Onion powder can add a lot of extra flavor to almost any savory dish you prepare.
However, even if it is easy to find in stores, you might find yourself without this great ingredient when you need it the most.
The good news is that you can still replace it with many others. And even if your final dish might have a slightly different taste to it, you will still have a delicious meal!
Common substitutes for onion powder include onion salt, garlic powder, shallots, fennel bulbs, celery, and grated onion or some of the following substitutes.
Keep reading to find out even more alternatives that will help you have a very tasty meal!
Best Substitutes For Onion Powder
Use the following onion powder substitutes as you find them available but also take into account your personal preferences.
1. Onion Salt
You can use onion salt and onion powder interchangeably in many recipes.
This salt is essentially made of onion powder and salt so you can add it to soups, stews, baked dishes, sauces, or toppings. Depending on how salty you want your food to be, you might have to skip adding any extra salt.
You can use the same amount of onion salt as you would use onion powder, as long as you adjust the extra salt you add to your dish.
2. Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is identical in texture and color to onion powder. The only difference is in terms of flavor since garlic powder is made only of garlic.
But if you want a strong taste for your dish, you can use garlic powder to obtain that, instead of onion powder.
Substitute onion powder for garlic powder in the same ratio in your soups, baked dishes, or stews and you might even prefer this alternative.
Shallots are a type of onion that you can find in supermarkets fairly easily. They can substitute onion powder in stews, soups, salads, and even stir-fries successfully.
You want to use half of a medium shallot for one teaspoon of onion powder. However, for a more similar texture, you can grate the shallots, so they meld easier between the rest of the ingredients of your dish.
4. Fennel Bulbs
Fennel bulbs can enrich the taste of your stews or soups as long as you use them correctly.
They are high in moisture, so you might have to decrease the amount of water or other liquid you use for your dish. Other than that, you can use as many as your recipe needs, depending on how much you like their taste too.
We recommend using them in a chopped version so they melt easier. Fennel bulbs have a mildly onion-like taste but they are not as pungent as onion powder.
You can also add them raw to salads and as toppings for your pasta.
5. Grated Onion
Grated onion is one of the close substitutes for onion powder.
You can buy grated onion from most local, grocery stores or you can grate your onion at home as long as you have the right device for it. Use grated onion in any dishes that call for onion powder in the same ratio.
Even if the texture of grated onion is not as fine as the one of onion powder, you can count on the fact that it will melt nicely as you prepare it with heat.
6. Seasoning Mix
If you don’t have any type of onion available, you can take a look at the seasoning mixes at your local store or the ones you might already have in your kitchen.
Even if the seasonings you have don’t contain onion, they will still add an interesting taste to your food and help you enrich its flavor.
Use such a substitute in the same ratio as you would use onion powder. However, give it a taste before, That way, you will know what to expect for your final dish.
7. Onion Flakes
Onion flakes can successfully substitute onion powder in any recipe. Essentially, onion flakes are made of dried onion and their taste is fairly similar to onion powder.
The texture of onion flakes is different and less refined compared to the powder, however, they will melt fairly easily once you start cooking them.
If you use onion flakes in cold recipes, you can’t expect them to melt. Therefore, be sure you like their texture in such dishes.
8. Minced Onion
Mince some onion at home and use it instead of onion powder in any dish that requires such an ingredient. The flavor of minced onion could be stronger compared to the powder but this intensity will also depend on the type of onion you use for your recipe.
Minced onion can also be mixed with salt and other seasonings to enrich your dish. Use minced onion in the same quantity as you would use the powder. However, if you find it to be too strong you can always try to add less of it.
9. Onion Paste
Onion paste is also easy to find in stores and you can even prepare it at home if you have a food processor or a blender.
Use one teaspoon of onion paste for one teaspoon of onion powder. Your onion paste will blend great with all kinds of ingredients from meat to veggies and other seasonings.
10. Chopped Chives
Chopped chives can substitute for onion and onion powder in all recipes like salads, soups, and stews. Just chop the chives to the size you want and cook them along with the rest of your ingredients.
If you add them to your salad you will not have to prepare them with heat at all as they can be delicious raw.
The ratio is not strict at all when you use chives. Follow your personal preferences and add as many chopped chives as you want to obtain the flavor you enjoy.
I love leeks! They can be a tasty ingredient not only as a substitute for onion powder but also for their delicious flavor.
They come from the same family as onions and they share a similar taste as well. When you use them instead of onion powder, you can chop them into smaller pieces and let them boil or cook along with the rest of your ingredients.
Leeks will be a great choice for soups and stews. However, you can use them raw in salads as well. Use one leek for each tablespoon of onion powder your recipe calls for.
12. Celery Seeds
Celery seeds can also substitute for onion powder even if it has a more earthly and less pungent taste to it. This alternative can be used in soups and stews and you can maintain the same ratio.
If you want a stronger taste, use one tablespoon of celery seeds to replace one teaspoon of onion powder. It will help you to taste the seeds if you are not familiar with using them and decide accordingly in terms of quantity.
13. Minced Garlic
Minced garlic is probably not the first option you consider when you need a substitute for onion powder. However, if you give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
If you like the taste of garlic, as different as it is from onion, you can use an equal ratio to ensure a great flavor for your dish.
Garlic has a strong taste so you want to make sure you don’t overuse it.
Replace onion powder with minced garlic in cooked or baked dishes and even sauces. This is a great substitute for salads as well.
14. Onion Seasoned Herbs
You will find many mixes on the market that contain onion in various forms.
Some have onion flakes, while others have onion powder. There are also mixes with onion flavor only. The benefit of these mixes is that you can add an even richer flavor to your food since they contain many other dried herbs.
Depending on the other ingredients in your recipes, you will want to use a double ratio of seasoning to enjoy the onion taste along with the rest of the herbs.
15. Garlic Salt
The last but not the least option you can use instead of onion powder is garlic salt.
Just like onion salt, this is a mix between garlic powder and salt. It has a different flavor to it due to the garlic ingredient so you will not get an onion taste but you will end up with a delicious dish nevertheless.
Use it in the same ratio just as you would use onion salt, however, make sure to adjust the extra salt you add to your recipe.
How Much Onion Powder Equals One Small Onion?
If you need to replace one onion with onion powder, you will need only one tablespoon of onion powder to obtain a similar taste.
Onion powder is more concentrated in flavor. Therefore, it will give you the taste you expect for your dish, even if you don’t use a significant amount.
How To Make Onion Powder?
Making onion powder is fairly easy as well. If you want to do that, you need a few onions, a dehydrator (optional), and a food processor or a coffee grinder.
To make your own onion powder shouldn’t take longer than one hour.
Chop the onions into small pieces and place them in your dehydrator for about one hour. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can bake them in the oven at 150 degrees F for one hour as well.
Let your onions cool down and grind them in your food processor or coffee grinder.
Make sure you store your onion powder in a container that is airtightly sealed so it doesn’t get any moisture inside.
As delicious as onion powder is in your food, you can definitely substitute it with one of the alternatives in this guide. We recommend trying to make your own if you have what you need because it is easy and you can have it available at all times.