How Long Do Onions Last? We Have Answers!

Easy to grow and extremely versatile in cooking, onions have a long history of being a popular, edible bulb. They are a pleasure to cultivate, whether you choose to do so in the front-yard or the indoors. Perhaps you might even reserve at least a small portion of the garden to growing these lovely vegetables!

However, even though you have a simple time growing onions, you might be unsure just how you store them, let alone being aware just how long they can keep without spoiling.

True, it can be a tricky balancing act between harvesting and storing onions since if you are not careful, they will go bad and all your hard work will go down the drain.

That said, we are here to help! Read on to find out more in this article on how long do onions last, as well as receive answers to your frequently-asked questions. Soon enough, you will be growing and storing onions like a pro. Let’s get started!


How Long Do Onions Last?


To answer this question, it will depend on whether you choose to refrigerate them or keep them at room temperature.

On average, onions which are placed out on the counter can last up to four to six weeks, which compared with other bulb plants out there is pretty impressive.

On the other hand, onions which are refrigerated can last anywhere from one to two months, which means an extra week or two of shelf life compared with those kept outside.

All the same, they can last a decent amount of time, enough for you to use for any kind of recipe out there.

How Do You Know When Onions Start To Spoil?


As a rule of thumb, it is important to check your onions from time to time to see if they have gone bad and not being able to be used anymore. Characteristics include brown or black spots, as well as spot areas, which risk the development of mold.

If there are only a few dark and/or soft spots on the onion, then you can still save them by carefully cutting out those areas with a knife and taking measures to prolong their shelf life with other methods.

Practicing proper food storage and preparation will ensure that you do not get sick from consuming them later on.

How Do You Store Onions?


Aside from storing them at room temperature, you can also store them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

Generally speaking, storing whole onions in the fridge will last longer than if you decide to chop them up before storing them (one to two months in comparison with just one week).

However, it is up to you on what you would like to do, as well as how quickly you can use them up for cooking.

Finally, freezing can do wonders for the shelf life of onions: just chop them up, place them in a plastic, airtight bag, and pop them into the freezer.

They can be stored for up to eight months. While their texture might not be as ideal when you take them out to defrost, nevertheless they make for an economical deal.

For more-extensive tips on how to store onions (along with garlic and shallots), please check out this video:

What Are Some Onion Recipes You Recommend?

Onions are widely-used in just about any recipe out there: from pastas to soups to casseroles, there is always a recipe in which these bulb plants can be added. Here, we offer one of our favorite recipes for your pleasure:

Egg Salad With Onion


  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
  • 6 large hardboiled eggs, peeled and grated
  • 2 spring onions, pale green and white bits, chopped
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • A few gribenes (optional)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch watercress and black olives, to garnish


Gently fry the sliced onion in the oil until soft and just starting to turn golden. Blitz the onion with a stick blender until smooth, then scrape into a bowl. Stir in the pureed onion, then the grated egg, mayonnaise and gribenes, if using, Season to taste. Spoon into a serving dish, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for up to two days until needed. To serve, garnish with watercress and decorate with a few black olives.

Source: ​The Guardian


All in all, onions are an incredibly useful and versatile bulb plant that can be added into just about any recipe out there. Not only that, but also they are super simple to grow and harvest. Knowing the shelf life and storing process is helpful in keeping these lovely plants in excellent shape and taste.

Shary Saunders

Shary Saunders is the founder and chief editor of Gardening and landscaping have been her passion for years. You can find Shary on Twitter at @SharySaunders. Read more about Shary here.

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