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Scallions vs Green Onions: What’s the Difference?

scallions vs green onions

Scallions and green onions are a perfect go-to when you want to add an onion flavor to your dish.

But what are scallions and green onions?

And what’s the difference between them anyway?

I explain all below.

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What Are Scallions?

Scallions are young onions that have not formed a bulb yet as mature onions.

Identified by their tender green leaves and white base and root.

Left to grow these onions will develop into a yellow onion, with the leaves drying out.

However there are some varieties of green onions that have been specifically bred to never form bulbs, and are grown just as scallions.

Just different types of onions.

Scallions vs Green Onions

Yes, scallions are also called green onions and are the same thing with different names.

In the UK, Canada, and Australia you can add shallots to the list when it comes to identifying green onions.

However, in the US  a shallot is a completely different thing.

Spring onions on the other hand is just another way to refer to the scallion. 

The green onion, or scallion is a member of the Allium cepa family, with the word scallion coming from askolionion in ancient Greek.

Referring to the port of Aasqelon in Palestine that has been in existence since neolithic times.

The port was known as the home of the onion since the scallion was native to Asia. 

What Do Scallions Look Like?

Made of layers growing around each other tightly together creating a stalk which has a white base and root which has a stronger flavor, giving way to pale green leaves that turn to a dark green with a milder flavor.

Remember green onions and spring onions are interchangeable. 

Health Benefits of Scallions

Loads of  fiber, and antioxidants, scallions are jam packed with vitamins and nutrients.

They have cancer fighting compounds, and antibacterial properties.

They have been found to control blood sugar and benefits heart health.

They may boost bone density, and digestive health.

Residents of ancient Egypt were known to not only use onions in a culinary delight, but more importantly as a medicinal antiseptic compound.

All of the benefits that come from a stalk which only has 25 calories.

What’s not to like?! 

What Parts of the Scallion are Edible?

scallions vs green onions

The whole of the scallion is edible, from tip to tip with just the very end of the root cut off.

They are very tasty in whatever way they are prepared cooked or raw.

Scallions are often used in salads, stir fries or as a garnish.

I like to grill the whole green onion which can be added as a side dish to the meat cooked on the barbecue. 

How to Cut Scallions

The best way to cut scallions in order not to bruise and break the delicate leaves is to slice, not chop them.

Place them in a single layer, place a sharp knife over the top of the scallions and pull the knife back steadily as you gently slice through the layers until you the knife meets the cutting board.

Can You Freeze Scallions?

scallions vs green onions

Scallions can indeed be frozen, but keep in mind that the consistency of the thawed onion will be very different and only good for incorporating in cooked dishes.

No blanching is necessary for scallions, simply clean them and pull off any damaged leaves, slice into the required sizes.

Place the pieces flat on a tray and freeze for half an hour so that the onion pieces can freeze without clumping.

Place frozen scallions in a zip lock freezer back and use as needed.

How to Store Scallions

Buy the freshest scallions you can, remove the thin outer layer from around the white stalk, and any other compromised leaves.

Leave the white roots intact, place a bunch of green onions in a jar with about an inch of water.

Put plastic wrapped around the greens secured with rubber bands to keep them fresh.

Change the water every couple of days for best results. 

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Hello! I’m Chef Tariq.

I’m a food, travel & lifestyle blogger who is passionate about Middle Eastern fusion cooking. I travel to eat and I share my experiences along the way!

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Hello! I’m Chef Tariq.

I’m a food, travel & lifestyle blogger who is passionate about Middle Eastern fusion cooking. I travel to eat and I share my experiences along the way!