and reheating it so you can still enjoy its taste.

Proper Storage of Cooked Onions

You can cook onions in a variety of ways just like adding them in a variety of dishes. You can just sautée onions in butter or cook them as an ingredient of a dish. That is why we covered two different methods for storing and reheating cooked onions.

The first one is about the general method for handling cooked onions like those included in a dish, or just sauteed and the second is how to handle fried onions.

There is a difference between how cooked but not fried onions and fried onions are prepared, for example, onion rings or onion blossoms have breading which should be considered in the reheating process.

Whether the onions are cooked in typical way or just fried, you need to package it well in a food container or freezer bag for storage. You can keep it refrigerated or frozen if you want it preserved for some time.

Storing Cooked Onions in the Refrigerator

Storing cooked onions need not be tedious task. The most important is you can package them properly before storing it and remember that onions are always moist.  There are some tricks when storing fried onions to it will not turn out soggy.

These are the steps in keeping your cooked onions refrigerated:

  1. Leave cooked onions at room temperature to cool down.
  2. Packed them in a tightly sealed food container or freezer bag.
  3. Keep it refrigerated to last about three to five days.


Remember that cooked onions should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. If you will not consume them, then be sure to refrigerate them after cooling down.

Storing Cooked Onions in the Freezer

If you plan on storing your cooked onions for longer than five days, it is best to keep it frozen or store it in your freezer.

These are the steps in keeping your cooked onions frozen:

  1. Let the onions cool down at room temperature after cooking.
  2. Package onions in a tightly sealed freezer bag or in an airtight food container with lid.
  3. Store it in your freezer for not more than twelve months.

Keep in mind that food are prone to have airborne bacteria after it has been cooked and that is the same with onions. It is important to have it packed and ready for storage within two hours after it has cooled down.


Reheating Cooked Onions

Cooked onions are reheated in a different way from fried onions.  They are easy to reheat than fried onions and you can do it over a stovetop though you can also opt to reheat in an oven or a microwave.

You can follow through our stated simple steps to have the best results in reheating cooked but not fried onions as well as the techniques in reheating fried onions.


Reheating Cooked Onions (Not Fried)

It is easier to reheat onions that are cooked but not fried. It is recommended to reheat them by cooking it over a stovetop to restore its moisturized state. It will not affect the taste of your onions, but it will definitely be revived to the way it is originally cooked.

You may thaw it before reheating it or you can just reheat it right from your freezer.

Here is the simple process of reheating cooked onions except for fried onions.

  1. Preheat your skillet at medium heat temperature and add oil or butter. If the onions still has enough sauce or oil to keep it moisturize, then you may skip adding the oil or butter. Just drizzle the span with enough oil to moisturize it.
  2. Place thawed or frozen cooked onions on to the skillet and stir slowly.
  3. Cook it for not more than five minutes while stirring it slowly just to ensure all the portions are reheated thoroughly.

You can turn off the stove once it has been thoroughly reheated and they are now ready to be served.


Reheating Cooked Onions (Fried)

Reheating or warming friend onions involves a different technique so you can come up with the best reheated fried onions. You can also choose to thaw it before reheating or just reheat it right from the freezer.

You also opt to reheat fried onions in a stovetop or a microwave, but it is best to reheat them in an oven that is why this option is what we shared here.

Here are the easy steps in reheating fried onions in an oven.

  1. Prepare a baking tray or sheet by covering it with foil.
  2. Preheat the oven from 440 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will make fried onions crispy.
  3. Layer the fried onions on the baking tray. You may drizzle it with oil to moisten.
  4. Bake fried onions for 10 to 15 minutes. You may also flip it halfway the cooking.

After reheating, you now have crispy fried onions ready to serve.

Related Questions

It is not time consuming or tedious to reheat your cooked or fried onions, you just need to know the easy steps or techniques which we hope we were able to give you in this article.

Also, here are some take away information that could be helpful too.

Can I boil onions?

You can boil onions over a stovetop for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the how many onions you want to boil. Prolonged boiling may make it very soft or soggy. Just put ample amount of water on a pot or pan and set it to high heat, then place the onions and wait until it boils.

Can stored onions become poisonous?

Onions can be poisonous if it has not been packaged well and was exposed at room temperature for more than two hours since food-borne bacteria can grow on it. Bacteria can also thrive on onions if it were not stored and reheated properly.

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