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Green Onions or Scallions-Are They The Same Thing

If the bulb is rounded and pudgy, it's a spring onion. If it's straight and slender, it's a scallion.


Green onions offer many health benefits. They are often used to enhance the taste of many dishes. In addition to being flavorful, spring onions offer many health benefits.

Green onions offer many of the same health benefits as mature onions, and regular consumption of onions has been shown to lower blood sugar, decrease high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce the risk of developing colon and other cancers, and reduce inflammation.

The compounds responsible for the strong odor of green onions are also what provide some of the biggest health benefits. Green onions offer chromium, an essential mineral used by the body to regulate glucose and for the metabolism and storage of macronutrients. They are rich in vitamin C (providing 15% of the daily requirement), which not only boosts immunity, but offers protection from cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and skin wrinkling. Green onions are a source of vitamin K, which helps build and maintain strong bones. Vitamin A is also present and has shown eating onions may result in a number of health benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Onions also contain a substance that prevents the formation of blood clots, iron (10%), and calcium and fiber (6%).

Green onions, often called spring onions, have more of a bulb than scallions, although the terms are commonly used interchangeably. They have a 1- to 2- inch bulb with green tops. Green onions with smaller bulbs are sweet while the larger bulbs are more pungent.

Store green onions in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Store them in plastic bags in the crisper section of the refrigerator. Be sure to store them away from odor-sensitive foods like mushrooms and corn, which can absorb the odor of the onions.

To prepare green onions, rinse in clear, cold water; trim off roots and very tops of greens.

Green onions become stronger in flavor with age and increasing size. They can be eaten raw or used in soups, stews, and in combination with vegetables and meats. They are great for flavoring dips, sauces, relishes and salsas. They are excellent chopped and tossed in salads, stir-fries and omelets. The green tops make a perfect chive substitute. Try charring green onions on the grill for a zesty flavor.

Try the following recipe using scallions, which are immature bulb onions.

Braised Scallions and Peas

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

12 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

2 cups fresh peas

2/3 cup chicken stock

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar, scallions, and peas. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in stock and simmer, partially covered for 2 minutes or until peas are barely tender. Boil uncovered 1 to 2 minutes or until peas are tender and liquid is almost evaporated.

By Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854
(870) 779-3609


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