Chopped Vs Diced: What is the difference?

Chopping and dicing are two cutting techniques that stand out in cooking. They go head-to-head in a battle of precision, each with its own unique qualities. Join us to explore the differences between chopped vs diced. Discover the artistry behind these techniques and how they can transform ingredients into delectable creations.

The Difference Between Chopped And Diced 

  • Cutting ingredients into rough, uniform chunks.
  • Focuses on achieving consistent size rather than precise shape.
  • Cut ingredients into precise, cube-like shapes.
  • Pieces are smaller than chopped.
  • Use a back-and-forth or up-and-down motion with a knife.
  • Prepare the ingredients by removing any inedible parts and ensuring they are ready for chopping.
  • Use a stable cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife.
  • For the rocking method, hold the food in your guiding hand and rock the knife back and forth from the tip to the heel to chop the ingredients. Maintain a steady motion and repeat as needed.
  • For smaller chopped ingredients, use the claw technique to hold the food in place while slicing it with a knife.
  • Chop ingredients to the desired size, whether it’s a fine chop, rough chop, or standard chop, depending on the recipe.
  • Require slicing ingredients into flat sections and then cutting them into even cubes.
  • Prepare the food by ensuring it is in a manageable shape.
  • For round ingredients like tomatoes, cut them in half and lay them flat on the cutting board.
  • Slice the ingredient at the desired dice size, using the knife’s heel for easier cuts.
  • Turn the ingredient 90 degrees and slice it again in the opposite direction to create even dice.
  • Repeat the process for other ingredients, adjusting the thickness of the slices to achieve the desired dice size.
  • Create small, uniform pieces suitable for toppings, sidings, or as part of a larger dish.
  • Take the extra time and effort to dice ingredients for even cooking and a professional appearance.
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife and stable cutting board, choosing a chef’s knife or santoku for dense ingredients and a serrated knife for soft or thin-skinned produce.
When/Use for
  • Used in various recipes as a base for sauces, fillings, or toppings.
  • Be versatile and can be used in stews, soups, stir-fries, and sautés.
  • Used in salads, salsas, relishes, and garnishes.
  • Enhances presentation and ensures even distribution of flavors.
  • Suitable for recipes where ingredients need to cook quickly and uniformly.
Size cutPieces are about one to two-quarters of an inch in size.

  • Roughly chopped: about three-quarters of an inch
  • Finely chopped: about one-quarter inch.
Three main sizes of diced cuts

  • Small dice (macédoine): about 1/4 inch
  • Medium dice (Parmentier): about 1/2 inch
  • Large dice (carré): about 3/4 inch.

Chopping Tips

  • Before chopping, it’s best to flatten or stabilize the ingredients. For instance, you can halve a tomato to create a flat surface, making it easier to chop.
  • Employ the claw grip technique when holding the ingredients. You just need to curl your fingers inward, creating a claw-like shape, and use your knuckles to guide the knife.
  • Use the blade grip or pinch grip to have even cuts. Hold the knife handle with a firm grip while pinching the blade between your thumb and index finger. 

Dicing Tips

  • Before dicing, make sure to prepare the food properly. It may involve peeling, coring, or removing unwanted ingredient parts to ensure clean and uniform dicing.
  • Dicing requires precision, so taking your time and practicing patience is important.
  • Remember to hold the ingredient securely with your guiding hand when dicing. It ensures stability and control while cutting. 
  • Smaller dice sizes cook quicker, but be cautious of oil spattering when adding them to a hot pan.

FAQ related to Chopped and Diced

Is Diced Or Chopped Smaller?

Dicing results in smaller and more uniform pieces, while chopping yields larger and less uniform pieces. 

Dicing is a good option when you want precise and consistent cuts for even cooking and presentation.

You can use the chopping technique when you want a more rustic or casual appearance or when the texture of the ingredients is less crucial.

Can I Substitute Diced Tomatoes For Chopped?

Yes, you can substitute diced tomatoes for chopped tomatoes. It can work well in most recipes and won’t change the flavor or outcome of the dish. 

Note that the final dish’s texture may be slightly different. Adjust the cooking time to ensure the tomatoes are cooked to the desired tenderness.

In some cases, you may also need to consider the liquid content of the diced tomatoes, as they may release more liquid during cooking compared to chopped tomatoes. If the recipe requires a specific amount of liquid, you may need to adjust accordingly.

What Are The 4 Basic Types Of Cuts?

  • Dice: This cut involves cutting ingredients into small, even cubes.
  • Julienne: Also known as a matchstick cut, Julienne involves cutting ingredients into long, thin strips that resemble matchsticks. The strips are usually about 2-3 mm thick.
  • Brunoise: This cut is similar to dice but smaller in size. It involves cutting ingredients into small, uniform cubes measuring around 1-2 mm.
  • Chiffonade: Chiffonade is a cutting technique used for leafy greens and herbs. It involves rolling the leaves tightly and slicing them into thin ribbons or strips. You can use the Chiffonade technique in garnishing or adding herbs to dishes.

Is Minced Onion The Same As Diced?

No, minced onions and diced onions are not the same. 

Minced onion refers to finely chopped onion, where the onion pieces are very small, often almost crushed or mashed. It results in tiny, uniform pieces that are smaller than diced onion.

On the other hand, diced onion refers to an onion that is cut into small, cube-shaped pieces. The size of diced onion can vary, but it is generally larger than minced onion. 


In conclusion, when comparing chopped vs diced techniques, the choice comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of the recipe. 

I suggest the chopped option if you want a slightly larger and rustic texture. It can add a hearty and chunkier texture, which works well in certain dishes like stews and stir-fries.

On the other hand, diced vegetables provide smaller and more uniform cubes. Thus, it’s ideal for salsas, sauces, or delicate displays.