How To Cut An Onion?

Until you start cooking meals from scratch, it’s unlikely that you will realize just how often onions feature in dishes. The humble onion is used in lots of different cuisines and tons of different dishes.

How to Cut an Onion

So, if you want to cook from scratch, learning how to cut an onion is an absolute must. 

Considering this is a vegetable that is commonly used in lots of different dishes, you would likely assume that an onion would be easy to cut. But this couldn’t actually be further from the truth.

In fact, the onion is actually one of the most difficult vegetables to cut. But once you know what you are doing, it does become a little bit easier. 

In this guide, we’re taking a look at everything that you need to know about how to cut an onion. Read on to find out more! 

What Is The Difference Between Chopped, Diced, And Sliced Onion?

Before we take a look at how to cut an onion, it is important to note that there are a variety of different ways to cut an onion.

Different recipes will ask you to cut the onions in different ways, so this is something you need to bear in mind when it comes to cutting your onions. 

The main three types of ways to cut your onions are: chopping, dicing, and slicing. These methods involve cutting the onion in different ways so that the end result is slightly different. 

In recipes where the onion should be small and almost undetectable, you will usually be asked to dice the onion. Diced onions are cut into very small pieces, and they become even smaller when cooked.

Onions are diced for lots of different recipes, including pasta dishes, curries, and lots more. 

In contrast, chopped onions tend to be onions that are cut into considerably larger pieces.

Chopped onions could be sliced into long and thin slices, or they might be cut into larger square pieces than diced onions. You will do this when you want the onion to be noticeable. 

Finally, you might decide to slice your onions into rings. This is one of the less popular ways to chop an onion as it will only be done when the onion is served raw.

Now that we have taken a look at all the different styles of cut onions, let’s take a look at how to actually cut your onion. 

How To Cut An Onion Correctly?

As we have said, there are a couple of different ways to cut an onion. Below we’ve explained 3 of the most common ways to cut your onion correctly. 

How to Cut an Onion

Dicing An Onion

One of the most common ways to cut your onion is to dice it. The first thing that you need to do is cut your onion in half down the middle.

Once you have done this, make around 2 to 3 cuts horizontally through each half of the onion. Ensure that you reach the root, but do not cut through it. 

Then, begin to cut vertically through each half of the onion. Make around 2 to 3 cuts vertically down the onion, and hold it together while you do this.

Once you have done this to both halves of the onion, turn the onion so that the root end is furthest away from the knife.

Chop down the onion towards the root, and eventually sever the root from the remainder of the onion. You will be left with perfectly diced onions. 

Chopping An Onion

You may also be asked to chop your onion. In order to do this, you need to begin by cutting the top of the onion off (this is the sprout end, not the root end).

Once you have done this, begin to peel away the skin – discard each layer until you are left with just two clean yellow onion halves. 

Then it is time to begin chopping the onion. You can either do this by cutting thin slices, or by cutting half-moon-shaped slices into the skin of the onion. It is totally up to you which you choose. Repeat this process until you have chopped the entire onion. 

Slicing An Onion Into Rings

Finally, if you need to slice your raw onion into rings, this is what you need to do. Begin by slicing the top off of the onion, and then peel away the brown layers of the onion but ensure that you keep the onion whole. 

Once you have peeled your onion, hold it firmly and begin to slice across the rings (horizontally through the onion). Continue to do this until you reach the root of the onion. The root can be discarded, and the rings are ready to be eaten. 

Tips For Cutting An Onion

If you struggle with cutting onions, below are some tips to help make this process a little easier:

  • Ensure that the knife is very sharp so it will cut cleanly through the onion. 
  • Chill the onions before cutting as this will reduce the irritants that cause your eyes to water when cutting onions. 
  • If you have an extractor fan in your kitchen, cut your onions below this and leave it running throughout the process. 
  • Keep any exposed cuts away from you as this will reduce your exposure to the irritants within the onion. 
  • Follow the steps for cutting the onion to the letter. The quicker you cut the onion, the quicker your eyes will be back to normal. 


In short, chopping an onion certainly isn’t the easiest task, and it can often be pretty uncomfortable to do too.

But once you know how to chop an onion, you will easily be able to speed up this process and do it without causing your eyes any discomfort. 

In this guide, we’ve taken a look at how to cut an onion, including how to dice, chop and slice an onion. We’ve also included tips to make this as easy as possible. 

We hope this information has been helpful – thanks for reading!

Mark Williams
Latest posts by Mark Williams (see all)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *