Onion Guide: Types, Tastes, And Tips For Perfecting Your Cooking

A staple in many cuisines worldwide, onions are prized for their rich flavour, versatility, and culinary significance. Onions are a member of the Allium genus and are available in a variety of sizes, hues, and shapes. Each variety has a unique flavour profile and use in cooking. Understanding the distinct varieties of onions and utilising the appropriate one might push your recipes to extraordinary levels of taste and intricacy. Here we discuss six popular varieties of onions along with tips on how to choose and use the best one for your recipes. 

Yellow Onions 

One of the most popular varieties of onions, yellow onions are highly regarded for their robust flavour and remarkable adaptability. Their exterior skin is a golden brown colour, and they have a flavour that is slightly sweet and spicy. Because of the significant amount of sugar that they contain, yellow onions are ideal for caramelising. This provides soups, stews, and sauces with a greater sense of depth and richness. 

Red Onions 

Red onions are a popular ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and raw foods due to their brilliant colour and understated flavour. They are perfect for adding a splash of colour and flavour to dishes such as tacos, burgers, and salsas since they have a little bit of a peppery flavour and a crisp texture. 

White Onions 

When opposed to its yellow and red cousins, white onions have a flavour that is more subdued, with a taste that is slightly sweet and tart. The fact that they have a solid structure and a thin, papery skin makes them acceptable for use in both raw and cooked versions of recipes. Onions that are white are frequently utilised in Mexican cuisine, particularly in salads and pickled recipes. 

Sweet Onions 

Sweet onions, including Vidalia, Walla Walla, and Maui, are highly appreciated due to the significant amount of sugar they contain and the mild flavour they possess. Due to the fact that they have a delicate, sweet flavour and a juicy, soft texture, they are ideal for eating raw in salads, sandwiches, and relishes. Grilling, roasting, and caramelising sweet onions are also good ways to prepare them. 


Shallots are little bulbs that take on an elongated shape and have a flavour that is mild and delicate, with a hint of garlic undertones. It is the exterior skin that is a reddish-brown colour, and the meat is a pale, purplish colour. It is usual practice to incorporate shallots into French cuisine, vinaigrettes, sauces and dressings. These shallots contribute a sense of depth and richness to dishes without dominating the flavours of other ingredients. 

Green Onions  

Green onions, which are often referred to as scallions, are immature onions that are plucked before the bulb goes through their whole development. They have a flavour that is similar to onions, but not overpowering, and they have a textural quality that is crisp. In addition to being used as a garnish when they are fresh, green onions can also be diced and added to salads, stir-fries, and soups. Additionally, they can be grilled and served as a side dish. A wide variety of meals benefit from the addition of this vibrant and fragrant component.