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How to Microwave Onions: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Onion Cooking

Onions are a pantry staple in most households.

They add flavor, texture, and aroma to many dishes.

They are versatile and can be used in various forms – raw, sautéed, caramelized or roasted.

But traditional onion cooking methods can take time and patience.

Luckily there is a quicker solution: microwaving onions!

In this blog post, we will go over the benefits of microwaving onions and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to microwave onions.

We’ll also cover some precautions that you need to follow for safe cooking, factors affecting cooking time, expert tips for perfectly microwaving onions, advantages and disadvantages of this method of cooking onions.

How to Microwave Onions

Why You Should Consider Microwaving Onion

There are several benefits to microwaving onions:


Microwave cooking is faster than traditional stovetop or oven methods. The microwave heats food directly by producing electromagnetic waves that penetrate the food surface to heat it from the inside out quickly.

Nutrient Preservation

Microwave cooking requires less water than stovetop boiling which means fewer nutrients get lost due to water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C. When cooked quickly with minimal liquid they retain as much flavor as possible compared with boiled or sautéed alternatives.


Microwaves are perfect for small servings or single meals since less space and less cookware are required without requiring significant cleanup afterwards.

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Microwave Onions

Here’s how you can microwave an onion in just a few easy steps:

Gather Your Supplies

  • One onion
  • A sharp knife
  • A cutting board
  • A microwave-safe bowl or dish with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap.
  • Salt/pepper (optional)

Step 1 – Prepare The Onion

Peel an onion and slice it into thin pieces as small or large as you’d like. It’s best to cut the onion root-end off first, then slice in half through the middle so that both halves can be laid flat on the cutting board to make slicing easier.

Step 2 – Place Onion in Microwave Safe Container

Place sliced onions into your microwave-safe container with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. If using plastic wrap, be sure to leave a corner vent open for steam release.

Step 3 – Microwave The Onion

Heat the container with onions inside at full power for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir every minute of cooking until onions are tender and caramelized (approximately 3-5 minutes total).

Continue microwaving at one-minute intervals if they need more time until they obtain your desired texture.

Salt/pepper the onion after it has been cooked; add fresh herbs, spices or cheese etc., as desired.

Precautions for Microwaving Onions

There are some precautions you should take before microwaving onions:

  • Do not microwave whole onions without poking holes in them since this can cause them to explode.
  • Use caution when opening containers or removing lids because trapped steam may escape, leading to burns.
  • Never use metal containers as they can spark, leading to injury or damage to your appliance.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

Microwaves have different wattage and results may vary based on your microwave’s settings. Here are a few factors that affect how long it will take until onions are ready:

  • Power setting – Cooking times will vary depending upon whether you set your microwave on high power or medium high power.
  • Quantity of Apparatus used – masses of food need longer cooking times than small amounts requiring frequent stirring during heating process
  • Thickness of Slices – larger slices require longer cooking times than thinner ones.

Expert Tips for Perfectly Microwaving Onions

Follow these tips for perfect microwaving onions:

Tip 1 – Use a Microwave Safe Bowl

Ensure that the bowl or dish is safe to use in the microwave. Avoid using plastic containers where possible since some chemicals may mix with food during heating.

Tip 2 – Cover Your Bowl/Dish With A Tight Fitting Lid

A tight-fitting lid helps to retain steam and assists with evenly cooked foods. You can also use vented lids which release trapped steam from your container.

Tip 3 – Season As Desired

Add herbs, spices or cheese to achieve your desired taste.

Advantages of Microwaving Onion

  • You can easily have caramelized onions in minutes, as opposed to taking at least 15-20 minutes on stovetop.
  • It allows you to get more things done within the same amount of time, speeding up any recipes you are using,
  • No need for oil when cooking due to its direct heating method which adds extra calories when cooking on traditional stovetops.

Disadvantages of Microwaving Onion

The following are a few disadvantages of microwaving onions:

  • Food cooked with microwaves dries out easily.
  • Larger quantities require stirring throughout cooking time
  • Some foods may not cook properly as they would on a traditional stove due to differences in texture and/or moisture level.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microwaving Onion

Does Using A Microwave Destroy Nutrients In Onions?

While microwaves do cause nutrient destruction in some vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, this is not true for onions. Nutrients such as vitamin C remain stable.

Is it necessary that sliced onion pieces be uniformly cut ?

No. It is not important that all of your sliced onion pieces be exactly uniform in size. What’s vital is that they be thin enough to cook evenly throughout.

Can one use an oven in place of a microwave when preparing onions?

Yes, you can. However, the cooking time will be considerably longer and will take more energy as compared to when using a microwave.


Microwaving onions is quick, easy and provides delicious caramelized onions that add flavor and texture to any meal.

Moreover, it saves time, preserves the nutrients in your food, and doesn’t require additional oil or fat for cooking as traditional stovetop methods may need.

It’s essential that you follow precautions while microwaving your onions to ensure safety and quality taste.

Remember all the valuable tips we provided while using this method of cooking; get creative with seasoning options like herbs, cheese or spices based on your choice!

Microwaving should now give you another delicious option for onion preparation in your kitchen arsenal!

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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.