Tell us one cuisine or range of delicious dishes that can be prepared without the help of onions?! Well, we bet most of us cannot think of anything instantly. Almost all delicacies and cuisines use different types of onions to bring on a perfectly flavorful, and rich taste from within. While most of us see only one or two kinds of varieties of onions in the market, do you know there are several other types? Yes, you heard us right!

Today, we will learn all about these kinds of onions and how they are helpful for different cooking techniques. So, let us explore all about onions!

All About Onions!

The scientific name of Onions is Allium cepa, which belongs to the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). However, a biennial plant initially native to Southwestern Asia is now grown throughout the globe, in different climatic conditions and temperature zones. Their flavorful and rich taste that brings on to every delicacy from their addition is what made them so famous globally.

Commercial onions are tiny black seeds that are sown directly. However, in several cases, the small bulbs from onions are also used to transplant or grow them. They are hardy ones, can survive a range of conditions, and come in different varieties. They are among the oldest plants in history, most probably recorded first near India, China, and the Middle East. Now let us check out different varieties of onions.

Classification of Onion Varieties:

Do you know, the overall types of onions can be classified into the following?

All-Purpose Onions:

As the name suggests, these are most commonly used to make a range of recipes in our kitchens. These also come in different varieties and can be used in recipes to bring on mild flavor and smell as required. From salads to fries, these are perfect for a lot of dishes. The common all-purpose onions include

  • Yellow onions
  • Bermuda onions
  • Spanish onions

Sweet Onions:

These, as one may guess, has a bit of sweet flavor. They have pale yellow color skin and are larger than all-purpose onions in several cases. Sweet onions are perishable varieties, and cannot be stored for a significantly longer time. They do not have a very sharp pungent taste like others and are best for different sandwiches, soups, and fries. The common types include

  • Shallots
  • Walla Walla
  • Vidalia
  • Maui

Pungent Onions:

These come in a pungent smell and a very strong taste when added to recipes. These onion types are best suitable for spicy foods and curries. The most common pungent onions include

  • Garlic
  • White onions

Raw Onions:

Unlike what you may guess from the name, the raw onions aren’t powerful in flavor. They are mild and subtle and are mostly the one’s many add-in salads and similar recipes. They are pretty tender and come in several sizes and shapes.

  • Scallions
  • Red onions

Mild Flavored:

The mild-flavored onions are those which are often added as additions or layers or dressings for several dishes. They are versatile; most of them come with green stalks. These include

  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Torpedo’s

Pickling Onions:

You may already have guessed; these onions are best when put to use for making pickling. They are perfect additions and garnishing, even in stews and soups, for the ideal blend of taste. The most popular variety in this one is,

  • Pearl onions

Read: Types of Mushrooms with Pictures

Different Types of Onions:

You won’t believe it; there are several types of onions with different uses, but not many know them. We have worked around and rounded up the world’s famous best types of onions name in the world. These species indeed deserve your attention. Let us know about them today.

1. Bermuda Onions:

Bermuda onions are among the most popular variety globally and are ideal for baking, cooking, sautéing, and frying. They come in larger sizes compared to others and have a tinge of sweet flavor. They are flavorful overall and don’t dominate other ingredients on the taste front.

2. Chives:

Chives are among the chef’s favourite kinds of onion. These onions are perfect for kickstarting the tasty delicacy from soups to salads or seasoning or adding layers of flavors. They bring that extra oomph on any kind of test and are precisely the kind of ideal ingredient anyone needs in the kitchen. They come with large green stalks. These belong to types of green onions.

3. Cipollini Onions:

The beige or brown color onions, called Cipollini’s, is rich and sweeter in taste. They bring a caramelized kind of flavor with a roasted feel and crispy texture. The onions are a perfect fit for salads and likewise dishes. They come in unique shapes and are smaller in size. These are perfect for adding garnishing to a lot of dishes, given their gourmet nature. These belong to types of small onions kind.

4. Cocktail Onions:

The cocktail onions are also famous as Silver Skin onions, given their color and shade variety. These onions are smaller in size and again come into the sweeter categories. As the name suggests, the types of cocktail onions are often perfect for garnishing cocktails and recipes that include sweet items or bread and cheese.

5. Egyptian Onions:

Egyptian onions are also famous as top onions. They are very mild and subtle category variants and are ideal for salads, stews, soups, and similar recipes. The onions, as the name suggests, are born in Egyptian land and are mostly winter varieties.

6. Leeks:

Leeks are pretty versatile. They are perfect for a range of recipes and cuisines. The leeks are good to add to spicy foods, meat items, or something like appetizers and soups. They have a smooth and creamy feel to them and aren’t either very pungent or very mild. Yet, they bring on a subtle sense of flavor and taste to kickstart the dish.

7. Maui Onions:

Maui onions, unlike others, come with a juicy feel and texture. They have a sweet flavor and feel, and given the texture, they are ideal first to marinate and then use for grilling or caramelizing the saucepans. Try them in these recipes, and we bet it is a real treat! From onion rings to salads, sandwiches and stews, the Maui onions can bring the perfect taste and feel to it.

8. Pearl Onions:

Pearl onions are also famous as button or baby onions. They are tiny and smaller in size and have mild taste and flavor. They are perfect for pickling, don’t require peeling, and taste yummy as additions to several dishes. Soups, roasting, and frying also are good choices with pearl onions.

9. Red Onions:

The types of red onions are again among the globally famous variety and kinds of onions. They are sweeter side in a range of tastes and generally contain more amount of sugar within them than other kinds. However, they are mild in sweet flavor and are arguably the best for meat cooking, pizzas, caramelizing, pizzas, and sandwiches.

Read: Popular Types Of Soups

10. Sweet Onions:

You already guessed it right – these onions are pretty sweet in flavor and taste. The types of sweet onions have less sulfur within them and do not have a hard or strong smell or flavor. These come in an oval shape and different sizes and are ideal only for select recipes that include salads and stews.

11. Shallots:

Shallots look similar to leeks. They come with a green color shade alongside with red body, with a bulb-shaped look. The types of onions are perfect for their mild and delicate flavor. They bring a crispy, sharp, and crunchy feel to the dishes and are suitable primarily for sauces, dressings, and dips.

12. Spanish Onions:

Spanish onions are perfect as additions to a meal than using them as the main ingredient. They are sweeter in flavor and look, however, just like regular onions. They have a much lower water content and are crispy in feel when cooked. The types of Spanish onions are suitable for deep frying and cooking recipes such as onion rings.

13. White Onions:

White onions are pretty strong in flavor. If you prefer a complex and pungent-smelling onion that is strong in recipes, white onions are what you need. They subsequently are perfect for a variety of dishes that require good spicy touch. One can even add these types of onions to salads to give a firm feel and flavor.

14. Welsh Onions:

Welsh onions look similar to green onions. They are the popular choice for several Asian cuisine recipes. The Welsh onions are native to China country and are large. They are the perfect choice for stir-fry recipes, garnishing, and noodles.

15. Yellow Onions:

Yellow onions again belong to the versatile category of onions and can be added to almost any recipe or flavor. They are pungent in smell and feel, however, not very strong as their white counterparts. These types of onions can deliver strong flavor from within, and this is perfect for adding in curries, recipes, Sautee, frying, garnishing, or even grilling.

Read: Eating Onions During Pregnancy

16. Scallions:

Scallion types of onions are also famous as green onions. They are unique and don’t appear anywhere close to other onion varieties and kinds. They are very flimsier in texture and cannot be caramelized like others. The scallions are perfectly suitable for garnishing several recipes on pasta, rice, noodles, and salads.

17. Walla Walla Onions:

Walla Walla belongs to the sweet onions variety. They are lesser-known types and are only suitable for a few dishes, such as salads, pizzas, or pasta. The Walla onions require lesser cooking and can also be taken raw.

18. Torpedo:

Torpedo is again not heavily used onions variety. However, they, too, belong to the sweet category. Their use is limited to fewer recipes, such as grilled variants or pickled ones.

19. Vidalia Onion:

Vidalia onions are grown in a few countries like the southern US and a few countries in Europe and are extremely sweeter in taste. They are good to even consume raw. These onions are perfect for adding to sandwiches, and burgers instead of grilling or cooking or baking. Their sweeter taste is going to be a good compliment for several snacks and fast food items.

20. Texas Onions:

The name suggests that these onions from Texas belong to a sweeter variety and are perfect to suit sweeter types of dishes. They are mild and bring a very subtle sense of flavor and smell with them.

Interesting Facts About Onions:

There are certain fun and exciting facts about onions that you may not have come across too. Do you want to know a few?

  • Yellow onions are the most popular, which are over and above 75 per cent of total onion production.
  • Texas even has onion as an official state vegetable. Their variety is Texas sweet onion.
  • Libya eats onions more than any other country on the globe. Each person, on average, consumes about 66.8 lbs. of onions every year.
  • Ancient Egyptians worshipped onions. They are believed to bring prosperity and the afterlife. Isn’t it interesting?
  • In several countries during the middle age, onions were even used as a currency. They are accepted form to buy goods, and products and pay rent.

We hope you enjoyed reading all about the different types and kinds of onions around us. We definitely didn’t know these varieties are present globally, did you? So, what do you think of this? Let us know your thoughts below. We love to hear from you!


1. Does Onions have any health benefits?

Yes, Onions are famous for their antioxidant properties that help to fight against inflammation in the body. They also reduce overall cholesterol levels rapidly.

2. Which are the strongest and hottest onions?

The white onions are spicier and come with heavy flavor than the yellow onions.

3. Which onions are the healthiest?

Several studies believe that red onions are the healthiest, with high levels of antioxidants, anthocyanin, and quercetin.


This is exclusively a guide about types of onions for informative purposes only. The opinions and overview in this article are provided from various sources across the web. The author does not guarantee or promise any accuracy of the facts provided in this article.


About Yashasvi

Yashasvi developed a deep passion for writing ever since she was completed her Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam and has chosen a career that is driven by creativity. A Parenting expert who believes in communicating effectively with a personal touch, she writes about pregnancy, baby care, lifestyle, and just about anything else.