How to use up spring onions - a serving of greens mac & cheese with a pot of limes to the top right of the plate, and an oven tray with the rest of the pasta above

Spring onions (or scallions!) are a staple ingredient in so many dishes we know and love – from salads and stir-fries, to curries, pies, and soups – and are often used as a trusty ingredient working away in the background, or as a tasty garnish to finish the story. But it’s time to show off this delicious, versatile veggie with some lovely recipes that highlight the small but mighty spring onion.

Spring onions, which are part of the allium family – think leeks, onions, chives and garlic –  can have loads of different flavour profiles based on their age, type and how you cook them. From sweet and mild to punchy and fiery, and even down to the part of the plant you choose (and how you prep, cook or slice it!), is there anything a spring onion can’t do?!

Available all year round, but best in early spring, summer and early autumn, spring onions have near endless uses. The bulb and mid part of the allium are great finely sliced and eaten raw in salads or added to stir-fries; and the top green part is also delicious raw, sliced up, or cooked down in the base of a sauce. You can also cook spring onions whole (see Jamie’s seared steak and red chimichurri, below) in a pan, on a grill or a barbecue. They steam from the inside because they’re protected by their outer layers, and go super-sweet. Think leek, but smaller! Spring onions can also help tenderise meat or fish, so add them to your next marinade.

Jamie celebrates the small-but-mighty spring onion in three ways in this fragrant and aromatic curry. The base of the sweet, vibrant onion is browned off in the pan; the middle part is used in the all-important curry paste (joining fiery green chilli, garlic and lemongrass); and the top green part is kept raw, crunchy and crisp alongside ice-cold sliced radishes and delicate soft herbs, which pairs with soft rice and curry beautifully. And to keep the kids happy Jamie’s used a mix of chicken thighs and chicken breasts. Winner!

Looking for ways to use up spring onions? This veggie laksa uses both parts of the spring onion for different effects. The first by smashing the white parts to add flavour to the paste, and the second – a great Jamie tip – by slicing up the green part lengthways and popping into a bowl of cold water to create cute curls that add a punch of flavour when you serve.

A celebration of the goodness of greens, this pasta dish uses both fresh and frozen veg that all work so well with spring onions: leeks, broccoli, spinach, peas and soft herbs. Spring onions cook down quicker than regular onions, which means you’ll have this on the table in no time, too.

Elevate a humble side of veg with minimal effort using spring onions – they bring a fantastic twang here and we’re letting you in on a secret – cooked lettuce is a truly wonderful thing that we all need to eat more of! Lightly braising makes the lettuce and spring onions sweeter, which works a treat with sweet peas. And it only takes minutes to put together.

In a rush to get tea on the table ASAP? Watch Jamie throw this super-simple fish pie together in no time. His 5-ingredient take on a family favourite is ready in under half an hour – using spring onions instead of regular onions, and ready-made filo pastry instead of a mash topping, massively speeds up the cooking time.

Looking for a dairy-free hollandaise, that just happens to be the most vibrant green ever? Jamie has come up with some clever ways to use up spring onions and a really ripe avo: the green part of the onion is cooked and added to the sauce, while the white part is finely sliced and served raw with a burst of fresh tarragon for a punchy and crunchy herby garnish.

Whip up this super-quick, impressive steak dinner in just 20 minutes by using Jamie’s tricks and tips for next-level flavour. Spring onions develop a wonderful nutty sweetness when fried (or even griddled or barbecued, Argentine-style) whole here, plus they’re cooked in the steak fat for bonus flavour! Then some of the cooked spring onions go into a quick, red chimichurri, made from store-cupboard hero jarred red peppers. We love Jamie’s tip to rest the steak on top of the cooked spring onions – the resting juices soak down into them: phwoar!

When you need something tasty in minutes, this is your answer. Spring onions and chilli are crisped up in a bowl of ice water to add crunch and bursts of freshness to sesame fried eggs, all finished off with a glug of oozy hoisin sauce. The mixed-colour sesame seeds and chillies makes this simple dish super-fun.

Another tasty 5-ingredient meal: spring onions are given more of a starring role here, teamed with sweet sugar snap peas to make a vibrant and crunchy veg base for blushing sesame- and miso-crusted tuna steaks. And all on the table in 10 minutes! Now, this is proper fast food at its best.

Spring onions add fragrant flavour pops to this super-speedy midweek dinner fix, that’s warming, comforting and totally delicious. With only 5 ingredients, spring onions are the foundation of this must-try tasty soup.

Mushrooms and spring onions make the perfect duo in the base of this straightforward one-pan chicken pie that’s both fun to make and to eat. The puff pastry is baked solo, to crisp and puff up, then the top is carefully cut out, the creamy, oniony filling piled in, and the pastry lid popped back on top. If you’re after a veggie version simply swap the chicken thighs for more mushrooms, and try a mix of varieties for different tones and textures.


How to prep and cook spring onions

Trim spring onions and give them a rinse. You may also need to peel off any outer layers if they look brown or papery. Soaking sliced spring onion in iced water makes for a gentler flavour, but also makes them extra crunchy – double win! Perfect for salads and crispy duck pancakes.

What are spring onions?

Spring onions are part of the allium family, which also includes onions, leeks, chives and garlic. They have a mellower flavour than regular onions, and so are often used as a garnish or only very briefly cooked. You can eat the green tops as well as the small white bulb, but they can be tougher, so it’s a good idea to finely slice or chop them.

When are spring onions in season?

Although spring onions are available all year round, there are particular times of year when they are at their best. Spring onions can be planted in late summer or early autumn for harvesting in early spring the following year. And spring onions plants sown from March onions will provide these versatile veggies in the summer and early autumn. Spring onions are great for growing at home as they’ll be ready to eat about 8 weeks after sowing the seeds.

How to store spring onions

Spring onions should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper and refrigerated for maximum freshness.

What are the health benefits?

Spring onions are a great source of vitamin C, which helps to keep our immune system working properly so that we can fight illness. 8 spring onions (or 80g) counts as one of your 5-a-day.