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What to Make/ Do with Extra Onions

Updated on October 30, 2012

If you're like me, you buy produce and then there's always too much leftover. It goes bad, you have to throw it out and you hate it because you wasted money as well as perfectly good food. So you try to do what you can to use the extras. And if you're like me, you know a few good recipes for those leftovers that you have often but you're at a loss as to what to make with the extras. And if you're really like me, you've always got extra onions leftover.

Whether it's scallions (green onions) or some version of the red/white/yellow onion that you bought so that you can add a little bit of flavor to a stir fry or a little bit of spice to a sandwich, there always seems to be more than you know what to do with. After all, a little bit of onion goes a long way, but it's not like you can just go buy half an onion even if that's all you need. So here are some ideas of what to make with those extra onions so that they don't go to waste and you don't have to feel bad:

  • Onion soup. The broth will last awhile once the onions have been cooked so you can eat it by itself or use it as a stock to make leftover soup with chicken or turkey later in the week. Toss some stale bread in and add some cheese on top and you've got yourself a French onion soup that's good to go.
  • Deep fried onions. Yeah, yeah, deep fried is bad for you. I know. It's also delicious. Use those extra onions as an excuse to make some onion rings. Add some ketchup or ranch and you're enjoying a snack that's completely indulgent. And if you don't want to just be a pig and eat them as a snack, you can use them to top of meats and other dishes, adding a nice flavorful crunch with a small handful that won't ruin your diet.
  • Carmelized onions. These require whole onions but sometimes that's what you've got leftover. You know, you bought a whole bag thinking that you'd be cooking a lot at home and then you ate out at restaurants more than you'd planned. So you've got extras. Throw them on the grill and make a meal or side dish out of them.
  • Sweet onions can be used to make desserts. If you have these leftover, get your hands on some recipes for onion cheesecake or onion chocolate and see if you can't try something new. You won't know if you like it until you've tried it.
  • Sauces and salsas. If you've got lots of leftover produce including those onions, you can probably make some kind of sauce or salsa which will save well in the freezer. Many people buy tomatoes and onions at the same time - for hamburger or sandwich toppings or for other recipes - so there's a good chance you can make a tomato-based sauced that's spiced up with leftover onions.


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  • Mommymay profile image

    Heather May 5 years ago from Ohio

    great hub...even though I NEVER have extra onions. They are like a food group of their own in my house...yes, so is mouthwash! Thanks for sharing!

  • prettynutjob30 profile image

    Mary 5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

    Great hub, voted up and shared.