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What Kind of Onions for Tacos? (5 Best Types of Onion)

Tacos are a beloved Mexican dish that has become a global favorite, thanks to their delicious combination of flavors and textures.

One of the key ingredients in many taco recipes is onions, which add a burst of flavor and crunch to the mix.

But with so many types of onions out there, which ones work best in tacos?

What are the best onions for tacos? The best onions for tacos include yellow onions, white onions, red onions, green onions, and shallots. Each of these options brings its unique flavor profile and texture to your taco, ensuring a delicious and satisfying bite every time.

Whether you’re a taco enthusiast looking to elevate your homemade creations or someone just starting out on their taco-making journey, selecting the right type of onion can make all the difference.

Let’s dive into the 5 best onions for tacos and explore how each can enhance your taco experience.

How to Pick the Right Onion

Easy Beef Street Tacos with onions

When it comes to selecting the perfect onion, there are a few key factors to consider.

Here’s a guide on how to pick the right onion for your dish, ensuring optimal flavor and texture.

  • Understand the dish you’re making: First, consider the type of dish you’re preparing. Some recipes call for a specific type of onion, while others may work well with a variety of options. Tacos, for instance, can be made with yellow, white, red, green onions, or shallots, but the choice depends on your personal preference and the flavor profile you want to achieve.
  • Flavor profile: Different onions have distinct flavors, ranging from sweet and mild to sharp and pungent. Yellow onions are versatile and have a mild flavor, making them a popular choice for various dishes. White onions are sharper and more pungent, while red onions provide a nice balance between sweetness and sharpness. Green onions have a milder, fresher taste, and shallots offer a delicate, slightly sweet flavor.
  • Texture: The texture of the onion also plays a role in your dish. Yellow and white onions become soft and caramelized when cooked, while red onions retain some crunchiness. Green onions have a crisp

What Kind of Onions for Tacos? (5 Best Onions)

Taco recipes are incomplete without onions! But which type of onion should you use?

Here we explore five types of onions that work best with tacos, each offering a unique flavor and texture:

1. Yellow Onions

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are the most popular type of onion and a favored choice for tacos due to their flavor profile and versatility.

These onions are known for their golden-brown outer skin and white flesh.

They have a perfect balance of sweetness and pungency, which complements the bold and robust flavors of tacos.

As yellow onions cook, they caramelize beautifully, developing a delicious depth of flavor, slightly sweet and savory, that pairs well with various taco fillings, such as beef, chicken, or pork.

Additionally, yellow onions add delightful texture when used raw in taco garnishes such as pico de gallo or as a crunchy topping for fish or shrimp tacos.

2. White Onions

White Onions

White onions are an ideal choice for tacos, offering a sharp and clean flavor profile that enhances the overall taste of the dish.

With their bright white outer skin and flesh, they are milder in taste compared to yellow onions, making them a preferred choice for those who enjoy a more delicate flavor.

White onions add crispness and zest when used raw in salsas or garnishes, while their natural sugars caramelize wonderfully when sautéed or grilled, blending harmoniously with taco fillings.

White onions’ versatility and mildness make them suitable for various types of tacos, from traditional carne asada to vegetarian options.

3. Red Onions

Red Onions

Red onions are a stunning and flavorful addition to tacos, boasting a vibrant purple hue and a mildly sweet taste.

The captivating color of red onions brings visual appeal to your taco presentations, while their taste profile adds a lovely balance of sweetness and pungency.

They offer a crisp, refreshing crunch when used raw in salsas, pickled onion garnishes, or simply diced and scattered atop your choice of taco filling.

Additionally, red onions can be grilled, roasted, or sautéed for a smoky, caramelized flavor that pairs well with spicy or bold ingredients, such as chipotle-marinated meats or flavorful shrimp.

Their distinct taste and appearance make red onions an excellent choice for elevating your taco creations.

4. Green Onions

Green Onion

Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are a popular choice for adding a burst of flavor and crunch to taco recipes.

Their tender texture, mild taste, and vibrant green color contribute both a visual and taste appeal, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your tacos.

Typically, the crisp and slightly pungent green tops are thinly sliced and sprinkled on top of prepared tacos, providing a subtle yet welcome bite.

They also work well in salsa, guacamole, or various taco toppings like pickled vegetables.

Incorporating green onions into your taco experience not only adds a fresh layer of flavor but also serves as a visually appealing garnish that complements traditional taco ingredients.

5. Shallots


Shallots, a member of the onion family, are often prized for their subtle and refined culinary flair.

With their delicate balance of slightly sweet, savory, and mildly pungent flavors, shallots have become a go-to ingredient for many chefs and home cooks alike.

Shallots are highly-adaptable, blending beautifully with most Mexican-inspired dishes, making them an ideal choice for your tacos.

Thinly slice or finely chop them for use in salsas, pickled relishes, and guacamole, or simply sprinkle atop your tacos for a touch of complex flavor.

Using shallots in your taco preparations not only elevates your meal but also introduces an accessibly gourmet element to the overall taste experience.

Easy Beef Street Tacos with onions

The 5 Best Onions for Tacos

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people
Calories 35 kcal


  • Yellow Onions
  • White Onions
  • Red Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Shallots


  • Pick your favorite type of onion from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected onion with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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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.