If there's one knife skill you should master, it should probably be this.

By Betty Gold
Updated March 02, 2020
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Chopped onions are the first ingredient in endless essential recipes, from soups and sauces to pasta dishes, sautés, stir-fried veggies, and more. Watch this video to learn how to peel and dice an onion properly, quickly, and efficiently. Pro tip: the best way to reduce tears when you dice an onion is to minimize the amount of time you spend working with it.

What You Need

  • onions
  • cutting board
  • chef’s knife

Follow These Steps

  1. Cut the top, then slice in half
    Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice about a half an inch off the top of the onion and discard. Turn the onion to rest on this flat end and slice in half vertically.

    Tip: If you’re only using half of the onion, leave the skin on and wrap what you’re not using in plastic wrap.
  2. Peel off the papery layers
    Remove and discard the skin.
  3. Chop vertically
    Take one onion half and lay it flat on your cutting board. Holding the root end, carefully cut vertically, making sure not to slice all the way through.

    Tip: Leave the root side intact to make chopping easier.
  4. Chop horizontally
    Rotate the onion and slice vertically down through the onion, still leaving the root end intact. Discard the root end and repeat with the remaining half of the onion.

    Tip: The closer together the initial horizontal and vertical cuts are, the smaller the dice.