How to Mince an Onion

Master the Essential Cutting Skill

mince onion

 Leah Maroney

Almost any savory recipe includes onions. They are so delicious and elevate the flavor of your favorite dishes. But all that chopping? It can be torture! Luckily, with a little practice and this super simple method for mincing onion, you will speed right through all that meal prep. Mastering this technique will save you time, which we know also means less crying from those onion juices.

You may have heard different terms to describe how to cut an onion: there’s chop, dice, and mince. Recipes will require one of these sizes based on how the dish is prepared. Size can be very important depending on the dish.

Chop generally means a coarser cut with larger pieces that are about a 1/2 an inch to an inch in size. A chop would be used in something that is roasted or in a sauce that is going to be pureed later, so the size doesn't matter as much.

Dice is smaller than chop, more like a 1/4 inch in size—think the size of a corn kernel. A dice is probably the most common cut and can be used in a wide range of dishes, from topping hot dogs to the base of a tomato sauce.

Mince is the tiniest cut. The pieces with be around two millimeters on each side. In France, it is referred to as brunoise. The mince is used for recipes like dressings and meatballs where you don't want to bite into a large chunk of onion. You will need to mince an onion often for a variety of dishes, including soups, sauces, stuffings, and marinades.

Mincing is the most advanced way to chop onions, but we're here to help! You can create small uniform pieces of onion with this method and look just like a restaurant chef with expert knife skills. Any home cook can learn to do this and—with a little practice—mince an onion like a pro in no time.

This simple technique for mincing onion will speed up all of your cooking prep work. By learning how to plank cut the onion, you'll be able to make tiny precise notches without rocking and chopping your kitchen knife over and over again.

  1. Start with a medium-sized onion. These are the best kind to practice on. A small one will take a little more skill to cut this way and a large one can be hard to hold together if it’s your first attempt.

    How to Mince an Onion
     Leah Maroney
  2. Begin by cutting the top of the onion off. This is the end of the onion where the stems would sprout. Leave the root attached to the onion. 

    How to Mince an Onion
    Leah Maroney 
  3. Peel the skin off of the onion. You can make a cut down the side of the onion to help you start to peel off the papery skin. Peel off any layers that are tough or are oddly colored. Some may be slightly green, peel those off as well. 

    How to Mince an Onion
     Leah Maroney
  4. Cut the onion in half, through the root of the onion. Leave the root intact. This will help you make those tiny cuts without the onion falling apart. 

    How to Mince an Onion
     Leah Maroney
  5. Place the onion cut side down on your cutting board. Plank cut the onion as if you are creating wooden planks. Start with the shorter cut side. Hold your knife on its side and make a cut almost all the way through, stopping right before you hit the root.

    How to Mince an Onion
    Leah Maroney 
  6. Repeat this about a 1/4-inch above the cut you just made. Continue until you’ve reached the top of the onion. 

    How to Mince an Onion
    Leah Maroney 
  7. Hold your knife as you normally would and start cutting at the top of the onion. Make cuts down through the onion.

    How to Mince an Onion
     Leah Maroney
  8. Place the cuts as close to each other as possible. You will make at least five cuts on a medium sized onion. 

    mince onion
     Leah Maroney
  9. Turn the onion 90 degrees, hold the knife how you would normally and cut across the other cuts you made to create small square pieces of onion. They will be about 2 millimeters on each side. 

    How to Mince an Onion
     Leah Maroney
  10. The final result will be a very small dice and is the perfect first step for many of your favorite dishes.

    mince onion
     Leah Maroney