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How to Cut, Slice & Dice an Onion

Cutting, slicing and dicing an onion into equal-sized pieces can be tricky, but it’s easier than you think with a few quick tips! In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to cut, slice and dice an onion for cooking, topping salads and burgers, and more.

Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Welcome back to another AK Back to Basics tutorial! I know that you all come from different levels of cooking experience, which I love. Some cooking techniques that are second nature to some of you might be brand new to others. That’s why I decided to launch the Back to Basics series — so that wherever you are in your food & cooking journey you always have useful tips and tricks for gaining confidence in the kitchen.

In this tutorial, I’m showing you step-by-step instructions not only on how to cut an onion but also how to easily slice and dice it. It may sound simple, but I’ve even seen Abra (my resident veggie chopper) almost slice her fingers off when dicing onions for our recipes. I learned this trick from my mom and it’s truly life-changing, just ask Abra.

I also have a super helpful video that will show you exactly how to do it. Let’s get to it!

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onion on a cutting board with a knife

How to cut an onion: 3 different ways

Method 1: make onion rings

Cutting an onion into rings is great for topping burgers and, of course, making baked or fried onion rings!

onion on a cutting board with the stem cut off

Step 1: lay the onion on a sturdy cutting board (use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen15’ for 15% off of our favorite brand!) on its side and use a sharp knife to chop off the stem that does not have the root on it. This side will typically be the “pointier” side of the onion.

peeled onion on a cutting board with a knife

Step 2: peel the onion and flip it on its side.

cutting an onion into rings

Step 3: carefully slice the whole onion into equal-sized rings.

an onion cut into rings on a cutting board

Step 4: separate the rings and add them to burgers or put them directly on the grill!

Method 2: make slices

Use this method for sandwiches, salads and caramelizing.

Step 1: start with step 1 of the first method so that your onion does not have the stem on it.

top-down view of an onion on a cutting board

Step 2: flip your onion over onto the freshly chopped side so that it’s flat and doesn’t roll around.

cutting an onion in half down the root

Step 3: cut your onion straight down the middle, through the root.

peeling half of an onion

Step 4: peel off the skin on both halves.

cutting an onion into slices

Step 5: lay your onion halves flat and carefully cut each half into slices starting at the stem end that you previously removed.

Method 3: dice your onion

This method is great for cooking onion in savory recipes as you can make super small diced pieces or larger chunks. It’s also the perfect method for salsas and dips!

Step 1: follow steps 1-3 above for cutting an onion into slices.

cutting an onion on a cutting board

Step 2: lay your onion halves flat and make small cuts with your knife towards the root side about 3/4 of the way to the root. Make these cuts about 1/4 inch apart.

*Note: you can make these cuts smaller and closer together if you want a finer dice, or larger if you want larger chunks.

slicing an onion on a cutting board

Step 3: flip your knife so that it’s parallel to the cutting board, hold onto the top of your onion with your other hand, and carefully slice your onion through the middle of the onion by gently gliding it. Slice it about halfway through towards the root.

dicing an onion on a cutting board

Step 4: finally, dice your onion by slicing it from top to bottom. You can dice it finely or into larger chunks depending on how close together you slice. With the last 1/4 of the onion, you can just chop it regularly — discarding the root. Then repeat with the second half.

Watch the video tutorial on how to cut an onion:

Ways to use freshly sliced and diced onion

How to store freshly chopped onion

Store your freshly chopped or sliced onion in an airtight container or bag in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.

sliced and diced onion in bowls

More how-to guides and tutorials

Get all of our easy how-to guides here!

I hope you guys loved this easy tutorial on how to cut an onion! If you try out this method be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it. Remember, practice makes perfect! Sign up for the AK VIP List to get more Back to Basics posts straight to your inbox.

How to Cut, Slice & Dice an Onion

4.34 from 3 votes
slicing an onion on a cutting board
Course How to
Keyword how to cut an onion, how to dice an onion, how to slice an onion
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Cutting, slicing and dicing an onion into equal-sized pieces can be tricky, but it's easier than you think with a few quick tips! In this step-by-step tutorial, you'll learn how to peel, cut, slice and dice an onion for cooking, topping salads and burgers, and more.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion

Instructions

  1. Lay the onion on its side and use a sharp knife to chop off the stem of that does not have the root on it. This side will typically be the “pointier” side of the onion.

  2. FOR RINGS

    Peel the onion and flip it on its side. Carefully slice the whole onion into equal-sized rings.

    Separate the rings and add them to burgers or put them on the grill!

  3. FOR SLICES

    After cutting the stem off of the onion, flip your onion over onto the freshly chopped side so that it’s flat and doesn’t roll around.

    Cut your onion straight down the middle, through the root.

    Peel off the skin on both sides.

    Lie your onion halves flat and carefully cut each half into slices starting at the stem end that you previously removed.

  4. FOR CHUNKS AND DICED PIECES

    Follow steps 1-3 for slicing an onion.

    Lay your onion halves flat, and make small cuts with your knife towards the root side about 3/4 of the way to the root. Make these marks about 1/4 inch apart. *Note: you can make these cuts smaller and closer together if you want a finer dice, or larger if you want larger chunks.

    Flip your knife so that it’s parallel to the cutting board, hold onto the top of your onion with your other hand, and carefully slice your onion through the middle of the onion by gently gliding it. Slice it about halfway through towards the root.

    Finally, dice your onion by slicing it from top to bottom. You can dice it finely or into larger chunks depending on how close together you slice.

    With the last 1/4 of your onion feel free to just chop it regularly – discarding the root.

    Repeat with your second half!

Recipe Notes

To store: store your freshly chopped or sliced onion in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7-10 days.

Method by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on October 24, 2018, and republished with new instructions & photos on August 15, 2021.

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