8 Green Onion Substitute for a Similar Flavor in Your Dish | Quantity, Use, & Recipes

Green Onion Substitute
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You may have top off green onions in fried rice, potato salad, crab cakes, or even used them in baking bread, cheddar biscuits, and other recipes.

Still, most of us confuse green onions vs. scallions; they are the same!

But different from shallots, chives, leek, ramps, spring, red, yellow, or regular onions.

The whites of green onions have a sharp taste, while the green part is fresh and grassy.

A recipe you’re cooking requires the freshness or sharpness of scallion, but you don’t have them. And, to get a somewhat closer taste, now you have to choose a green onion substitute.

Confused about what to use? We have listed all the possible alternatives!

Best Green Onion Substitute

Remember, the white and green portion of scallions gives a different punch to the recipe, so you have to carefully choose a green onion substitute like which one is better to replace leaves or bulbs.

The basic rule is to swap the bulb (white part) with a bulb alternative and substitute leaves (green part) for leaves.

Following green onion replacements won’t alter your recipe’s taste; instead, they will give a similar fresh, grassy flavor to the final plate. We have also listed some delicious recipes you can try these alternatives in.


shallot substitute green onion

Is a shallot the same as green onion? No! Can you substitute scallions for shallot? YESSS!

What is a shallot?

Shallot is simply a small size onion with a mild, delicate, and sweeter taste.

But, when we talk about flavor,  they are closer to green onions than yellow, red, or white onions.

Note: They are considered a good swap for the top portion of green onions.

If Used Raw

Shallots can taste pungent or stingy, so make sure to substitute the minced form in dressings or dishes like potato salad.

How to substitute?

1 medium-sized green onion equals 2-3 tablespoons (finely chopped), whereas a small or medium-sized (thinly sliced or minced) shallot equals 2-3 tablespoons.

So, use shallot substitution for scallions accordingly to match the flavors.

When to Use?

You can exchange green onions for chives or with chives in dishes that involves then to be added in chopped form.

Suggested Dishes:

  • Chicken Breast Stuffed with Shallots and Spinach
  • Thai Cucumber Relish (Ajad)
  • Fresh Onion and Shallot Soup

Bonus: Pair it with a caraway substitute, Dill, to make delicious grilled salmon.


are chives and scallions the same
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Can you substitute chives for green onions? Yes!

Fresh chives or dried chives can also be the possible nearest match of green onions.

Their tubular leaves may look similar to the hollow stalks of green onions, but they have a slightly different taste.

Chives are herbs like rosemary. Their delicate flavor will not overpower the dish’s overall taste.

They have a milder oniony punch (with garlic hint) than green onions.

Note: Chive substitute is considered a good swap for the green part of scallions.

Be Careful While Cutting

Chives are delicate herbs that tend to bruise easily. Therefore, use a sharp cutting knife to slice fresh chives if need to use as a scallion substitute.

How to substitute?

Despite the mild flavor, can you use fresh or dried chives if you don’t have scallions? Yes! Here’s how:

1 teaspoon of dried chives equals 1 tablespoon of fresh chives.

Whereas 5-6 chives altogether make 2 tablespoons.

To use chives as a sub for scallions, start by adding a small amount (still more than scallions; like 1 bunch needs 6 times of chives) and gradually increase the quantity.

When to Use?

You can substitute chives for green onions in dishes that involve chopped scallions.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with lime or any lemongrass substitute to make tasty seared scallops.


leek substitute

Are leeks and green onions the same thing? No! Can you substitute leeks for scallion? Of course! Because they are also known as over-sized scallions.

It is well-suited for green onions as they have a similar onion species. Now, let’s talk about the difference in their taste:

Green onions or scallions have a subtle oniony flavor as compared to leeks’ more potent onion-like punch.

Note: They are considered a good swap for the white part of green onions.

Health Benefits

Leeks contain dietary fiber, vitamins (A, K, C) that help in blood clotting, minerals (iron, manganese) that are crucial for RBCs & regulating nerve and brain function.

How to substitute?

1½ medium or 1 large-sized leek equals 1 cup of chopped leek (raw).

Whereas 3 medium or 2 large-sized leeks (cooked) also equals 1 cup.

But as they have an intense flavor, you should substitute a less amount in place of green onions.

For instance, if your dish says to add 1 cup of scallions, you should use ¼ cup of the leeks (build the taste gradually).

When to Use?

You can swap green onions with leeks in both cooked or uncooked dishes.

Remember, they have a strong overpowering flavor, so first, wash the leeks and then slice them thinly to use as a raw ingredient.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with saffron or any saffron substitute to make flavorful risotto.

Ramps or Wild Leek

substitute for ramps

Despite the name wild leek, they are different than leeks. Former has a pungent oniony taste than latter.

Also called spring onions, ramps look similar to green onions, but they are slightly smaller with one or two flat but broad leaves.

They have a powerful onion-flavor than leeks and a pungent garlicky punch than scallions.

Note: They are considered a good swap for the leaves of scallions.

What part of Spring Onions Do You Use?

The whole wild leek or ramps is edible; green leaves have the mildest taste, and the white bulb has a tender texture (powerful flavor).

How to substitute?

For ramps or spring onions, three parts of thinly sliced leaves equal one part of white bulbs.

1 medium-sized spring onion equals 2 tablespoons (13g).

Remember, scallions are milder in taste so, use wild leeks carefully as a green onion substitute to match the flavors.

When to Use?

You can switch green onions with ramps in both cooked or uncooked dishes.

Yes, they can be used raw! In fact, you can substitute wild leeks anywhere you use scallions or green onions.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with a thyme substitute, basil, to make tasty stir-fried brown rice.

Green Garlic

Green garlic substitute

Green garlic or spring garlic is young garlic that hasn’t matured yet.

It is similar to spring onion or green onions. They have long, skinny, tender green leaves and a pinkish-purple white bulb.

Spring garlic smells more like garlic than the onion but still can be a possible substitute for the onion as both have a flavor hint of scallion (but more intense and spicy).

Note: They are considered a suitable replacement for the bulb and green stalks of scallions.

Can You Store Green Garlic?

You can store young garlic or spring garlic in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Cut it into chunks and freeze them in a container. You can also roast green garlic slightly before storing it.

How to substitute?

1 whole green garlic equals 1/3 tablespoons.

Remember, young garlic has a spicier and intense flavor than green onions, and a small amount could fulfill the specific taste you need.

When to Use?

You can use it as a green onion substitute in both cooked or uncooked dishes.

It can be switched in pretty much every dish which involves scallions.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with paprika, a turmeric substitute, to make a yummy Spanish green salad.

White Onions

substitute for green onion
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If you don’t have any green onions on hand, you can use white onions instead.

Yes, you can substitute green onions for onion!

White onions are tender, crispier (due to thin paper-like skin), and have a sweet taste.

Note: They are considered a suitable replacement for the bulb of scallions.

Did You Know?

White onions have the most powerful flavor among all the onion varieties. Their sugar content is high, and sulfur content (that gives a pungent smell and taste to onions) is low.

How to substitute?

1 small-sized white onion equals half-cup (chopped).

So how many green onions equal one onion?

9 chopped green onion yields one cup, which means you will require a medium-sized white onion to balance the quantity.

When to Use?

You can use it as a green onion substitute in cooked dishes or recipes that involve cut or diced green onions like salads or sandwiches.

Suggested Dishes:

Which means, you can substitute green onions with shallots, leaks, and white onions in soup recipes.

Bonus: Pair it with olive oil, a sesame oil substitute, to make a delightful cheesy onion chicken skillet.

Yellow Onions

Green onion replacement

These are the normal or regular onions we all are familiar with.

Yes, the yellow or brown onions can also be a possible green onion substitute.

They have a balance of sweetness and astringency, which will give a unique yet similar oniony flavor to your dish.

Note: They are considered a better alternative for the bulb of green onions.

Can I Substitute Onion Powder for Green Onion?

Yes! In the recipes that require the addition of green onions, you can use a pinch or even ½ teaspoon to get a similar hint of fresh oniony flavor.

How to substitute?

1½ medium-sized yellow onion equals half-cup (finely chopped or minced).

Whereas 1 roughly chopped large-sized yellow onion yields half-cup.

If you want to dice the onions, you may need half of a small-sized onion to make 2 tablespoons.

For instance, you may use a small-sized onion to substitute a medium-sized green onion.

When to Use?

You can use it to replace scallions in dishes that involve a hint of sweetness, needs a little caramelization or cooking.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with fennel, a fenugreek substitute, to make a wonderful caramelized onion tart.

Red Onions

scallion substitute

These are the sweetest among the onion varieties, so can you substitute red onion for a green onion?


Red onions have a high sugar content than white onions but may have a more powerful odor.

The flavor profile of the purplish-red onion ranges from mild to spicy.

Note: They are well-suited to swap the white part of the scallion.

They Are the Healthiest Onions

Red onions have a higher amount of antioxidants (help in fighting cancer cells) like anthocyanin and quercetin than other varieties of onions.

How to substitute?

1 small-sized red onion yields half-cup (chopped).

You can start by adding a small amount and gradually increase the quantity to build the taste you require for your dish.

When to Use?

You can use it to replace green onions in cooked or uncooked dishes.

Remember, their oniony flavor might not be noticeable in cooked dishes, whereas when used as a topping in salads, sandwiches, or burgers, they can add a subtle flavor.

Suggested Dishes:

Bonus: Pair it with cayenne pepper or any cayenne substitute to make a flavorful Cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa.

Final Thoughts

Pearl onions (baby onions), sweet onions (Walla Walla, Vidalia), Welsh Onion (long green onion; a form of scallion),

Garlic scapes and tree onions (a hybrid of Welsh and common onion) can also be considered other possible replacements for scallions or green onions.

Whichever green onion substitute spice you choose, it is essential to keep the flavors and quantity of each in mind not to affect your dish’s final taste.


Have you ever tried any of the mentioned substitutes?

Did it turn out right? Share your thoughts with us down below.

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