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The 10 Best Onions for Sandwiches

When it comes to making the perfect sandwich, the type of onion you use can make all the difference.

From mild and sweet to strong and pungent, there are a variety of onions to choose from.

But which onions are the best for sandwiches?

The best onions for sandwiches include red onions, white onions, yellow onions, Vidalia onions, Walla Walla onions, Bermuda onions, shallots, scallions (green onions), chives, and leeks. Each type of onion brings its own unique flavor and texture to a sandwich.

Whether you prefer a classic ham and cheese, a veggie-packed sub, or a hearty grilled panini, choosing the right onion can elevate your sandwich to the next level.

Let’s explore each of these onions in more detail and find out which sandwiches they’re best suited for.

Why Use Onion In A Sandwich?

Cheese and Onion Sandwich

Onions are a common ingredient in sandwiches, and for good reason.

Here are five reasons why onions are a great addition to any sandwich:

  1. Flavor: Onions add a sharp and distinct flavor to a sandwich. Depending on the type of onion chosen, it can add a sweet or tangy taste, or a more intense, pungent flavor. This flavor can complement other ingredients in a sandwich and provide a satisfying taste.
  2. Texture: Onions can also add a crunchy or crispy texture to a sandwich, depending on how they’re prepared. Raw or pickled onions can provide crunch, while caramelized or sautéed onions can give a softer, silkier texture.
  3. Nutritional value: Onions are a good source of vitamins C and B6, folate, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and protect against chronic diseases. Adding onions to a sandwich not only enhances the taste and texture but also boosts its overall nutritional value.
  4. Versatility: Onions can be used in a variety of sandwiches, from classic deli-style subs to vegetarian and vegan options. Whether raw, pickled, sautéed, or grilled, onions can be used to enhance the flavor and texture of different sandwiches.
  5. Digestion: Onions also contain fiber, which can aid in digestion and help promote bowel regularity. This can be particularly helpful when eating a heavy sandwich, as the added fiber can improve overall gut health.

The 10 Best Onions for Sandwiches

Onions are a great way to add flavor and crunch to sandwiches. But with so many types of onions available, it can be hard to know which ones work best.

Here we look at ten types of onions that are perfect for adding to your sandwich fillings:

1. Red Onions

Red Onions

If you are looking for a distinct, eye-catching addition to your sandwich, red onions are the perfect choice.

Their bright, vibrant color, crisp texture, and mildly sweet taste can enhance any sandwich, providing a subtle flavor that won’t overpower other ingredients.

They are particularly well-suited for sandwiches with roasted meat, grilled poultry, or fish, adding a refreshing crunch to each bite.

Red onions are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making them a healthy choice that can protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

2. White Onions

White Onions

While white onions may have a sharper taste than their red and yellow counterparts, their delicate flavor profile can provide an excellent contrast to richer sandwich ingredients, such as cheese, bacon, or smoked ham.

They are also incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed raw, caramelized, or pickled, depending on the sandwich’s recipe.

White onions are high in sulfur compounds, which are known to support healthy digestion and boost the immune system.

3. Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are a staple ingredient in many sandwich recipes, thanks to their bold, pungent flavor and high levels of natural sweetness.

They go well with a wide range of sandwich fillings, from vegetables to poultry and beef, and their caramelized form can elevate the taste of your sandwich to a whole new level.

Yellow onions offer several health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting healthy digestion.

4. Vidalia Onions

Vidalia Onions

The sweet and mild Vidalia onion is a popular sandwich ingredient due to its unique combination of mild sweetness and fresh, tangy flavor.

Vidalia onions originate from Georgia and are only available seasonally, making them all the more coveted.

Their tender texture and noticeable sweetness make them a perfect pairing with ham, turkey, or roast beef.

Vidalia onions are also rich in vitamins and minerals, supporting immunity and maintaining the body’s overall health.

5. Walla Walla Onions

Walla Walla onions

Walla Walla onions, originating from Walla Walla, Washington, are renowned for their unique sweetness and mellow flavor.

These onions provide a delightful crunch, making them an ideal option for sandwiches that require a satisfying texture element.

With their large size, Walla Walla onions offer a generous serving portion, and their mild flavor ensures they don’t overpower the rest of your ingredients.

Slice them thin and rest them atop your sandwich or dice them up and mix them in with your fillings.

6. Bermuda Onions

Bermuda onions boast a bold and slightly pungent flavor profile that complements sandwiches with a range of fillings from savory to sweet.

These onions have a high sulfur content that gives them their characteristic flavor and sizeable bulbs that offer ample slices for your sandwich.

Suitable for both raw and cooked applications, Bermuda onions are versatile and add an interesting twist to classic sandwich recipes.

Use them to make a tangy relish or chop them finely and add them to your sandwich fillings.

7. Shallots


Shallots are a member of the onion family but are much smaller and subtler in flavor.

They have a delicate, slightly sweet taste that makes them excellent in sandwiches with lighter ingredients like turkey and vegetables.

Shallots are easy to cut and add a refreshing crunch to salads and sandwiches alike.

They are also great for dressings and vinaigrettes, adding a depth of flavor without overwhelming your recipe.

Incorporate shallots into your sandwiches to lend a gourmet touch to even the most straightforward sandwich recipes.

8. Scallions (Green Onions)


Scallions, or green onions, are a milder and sweeter version of traditional onions.

They’re considerably thinner and lighter than other onion varieties, making them an excellent choice for sandwiches with a subtle flavor profile.

They’re ideal for adding to salads or as a garnish to bring color and brightness to your dish.

Scallions are easy to prepare, and their mild flavor complements a range of sandwich options from classic cheeseburgers to vegetarian wraps.

Slice them finely or chop them up and add them to your condiments, sauces, or sandwich fillings – these little guys pack a flavor punch.

9. Chives


Chives are a member of the onion family and possess mild, delicate flavor notes perfect for sandwiches.

Their thin, long green blades are easy to slice and add a fresh, earthy flavor to your sandwich.

Chives are an excellent substitute for green onions in sandwich recipes and can be sprinkled on top of tuna, egg, or chicken salad.

Add chopped chives to guacamole or hummus, and use as a spread for sandwiches.

They also pair well with cream cheese and butter as a spread on bagels or toast.

The possibilities are endless with chives as a sandwich topping.

10. Leeks


Leeks offer a mild, sweet onion flavor that can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

They add a unique, sophisticated twist to your sandwich’s flavor profile, especially when paired with meats and cheeses such as turkey, ham, or Swiss.

Cut the white and light green part of the leek into bite-sized pieces, and toss with olive oil and salt for a quick topping.

Sauté sliced leeks in butter until they soften and caramelize, adding a subtle sweetness to your sandwich.

Leeks’ delicate flavor also pairs well with soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese.

Experiment with adding leeks to your next sandwich for a delicious, delightful twist.

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.