What’s The Difference Between Yellow And White Onions?

Onions are a staple in many kitchens but did you know there are different kinds?

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website, Cookindocs.com, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

Yellow onions and white onions are different in some ways, so it’s important to choose the right one for your dish.

Here’s a guide on how to distinguish between yellow and white onions.

What is special about yellow onions?

[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”button”]

Onions are a bulbous vegetable that is typically available all year long.

Yellow onions, or brown onions, are among the most common types of onions that are perfect for many savory recipes.

They have a fist size and golden papery skin but the flesh is still white to pale yellow.

They come with a slightly sweet and pungent oniony taste.

Yellow onions are affordable and versatile because they can be cooked in different ways like grilling, baking, stewing, or even being eaten raw.

What is special about white onions?

[amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”button”]

Besides yellow onions, white onions are also a popular type of onions that you can easily find on the market.

White onions, as the name implies, have white skin instead of brown.

Their flavor is considered to be crisp but milder than yellow onions.

Moreover, the texture is not likely to hold up like yellow onions.

Therefore, this type of onion is preferred to be chopped and used raw in recipes like salads or salsa in Mexican cuisine.

What are the differences between yellow onions and white onions?

It is a common thought that yellow onions and white onions are very similar and there are no differences between them.

In fact, these two types of onions have many differences, as listed in the comparison table below:

 Yellow onionsWhite onions
ColorYellow-brown papery skin White, pale yellow, or greenish fleshWhite skin and flesh
TextureCrunchy and thickerThinner and softer, not hold up well
FlavorMore potentMilder
Shelf lifeLongerShorter due to the lower sulfur and high sugar content
Common usesGrilled, baked, stewedChopped to add to salsa and salads

What are the similarities between yellow onions and white onions?

Despite numerous differences between yellow and white onions, they also have many things in common:

Yellow onions and white onions both belong to the genus Allium

The first similarity between yellow and white onions is that they are the members of the genus Allium, the flowering plant.

This can explain their same appearance (despite the color).

Yellow onions and white onions look like a fist (with the same size).

They are made of different layers of papery flesh.

Yellow onions and white onions both have an oniony flavor

Another thing in common between yellow onions and white onions is that they have the same flavor.

Although there is a slight difference in how strong their flavors are, both types of onions taste like onions, obviously.

This flavor can be described as crisp, sweet, tangy, and a little pungent.

Yellow onions and white onions are packed with many essential nutrients

The third thing in common between yellow onions and white onions is their nutritional values.

Both are especially rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.

These properties can support our health in different ways, such as improving gut health, heart health, bone health, and even reducing the risk of cancer.

Yellow onions and white onions can be used in the same ways in cooking

Last but not least, the ways that yellow onions and white onions are used in cooking are quite similar.

They can be eaten raw in a salad (which is more popular for white onions thanks to their mild flavor), or cooked in numerous recipes, from stewing to grilling.

Which one is better?

Product Comparison[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”title”][amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”title”]
Product Image[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”thumb”][amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”thumb”]
Rating[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”star_rating”] (based on [amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”reviews”]) [amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”prime”][amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”star_rating”] (based on [amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”reviews”]) [amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”prime”]
Latest Price[amazon fields=”B07QV6B5WV” value=”button”][amazon fields=”B0787Z3T3B” value=”button”]

So, which one should you choose for your dish?

It depends on the recipe.

For dishes like onion rings or French onion soup, use a yellow onion because it’s sweeter and has a stronger flavor.

If you’re making salsa or salads, go with a white onion as its raw flavor won’t overpower other ingredients and doesn’t taste pungent.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with onions, so don’t be afraid to experiment!