Different types of Onion and their usage.

Malini VK - Infobite  May 11, 2019

Different types of Onion and their usage.

Onion, undoubtedly a culinary luxury. A kitchen without onion is not a happy one. Depending on the region and taste, onion is grown in number of varieties around the world.                                                                                                                           

Spanish Onions:

A common onion variety popular in the west. Great for onion rings and daily kitchen use.

Yellow Onions:

Yellow onions are like Spanish onions but with little strong pungent flavor that gives an extra kick. This variety is so popular in the US.

White Onions:

White Onions has milder flavor than yellow onions. It is more on the sweeter side and hence they have short shelf life. It is widely used in Mexican dishes and great in salads.

Sweet Onions:

They are larger in size compared to yellow onions with extra sugar than white onions which makes them ideal for caramelizing.

Similar sweet onion varieties include Walla Walla, Vidalia, Maui, Cipollini, Mayan sweet onions.

Red Onions:

Red Onions are mild and sweet with nice magenta color. Commonly used in salads, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. It goes well with meat.

Small Onions:

Tastiest among all the onion varieties. Very small in size and filled with sweet, strong flavor ideal for meat gravies. It is very common in South Asian region.


Shallots are small, brown skinned onions with purple color flesh. The bulb can be separated into two or more lobes like garlic. With its strong pungent flavor, it goes well with many Indian dishes.

Bermuda Onions:

Bermuda onions are grown in large size with a strong magenta color like red onion. With slight sweet flavor it is great for baking and stuffing.

Green Onions:

Also called as scallions or spring onions, green onions are immature onions with partially or not yet formed onion bulb. The entire plant can be used as a garnish for soups, fried rice etc.


Like Green onions, Ramps are with immature or no onion bulb. The top part has large, flat edible leaves. It tastes cross between garlic and onion.

Boiling Onions:

Small white color onions used commonly in soups and stews.

Cocktail Onions:

Sweet and very small commonly called as silver skin onions. It is used for pickling and garnishing cocktails.

Similar onion varieties great for pickling include Torpedo onions and Pearl onions.

Creole Onions:

Small and red colored onion known for its very spicy taste. It is used when an extra kick is needed in a dish.

*Chives and leeks are also a part of onion family.