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What You Can Substitute for Onion Powder? 18 Options

Onion powder is a staple in many dishes, but it can be hard to find sometimes.

If you are running low on your onion powder or just don’t have any at all, there are some easy substitutes that you can use.

These onion powder substitutes will work in most dishes and are better than having no onion powder at all!

What Can You Substitute for Onion Powder

What can you use if you don’t have onion powder? Here are the most popular 18 alternatives for your choice!

1. Dried Onion Flakes

dried onion flakes

The best substitute for onion powder is dried onion flakes, as this is what the powder starts as before it is ground.

You will see it labeled in the store as dried or dehydrated onions flakes or minced onion. You can use it as is or grind it up yourself to get onion powder.

Use minced onion in a one-to-one ratio to substitute onion powder.

2. Fresh Onion

fresh onion

Fresh onion is ideal if you are short on seasonings. Chop, mince, dice, or grate the onion to the desired texture and use it just like onion powder.

Yellow or white onions will give you a similar flavor to onion powder, but you can also use red onion, though you may need more.

So, how much garlic powder equals one onion?

Use fresh onion to replace onion powder with a one-to-eight ratio: one tablespoon of onion powder to half a cup of fresh onion.

3. Onion Paste

onion paste

Buy or make your own onion paste by blending up fresh onions. You can freeze it and use it later, as well.

Use onion paste with a one-to-three ratio to balance the flavor.

4. Onion Juice

onion juice

Similar to onion powder, you can use onion juice in more liquid dishes. You can buy it or make your own. Keep in mind that onion juice is usually a combination of onion, vinegar, and salt.

Use it sparingly and only add a little at a time.

5. Shallots

shallots

Shallots can be used much like fresh onion would be. They are smaller and milder in taste than onions—especially white and yellow onions—so use two small shallots for every tablespoon of onion powder you would have used.

You can dice, chop, mince, or grate them like onions.

6. Scallions

scallions

Scallions—or green onions, whichever name you prefer [1]—are another excellent substitute for onion powder.

The white end of the scallion tastes more like onion, while the greener end is a bit more like chives or celery.

Because the taste is so mild, you will need many scallions to equate to the flavor of onion powder.

7. Spring Onion

spring onion

Spring onions are very similar to scallions but have a sweeter, fresher taste.

The bulb end of spring onions is also larger than scallions. They are a bit like shallots with the shoot of a scallion.

Use them as you would scallions.

8. Fennel Bulbs

fennel bulbs

Fennel bulbs are large white bulbs that are very similar to celery. Uncooked fennel bulbs have a star anise-like flavor (similar to licorice), and they are hard and crunchy like celery.

Once cooked, however, fennel bulbs have a less robust taste, soften, and taste similar to onions.

To get the best results, use fennel bulbs only in cooked dishes and chop them up finely. There is no part of the fennel bulb you can’t use.

9. Garlic

garlic

While garlic has a flavor all its own, it is in the same family as onion and produces a similarly sharp and rich effect.

Use less garlic than you would onion powder as it has a more robust flavor. Additionally, undercooking garlic will produce a milder taste. Overcooking past the sweet spot will as well, but the flavor will infuse more into the dish.

10. Garlic Powder

garlic powder

Aside from the obvious garlic taste, garlic powder is very similar to onion powder. It adds a savory zest and has the same consistency as it is also a powder.

About onion powder vs garlic powder, what’s the difference?

If you’re baking something that needs a bit of flavor or texture then onion powder will do the job nicely. Garlic powder has a stronger taste and can overpower other flavors in baked goods like pizza doughs or casseroles.

Use half as much garlic powder as you would onion powder to not overwhelm the dish.

11. Onion Salt

Can I substitute onion salt for onion powder? Sure!

So long as you account for the added salt by reducing other salty elements, onion salt is an excellent substitution.

Onion salt is a combination of granulated onion and salt and can be used in a one-to-one ration instead of onion powder.

12. Garlic Salt

garlic salt

Garlic salt is much the same as onion salt, though it has a more substantial presence. Try to use less garlic salt to achieve a similar flavor.

13. Celery Salt

celery salt

If garlic isn’t your favorite, try some celery salt seasoning. It is made from three parts salt and one part ground celery seeds.

While the flavor isn’t that close to onion, it adds similar robustness and depth to any dish that calls for onions powder.

You may like: 11 Celery Salt Substitutes in & Homemade Recipe.

14. Chives

chinese chives

While chives may not mix in as well as a powdered spice, they offer a refreshing, onion-like flavor.

Chopping them finely can make them nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the dish, and they are closer to a herb than scallions.

15. Leek

leek

Leek is a perfect option if you are looking for a more mild taste. Leeks have their own distinct flavor, but it is very similar to onions. It really shines in simpler dishes like mashed potatoes or soups.

Leek is also a healthier and more vitamin-rich option compared to onions and onion powder.

16. Celery

celery

Celery is no one’s first option for an onion powder replacement, but it works in a pinch.

Celery is mostly water, so there is little flavor, and you may need to reduce the liquid in your chosen dish by a small margin.

Additionally, unlike onions, celery becomes bitter when cooked.

You May Like: Top 48 Celery Substitutes in Soups, Salads, Stews, and More

17. Celery Seed

celery seed

Like fennel bulbs, celery seeds produce the best flavor when cooked or sautéed. Though they do not offer an onion taste, they have a similar aromatic quality.

You can use celery seeds in any cooked dish or roast them separately and add them later. Use a similar or slightly smaller amount as you would onion powder.

Can’t find it in your kitchen? Here are 24 best celery seed substitutes for your choice.

18. Onion Soup Mix

onion soup mix

Onion soup mix is an often overlooked onion powder substitute. Whether the soup mix utilizes dehydrated onions or onion powder, it will produce a distinct onion flavor.

In many ways, onion soup mix is similar to onion salt. You may need to reduce the salt content of the recipe if you choose to use it.

Additionally, some soup mixes may have extra seasoning or thickeners that can throw off the dish. While it is not the ideal onion powder substitute, it does work well in a pinch.

Try it in curries, soups, roasts, or stir-fries.

How Much Onion Powder Equals One Onion

It depends on whether it is a small onion, medium onion, or a large onion.

chopped onion substitute
From The Spruce Eats

Small Onion

For a small onion which can produce about ⅓ cup of chopped onion:

1 teaspoon of onion powder = 1 small onion

Medium Onion

For a medium onion which can produce 1 cup of chopped onion:

1 tablespoon of onion powder = 1 medium onion

Large Onion

For a large onion that produces 1½ cups of chopped onion:

1½ tablespoons of onion powder = 1 large onion

How Much Minced Onion Equals One Onion

Provided a small onion produces ⅓ cup of chopped onion, one medium onion produces 1 cup, and one large onion produces 1½ cups, here is how you can substitute minced onion for one onion:

Small Onion

1 tablespoon of dried, minced onion equals one small fresh onion.

Medium Onion

3 tablespoons of dried minced onion equal one medium fresh onion.

Large Onion

4½ tablespoons of dried minced onion equal one large fresh onion.

Recipes with Onion Powder Substitutions

You can use the above substitutes to make the following dishes:

Turkey Meatballs


French Onion Dip


Onion Fritters


French Onion Soup


Onion Rings


FAQs About Onion Powder

How to make onion powder?

If you are looking for a way to make onion powder without the hassle of peeling and chopping onions, this is one simple recipe that will help.


What’s a good substitute for onion powder in chex mix?

If you can’t find onion powder when making chex mix, using extra garlic powder is also a good idea. It can offer the same texture as onion powder does.

How to substitute granulated onion for onion powder?

Granulated onions are less likely to change the flavor of your dish by adding too much saltiness or sweetness, and it’s easier to control how much you use when cooking.

You should use 2 tsp of granulated onion to replace 1 tsp of onion powder.

Further reading: Granulated Onion vs. Onion Powder: What’s the Difference?

Final Words

It’s important to have a good understanding of the different types of onion powder substitutes so that you can make an educated decision about which one is best for your needs.

Some substitutes are more common than others, and there may be some considerations based on how you plan to use them in recipes or cooking processes.

We hope it will help point you in the right direction!

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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