10 Best Substitutes for Red Onion

Red Onion

Red onion is a kitchen staple. It is a common ingredient in many dishes. However, you can also eat it raw because of its punchy flavor and great crunch.

Red onion can be sauteed, roasted, or sliced and put in sandwiches and is an all-around versatile vegetable. Red onion is readily available in most grocery stores, but if you cannot find it or don’t have it on hand, there are many substitutes that you can use instead. 

The best substitutes for red onion include white onion, shallots, green onion, leeks, onion juice, or some of the following ones.

Best Substitutes for Red Onion

If you’re looking for the best substitutes for red onion, look no further than the following list of 10 ingredients that will provide similar results in your dish.

1. White onion

White Onion

This is one of the best substitutes for red onion because it can be used in the same way and will not alter the flavor of your dish.

White onion also tends to have a slightly milder, less acidic flavor, so if you’re not a fan of the punchy flavor of red onion, white onion is a great substitute.

You can use it for sauteing, roasting, or eating it raw in salads and guacamole, and this will yield you the same results as red onion. 

2. Shallots


Shallots are much smaller onions, usually used in sauces, and known for their delicate flavor.

They hardly have an onion flavor at all, which is why they can be a suitable substitute for people who do not like the overpowering flavor that red onion can have.

If you use shallots as a substitute for red onion, they can be chopped and sauteed, or eaten raw, so they can be used in place of red onion in any recipe.

3. Green onions

Green Onion

Green onions, also known as scallions are popular in Chinese cooking.

They can be eaten raw or cooked, making them a great substitute for the red onion. They have a slightly acidic flavor, but not as much as red onions. Still, they are super versatile.

The bottom, the white part is more suitable for sauteing or cooking and can be replaced in stir-fries or any dish that calls for red onion, while the top green part is usually used for garnish and has a very mild flavor, so it can also be used for salads.

It is not suggested to roast green onions or utilize them for something such as guacamole. However, it can be sliced and sauteed and used for garnish instead of red onion.

4. Leeks


Another great substitute for red onion in cooked dishes is leeks, as they are much better cooked than raw. You can slice them in the same way as onion and use them for sauteing, in sauces, and stir-fries.

Leeks are popular because they have a much more delicate flavor. They also have garlicky tones as well, so they will add a great element to your foods. They make a great substitute for red onion in cooked dishes.

5. Chives


Chives work well instead of red onions because of the slightly punchy flavor, but not the same level as onions. Unlike leeks, you can consume chives raw.

You can also use them for garnishing dishes, most popularly eggs, in sauces and dressings, and add a great, fresh flavor to any dish. They work well in salads and sandwiches.

You can chop the chives and add them to any dish to give some extra color or flavor, instead of using red onion.

6. Onion juice

Onion juice is a great substitute when you need the onion flavor for things like sauces, or to flavor condiments like guacamole. You can also add it to cooked dishes for some flavor.

You can either extract your own juice and store it or buy onion juice online. It will give your dish a concentrated, onion flavor without needing the actual onion. However, it does not work well in sandwiches and salads.

7. Onion powder

Onion powder

Onion powder is another pantry staple that many people already have in their kitchen. It will add instant onion flavor to any dish easily.

It works pretty well in cooked dishes. However, you cannot use it as a replacement for red onions when making french onion soup. You can also add it to dressings, but not in salads.

When substituting red onion with onion powder, you can start off with about half a tablespoon of onion powder and add more as you go along, depending on how strong you want the onion flavor to be.

8. Garlic


Although garlic is different from red onion, if you’re looking to add flavor to your food, you can definitely do that with garlic instead of red onion.

Add garlic to your sauces, stir-fries, or soups for a great flavor and you will yield amazing results. You can also add garlic to salad dressings and guacamole. However, I suggest that you cook i. Otherwise, it will overpower the rest of the ingredients in your meal.

9. Celery


If you are looking to substitute onions or just don’t like the taste of red onion, then celery is a great substitute to use. In cooking, celery is used alongside onion as a base for sauces. So, you can eliminate the onion and use celery instead in cooked dishes.

Celery also has a great crunch and mild flavor, making it a perfect vegetable to be eaten raw. Meaning, you can use celery in sandwiches and salads instead of red onion as well, making it a great substitute.

10. Fennel

Fennel bulb

Like celery, this is another great substitute for red onions.

Fennel has a licorice flavor when it’s raw. It is a flavor that resembles onion when cooked, so it can be used for both. You can slice the fennel thinly and add it to your salads. Or you can saute and roast it in your dishes and it will add great flavor to them.

Fennels have a milder flavor as well, making them suitable for many dishes. It is not advisable to use fennel when making guacamole, as it will change the flavor too much.

Substitute for Red Onion in Guacamole

The best substitutes for red onions in guacamole include white onions, shallots, onion powder, onion juice, and garlic, as they add an onion flavor to the dish and have similar consistencies.

Related Questions

Can I use regular onion instead of green onion?

Yes, regular onions are either yellow or white onions and they can be used in place of red onions for any recipe.

They have a slightly milder flavor. Meaning, they will be less overpowering. You can saute, bake, or eat them raw and use them in place of red onion.

Can I use white onion instead of red in salads?

Yes, you can use white onion instead of red in a salad and the flavor will still turn out great. You can also use shallots or green onions as well.

Can I substitute red onion for green onions?

Yes, you can. In most dishes, green onion is a great substitute for red onion, specifically in dishes such as stir-fries or quiches.

The lower, white part of a green onion is better cooked and can be chopped the same way as onion and saute, whereas the top green part can be eaten raw and is usually used as a garnish for dishes, but can also be used in salads.

Can I substitute red onion with shallots?

Yes, you can substitute red onions with shallots instead. Shallots tend to have a milder, more delicate flavor and are great eaten raw or cooked.

You can saute shallots, use them as a base for sauces, or you can slice them thinly and place them in salads or sandwiches. Shallots are as versatile as red onions.

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