Top 5 Best Pearl Onion Substitutes! (Updated 2024)

pearl onions substitutes

Are you looking for good substitutes for pearl onions? Stick around as we share some of the best alternatives you can use here.

What are Pearl Onions?

What are pearl onions

As with garlic cloves, the only way to tell a pearl onion from a regular onion in the United Kingdom is by looking at its solitary storage leaf, similar to a button.

In your local supermarket, you may get pearl onions in many colors. If you can’t obtain fresh ones, purchase frozen pearl onions. Once you have them, peeling them off might be hard since they are so small.

Although pearl onions are not always available, there are several pearl onion substitutes you can use in their place.

We’ll talk about the best substitutes for pearl onions. Continue reading to learn more.

Best Pearl Onion Substitutes

1. Shallots


Although shallots are technically not onions, they taste, smell, and cook like onions. The flesh of shallot is generally purple, while the skin is usually pink or reddish.

Everything from salad dressings to stock and quiches benefits from their delicate, fresh flavor and are in any cupboard.

As a result, shallots are sharper and more flavorful than green onions, which have a more delicate flavor. Shallots and pearl onions have a lot in common such as size and taste.

Using the same proportions, you can replace onions with shallots.

2. Caperberries

caperberries - best pearl onion substitutes

The caperberry is a fruit that grows on the same plant as capers and is one of the best alternatives for pearl onions.

Both are comparable in size and color, but the caperberry has subtle patterns. The pearl onions have an unsatisfying pebble inside, while the caperberry has many small seeds.

When using caperberry as a substitute for pearl onion, use a similar amount of this fruit combination.

This fruit mixture will not overshadow your completed meal if you add it gradually and taste it as you go.

3. Chives

Chives - Pearl Onion Substitute

Chives are a mild onion-flavored green vegetable. Unlike pearl onions, it is a mild onion and garlic-like spice with long green stalks and a moderate, but not overpowering, taste profile.

When using fresh chives as a substitute for pearl onions, you need to add extra to achieve the desired flavor.

Fresh chives are equivalent to one spoonful of dry pearl onion, but dry chives have a stronger fixation than fresh ones, so too much might dominate the meal.

4. Fennel Bulbs

Fennel Bulbs - Pearl Onion Substitute

The carrot family includes fennel bulb, a flowering plant species. It has yellow blooms and cushioned leaves and is a hardy, perennial spice.

It is indigenous to the Mediterranean coasts, but the fennel bulb spread on dry soils near the ocean shoreline and riverbanks.

The fennel bulb is similar to an onion in flavor and appearance. People eat these bulbs raw, and the bulbs have a pleasant sweetness to them.

To use fennel bulb as alternative to pearl onions, you have to substitute one piece of fresh pearl onion with more than one piece of fresh fennel bulbs.

You can use fennel bulb in place of pearl onions with the 1:2 ratio.

5. Cipollini Onions

Cipollini Onions

If you’re looking for an alternative for pearl onion served whole or cut in half for roasting, Cipollini onions are the best option.

With some sweetness, they’re reminiscent of shallots. They will also roast better than other onion types, which brings out the taste.

Slow-cooking Cipollini onions, which have high sugar content, are very adaptable and tasty. If you’re looking to increase flavor, caramelizing onions is a terrific way to do it.

Moreover, adding chopped Cipollini onions to filled shells or lasagna will add taste and texture to the dish.


We hope the list of substitutes for pearl onions can help you find the best alternative whenever you need.


5 Best Pearl Onion Substitutes

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