Can you boil onions? (1 Reason you should)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you boil onions? We will discuss the benefits of opting to prepare onions by boiling them and also elaborate on a couple of ways to prepare boiled onions.

Can you boil onions?

You can boil onions. Boiling onions is a good way to prepare onions and then adding them to any recipe of your choice. Among other popular methods such as sauteing, sweating, frying, there are other less-known ways to cook onions. Besides boiling, you could also bake or grill the onions alongside the meal you are preparing them for. 

Boiling onion is a good way to prepare if you do not enjoy the taste of raw onions. While raw onions can be healthy, the pungent and overpowering flavor can be too much to handle for some people. Boiling also keeps extra calories at bay, as you do not need to add oil while you cook.

How to boil onions?

Method 1 

The following method is a simple way to prepare an onion broth where the onions are boiled for a short time to keep them intact and crunchy.

  • Wash and peel the onions.
  • You do not need to chop them up, leave them whole to boil. 
  • Put the onion immersed in water into a pan and let it boil.
  • Let the onions simmer, until they turn pale-white and soft. Do not boil them for long, otherwise, they will break and fall apart. The onions will take 7 to 10 minutes to boil sufficiently. 
  • You can drain the onions in a colander, chop, and serve with any dish you like. 

You could even serve the boiled onions as a broth. You need to add the onions to a pot with some milk and butter. Warm the milk and butter and add salt, pepper, and some of your favorite seasonings and herbs. 

Method 2

  • This method is used to prepare the traditional thanksgiving boiled onions.
  • Prepare the onions by washing, trimming the ends, and getting rid of the papery skin.
  • Set a pot filled with water to a boil and add some salt
  • Cook until the onions become tender and start to fall apart. It will take around 30 to 50 minutes depending on the size and quantity of onions.
  • Drain the water and add 1 tablespoon of margarine or butter. Next, add seasoning including pepper, and a tablespoon of salt. You need less sugar if you are using sweet onions.

The serving size for 2-pound onion is around 10 people and can even be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.

What are the unique health benefits of the compounds found in onions?

Onion belongs to the family of pungent vegetables which include garlic, shallots, and leeks. The onions come in a range of colors from red, white, and purple. The Allium Family of the sulfur-rich vegetables is known for their pungent smell and overpowering flavors. 

  1. Quercetin

The distinctive compound in onion is called quercetin. Quercetin, as a powerful antioxidant, protects the body against cancer, such as lung cancer and heart attacks. Quercetin, belong to the pigment called flavonoids, which protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Quercetin reduces the risk of developing a bladder infection, prostate health, and blood pressure. Quercetin also reduces inflammatory diseases such as asthma and provides relief to the airway muscles. It also works against allergies and breathing difficulties by inhibiting the production of anti-histamines.

  1. Sulfur

Sulfur compounds contain amino acids. Amino acids form the building blocks of proteins which are essential to build new cell structures. 

The sulfur compounds are responsible for lowering cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease and stroke. Onions play an overwhelming role in cholesterol management and preventing strokes.

  1. Oxylipins and phytochemicals

A compound called oxylipins increases in the body and helps to maintain cholesterol and blood fat. 

Onions also have flavonoids, Sulphur compounds, and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals such as disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene, and vinyl dithiins add to the anticancer and antimicrobial properties of onions. 

What are some health-friendly ways to cook onions?

Besides boiling, there are other ways to prepare onions that are both delectable and nutritious. To bake onions in the oven, you need to place uncovered onions in an oven preheated to 425 Fahrenheit. Bake the onions for around 40 to 50 minutes, or until they become tender.

Another alternate is to grill by putting the skewers through quartered or sliced onion slices. You can use bamboo skewers by first soaking them in water. To grill the onions, you will need to brush up some grease and then put it over the grill until it charrs. 

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you boil onions? We discussed the benefits of opting to prepare onions by boiling them and also elaborate on a couple of ways to prepare boiled onions.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.