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What Can You Substitute for Green Onions?

Green onions are a fantastic addition if you want to add some color, crunch, and a sharp, grassy, and peppery flavor to your dishes.

Green onions work well in baked foods as well as salads and soups. It is one of those components that will enhance a dish’s flavor and occasionally even its texture.

However, what would you do if you have run out of it?

No worries! In this article, let’s look into the 11 best green onion substitutes.

How is Green Onion Used for?

Since green onions don’t have as strong of a flavor as other types of onions, some people prefer to eat them plain.

Salsas, salads, and stir-fries, among a countless number of other foods, benefit from the color, crunch, and mild onion flavor that green onions bring. They also create a vibrant topping for dishes like nachos, stews, and casseroles.

Green onions are an excellent accent to many dishes. They add a light onion taste that doesn’t overpower a dish, whether they are blended in or served as a garnish.

11 Substitutions for Green Onions

1. Scallions


If you enjoy cooking or watching food shows, you could have run across various things similar to green onions but with a tiny visual variation. Well, those are scallions.

Despite having similar names around the world, scallions, spring onions, and green onions belong to the same family. The only distinction is in the way they look.

Due to their early harvest, scallions have smaller bulbs. They are softer and have less bite than green onions because of this.

Scallion is the best alternative to green onion since they almost share the same flavor. If you come across anything similar in a grocery shop that is branded as scallions, don’t be confused.

2. Chives


Chives can readily replace green onions because they are immediately recognized by their color and healthy green portion. It is thin and small, similar to green onions, but it lacks a bulbous bottom.

Scallions are slightly larger than chives, but you might find them in a little darker shade. Although chives are not crispy, they may taste somewhat like green onions.

Use 1.5 times as many chives in the recipe because they have a milder flavor than green onions.

3. Shallots


You are missing out if you haven’t cooked using shallots. These little bulbs are bursting with a flavor that is somewhat onion-like, somewhat garlicky, and slightly sweet.

Despite having a complex flavor, they generally have a milder flavor (compared to onion and garlic). They are an excellent substitute for green onions because of their flavor.

Additionally, they taste great both cooked and raw, just like green onions.

In any recipe, substitute chopped shallots for green onions in a ratio of 1:1.

4. Yellow Onions

yellow onion

Yellow onions are also known as “staple onions”. The onions in question are ideal for caramelizing. It could give your recipe or dish a bit of sweetness.

You may easily substitute yellow onions for green onions in recipes that call for it. It is also an excellent replacement for whole scallions.

Cooking yellow onions correctly requires finely chopping them. After cutting them, you can freeze them for a very long period.

As an alternative, use Yellow Onions for fried, roasted, soups, coupled with sweet potatoes, etc.

5. Leeks


Leeks belong to the green onions family. Both of them belong to the allium family, which also contains shallots, garlic, and onions. This is why they are all excellent alternatives to one another.

Leeks resemble a bigger green onion in appearance. They feature long, green stalks that culminate in a white bulb.

But, they taste milder than green onions. This milder flavor makes them a simple green onions substitute.

The bulb of the leek has the finest flavor. Use the bulb and lower end of the stalk when cooking rather than the green tops.

6. Spring Onions

spring onion

The flavors of scallions, green onions, and spring onions are quite similar. They have a little stronger flavor and a bulb that is more rounded than other varieties.

In salads and other raw meals, spring onions are an excellent alternative to green onions.

They would also be a good substitution for green onions when used as a garnish, such as for soups.

Use spring onions in a 1:1 ratio for green onions in recipes.

7. Dried Green Onions

dried green onion

Even if you don’t have any green onions on hand, you can still use them. Online shoppers can purchase dried green onions to use in their cuisine.

The shelf life of dried green onions is very long. It is readily available on the grocery shop shelves.

Dried green onions work reasonably well with recipes for soups, stews, roasts, slow cookers, egg dishes, etc. This is the ideal substitution for green onions that you can use in a dish.

8. Red Onions

red onion

Red onions are a wonderful replacement for green onions when time and item availability are constraints since they have a similar flavor but a little less potent.

You may either let them soak in cold water for 10 minutes to lessen the flavor intensity, or combine them with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of salt.

9. Ramps


Ramps can also be referred to as weed leeks or wild leeks.

It could be challenging to locate ramps at a store. If you can find it in a store close to you, it can serve as a suitable substitute for green onions.

Ramps thrive in the natural rather than in cultivation. This is the major cause of any difficulty you may encounter in retailers.

In a dish, one cup of chopped ramps can be used in place of half a cup of green onions.

10. Garlic


One of the most common items for flavoring cuisine, along with onions, is garlic. Garlic has a very different flavor characteristic from all types of onions.

Garlic may be an excellent flavor substitute for green onions despite having very different flavor profiles. It has a strong flavor and aroma that will improve the flavor of your recipe.

Green onions are substantially less pungent than garlic. As a result, begin with a little quantity (about a 1/4 ratio). To achieve the flavor you wish, gradually add more.

11. Onion Powder

onion powder

If fresh green onions are not an option, onion powder is a respectable substitute. It would be delicious in prepared foods like stews or soups where onion is a balancing taste.

For a cup of green onion, use one teaspoon of onion powder.

FAQs About Green Onions

What is the difference between green onions and regular onions?

Green onions are long, thin, and often no broader than a finger. The bottom of the onion is dazzling white, and the top is dark green.

Due to their mild and lack of strong flavor, they taste different from regular onions. Their crunchy texture is one of their distinguishing qualities.

Are chives the same as green onions?

Green onions belong to distinct plant species than chives.

Chives are categorized as an herb, similar to parsley and basil, although green onions are considered vegetables.

Chives are thinner and more delicate than green onions, which are more robust.


Green onions can significantly improve the flavor of your cuisine and may even make the difference between a dish you enjoy and one you don’t.

If you don’t have green onions, try any of the alternatives listed above. Some of them will taste even better than the green onions you’re missing!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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