8 Best Green Onion Substitute Will Make You Surprised

Vegetables and spices are fundamental to our dishes as their flavor elevates protein to a whole new level, making them taste tastier and bolder. We have eaten many seasoning vegetables, including the famous green onion, which highlights savory flavor in Asian and Western dishes. 

However, contrary to the onion’s fame, many people cannot stand having even the smallest slice of onion in their words. Because of that problem, we will present a green onion substitute in today’s article to help onion non-lovers get the same taste with a different veggie. 

Let’s find out what they are!

Recommended Green Onion Substitute

green onion substitute

What Can I substitute for green onions?” Now you can stop asking yourself that question as we have compiled a detailed list for you!

1. Chives

If you used to have difficulty differentiating between chives and green onions, you are not the only one. That’s one of the reasons why chives are one of the best green onion substitutes you can easily find on the market as they bear a great resemblance to each other. 

Can I substitute chives for green onions? Yes! Onions have green hollow stalks on top, and chives also have tubular leaves. These two green components seem to have no difference if you don’t look closely. 

If we have to compare chives’ and onions’ appearance, chives are minuscule in tubular size with a more dark green color than onion. Chives’ leaves’ texture is more fragile, easily torn, and smashed under harsh consequences.

However, if you are looking for a green herb to substitute green onion on the appearance aspect, it is no doubt to ensure that chives are the best substitute for green onion. 

Contrary to the similar appearance of chives and onions, they do not come from the same family. That’s why they have a slight difference in taste. Compared to onion’s flavor being bold and husky, which makes many people refrain from eating, chives, on the other hand, have a mild and delicate flavor that can satisfy even the most severe food critic. 

You can sense the herbal “rosemary” taste when harvesting or purchasing raw chives, and that smell will linger until you finish cooking it without overpowering the dishes’ prominent flavor. 

You can serve chives raw or cooked, depending on your cooking recipes. Raw chives can substitute it perfectly, especially in recipes that require raw green onion. You can chop chives up and use them as sprinkling garnish factors to directly substitute green onion.

2. Shallots

People usually are against eating onion because of its smell and irritating feelings when cooked. Well, shallots are gentle, mild onions that can solve that problem. 

Unlike onions which are big and complex in shapes, shallots are much smaller in size. They have dry purple skin on the outside with handy diced forms. For the smaller sizes, people would usually use 4-5 shallots for one green onion. That’s the answer to the question, “Can I substitute green onions for shallots?”

About flavor, shallots have a much more lightweight mild, gentle flavor profile without being too bold and intense. 

When preparing shallots for cooking beforehand, you won’t smell any oddly sharp sense by then. Shallots’ flavor only boosts when seasoned in hot dishes or fried to make a caramelized side dish’s topping. 

Since shallots’ taste is exceptionally mild, people usually include it in many dishes as their non-overpowering flavor suits protein, broth, or vegetables – any dish that requires a green onion replacement. However, raw shallot can be a little too intense to eat alone, so if you want to replace raw onion with shallots, consider using fewer shallots than your usual portion with onion.

When you use shallots as a green onion replacement, it’s best to cut shallots into small-to-medium portions to ensure the flavor does not fade away quickly. For a required onion portion, you only need to use half or ⅔ shallots amount to ensure that the shallot’s taste is not too overpowering for your dishes. 

Shallot flavor shines best in cooked dishes, so you can reach your shallots when looking for a green onion substitute in fried rice, soup, salad, etc. 

3. Leeks

If you mainly shop for green onions in the market, you will see they are next to leeks – a green herb with giant stalks. Compared to green onion, leeks have larger-sized leaves, which makes them recognizable among the green stocks. 

Leeks’ leaves are thicker, longer with green color transforming from dark to pale, so they often make a more visible appearance in dishes than onion. However, unlike green onion leaves, which you can eat, you need to discard leeks’ dark leaves and keep only the white-to-green part of the stalks. 

Leeks’ flavor is less bold than onions, so it’s a substitute to go for if you cannot digest onions properly. There is also a hinge of sourness in the flavor of leeks, which is quite memorable when you include leeks in any recipe. 

The best way to serve leeks is to fry, roast, or cook with other spices. You can substitute green onion directly with leeks, sauteed it with salt and pepper to make a herb substitution. 

4. Yellow onion

Here is a member of the onion family that can save you from eating green onion: yellow onion. This vegetable is well-known among Asian and Western cuisine because of its high diversification in cooking, and it indeed is one of the best green onion substitutes. 

While green onions’ flavor is potent with a pungent, odd smell, yellow onion proceeds to have the same zest. Still, with a more relaxed sense, cutting yellow onion can bring you tears is a comfortable, non-itchy process. 

Yellow onions have the same taste like green onions with a milder counterpart. They even taste more wonderful in certain dishes like salads and soups if you know how to twist the ingredient from green to white onion under the right portion. 

For white onions, it is better to serve them after you saute them with spices. Raw white onions taste bitter and bland, so it’s best to bring white onions to heat when you want to include them in recipes as a sub for green onions

5. Red onion

Other than green and white onion, red onion is another sister in the onion family. Although red onions are smaller in size than her two brothers, they have a much stronger flavor when eaten raw, and their taste becomes lessened when cooked. 

Unlike other onions, you can enjoy red onions directly without cooking to replace uncooked green onions in the sliced form on tacos or fried dishes. 

Uncooked red onions will add a spectacular crunchiness to your food better than green onions. Their raw taste is still pleasant even under natural conditions, so that it can be an intelligent getaway for green onions. 

You can go for one-to-one green onion with red onion replacement, under the condition that you make sure red onion is compatible with your recipes. If you are lucky to get some red onions, substitute green onion with red onion for more flavorful yet colored dishes!

6. Garlic

We are no longer strangers with garlic – one of the most popular seasonings in everyone’s kitchen – but have you ever heard of using garlic to substitute green onion? 

Garlic and onion bear no similarity in flavor, so you cannot use garlic to substitute green onions in the recipes directly. However, garlic’s savory flavor can accompany other ingredients and take over the missing green onions. Garlic is mainly used to balance off-flavor in dishes to be a great substitute for green onions in terms of flavor.

You cannot serve garlic in many recipes unless they are cooked and seasoned correctly. Make sure to tone down the amount of garlic and know how to fix too much garlic used to ensure its flavor does not overpower the whole recipe.

7. Green bell peppers

Think of using green bell peppers for a fun green color with extra crunchiness to replace green onion. Although you may say that green bell peppers and onions bear no similarities to each other, the replacement with green bell peppers can pose an interesting twist to your dishes. 

You can chop down green bell peppers into pieces and saute with salt and pepper to create a stunning substitution for green onions. The add-in flavor will not be pungent but rather sweet and salty – so you need to ensure if that flavor twist is compatible with your dishes.

Fried green bell peppers are a great choice to bring color and non-bitterness to a dish, rather than the pungency of green onion. If you and your children cannot digest onions solely, try to start with green bell peppers or bell pepper substitutes to have a gentle, mild dish that resembles onion’s flavor. 

8. Ramps

We put ramps at the bottom of the list because we are afraid that you may have never heard of this herb before. Often known as wild leeks, ramps are not commonly found in the market. But if you are lucky enough, you can purchase ramps in your local vegetable stores and use them as a replacement for scallions

Unlike leeks with a subtle flavor, ramps have a unique garlic aroma that smells great, which can help you if you can’t process the onion smell. For this characteristic, ramps can be a substitute when you want to replace green onion and garlic. 

To enjoy ramps to the fullest, you should saute ramps with extra green onion seasoning to make them edible and flavorful, along with other ingredients. For one green onion, you can get two portions or ramps to substitute.  

How To Choose A Green Onion Substitute?

You can choose a list of possible green onion substitutes, but how to choose the best scallions substitute for your dishes? Let’s sort out the tips you need to have the best green onion replacement for your recipes:

  • If you want to substitute green onion in the aspect of green color, choose chives, leeks, and ramps. These herbal spices with the fresh green color look the same as green onion leaves, so you can use them to substitute green onion when you lack the green color element.
  • If you want a substitute with a nearly identical flavor, take the onion family members like red and yellow onions to be the substitution. Although they do not have the same appearance as green onions, they taste the same. All you need to do is chop the green onion alternative under the same portion as green onions and cook them splendidly in your dishes.
  • For a complete replacement of green onion, in your words, go with garlic, green bell peppers, or ramps. These vegetables are much easier to digest while still ensuring your recipes turn out to be beautiful and delicious. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the difference between green onion and scallion? 

Scallion is another name for green onions. Green onion and scallion both have long green stalks with white edible stems. Their difference lies in how they are labeled at the store, making people often confused if they are the same or different. You can either call green onions a scallion and vice versa since it is not a big deal. 

How many types of green onions are there?

To your surprise, there are four types of green onions. Since they are not too different, it cannot be easy to differentiate between these types. They are green onions, chives, leeks, and spring onions. 

In some regions, people don’t usually consider these substitutions as green onions but somewhat different species that can be replaced with one another. But if you want to simplify onions into types, you can merely divide green onions into four classes for easy shopping and recognition. 

What part of green onions do you eat?

In 1 scallion, you should eat the white-to-green parts just above the roots, as they are edible and delicious if cooked properly. The darker green parts are mainly used for garnish without cooking needed. 

However, sometimes old onions may have different shades, so you need to make sure you know how to tell if green onions are bad before consuming them. 

Overall, all parts of green onions are edible as long as they are fresh, with you handling the cooking method correctly.

The Final Word

And that’s everything we can list about the green onion substitute. The possibilities are endless when substituting green onion with different spices. 

Still, as long as you follow our instructions carefully, we ensure that you can find the best green onion substitute for your recipe. Thank you for sticking with us through this article, and we will catch up with you on the next one.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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