3 Methods for Preserving Onions: Canning, Freezing, and Dehydrating

You’ve been toiling in the garden all year now the harvest is in. What you have is an abundance of onions. If you have more onions than you can eat in a few sittings, you’ll want to preserve them.

Here we will share 3 common methods for preserving onions: freezing, canning, and dehydrating.

3 Ways to Preserve Onions

1. Freezing Onions

Instruction on How to Freeze Onions

  1. Store Onions in a cool, dry place. Freezing is not recommended unless you plan to store them for longer than a season.
  2. A good way to salvage stored Onions that are starting to sprout or are damaged is to puree and freeze them.
  3. Cutaway the damaged sections and outer layers – puree them in a blender and then pour the puree into ice cube trays, Once frozen transfer them into freezer bags. They’re good for cooking soups, gravies, etcetera – I’ve even used them to mix into the stuffing of a Thanksgiving Turkey.


  • Choose mature bulbs, Clean thoroughly.
  • Water blanch for 3 to 7 minutes or until center is heated.
  • Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving a half-inch head-space. Seal securely, Then freeze.
    These will be suitable for cooking not eating as is.
  • Green onions may be chopped and frozen without blanching

2. Dehydrating Onions

Instructions on How to Dehydrate Onions

  1. When drying onions, or any food for that matter, the temperatures should be consistent not too low or too high. Low temperatures may result in the growth of bacteria , high temperatures will result in the food being cooked – not dried. Under dried will spoil, Over dried will lose its flavor.
  2. Food should be dehydrated between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can begin drying your food at higher temperatures but turn the temperature down after an hour or so. In the final phase of drying the temperature should be turned down on a much lower setting.
  3. Peel your Onions and then slice them into thin rings that are between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick or you can also chop them up, and put them in a dehydrator at about 130 degrees F until they’re nearly dry. To keep the pieces from browning, bring the temperature down slightly for the last hour or so and keep testing for dryness. If you don’t own a dehydrator, try drying onions in your oven. Spread them on a cookie sheet and leave them in a barely warm oven for several hours, checking periodically.
  4. When the onions are dry, remove them from the dehydrator, cool them and store them in sealed containers in a cool, dry place.

3. Canning Onions

Most Canned Onions are pickled to a certain extent with some sort of brine and or spice. When Canning onions using a pressure cooker, they generally lose their shape and texture as well as discoloring.

Instructions on How to Make Canned Onions

  1. It’s best to use onions with a 1-inch diameter or less.
  2. Wash and peel the onions.
  3. Cover with boiling water.
  4. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Pack the onions into hot jars, leaving an inch of headspace.
  6. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints, 1 teaspoon to quarts
  7. Remove airbubbles. Wipe jar rims.
  8. Adjust lids and process both pints and quarts at 10 pounds pressure for 40 minutes.

Related: How to Preserve Asparagus