How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions (2023)

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Read on to find out exactly how to dehydrate onions and learn preserve this versatile vegetable when your harvest is abundant! Drying onions helps to save freezer and storage space for a long term preservation solution that is simple to grab and use any time of the year. Cut down on prep time and throw these onions into all kinds of soups, sauces, and scrambles.

  • How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions (1)

Dehydrated onions can be used in a variety of applications including casseroles, egg dishes, dips, salad dressings, stews, sauces and even pulverized into powder. Onions can be added anywhere that you need a punch of flavor!

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Onions are generally started from bulbs but can be started from seed if your growing season allows. Onion bulbs or bare root plants can be started early in the spring as soon as the soil is warm enough to be worked. Onions enjoy full sun and well draining soil. Dehydrating onions may seem unconventional at first, but it is super convenient to grab a handful during long winter months and saves valuable freezer, jar, and cold room space. Freeze dried onion is another great alternative but can have big upfront costs. Quickly get started drying onions today using equipment most already have!

Why Dehydrate Onions?

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Dehydrating onion shrinks it down to a manageable size, making it shelf stable and long lasting (several years under optimal conditions and with the addition of an oxygen absorber.) Drying onions instead of freezing them frees up valuable freezer space. Canning can be messy, time consuming, and takes up a lot of jars and pantry space. Follow these guidelines if you are planning to can onions. Perhaps the biggest advantage to drying onions is having the dried onion pieces, onion flakes, and onion powder to throw into recipes without adding extra mess and effort to your overall cooking time.

Exactly How to Dry Onions

There are several ways to dry onions. Two of the best methods for drying onions include drying in a dehydrator and in an oven

  • How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions (4)

    (Video) How to Make Dehydrated Caramelized Onions
  • How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions (5)

Drying Onions in the Dehydrator

Step 1. If you are harvesting your onions directly from the garden, shake off as much soil as you can. If you don’t plan to peel, chop, and dehydrate right away, lay them out on a wire rack or a spread of cardboard to dry.

Step 2. Rinse off any remaining dirt. Peel and dice the onions to suit your needs. I like to do a fine dice so that they are more versatile in recipes. I use a chopper similar to this one! The right chopper can cut your job in half- I also use it for salsa and dehydrating garlic. If you want strips or onion flakes, simply julienne them. Aim for consistency in slicing to ensure that all of the onion pieces dehydrate at the same rate.

Step 3. Arrange the onions on your dehydrator trays, making sure that the onion is well spread out and not overlapping. Thick pieces and pieces piled on top of one another will take longer to dehydrate.

Step 4. Set your dehydrator to 125°F for 10-18 hours or until the onions feel dry and crisp. Drying time will depend on slice sizes and how evenly spread they are.

Step 5. Store in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber if possible. Keep the dried rhubarb out of direct sunlight to help prevent it from degrading in the light.

Drying Onions in the Oven

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  1. Set your oven to the lowest possible setting (below 200°F). Some newer ovens have a dehydrate setting… this is perfect! If you are nervous about your onions getting “baked” instead of dried, you can prop the door open a few inches with a tea towel to help keep the temperature and humidity down.
  2. Finely dice the onions and spread them out in a single layer over a lined baking sheet. I use a chopper similar to this one! The right chopper can cut your job in half- I also use it for salsa and dehydrating garlic. The best piece of equipment you can buy for dehydrating in your oven these trays. I use them to make Sliced + Smoked Goose Jerky on my smoker. They will fit in a standard cookie sheet and encourage airflow around the onions.
  3. Place the trays in the oven at the lowest setting and allow the onions to dehydrate for at least 8 hours. Onions should be crisp to the touch.
  4. Store in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber if possible. Keep the dried onions out of direct sunlight to help prevent them from degrading in the light.

Batch + Storage

Onion’s flavor gets more intense after being dried. Substitute about 1/4 cup of dried onion for every 1 cup of fresh. Generally, a medium onion will yield about 1/3-1/2 cup dried onion. I usually just chop and dehydrate until my unit is full and hope for the best!

Store in an airtight container in a cool dark place. If possible, throw in an oxygen absorber to extend the shelf life of your onions.

Conditioning Onions

This is a super important step when doing any type of dehydrating to ensure that your food is properly dried and doesn’t mold. If you would like an in-depth explanation of conditioning dehydrated goods, see this post!

  1. Place your dehydrated onions in an airtight container or jar.
  2. Shake once daily, for a week.
  3. If you notice any moisture at this point, you will need to throw your onions back in the dehydrator.
  4. Once done, stow them away in a cool, dark place.
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    (Video) How to Dehydrate Onions and Cook Dinner with Me!!

How to Rehydrate Dried Onions

Rehydrated onions easily take on ample water and return to their tender selves in no time!

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add boiling water to your onions at a ratio of 2:1 and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before draining and using!

5 Delicious Recipe Ideas Using Dehydrated Onions

Read on to find out how to use dehydrated onions on the regular!

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Dried Onion Powder- Onion powder can be used to flavour sauces, soups, in smoothies, and tucked into your favourite muffin to add the perfect amount of tang. Simply dehydrate your onions fully and buzz them in a blender or food processor. To achieve a super fine powder, you could also use a mortar and pestle.

Homemade French Onion Soup Mix This soup combines rich flavours of onions, garlic, celery, and many more to create a fully dehydrated shelf stable, ready to grab mix– perfect for cozying up in cool weather.

Dill Pickle Soup With Shredded Chicken– Swap out the fresh onions for dried onions in this pickle lover’s dream. The soup is bursting with brined pickles, fresh dill, and chicken. Use the garden veggies that you have on hand to fill this soup with home grown goodness.

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Marinara Sauce- Throw your dried onions into this homemade marinara sauce to speed up the process and to enjoy your home grown onions in many different pasta dishes.

(Video) Onion Flakes | Dried Onions | How To Dry Onions

Dried Onion Dip Mix- Control the ingredients in your dip by incorporating your own dehydrated onions into the recipe!

Printable Dried Onion Recipe Card

How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions (13)

How To Dehydrate Onions and 5 Recipes With Dried Onions

Yield: 1 cup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Dehydrated onions can be used in a variety of applications including casseroles, egg dishes, dips, salad dressings, stews, sauces and even pulverized into powder. Onions can be added anywhere that you need a punch of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Onions

Instructions

1. If you are harvesting your onions directly from the garden, shake off as much soil as you can. If you don’t plan to peel, chop, and dehydrate right away, lay them out on a wire rack or a spread of cardboard to dry

2. Peel and dice the onions to suit your needs. I like to do a fine dice so that they are more versatile in recipes.Aim for consistency in slicing to ensure that all of the onion pieces dehydrate at the same rate.

Dehydrator:

3. Arrange the onions on your dehydrator trays, making sure that the onion is well spread out and not overlapping. Thick pieces and pieces piled on top of one another will take longer to dehydrate.

4. Store in an airtight container with anoxygen absorberif possible. Keep the dried rhubarb out of direct sunlight to help prevent it from degrading in the light.

Oven

3. Spread the onions out in a single layer over a lined baking sheet.The best piece of equipment you can buy for dehydrating in your oventhese trays.I use them to makeSliced + Smoked Goose Jerkyon my smoker. They will fit in a standard cookie sheet and encourage airflow around the onions. Parchment paper will work in a pinch!

4. Place the trays in the oven at the lowest setting and allow the onions to dehydrate for at least 8 hours. Onions should be crisp to the touch.

5. Store in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber if possible. Keep the dried onions out of direct sunlight to help prevent them from degrading in the light.

Notes

CONDITIONING ONIONS

This is a super important step when doing any type of dehydrating to ensure that your food is properly dried and doesn’t mold.

  1. Place your dehydrated onions in an airtight container or jar.
  2. Shake once daily, for a week.
  3. If you notice any moisture at this point, you will need to throw your onions back in the dehydrator.
  4. Once done, stow them away in a cool, dark place.
(Video) How to Dehydrate Onions and make ONION POWDER

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 21Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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FAQs

What is the best way to dehydrate onions? ›

How to Dehydrate Onions
  1. Wash onions.
  2. Cut off the root end and peel away skins (but save them to make onion broth* or vegetable broth later!)
  3. Cut into slices or dices of your choice. ...
  4. Place on dehydrator trays - separating the layers for better drying efficiency.
  5. Dry at 125°F / 52°C for 10-18 hrs. ...
  6. Condition.
29 Apr 2020

How many hours does it take to dehydrate onions? ›

Onions should be washed and the outer paper removed. After removing ends, slice 1/8 to ¼-inch thick and place on your drying trays. They will be dried in 3 to 9 hours. The vegetables should be crisp or brittle.

How do you use dried onions? ›

You can use chopped dried onions in any recipe that calls for fresh onions. If the recipe contains liquid, as in a soup, slow-cooked stew, curry or salad dressing, just throw the dried onions in when you add the liquid.

Do I need to blanch onions before dehydrating? ›

Recipe Expert Tips

Blanching onions: onions are one of the few vegetables that do not need to be blanched before dehydrating. But if you would like to cut back on the odor of onions in your home while you are dehydrating a large amount of onions blanching will help with the odor.

Why did my dehydrated onions turn pink? ›

The pink color is from the sugar in the onion. I put the onions in the freezer for two weeks to pasteurize them, then store them in Mason jars until needed. To re-hydrate onions place them in a pan and cover with water.

What temperature do you dehydrate onions at? ›

Slice onions into ⅛ to ¼ inch pieces place on dehydrator racks without overlapping. Dry onions in a food dehydrator on 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit until completely dry. The slices should snap and crack crisply in half, and not bend.

Can I dehydrate onions and garlic at the same time? ›

Peel the onion and garlic as you normally would. Thin-slice your onions and garlic. Using a food dehydrator, place the slices or dices in a single layer on the food dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate overnight and check for doneness.

How does mcdonalds prepare their onions? ›

“Large onions which have been cut up and dehydrated onions.” He went on to explain that the dehydrated onions, which come in a packet, are soaked in water overnight in a large container with a lid. “[They are] drained and put into onion shakers,” the Macca's workers explained.

Can you use dried onion instead of fresh? ›

Did you know you can use dried onions in any recipe that calls for fresh? If the recipe is brothy, say a soup or a stew, throw the dried onion into the pot when you add the liquid. It'll rehydrate perfectly as it simmers.

How do you store dried onions long term? ›

If you are going to store your dehydrated onions for the long term, make sure to condition them. This means that after storage, every day for about a week, check to make sure that there is no moisture on the inside of your air-tight container.

Are dehydrated onions good for you? ›

As explained earlier, dehydrated onions are low in sodium, fat, and calories, consuming dehydrated onions in place of other spices can help you lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Dehydrated onions contain many beneficial nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

What are dried onions called? ›

Onion flakes, usually sold in the dried herb and spice section of the grocery store, are simply dehydrated, chopped onions.

Where can I use dried onions? ›

Use dried minced onions in any recipe that calls for fresh. Use in a soup or a stew; throw the dried onion into the pot when you add the liquid. It'll re-hydrate perfectly as it simmers. Same with casseroles and curries.

Can dried onions be used on cooking? ›

Minced or chopped dried varieties are sometimes referred to as instant garlic or onion. To use these you can rehydrate them with hot water for 15 minutes, discard the water, and use them like you would fresh in stews, soups, and sauces.

Can you vacuum seal dehydrated onions? ›

Long Term Food Storage - Dehydrating Onions - YouTube

Can you dehydrate onions in an air fryer? ›

Place the diced onions on a clean muslin cloth to dry for 2 to 3 hours at least . Then place these in the basket of the Air fryer at 80 degrees. Then no need to preheat the Air Fryer. Every 15 minutes give it a good stir so that they are evenly dried and crisp.

Can you over dehydrate food? ›

Essentially, the answer is no, you cannot overdry your dehydrated foods. The nuanced answer is this; You cannot overdry foods you plan on putting into storage. The drier it is, the better it will store.

How do you preserve onions for a year? ›

You've Been Storing Onions Wrong Your Entire Life - YouTube

What can I do with many onions? ›

Keep them in the fridge all week and add them to your meats, or pizzas, or casseroles. Make an Onion Soup out of them. Take a couple and pickle them to add to other foods, such as tacos, burgers and salads. And, you CAN freeze them for up to six months.

Can onions be frozen whole? ›

You can freeze onions with or without blanching. You must blanch when freezing whole onion bulbs. Use a blanching time of three minutes for small onions, seven minutes for larger. For safe freezing, blanching must heat onions all the way to the center of the bulb.

Are dehydrated onions healthy? ›

As explained earlier, dehydrated onions are low in sodium, fat, and calories, consuming dehydrated onions in place of other spices can help you lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Dehydrated onions contain many beneficial nutrients, including calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Are dried onions as good as fresh? ›

Dried onion will give the same flavor as fresh onion, but there is a texture difference: Even soaking them in sauce, they still don't quite get soft enough. That little crunch, though, can add a nice bite to potato salad.

What temperature do you dehydrate onions at? ›

Slice onions into ⅛ to ¼ inch pieces place on dehydrator racks without overlapping. Dry onions in a food dehydrator on 100 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit until completely dry. The slices should snap and crack crisply in half, and not bend.

How does mcdonalds prepare their onions? ›

“Large onions which have been cut up and dehydrated onions.” He went on to explain that the dehydrated onions, which come in a packet, are soaked in water overnight in a large container with a lid. “[They are] drained and put into onion shakers,” the Macca's workers explained.

Does McDonald's use real onions? ›

"McDonald's uses both dehydrated onions (that have been rehydrated) as well as actual onions," according to Angel Livingood, a former manager at an Iowa McDonald's.

Does onion powder raise blood pressure? ›

According to the results, onion dose-dependently reduced heart rate and blood pressure.

Is onion powder good for your heart? ›

Alleviates Heart Problems

Being a powerhouse of antioxidants, onion powder is extremely beneficial for promoting heart functions and reducing the risk of heart ailments. The presence of anti-coagulant and anti-fibrinolytic properties prevents blockage and formation of clots in the arteries causing heart block.

Does dehydrated onion cause gas? ›

Dehydrated Onions may cause gas, vomiting and irritation if overconsumed.

Is dehydrated onion the same as dried onion? ›

Onion flakes are made by mincing fresh onions then dehydrating; onion powder takes fresh onions and dehydrates, air dries, or freeze-dries the vegetables before crushing into a powder.
...
Summary of onion substitutions.
Replace thisWith this
1 tablespoon onion flakes1 teaspoon onion salt
6 more rows
29 Nov 2020

What do dehydrated onions taste like? ›

Dehydrated onions have the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavour that only comes out of the fresh onions. With their concentrated flavour, dehydrated onions, add a great zing to various culinary delicacies that call for onions. Dehydrated onions can be stored and preserved without refrigeration for a long time.

Can I dehydrate onions and garlic at the same time? ›

Peel the onion and garlic as you normally would. Thin-slice your onions and garlic. Using a food dehydrator, place the slices or dices in a single layer on the food dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate overnight and check for doneness.

How do you store dehydrated onions long term? ›

LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE: FAST Easy Dehydrating ONIONS - YouTube

How do you store dried onions long term? ›

If you are going to store your dehydrated onions for the long term, make sure to condition them. This means that after storage, every day for about a week, check to make sure that there is no moisture on the inside of your air-tight container.

Are minced onions the same as dehydrated onions? ›

A: Dried onion in any form—chopped or powdered—can be substituted for dried minced onion. Crush the dried chopped onion and use an equal measure, or use less of powdered onion, which is stronger. Fresh minced onion is another good option. One small fresh onion equals one tablespoon dried minced onion.

What type of onion is on a Big Mac? ›

The user says that both sliced large onions and dehydrated onions are used in the burgers. 'At Macca's, we have two types of onions. Large onions which have been cut up and dehydrated onions,' the employee writes in the video.

What kind of onion goes in a quarter pounder with cheese? ›

The quarter pounder with cheese has slivers of white onions about 1 inch in length. This is crucial. To recreate the exact flavor of McDonald's food you'll need to follow these steps very carefully.

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