12 Substitutes for Green Onion to Freshen Up Your Recipes

Substitutes for Green Onion

If you are looking for any possible green onion substitutes to freshen up your recipes, you are in the right place. Green onions or the so-called scallions/spring onions are one of the widely used ingredients in various cuisines all over the world. 

Green onion goes well with several dishes thanks to its mild and pleasant taste. You can eat it with or without cooking. It is used in soups, omelets, and even pancakes. You can use it as a dressing for salads and sandwiches. On the other hand, this vegetable contains several vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Best Green Onion Substitutes to Consider

1. Chives

Fresh chives can be your first choice to replace green onions. In a sense, they are the thinner version of scallions and offer a milder taste. They are known as herbs that belong to the family of onions and garlic. 

Compared to green onions, chives have a bit of sweet flavor but it doesn’t mean they won’t provide your garnish or raw dishes with the taste and color that green onion does. 

2. Leeks

Another popular substitute for green onions is leeks. They come with a thicker texture and offer a mild onion taste. One big plus of leeks is that they don’t affect the unpleasant odor green onions come with.

Compared to green onions, leeks also have a subtle flavor that may remind you of garlic. Use them as dressing for soups, noodles, or salads. If you want to use leeks in hot dishes then make sure you chop them thinly and mix well with other ingredients.  

3. Ramps

Ramps can be a good choice to replace green onions. They are hard to find in stores because they grow well in the wild. However, ramps perfectly replace green onion in cooked dishes and sauces. 

Their flavor is quite strong and offers a kind of mixture of onions and garlic. So, you can definitely use them in dishes that require both onion and garlic. You’ll get the desired mild garlic-oniony taste with ramps. 

4. Shallots

While raw shallots are somehow stronger and sharper in their taste and flavor than green onions, they still can be great substitutes in cooked dishes. Shallots are not used for topping or in garnishing. 

Sometimes shallots are confused with onions but they differ both in shape and aroma. They have more sweetness than the rest of the herbs and vegetables from the allium family.

5. Calçots 

Here is an amazing substitute for green onion mostly used to replace spring onions. Calçots are Catalan spring scallions that have a mild and somehow sweet taste more similar to green onions than yellow and red onions.

Calçots are used in many ways in cooking. You can grill them or roast them. You can mix them with sauces and add as a topping. In a word; you can use calçots just the way you use green onions. 

6. White, Yellow, Red Onions

White, yellow, and red onions are all awesome substitutes if your main goal is to achieve only the taste of green onion.  They come in different colors and therefore your dish will not carry the fresh green color. 

White onions come with high water content and they are pleasantly delicious to eat without cooking. They ideally go with salads and sandwiches as well as dishes that require more liquid or juiciness.

Yellow onions are mostly used in caramelizing and they can replace green onions if you decide on using them in hot dishes such as omelets or soups. In the majority of cases, we use yellow onions with soups and roasted dishes. 

Red onions replace green onions mostly in cooked dishes because they differ both in color and flavor. You can use them caramelized, in stews and sauces. Red onions have a milder taste than green onions but they do come with spicy-to-mild flavor. The bright red color fades while cooking, so if you want to maintain it in your dish then make sure to use it raw. 

7. Dried Green Onions

Dried green onions, compared with the rest of options, are available all year round. It goes without saying that fresh green onions look nice as toppings and you can’t replace them with dried ones in this case. However, they are perfect for cooking and hold the same taste as fresh ones. Use them with egg dishes, soups, and potato dishes. 

You can even make dried herbs yourself by collecting fresh green onions and dehydrating them at home. This will be the irreplaceable substitute from all of the possible versions, and you can save it in your shelves for a long time.  

8.  Green Onion Powder  

In case, you can’t find any fresh onion or alternative to replace green onions you are welcome to use onion powder. Like dried green onions, those are available all-year-round too, and you can get them from common stores. 

Of course, they are used in cooked dishes and can’t be served as dressing for salads and raw dishes, but overall they hold the flavor and taste of green onions. 

9. Green Garlic

The young plant of garlic is known to be green garlic. Well, you may say that garlic can’t replace onion but the fact is that they both belong to the same family and have similar flavors. So, green garlic may sometimes substitute green onion in cooked meals. Just slice those thin leaves and you’ll see how similar they look like green onions. 

Be careful with it, because after all, it’s garlic and there are dishes that won’t smell the way you want if you add it instead of onion. 

10. Green Bell pepper

Taking into consideration the fact that onions come with a peppery taste, we can say that green bell peppers can be used as substitutes for green onions. Both have fresh green color and both taste similar in many dishes. 

Slice green bell peppers into thin and small pieces and use either in hot meals or raw dishes. Mixed with sauces, it will bring the same green hue as green onions do. Use this idea if you need to provide your dish with some crunchy effect and green color. 

     11. Basil  

Since basil has a savory hint in it and is considered to offer strong flavor, it can also replace green onion in some dishes. This pleasant herb goes well both with sweet and spicy dishes. 

Use it as a garnish in salads and sandwiches as well as in spicy sources where you need to have that subtle green onion aroma and taste.  

     12. Celery 

Special for those who may have allergies from Allium family foods including onions, leeks, garlics and the like; there is an amazing substitute to use in your dishes. Here is celery to come for help   when you cook something requesting green color and green onion-like sweetness. 

Celery goes well with cooked meals such as noodles, fish, meat and soups. You can mix it well with sauces and the result will be just awesome. The tender flavor of celery is an ideal choice when you don’t have green onions at hand. 

FAQs On Green Onion 

Is green onion spicy?

Green onion holds a kind of mild spicy taste at the small, white bulb ends and tender sweetness in tube-like green tops. However it loses its spicy taste when cooked. Different types of onions have different tastes but they all produce the same taste; some are strong and some are milder. 

What is green onion high in?

If you wonder what vitamins and minerals green onions contain then I am here to tell you that they are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and sulfur which have a good effect on overall health. It is good for pregnant women too. 

Are Scallions and Green Onions the Same?

Actually; yes, they are the same. Green onions are younger versions of ripe ones. Of course, the white heads of onions are spicier than the green tubes. Green onions are also known as scallions and spring onions, while the rest of onions come with the following names; white onions, yellow onions, red onions and sweet onions. 

How to Cut Green Onions?

Put green onions horizontally on a cutting board locating the white part at the way you can start chopping it off. Take a large knife and remove the roots. You can cut the rest either in rounds or circular cuts depending on what you are going to do with it. Go for small circular motions while chopping onions off. 


Solve your recipe troubles by choosing one of the above-mentioned green onion substitutes. Just make sure you combine matching ingredients in your dishes to get the desired flavor. The taste is going to be awesome if you put the right substitute in the right “place”. 

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