How to Cut Green Onions (Scallions)

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Green onions, also known as scallions, can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Let's look at three different ways to cut green onions.

Green onions are the same as scallions. They’re closely related to vegetables like garlic, leek, shallot, and chive. Scallions, which can be eaten raw or cooked, are perfect for adding flavor, color, and texture to your favorite dishes.

Scallions have a sharp flavor that’s similar to normal onions. However, they aren’t as intense—and they certainly won’t make you tear up!

If you love Asian cuisine, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of scallions. These diverse veggies are often used in recipes like stir-fry, ramen, and scallion pancakes. They work well as a main ingredient or a garnish.

how to cut scallions
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The entire green onion is edible. This includes the white portion, which is more intense than the green part. Many people trim and discard the tops and roots while preparing green onions.

Read on to learn how to select, store, and cut green onions.

Green Onion Selection and Storage

Buy scallions with vibrant green leaves and roots still attached. Avoid flimsy, slimy scallions with discolorations.

Store them in the refrigerator once you get home. For best results, place the scallions in a jar with a few inches of water. You’ll want to make sure that the bulbs and roots are completely submerged in water.

how to store green onions (scallions)
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

With this storage method, your scallions should keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

How to Prepare Green Onions

To prep your green onions, wash them under cool water. Remove any damaged and wilted parts.

Place on top of a cutting board. Slice the top 1 to 2 inches and discard.

cut off tips of green onions
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Next, cut just above the roots. (You can cut even lower than I did in this photo.)

cut off roots of green onions
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Now that you’ve prepared your green onions, it’s time to chop ’em up.

Different Ways to Cut Green Onions

There are different ways to cut scallions; the best method will depend on the dish you’re making.

how to cut scallions into different shapes
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The first cut is as simple as it gets. This option creates tiny “coins” of scallion, which are useful as garnishes or adding a pop flavor in cooked dishes.

Place the scallions on a cutting board. With your non-dominant hand, hold the scallions in place. Use your dominant hand to slide a sharp knife back and forth without pressing down. This is the best way to avoid crushing the scallions.

how to cut scallions into small circles
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

When using this method, the cut scallions should be about 1/8-inch thick. You can adjust the size according to your needs.

how to cut scallions into small circles
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

The second method makes scallion “hairs.” This cut works well for salads or as a ramen garnish. Because the hairs are so fine, their flavor is slightly less intense than other cuts.

To make this cut, slice the scallions at an extreme slant. The knife should be almost parallel to the scallion.

how to slice green onions lengthwise
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

These fine scallion hairs can as thick or as thin as you’d like. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you achieve the look you’re going for.

a pile of sliced green onions
a Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Lastly, you can cut scallions into simple chunks. These larger pieces, which can be sliced with a slanted or straight cut, are best for stir-fry dishes.

The chunks should be about 1/4- to 1/2-inch long.

a pile of cut green onions
a Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Once you’ve learned how to cut scallions, you’re ready to add them to your favorite recipes.

how to cut scallions into different shapes
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

To freeze leftover cut scallions, place them on a metal baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put them in the freezer until frozen. Store in a freezer-safe bag for 10 to 12 months.

how to cut scallions
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

What’s your favorite way to use scallions? Let us know in the comments, below!

how to cut scallions

How to Cut Green Onions (Scallions)

Not sure how to best cut green onions (scallions) for best flavor and appearance? Check out these step-by-step instructions to learn the best way to cut scallions, green onions, or whatever you prefer to call them!
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24 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Knife Skills
Cuisine: Any
Keyword: cutting green onions, how to cut green onions, how to cut scallions
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 2kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS


  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions)


  • Wash your green onions under cool water. Remove and discard damaged or wilted parts.
  • Place on cutting board. Using a large chef's knife, slice off the top 1-2 inches and discard.
  • Cut just above the roots and discard the root pieces.
  • Using the guide above, cut to the shape and size you like.

Recommended Tools & Products

Chef's Knife
Cutting Board
Cutting Board


Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!

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3 thoughts on “How to Cut Green Onions (Scallions)”

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for this article, I never knew what scallions were and I have used them all my life. I’m 66 and I can’t wait to make scallion hairs! Proof that you’re never too old to learn every day!

  2. 5 stars
    I did not know how much I did not know about green onions (scallions) until I read this article on green onions (scallions). Thank you for putting in the time and effort to make this info available to me (the Masses).

  3. I keep a jar in the refrigerator with prepared scallions soaking in ice cold water. As I walk past I take out one scallion, dip it in salt that I’ve sprinkled in my off hand, and reward myself with a treat as I go about my business. I try not to do this more than 3 or 4 times a day. It is a better “snack” than candy or cookies…and, frankly it just tastes good.