The Only Way to Prevent Green Onions From Getting Slimy|Recipes Spots

The Only Way to Prevent Green Onions From Getting Slimy

Bunches of green onions on a white marble countertop
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

If you buy green onions (also known as scallions), they are always sold in a bunch. While a recipe might call for one or two, very rarely do you use all of them at once. This is where our dilemma begins. How do you keep the green onions fresh until the next time you need them? No one likes wilted, slimy, browning scallions.

Green onions on a dry paper towel being covered by another paper towel
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

The Best Way to Store Green Onions

After years of trial and error, I have found the solution. First, remove any packaging or rubber bands from the scallions and separate them. If any are already slimy, remove them and toss them in the compost.

Spread out a dry paper towel and place the green onions on top with a little space between each one. Top with another dry paper towel, then carefully roll into a bundle. Stick the whole thing in a zip-top bag, press most of the air out, and seal. Store in your crisper drawer.

Why This Method Works

The #1 reason green onions become sad is from trapped moisture. You want a balance of moisture: enough to keep them from drying out but not too much since that will accelerate their spoilage. The paper towels help prevent too much moisture accumulation, while a sealed bag prevents them from drying out.

From my numerous trials, green onions stored this way last anywhere from two to three weeks.

Green onions rolled up between paper towels stored in a zip-top plastic bag
Simply Recipes / Frank Tiu

Green Onion Storage Hacks to Avoid

Like a true scallion scientist, I’ve tested other green onion preservation methods and Tiktok hacks. Even though these easy home tests were fun, they were not as effective or practical as my method. 

To preserve the flavors and freshness of scallions, I’ve tried freezing them. That was easily one of the worst decisions ever. The moisture and water content turned into ice, causing the green onions to become damp and lifeless.

I’ve also tried submerging my scallion roots in water, allowing them to grow, and trimming off the green tops as I need. While that sounds romantic, growing your own scallions in your apartment kitchen in a DIY water bottle just isn’t practical. The pro is that these scallions can be grown at room temperature without having to occupy valuable refrigerator real estate space, but they take forever to grow and you need to change the water regularly. Over time, the green onions will lose their flavor, too. 

The next time you have extra green onions, try using my favorite storage method for long-lasting freshness.

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