12 Best Green Onion Substitutes

Green Onion

Green onion is a key ingredient in many recipes.

You can use it in salads, soups but also baked dishes. It is one of those ingredients that will add taste and sometimes even texture to a dish.

Some people like to consume green onions plain since their flavor is not as strong as the flavor of other types of onions. And if you don’t have green onions, you can still substitute them with some tasty and common substitutes.

Common substitutes for green onions include chives, shallots, leeks, ramps, yellow onions, red onions, green garlic, green bell peppers, garlic, dried green onions, dried yellow or red onions.

Let’s take a closer look at each substitute and learn more!

Best Green Onion Substitutes

You can use the following substitute for green onion as you please, considering that they will change the flavor of your food. Choose the one that you prefer best and you might even discover a better option for your dish than green onion.

1. Chives


Chives can be one of the best substitutes for green onion.

As a matter of fact, you might also find it easy to confuse chives with green onions since they look similar, smell similar and their flavor is similar as well.

Chives tend to be smaller than green onions and their green color is a bit more intense.

Even if the flavor of chives is similar to the flavor of green onions, it is also milder. So, if you add chives to your food, you will not get a taste as intense as the one provided by green onions. The solution to this aspect would be to add more chives than you would normally add green onions.

Another factor to consider is that chives will cook faster than green onions. So, if you use them in stir-fries or baked dishes, you want to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

2. Shallots


Shallots are also a good substitute for green onions, especially if you are more interested in taste than in the green color.

These onions are sweeter and less intense than other types of onions. However, they will make your food taste just as good if not even better than green onions.

The texture of shallots is similar to regular onions and thicker than the texture of green onions. You will not have to adjust the cooking time as this is in big lines the same as the cooking time for green onions.

If you plan to use shallots raw, note that they might be spicier than green onions. So, you want to add less. Ultimately, how many shallots you add depends on your personal taste.

3. Leeks


Leeks are great veggies to have in your kitchen as you can use them in a wide range of recipes. You can use leeks instead of green onions plain or cooked and they will adapt nicely to all types of dishes.

Leeks are larger than green onions and this will affect the texture and aspect of your food.

You might not like leeks raw as they have a strong taste but if you fry them or use them in soups and baked recipes, they will be delicious.

Their taste might become too sour if you cook them too long. Therefore, you only need to expose them to heat for a few minutes, depending on your recipe.

Please, wash the leeks diligently before adding them to your recipe as they can be filled with dirt due to their many layers.

4. Ramps


Ramps are more commonly known as wild leeks or wood leeks and you can definitely use them instead of green onions or instead of leeks in your recipes.

The only problem with ramps is that they can be difficult to find in most stores but if you do find them, you might like them in your food even better than green onions.

In terms of flavor, ramps have a garlicky flavor on top of the onion flavor. And with such a mix, you can’t fail!

You will like ramps as a replacement for green onions if you are planning to cook them, being it fried or baked. However, you might not be a fan of them if you intend to eat them raw.

Ramps can have a strong earthly taste when raw and they don’t complement many foods the way green onions do.

5. Yellow onion

Yellow Onion

Yellow onions are easy to find and a common ingredient in many recipes all over the world.

You can also use them instead of green onion. However, you will have to keep in mind that they add a different color and texture to your food.

Yellow onions have nothing green about them. Their flavor is spicier than the flavor of green onions and you will love them both in raw recipes like salads or cooked ones like soups or stews.

Slice them in thin size if you want them to resemble the texture of green onions.

6. Red onion

Red Onion

In terms of taste, red onions can substitute green onions perfectly. However, they will add a red shade to your food so make sure to take this aspect into account.

Just like yellow onions, you shouldn’t have any problem finding red onions in all stores that sell veggies. They are common and used both in raw and cooked recipes.

If you find the flavor of red onions to be too strong for you, cook them for a few minutes on the stove to take away some of their pungent taste.

7. Green garlic

Green garlic

Green garlic will look incredibly similar to a green onion. What will give it away in terms of differences in the smell and taste of this substitute?

Green garlic has a strong garlic taste and smells like garlic too. This will change the flavor of your food but not in a bad way, especially if you like the taste of garlic.

You can use green garlic in the same way you use green onion. It tastes amazing raw as well as cooked. And it is one of the best ingredients for stir-fries.

8. Green bell peppers

If your main point of interest is to add green color and crunchy texture to your food, green bell peppers could be a great alternative to green onions.

Green bell peppers will not provide the same taste as onions. But you can always maintain the texture and aesthetics of your food by using these substitutes.

Make sure to cut these peppers into small cubes to resemble green onions as much as possible. You can use them in salads, soups, stews, and baked dishes.

Green bell peppers are tasty! And they give foods a pleasant, earthly yet sweet flavor regardless of how you cook them.

9. Garlic

Onion and garlic compete all the time in terms of which one is best for some recipes. This is why, as a general rule, you can use these two veggies interchangeably.

If you replace green onion with garlic, you can keep the cooking rules of your recipe but you will have to chop the garlic in small pieces to resemble the onion as much as possible.

Even if you have green onions, it is always worth to try adding garlic to your food. Green onions and garlic go great together and most likely you will not regret the final outcome.

10. Dried green onion

Green Onion

You can find dried green onion on the market even if it is not as common as other substitutes. The dried green onion will maintain the flavor of green onion and it will regain its softer texture once you soak it in water.

You can use dried green onion in salads, soups, baked dishes, and stews as well as stir-fries and any other recipe that called for green onion.

If you can’t find dried green onion in stores, you can always dry it at home as long as you have a dehydrator. Or a place in the sun where you can leave your green onions long enough.

11. Dried yellow or red onion 

Yellow onions

The same rule that applies to dried green onion, applies to dried yellow and red onion. You can use any of these options instead of green onion and you will not regret it.

Dried red onion tends to have a stronger flavor. Therefore, you really don’t need to add a lot of it unless you really like this flavor. You will find dried onion of all kinds in stores and you can even make your own sorts at home.

Use them just as you would use green onions but it is wise to taste the dried onion you have in order to know how strong its flavor is.

12. Dried herb mix


If you lack green onion, you can find plenty of herb mixes in stores that contain onion or even green onion as well as other herbs.

These mixes are great for adding flavor to many recipes and you can find a lot of versions. It might take you a while to find the perfect herb mix for your foods. However, once you do, you might get an even better taste than the one green onion alone gives you.

Can I Use Onion Instead of Green Onion?

Generally, you can use any type of onion instead of green onion if you are focused mainly on the flavor of your food rather than the texture and color.

All types of onion will add a similar flavor to your dish. However, some are stronger than others so make sure to pick the type of onion with the same intensity in terms of taste that you want to accomplish for your dish.

What Can I Substitute for Green Onions in Fried Rice?

Fried rice of all kinds tastes amazingly with green onion. However, if you don’t have green onion, you can add green garlic or chives.

The green garlic will change the flavor of your fried rice but the chives will provide a closer taste to the one you get if you use green onions.

Avoid dried onion of any type if you are going to mix it with rice because you will not get the texture and taste you expect from it. In the worst case, dried onion in a combination with fried rice will melt faster and the onion flavor you obtain is way milder.


Green onion can make your food taste very good and might even make the difference between a dish you like and a disk you don’t like. However, if you don’t have green onion, you can try any of the substitutes above. Some will taste even better than the green onion you are missing!

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