is an onion a vegetable or fruit

is an onion a vegetable or fruit

Is an Onion a Vegetable or Fruit?

Onions are a popular ingredient used in many different recipes, but what exactly is an onion? Is it a vegetable or a fruit?

The answer is a little complicated. While an onion may look like a vegetable, it doesn’t behave like one. Botanically, an onion is actually a type of bulb, which means it is a fruit.

What Defines a Fruit or Vegetable?

There is some debate over how fruits and vegetables are classified. Generally speaking, a vegetable refers to the edible part of a plant. This typically means stem, leaves, roots, or bulbs.

A fruit, on the other hand, is the reproductive part of a plant. This includes the edible parts that contain seeds, such as apples and pears.

Are Onions Fruits or Vegetables?

Onions are neither a vegetable nor a fruit. Botanically speaking, a true onion is classified as a bulb. This means that it contains a swollen underground stem that is part of its reproductive system. Therefore, it is a type of fruit.

However, from a culinary perspective, onions are generally treated as vegetables. This means that they are prepared and eaten like vegetables, like in stews, soups, and other savory dishes.


In short, an onion is technically a type of fruit, but it is usually treated as a vegetable in the kitchen. Understanding this distinction is important for both home cooks and professional chefs. After all, knowing what an onion is will help you better utilize them in your dishes.

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