Is a Sweet Onion A Yellow Onion?

Is a sweet onion a yellow onion? This is one question that can be confusing to new cooks or just simply for people who enjoy having fresh onions in their salads. Some believe that the yellow onion is the same as any other kind of onion, but that can be very far from the truth.

So is a sweet onion a yellow onion? Sweet onion is most certainly not a yellow onion. Sweet onion is completely different from red, white, or yellow onion, and it has its own taste, texture, and appearance. 

Sweet onions are much milder in taste. They are usually very juicy and have a softer texture. They are mostly found in light brown color, with some being white. On the other hand, yellow onions are more robust when it comes to their flavor.

Sweet Onion – Not A Yellow Onion

Sweet onion is not a yellow onion, so people who think they are the same thing have been misinformed.

Sweet onions look a lot like regular yellow onions, but their taste is very different. Most sweet onions also grow in warmer climates, which is why they are not called yellow onions.

They might look the same, but their taste, growing methods, and even nutritional values are very different.

This vegetable is also known as a Vidalia onion or spring onion depending on where you live in the world.

They have a sweet taste that other yellow onions simply do not compare to, and they have a lower amount of sulfur.

Once again, sweet onions are not yellow onions.

Can I Substitute Sweet Onion For A Yellow Onion?

No. Sweet onions and yellow onions are not interchangeable in recipes.

While they can both be used to make a caramelized onion, this is where the similarities end.

Yellow onions have a much stronger flavor than sweet onions because of their high sulfur content, making them better for cooking purposes.

In contrast, sweet onions taste milder and provide a sweet flavor, which makes them better for eating raw or adding to dishes where you want the onion flavor to be present but subtle.

When your recipe calls for yellow onions, always use yellow onions in order to get the best results.

Which Color Onion Is The Sweetest?

A common question many people often ask is what type of onion is the sweetest. It’s no secret that onions are generally used to add flavor to various dishes, but they can vary in taste and texture.

Here is a list of different types of onions, the colors they come in, and how sweet or spicy they can be.

  1. Yellow Onions: A yellow onion is often used for cooking purposes because it has a high sulfur content. Yellow onions are known as culinary onions and usually have a milder flavor than white or red onions.
  2. White Onions: White onion is also known as cocktail onions. These are often used to garnish dishes with onion rings or used in dishes where they can be eaten raw, such as when making salsa.
  3. Red Onions: Red onions are typically sweet in flavor because they don’t have a high sulfur content like yellow or white onions. They are often used in salads, sandwiches, and various dishes where they can be eaten raw.
  4. Sweet Onions: Sweet onions are a type of red onion and have a low sulfur content. They tend to be very large in size and contain little capsaicin, which is what gives other types of onions their spiciness. Sweet onions such as Vidalias and Walla Wallas are sweeter than other types like yellow or white onions.

The sweetest onion is the type that’s not too spicy, so a sweet onion would be the best choice for your dish.

What Onion Is Similar To The Sweet Onion?

Vidalias and Walla Wallas are sweet onions similar to sweet onions. Vidalias are from the southeastern United States, where they have been cultivated for over 75 years.

They have high water content and low sulfur content, making them sweeter than other types of onions.

Walla Wallas is also from the Pacific Northwest and is prized for its sweet taste. They have a brownish-yellow color with red-tinged, making them quite large in size.

Both Vidalias and Walla Wallas can be used as a substitute for a sweet onion if they’re not readily available.

What Makes A Sweet Onion Sweet?

There are several factors that go into making an onion sweet.

The most important factor that contributes to a sweet onion is temperature.

When the temperature rises above 72 degrees, onions produce more sugars and become sweeter.

This means that in order to have a sweet onion, it must be grown in warmer climates as opposed to colder ones.

Soil type also plays a role in converting sugar into starch or vice versa.

The availability of water also affects the sweetness of onion by increasing or decreasing starch buildup.

An onion with a higher concentration of sugar is typically sweeter than one with more starch.

Lastly, the location on the plant at which the onion is harvested makes a difference in its sweetness as well.

Is A Vidalia Onion A Sweet Onion?

No, a Vidalia onion is a type of yellow onion.

In fact, it’s classified as a gran onion, which is known for its drier flesh and mild flavor compared to traditional yellow onions.

Yellow onions have pale brown or pinkish-brown skin and malty-sweet flesh with a pungent taste.

The sweet onion, which is typically used in cooking, can be any color from white to yellow.

It is known for its low-acid content and sweet flavor.


In conclusion, A sweet onion is definitely not a yellow onion. As seen in this article, the two are very different. Yellow onion is usually milder than a sweet onion which can be used as an ingredient for various dishes ranging from ketchup to eggs benedict.

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