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What’s The Best Substitute For Green Onion And Scallions? 11 Ideas

There are several options that work as a substitute for green onion.

So you don’t have to worry about running out of important ingredients and always have a backup plan.

Let’s discover some of the best green onion substitutes for the most fabulous dishes!

What's The Best Substitute For Green Onion And Scallions featured image | Girl Meets Food

What is green onion?

Green onions, often called scallions, are a milder-tasting variety of onion.

Thin at the base with long green stalks, they are typically picked before reaching full maturity.

Salads, soups, pasta dishes and stir-fries can all benefit from the addition of green onions due to their ability to intensify flavor and texture.

Raw consumption is also an option.

Substitute for green onion: best options

Several scallions on a white surface | Girl Meets Food

There are plenty of options that can work as a scallion substitute. Some of them are:

  • Chives

Chives, which are related to onions and have a similar fresh flavor, can stand in for green onions.

Their mild onion flavor and somewhat sweet aroma make them a very versatile ingredient.

I often substitute chives for green onions in my favorite salads, sandwiches, soups and party dips.

  • Leeks

You can substitute leeks for green onions in some dishes. Their milder flavour is a terrific way to add a hint of onion to your cooking without overwhelming the meal.

Raw leeks have a crisp, fibrous texture. They’re a fantastic veggie for adding a burst of mild onion taste to both raw and cooked foods.

I tried adding leeks to my risotto instead of green onion and it tasted amazing. Leeks provided a more delicate flavor which combined with rice and spices was a hit.

  • Ramps

Ramps, often called wild leeks, wild onions or wild garlic, are great substitutes for scallions due to their robust onion and garlic flavor.

You may want to use less of them or combine them with milder vegetables because their flavor is stronger than that of green onion.

Ramps aren’t as easy to come by as green onions but I had my chance of cooking with them. I used them while making Chinese scallion pancakes and they turned out delicious.

  • Shallots

To achieve a more robust onion flavor, shallots are an excellent alternative to scallions. They have a more pronounced flavor than green onions, but are sweeter and gentler than regular onions.

Sauces, dressings, and other foods that call for a robust onion flavor benefit greatly from the addition of raw shallots.

  • Red or White Onion

Similarly, if you’re looking to add some color to your dish, these types of onions are a fantastic alternative to green onions.

Red onions are sweeter than conventional onions despite having a robust, pungent flavor.

If you need to put some onion rings in your sandwich or add a mild onion flavor to dishes, your recipes can benefit greatly from the addition of red onions.

White onions have a more intense onion flavor, so it’s best to be careful with the amount.

I usually soak them in ice water for 30 minutes or sprinkle them with vinegar to make the taste less strong.

  • Yellow Onions

Thanks to their subtle flavor and pleasant aroma, yellow onions are a fantastic stand-in for green onions.

They have a stronger onion flavor than green onions, but they nonetheless complement a variety of meals.

  • Spring Onion

In the same way as green onions are picked before they form a bulb, spring onions are picked when they are still small. The green stalk and white bulbs are both edible and have a subtle onion flavor.

Spring onions are different from green onions mostly because of their stronger flavors and larger bulbs.

I often use them interchangeably while making veggie stir-fries and salads.

  • Spring Garlic

If you’re looking for a milder garlic flavor than you’d get with green onion, spring garlic is a terrific option to try instead. Young green garlic plants look like green onions and have a milder flavor.

Even with a softer and sweeter taste than that of conventional garlic, it can still be used to great effect in cooking.

Soups, stews, and other foods that benefit from a mild flavor are ideal places to use green garlic.

  • Onion powder

Green onions can be replaced with ground onions. It’s a direct substitute for fresh onions when you want to give your food a savory onion flavor.

  • Garlic powder

For a stronger taste, garlic powder can work as substitute for scallions.

You can use it instead of raw garlic cloves to add a garlicky flavor to your recipes.

If you don’t have green onion but need it for a specific recipe or want to try something new, you can use any of the above.

In my opinion, chives are the best substitute for green onions. However, you can choose your favorite one based on personal tastes.

Chives, leeks, shallots, red onion, spring garlic, garlic and onion powder can all enhance the flavor of your recipes. Try one of these replacements if you need a substitute for scallion flavors.

Substitute for green onion FAQs

Chives on cutting board with knife | Girl Meets Food
What are common substitutes for green onion?

Some common substitutes for green onions include chives, spring garlic, shallots, leeks, ramps, red onions and spring onions.

How do these substitutes differ in taste?

The taste and consistency of these substitutes could shift depending on the precise component.

Chives are milder, scallions are somewhat sweeter, shallots are stronger and sweeter, leeks have a more delicate flavor, ramps are more pungent, and spring onions are more bulbous.

Can I use the same amount of substitutes as green onions?

If you’re using substitutes for scallions, in general, you can use the same amount called for in the recipe, although this will vary depending on the substitution and the dish.

Do some substitutes work better in specific types of recipes?

It’s true that some substitutions work better than others in certain dishes.

Soups are a great place to use leeks, salads benefit from shallots, and stir-fries make excellent use of chives.

Are green onion substitutes more expensive?

Yes, some substitutes can be more expensive than green onion. 

While ramps are hard to come by and are usually only accessible seasonally, leeks might be more expensive than green onions.

Are there any cultural variations in using these substitutes?

Yes, green onion replacements may be more or less popular in various countries and cultures.

For example, chives are an essential ingredient in classic French cuisine, whereas scallions are a similar necessity in classic Chinese cuisine.

Can I grow green onions in my own garden?

Green onions can be grown successfully at home. You just need some soil and a sunny place.

Are green onions healthy?

Yes, green onions are healthy. They include beneficial nutrients like vitamins A and C, along with other helpful nutrients like fiber, potassium, and folate.

The antioxidants included in green onions may also provide some protection against illness. And there’s no fat or calories to worry about!

BOTTOM LINE: green onions can be replaced by chives, leeks, shallots, ramps or spring onions, among many others. If you can’t find green onions, try one of these options for adding flavor and texture to your food.

Hope these scallion substitutes will make your cooking time easier. 

Which green onion alternative is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments!

If you’re looking for more ingredient ideas check out the best ones for mint replacement and cheddar cheese alternatives!