Green onions aren’t expensive to purchase in the grocery store, but they are one of those ingredients that I either forget to buy, or they go bad in the fridge before I remember to use them, which is definitely a waste of money. Green onions, also known as scallions, are great for flavor and garnish in a variety of recipes, and they are a simple addition that can take a dish from average to impressive.
If you want to save a few dollars a month, always have green onions available, and have a little green growing in your kitchen, you can regrow a bunch of green onions that you purchase at the grocery store over and over again. The best thing about this method is that you can grow these even if you have a “black” thumb or don’t want to mess around with dirt. All you need to regrow green onions is a little natural light and a glass of water.
Regrowing Green Onions
- Purchase a bunch of green onions. Splurge on organic if you prefer.
- Remove the rubber band from the green onions, rinse the roots off, and put them in a glass of water, like you would a bouquet of flowers. Place the glass on the countertop where the onions will have some natural light. Direct light from a window isn’t necessary.
- To use the green onions, cut off the amount that you need (as far down as the white root area) with a pair of clean scissors and add to your dish. The very tops of the first cutting can be a little stringy and thick, so you may want to discard the tops to get the more tender and flavorful sections. Fresh growth will appear within a few days and will be more tender.
- Every week, change the water in the glass and rinse off the roots. If the roots feel a little slimy, peel the thin, slimy layer off bottom and rinse the roots again before returning the green onions to the cup. If layers of the onions are getting brown or shriveled, just peel that layer off by pulling it down towards the roots.
The regrowth process will continue through 4-5 cuttings before the growth will slow or onions will start to shrivel. I kept one bunch alive for almost two months even after forgetting to change the water regularly. As you can see from the photos above, not all of the stalks will continue to grow very tall or at the same rate, but there’s still plenty of green onions left by Day 17.
If you aren’t really sure what to do with these extra green onions that keep growing, add them to baked potatoes, nachos, soups, eggs, salads, casseroles, dips, Asian dishes or anything else that could benefit from a mild onion flavor.
This tip isn’t going to save you a ton of money at the grocery store, but regrowing green onions will save you a couple of dollars, add some fresh flavor to your meals, and make you feel like an accomplished gardener, even if you can’t even grow weeds on purpose. It’s also really fun for kids to see how quickly the onions will regrow.
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Martha Walker Hutson says
Thanks for this tip! How many times have I forgotten to buy scallions? This tip will assure me of having scallions convenient and fresh, ready to add to salads, potatoes—even homemade cheese biscuits!
Sara Frederick says
I have heard that this also works with romaine lettuce, but you have to change the water daily.