This Real Food Cheat Trick is going to sound fairly lame. I admit it. But this tip saves me oodles of time without costing much, if any, extra money! This is how I save time chopping onions!
How’s this for a tip? Want to save time chopping onions? Don’t chop them. Hold your applause. Please stay tuned for more brilliant tips like this one.
Now that I’ve fully prepared you to be unimpressed, I will admit that it’s likely that many of you will thoroughly dislike my trick. Why? Because most certainly the smell of freshly chopped onions and minced garlic sauteing in a pan with olive oil or butter is incredible!
You are right and I agree. But I still like my trick and I love the time this saves.
How I Save Time Chopping Onions
I always keep a huge supply of Dried Minced Onion on hand. I almost never go to the trouble of chopping an onion. I simply grab my jar of dried minced onion, dump in the desired amount, and stir it into the meat I’m cooking. It still smells amazing. It flavors the food marvelously. And I save myself the trouble of chopping an onion, crying a river, and cleaning up the mess afterward.
I suppose it goes without saying that this method also keeps me from having to work at getting the onion smell off my fingers. (Yes, I know. Rub your fingers on stainless steel. I do. It works. But still.)
Also, for people who don’t love chunks of onion in their food, but do love the flavor onions give, using Dried Minced Onion is a great solution!
I might as well make a garlic confession while I’m here.
I frequently cheat with that too. True story: I almost never buy fresh garlic, a fact of which has many of you throwing tomatoes.
Fresh garlic is tough to beat, no doubt. But time saved in the kitchen trumps all, in my book. So I either keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge or I grab my jar of dried garlic powder from my spice cabinet. My food still tastes delicious, but I’ve saved myself some work by using these convenience items.
So there you have it. Now you know. I often cheat and use already-prepared onions and garlic. You can’t talk me out of it. (Though I suppose you can try.)
But doesn’t this cost more?
Minced Onion appears to be more expensive per pound compared to cost per pound of fresh onions. However, Dried Minced Onions have been dehydrated, shrinking them down and changing their weight. You’ll get a lot of dried minced onion per pound compared to fresh onions. One small fresh onion equals 1 Tablespoon Dried Minced Onion.
Where to purchase Dried Minced Onion
Most grocery stores carry these. They can be found in the aisle with the spices. However, I typically purchase it in bulk either from Azure Standard or Amazon.
Huge Bulk Amount of Dried Minced Onion
Dried Minced Onion options at Azure Standard
Now it’s your turn to tell me if you feel it is worth taking the extra time to chop onions and garlic. If you’re often feeling tight on time in the kitchen, I recommend giving this a try, especially on busy days!
I loooove dried minced onion for saving time. I will use a real onion, depending on the dish (sometimes it makes a difference), but during the week, it is usually dried, minced, and time-saving! I also buy the air-dried shallots from Penzey’s because in my area, IF I can find shallots, they’re not cheap and I only need one. We’ve also recently discovered that we kind of suck at using up garlic before it goes bad, so we bought a giant jar of minced garlic from Costco and will only use fresh depending on the recipe (I’m looking at you, roasted garlic heads). I also bought a food chopper thing from Aldi when they had them so when I do have to chop an onion, I just use that haha. It takes up space, and it’s not used often, but I refuse to part with it.
My littlest *hates* having chunks of onion in his food. We just settled on onion powder as a solution yesterday. I love chunks of onion, but I love my kiddos actually eating the food I cook even more (although, he didn’t notice them Saturday because they were super small AND caramelized).
Charlotte Moore says
I always use minced onions. Hate to chop them and really don’t like the taste of a chunk of onion in the mouth. I do like sweet fresh onions to eat with certain food but not cooked.
BUSY MOM IN ALABAMA says
I peel and quarter 2 onions and throw them in a blender and cover with water. Pulse a few times and pour through a fine strainer. You can then put them in bags for the freezer!
I still use dried onion when I am in a pinch, though!
Christa Upton says
My health requires that I now eat almost everything organic. :P Between that and growing onions in our organic backyard garden, which makes the onions almost kinda free, :) I guess I am going to have to keep chopping. LOL We still have some in the freezer from last summer–yay! Fortunately, I don’t mind chopping too much. However, if our garden onions ever fail, it is good Azure has organic minced.
The easiest way to handle garlic is to peel it and grate it. I use a hand held rasp grater (cuispro), though I think most people use micro planes. Honestly it only take some about a minute if one counts peeling time and their are no garlic chunks. Though I do still use Penzeys garlic powder for raw applications like humus and guacamole as my girls don’t like too much spice. Plus, then my daughter can make these dips, while I finish the rest of dinner.
Hoff Wendy says
I totally do this too. Way easier and my fam likes it better. I also get dried minced garlic at a bulk food store and use that or the kind in a jar. And I use dried minced onion and garlic in seasoning mixes too. Doesn’t clump like the powders do.
Laura S says
I have always chopped onions and hated the crying. Some recipes, like French Onion soup demand fresh onions. As I’ve learned to cook dinner almost every night (it was NOT that way when we were newlyweds!), I’ve found shortcuts. You’re right, minced onion and garlic are lifesavers. The trick is knowing when and where to take the shortcut!
I love fresh, but sometimes I “cheat” too. Another quick way for me to use fresh without spending time chopping is to throw onion & garlic in my Ninja. This is a double win for me – my family doesn’t like the chunks in their food.
I talk my husband into chopping a few onions at a time. Then, I flash freeze and then dump it all in a ziploc bag to finish freezing. Super easy for dumping into recipes, no waste, just the amount I want, and it lasts us a long time. I also love the garlic in the jar!
I use dried sometimes, but I’ve also started buying pre-chopped frozen onions at the grocery store. Great for those times you want a bit of onion but not the whole thing – and no crying!
Busy Mom in Alabama says
I buy bulk dried minced garlic and have found a trick to make dehydrated garlic into the jar minced garlic. Get a clean 1/2 pint jar and put in 1/4 cup dried minced garlic. Add boiling hot water and leave a 1 inch headspace at the top of the jar. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and then put on the lid. Leave on counter until garlic has rehydrated and filled the jar. When it has cooled, store in the refrigerator and use like the jarred garlic from the store. The olive oil seals it and the keeps it fresh!