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12 Best Vidalia Onions Substitutes to Make Delicious Meals

If you love onion recipes, you will agree that Vidalia onions can go about with just anything. Vidalia onions are sweet, mild, and a staple for Southern summertime cooking.

They do not have a pungent smell and are not intensely acidic like other onions. The onions are delicious when taken raw or cooked on sandwiches, in salsas and salads, or when served alongside your favorite meal.

What if you don’t have Vidalia onion on hand? Here are the top substitutes for Vidalia onions.

What is a Vidalia Onion?

A Vidalia onion is a hybrid Granex onion, yellow in color, known for its naturally sweet taste.

vidalia onions

Vidalia onions differ from other onions because they have high sugar and low sulfur content. Most onions contain about 5% sugar, while a Vidalia onion contains 12% sugar.

The onions are called Vidalia because they were originally grown in Georgia in a town called Vidalia, and its cultivation started in the early 1930s.

What Can You Substitute for Vidalia Onion?

Vidalia onions are an interesting addition to your recipes. Its mild flavor and significant health benefits make it a favorite in many cooking recipes. However, you can run into situations that will push you to look for the best Vidalia onion substitute.

1. White Onions

white onions

Of the many available substitutes, white onions can be considered an ideal replacement for Vidalia onions due to their similarity in texture, aroma, and flavor.

Nonetheless, it is imperative to note that white onions have a somewhat exciting taste and surface compared with Vidalia onions. White onions also have a wonderful smell compared to generic Vidalia onions. If you are sensitive to smell, you’ll tell the difference.

Measure out the white onion in equal proportion as Vidalia onions and as the recipe calls. Continue adding the white onion blend gradually as you taste your food to ensure that the flavor of your white onion blend does not outstand the finished dish.

If you are using white onions for the first time, consider watching a few instructional videos to know how to sauté white onions perfectly.

2. Garlic


Garlic doesn’t need much introduction. It is a famous spice and an excellent fixture in many kitchens and is closely related to Vidalia onions.

People love garlic for its rich health benefits. Its taste might not be that palatable, but when cooked can give you something more exciting for your taste buds.

While raw cloves of garlic are stronger than Vidalia onions and have a smaller shape, they can be considered a good Vidalia onions substitute.

Try to work with a reasonable sum of garlic cloves in your dish and avoid abusing them. Use a large portion of a teaspoonful of chopped garlic to replace more than two bulbs of Vidalia onions.

3. Potato Onions

yellow potato onion

Potato onions are an onion variant that can be a great alternative to Vidalia onions. Also referred to as Egyptian or underground onions, the medium-sized onions are mild and sweet with a lower pungent smell than garlic.

You can use potato onions for salads, soups, and stews, although they are well known for making pickles.

It is an excellent one-to-one substitute that does not require you to adjust volumes. Potato onions are sweet, and too much potato onion content can harm your taste bud

4. Shallots


A fresh shallot resembles a little stretched onion with a mild flavor and a trace of garlic. It is highly fragile with deep flavor.

Use equal amounts for subbing; add it diced or style of your choice while seasoning.

Shallots add an exceptional flavor with a trace of garlic. To enjoy its pleasantness, boil it until it is caramelized. While they’re similar to brown onions, you are advised not to take them raw.

One shallot (medium size) equals two small stalks of Vidalia onions.

5. Walla Walla Onions

walla walla onions

Walla Walla onion is also an excellent Vidalia onion substitute found in various places, particularly in the US. They are sweet and have the same appearance as the earthy colored onions; what sets them apart is their flavor.

6. Yellow Onions

yellow onions

Yellow onions have crunchier surfaces and zesty flavors. They might not be the best substitute but can work well in tight situations where no other substitute is within your reach.

When using ordinary yellow onions, consider adding more fluid to your food and ensure that you are using the proper measurements.

One bulb of yellow onion is similar to two small Vidalia onions, and you can adjust the measurement to match the quantity of the dish.

7. Chives


Chives are a common spice found in supermarkets or grown at home. The green vegetables with an onion-like flavor have a similar taste to onions with a slight garlic note.

Fresh chives are milder than Vidalia onions. You’ll have to add more to achieve the taste you are looking for.

Use fresh chives for each recipe that requires Vidalia onions. Replace one tablespoon of dried Vidalia onion with fresh chives and go slow on dried chives, as a lot of them can overwhelm the dish you are serving due to higher fixation.

8. Scallions


Scallions are similar to Vidalia onions. The only difference is that scallion bulbs are not completely evolved like Vidalia onions.

Scallions have a milder taste and smell like shallots. You can choose to eat the green scallion leaves raw or cook them.

Scallions are the most versatile onion. Since you can either take it raw or cooked, it makes it ideal for dishes like curries and seafood.

Substitute one stalk of Vidalia onion with three scallion bulbs.

9. Red or Purple Onions

red onion

Red onions are spicier than Vidalia onions and are common in most grocery stores. It does not hold a sweet flavor but works very well in place of Vidalia onions.

Substitute with the ratio of one to one. Counter the spiciness of the onion by soaking the peeled onions in a bowl of water for an hour.

10. Maui onions

maui onions

Maui onions have more sulfur than white onions.

Maui onions is an assortment of dry onions with a solid flavor and has an impactful nibble when contrasted with Vidalia onions. You can use Maui onions when frying to build up the mild flavor.

Add Maui onions toward the finish of cooking and try not to eat them raw since they have an excellent strong flavor.

Replace one stalk of Vidalia onion with two tablespoons of Maui onion, one small regular onion, and one tablespoon of garlic.

11. Pearl Onions

creamed pearl onions

Pearl onions have a similar flavor to Vidalia onions, yet they are milder.

They are youthful onions reaped before the bulb expands, and you can consume both the slim green tops and the little white bulb, either raw or cooked.

Pearl onions have a sweet and firm taste and are simple to grow from seed. Since pearl onions have a grounded taste, utilize half sum the Vidalia onions you should use.

To learn about the substitute for pearl onions, click here.

12. Regular Onions

Also referred to as essential onion or bulb onion, regular onion is a vegetable that can be a good Vidalia substitution when utilized as raw onion. They have a mild and sweet flavor similar to Vidalia onions but lack the herby smell and green look.

You can use raw regular onions in serving mixed greens or cook them in soups. One or two pieces are sufficient to substitute a stalk of Vidalia onions.

FAQs About Vidalia Onions

Are Vidalia onions sweet?

Yes, Vidalia onions are sweet. Their sweet flavor is derived from the low amount of sulfur in the soil in which the onions are grown.

Where can I buy Vidalia onions?

You can order Vidalia onions from local and national retailers near you.

Are Vidalia onions yellow onions?

Vidalia onion is a type of sweet yellow onion. It is different from the rest of yellow onions because of its high sugar and low sulfur content. Most onions contain 5% sugar but Vidalia onions contain 12%.

Further reading: Sweet Onion vs. Yellow Onion: What’s the Difference?

Do Vidalia onions make you cry?

Sweet onions like Vidalia are less likely to make you cry. Vidalia onions have less sulfur, are less pungent, and produce fewer tears.

What do you use Vidalia onions for?

Vidalia onions are excellent for onion rings, in raw preparations for salads, on burgers, and sandwiches. Vidalia onions are also good for all types of grilling, recipes that require loads of sautéed onions, and any dish that requires baked onions.


Vidalia onions are unique, with an almost flat shape, and large diameter. By the time you spot them on shelves in stores, their brown peels would have dried up and are white inside.

Before choosing a substitute for Vidalia onions, first, understand what and why you are substituting. Just like any other ingredient, you substitute Vidalia onions for their flavor or functions.

Vidalia onions are one of the sweetest varieties available on the market, therefore, your goal will be to find a sweet onion or compensate for the sweet flavor.

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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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