Day 13: How To Chop An Onion

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Whenever I used to have to chop lots of onions during prep, I wore goggles…I didn’t care then what people thought and I don’t care now hahaha!

Honestly, before we begin it’s the biggest tip I can give you to help your eyes! Don’t put a spoon on your mouth, wear goggles!

Plus, it’ll provide a few laughs which is always fun.

So today we are here and about to dice an onion properly. This is a brilliant back to basics skill to have an one you’ll need for our pasta recipe tomorrow.

Beginner To Advanced

With the technique I’m going to write here today, I want you to start with a larger dice, then work your way up to a small dice.

This isn’t about speed. I want you to master this technique because of how strong onions can be, when you master a small dice and add them to things like salsa, it really makes all the difference. People don’t want to be scrunching down on huge pieces of onion for lunch.

Top And Bottom

It’s important to know which is which on an onion as they play important roles.

The bottom or ‘the root’ of the onion is where the little dried roots are sticking out of. This holds the onion together when you’re chopping so it’s important not to chop this part off.

The top is the pointed end and you’ll start by chopping this part off first.

Reduce Your Food Waste

Save your onion tops for your homemade stock. You’ll be surprised just how many you have over a week and they all add flavour to your stock 😀

English onion soup with cheddar croutons – yum!

The Technique


  • Sharp chef’s knife because a blunt one won’t help you at all
  • Chopping board
  1. Slice the top of the onion off.
  2. Remove the papery skin so you’re left with the white or red onion inside.
  3. Put your onion so it’s on its top end and the root is in the air. Slice lengthways from the root down so you have two halves.
  4. With your free hand gently on top of the rounded part of the onion, make horizontal slices.
  5. Make vertical slices.
  6. Now slice from the top end to the root. Depending on how big or small you make your slices depends on the end product.

Putting It All Together

Tomorrow we’re going to be putting it all together with my Pasta in Tomato Sauce recipe.

A true classic and something everyone should know how to do right.

Once you know this basic, you can start experimenting with additional flavours such as meat, shellfish, veggies and herbs!

Ingredients list

  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Dried oregano
  • 1 white or red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 120g dried spaghetti

Let’s Connect!

Along with the daily journal posts here, each Wednesday at 12pm BST I’ll be going live on my instagram @therebalancechef to recap on the week’s progress and show you around my kitchen. Depending on the weather you might even meet my rescue hens!

The main point of this challenge is to have fun with it, learn new skills and refresh old ones.

I want to see your creations so don’t forget to tag me and show off what you’ve been doing!

I’m taking part in the Rebalance May Cookery Challenge! Check it out here