7 Best Green Onion Substitutes

Green Onion Substitutes

In need of green onion substitutes? There are many plant and herb alternatives for green onions. Look at the green onion replacements below that will guarantee your recipes keep that unique flavor.

Green onions are young onion shoots with small bulbs and green stalks. They have a milder taste than mature onions and give dishes a fresh crunch and color. Mostly, this ingredient is used as raw topping.

7 Best Green Onion Substitutes

1. Leeks

Leeks - Green Onion Substitutes

For a healthy and easy-to-find replacement, try leeks. Leeks resemble green onions in appearance, but their stalks are longer and leafier. They have a flavor comparable to onions.

They are a decent replacement for cooked dishes. Plus they provide a distinct flavor that blends well with other ingredients.

Note that leeks can overwhelm a dish if used in excess.

To substitute, trim the base and the rough green tops. Then chop them lengthwise and wash them to get rid of any dirt between the layers. Like onions, you will chop and saute leeks.

2. Chives

Chives

You may opt to use this popular flowering herb to replace green onions. Using chives is best for garnishing or in raw dishes. Chives are similar to green onions as they are small and slim, but they don’t have the white bulb part.

Compared to green onions, chives are not crunchy, however, they have a similar flavor. To make a substitution, use fresh rather than dried chives for the closest taste to onions. Simply snip them and toss them into your dish.

Never cook chives for an extended time. It is better to just use chives as a topping on stews and soups or sprinkle them on your dish after cooking.

3. Shallots

Shallots

This kind of onion belongs to the same Allium family as the green onion. Shallots are little onions with a sweeter, milder taste.

Using a small quantity of minced shallot will not overpower a dish when used as an alternative to green onions.

They are commonly used as green onion substitutes. Shallots, when raw, have a strong flavor. Shallots are often minced and sauteed, not used as toppings or garnishes.

4. Ramps

Ramps - Green Onion Substitutes

Want a very strong onion and garlic taste? Get some ramps instead of green onions.

Ramps are easy to find as they grow in Asia, Europe, and the US.

Ramps have a strong flavor, so use them sparingly and according to preference. They taste great in cooked dishes or sauces, but not as garnish.

You can prepare ramps similarly to leeks. Also, vinegar enhances their flavor, making them ideal for pickling.

5. Onions

Onions

Another alternative is onions. Red, white, or yellow onions can replace green onions in small amounts. Onions have a strong and pungent taste, so they may not be the most ideal substitute for green onions. It depends on your preferences or the dish you are cooking.

Remember, though, that onions can’t replace green onion leaves.

Mince your onion and use them sparingly. If used in excess, the taste of onion, especially yellow and white onions, will quickly overpower your recipe.

Sweeter and mellower than others, red onions are a great pick for taco garnishes or salsa. Most recipes will instruct you to cut them thinly.

6. Red Spring Onions

Red Spring Onions - Green Onion Substitutes

These onions are like green onions, but they are red. They go well with pasta, salads, meat, and other dishes. Simply wash them off and trim the roots, then add them to your dish.

Red spring onions also have almost the same nutritional value as green onions, so they make a great substitute.

You can find them fresh in grocery stores starting around February and continuing until June.

7. Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

You can also use wild garlic in place of green onions. It has white flowers and long leaves. Every section of this plant is edible and can back up green onions. 

You may eat the plants raw or cook with them. Wild garlic has the same scent and flavor as regular garlic.

You can use this plant in any recipe requiring green onions. Trying using it in hot soups and spicy dishes.

Before you use wild garlic for recipes, you must first learn how to cook them.

The Bottom Line

Many recipes call for green onions, but if you don’t have any on hand, these green onion substitutes are readily available in the market.

Choose a substitute from the list that matches your recipe and provides the taste and aroma you want in your dish.

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