Can you chop onions in a food processor?

Many people ask, can you chop onions in a food processor, either are sensitive to the compounds that make you cry or want small pieces.

The problem with chopping onions by hand is that it can leave you crying and teary-eyed for up to an hour afterward. And if you try to chop an onion in the food processor, well, you’re going to get smaller pieces of onion that may turn into a mushy mess.

You can chop onions in a food processor, but you need to be aware that you will have less control than using a knife or a veggie shredder!

Using a food processor to chop onions is not exactly the best method, but it works. More importantly, you won’t end up crying while chopping them!

If you want smaller pieces of onion, go ahead and use the food processor—it will produce uniform, evenly-sized chunks that cook evenly and have a good texture for salads or marinated onion dishes. If you plan to carmelize the onions over low heat slowly, then using the food processor is excellent for this.

You can chop onions in a food processor!

What’s The Best Way To Chop Onions In A Food Processor?

Start with some nice, fresh onions—ideally, they should be big and ripe with plenty of moisture content. Slice them in half from pole to pole, peel off the outer skin, and cut out any bruised or brownish portions.

Chopping your onions with a food processor is quick and easy. Just throw in the onion halves (skin side down) and pulse until you achieve the desired onion pieces’ consistency. The more you process it, the finer the results will be. If you need a lot of onions for a recipe, then it’s better to chop one onion in the food processor at a time. The reason is that the onion pieces on the bottom of the food processor will get smaller and smaller. So just chop the onion in the food processor in smaller batches if you want larger uniform pieces. Smaller batches will give you more control.

Key takeaway: Only chop 1/2 an onion or one onion max at a time for the best results. Can you chop onions in a food processor? – YES!

chopped onion in a food processor with stainless steel blades

Can You Dice Onions In A Food Processor?

To dice onions in the food processor, you can just slice them horizontally and process them as usual. For a more satisfactory result, use the slicing blade instead of the shredding blade. If you want even smaller pieces, then try using the thin slicing disc. To dice your onion remember to do it in small batches—1/2 onion or one onion at the most.

How to Chop Onions in a Food Processor

Step 1

Peel your onion

Step 2

If it’s a large onion then slice it in quarters. However, if you have a small onion then chop it in half. Be aware that slicing the onion in half may cause your eyes to burn and tear.

Step 3

Place it into the food processor chamber with the S blade attachment.

Step 4 (dice onions in a food processor)

Press the pulse button a few times to chop your onions. To coarsely chop onions in the food processor, only use the pulse button and keep a close watch. To dice onions in the food processor, use the pulse button a few times. You may have to do it in small batches if your food processor tends to mince the onions on the bottom. If you turn the food processor on and walk away you will have minced onions. Chopping onions in the food processor is a quick task, that only takes a few minutes.

A Word About Chopping Onions And Tears – The Science Behind It

The sulfuric compounds found in onions are responsible for triggering our tear ducts, causing us to cry when cut or bruised. Leeks or green onions, which are milder, rarely cause us to tear up when chopping them.

What causes onion tears?

Why do we cry when cutting onions? The crying happens because of the chemical compound syn-Propanethial S-oxide, which stimulates the eyes’ lachrymal glands. You can find this compound in all onion-containing foods. When you cut the onion, enzymes meet amino acids to form sulfenic acids.

Can you chop onions in a food processor? Yes, it will help reduce onion tears!

5 Ways to Reduce Onion Tears

#1 If you’re looking for a quick way to reduce your onion tears when cutting them, try using rubber gloves as they can block out the syn-Propanethial S-oxide compound that causes the tearing. Rubber gloves might alleviate some of the problems but will not eliminate them because the gas is airborne. You may contain some of the vapors with the gloves.

#2 Another way is to chill the onion in the refrigerator before you begin to chop it. Then keep your head as far away from the food processor or cutting board as possible.

#3 It’s also recommended to chop your onions under cold running water. The water will wash away the sulfuric compounds and make you cry less.

#4 You can also reduce 1-propenyl-L- cysteine sulphoxide effects by chopping onions in a food processor.  When this compound reacts with enzymes it forms gaseous sulfur-containing a substance called syn-Propanethial S-oxide. In the air, the vapor disperses, but if you keep the onions in a closed chamber (like a food processor), there will be less vapor.

#5 Wear goggles while chopping the onion. The goggles will reduce the amount of onion vapor in the air.

How To Chop Onions Quickly Without Crying?

Use a food processor to chop your onion quickly. When the onion is inside the food processor bowl, the vapors that make us cry won’t get to your eyes as quickly.

Can You Grate An Onion Using A Food Processor?

Grating an onion can be quickly done by using the grating attachment of a food processor; this will be the exact attachment you use for grating cheese. You can also grate the onion with a Microplane grater if you want smaller pieces in your recipe. Sometimes the smell of onion can linger on kitchen tools, causing you to smell it when you pull it out to use it for the next meal. If you need to grate onions often, just dedicate a cheese grater only to be used with onions.

The Best Way To Shred Onions Using A Food Processor:

The best way to shred an onion is to slice it first, then place it in the food processor bowl. Since onions have a high water content, they will not “shred” in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, plan on getting some pieces of onion that are all mush and others that are still intact.

If you don’t want to shred your onions in a food processor, you can easily use a box grater similar to one for shredding carrots.

Can You Chop Onions In A Blender?

To chop onions in a blender, you must first peel them. Cut the onion vertically into slices that are about 1/4 inch thick. To keep the onions from turning brown while chopping them, place them in a large bowl and fill it with ice water for about five minutes. Put the onion back in the blender after draining the water. Turn on your blender and let it grind the onion until the pieces are small.

Can You Chop Onions With A Vegetable Chopper?


Onions are soft vegetables, which require a very sharp knife to dice them properly. Because onions contain so much water, modern food processors, vegetable choppers, and blenders may not cut them into uniform pieces. Instead, they will puree them with the liquid mixed in because their blades are not as sharp.

You can use a vegetable chopper for onions, but you have to use it cautiously and slowly. Plan to only chop a small number of onions in the vegetable chopper at a time.

What Is The Best Knife For Chopping Onions?

A Santoku knife is the best knife for working with onions. Since onions have a high water content, you need the knife to be very sharp so the blade can make the first puncture onto the onion flesh. 

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Also, having a sharp Santoku knife is imperative if you frequently slice thin onions for sandwiches and salads. Chopping an onion can be difficult for those who don’t know what they’re doing, but a good knife will make the job easier.

If you’re someone who often relies on chopping with a knife, it may be best to use a blade that is right for the job. Just like a tomato cutting knife will make your life easier when dealing with tomatoes, an onion chopping knife will do the same.

A few reasons why using a proper knife like a Santoku knife is essential.

• Generate less waste of produce when chopping onions

• Consistency in size and thickness of onion slices because the blade is razor-sharp

• Less time needed to chop onions because the knife moves smoothly through them

How Long Does It Take To Chop An Onion With A Knife?

It depends on several factors how long it takes to chop an onion: how sharp your knife is and how uniform you want your onion pieces to be. With an appropriately maintained Santoku knife, you will be able to cut through the onion much faster than with a dull one.

It’s best to chop an onion by hand if you need a particular shape or size. For example, if you need smaller chunks instead of larger slices for soups or stews, you’ll need to cube the onion by hand.

It will take about a minute or two on average to chop an onion with a Santoku knife if you try to remove the skin and cut it into uniform-sized chunks.

Chopping onions in a food processor is a time-saver, but chopping them with your knife gives you more control over the final shape of the onion pieces.

What Is The Best Way To Store A Cut Onion?

The best way to save cut onion is by wrapping it in plastic wrap or an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. An onion will keep this way for up to one week. It’s best to slice it on one side and then wrap the cut side or place it face down inside the air-tight container, as the photo below shows you.

Can you chop onions in a food processor? Yes, cut them in half like this red onion on a yellow towel.
How to store cut onions in a fridge.

Always store cut onions in the refrigerator. Chopped onions will dry out quickly if you leave them on the counter. You don’t want your other foods to absorb any of their strong smell or taste. The Stasher bags are excellent for all food storage!

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How Long Does It Take To Chop An Onion In A Food Processor?

It depends on the size of your onion, how much liquid you want to leave in it, and if you want it pureed or not. It will take between 10 seconds and 1 minute, depending on how fine you want to chop the onion.

If you are just looking for a chopped onion uniform in size but without any remaining liquid, then a food processor should do the job quickly. Set your food processor to the small dice setting and pulse until chopped as desired. If you don’t want to puree the onion, you can also chop it with your knife in a few minutes.


If you want to chop onions quickly, a food processor is the best way. However, if you’re looking for more control over what size of onion pieces your final product will be or how much liquid remains in it when chopped- chopping them by hand with a Santoku knife may be better. Whichever method you choose to use when preparing your favorite dish, make sure that you store cut onions in the refrigerator because they’ll dry out if left on the counter!