7 Top Substitutes for Spring Onions

7 Best Spring Onion Substitutes

Spring onions, also known as scallions, are a popular ingredient in many cuisines, especially Asian dishes. However, there are times when you may need to find a spring onion substitute. Whether it’s for personal preference, health reasons, or simply a lack of availability, there are several alternatives that can replicate the flavor and texture of scallions. In this article, we will explore the seven best spring onion substitutes.

1. Leeks

Leeks are a versatile substitute for scallions because they belong to the same Allium family as onions, garlic, and chives. With their sheathed leaves and similar textural profile, leeks offer a comparable experience to scallions. When using leeks, it’s best to use all parts of the vegetable for maximum flavor. The leafy top provides color and leafy texture, while the middle provides onion-like flavor and crunch. The bulb, located at the bottom of the plant, packs the most flavor and adds a satisfying crunch to your dishes.

2. Chives

Chives are another excellent substitute for scallions. These long, thin green stems with small bulbs at the end are known for their mild garlicky and oniony flavor. While chives do not provide much texture due to their tender stems, they can be used to add color and presentation to various recipes. An advantage of using chives is that they offer a less intense flavor compared to onions or scallions. They can be used whole or chopped, and for the best experience, it is recommended that they be added at the end of the recipe to preserve their flavor and texture.

3. Shallots

Shallots are a close substitute for scallions, although they lack the iconic green stem. They are known for their mild flavor and crunchy texture. While shallots are rarely used raw due to their strong oniony flavor, sautéing them can soften their flavor. Light sauteing results in a mildly sweet and slightly oniony flavor, making them suitable for a variety of recipes. For an even closer substitute, you can combine shallots with the green stems of chives or the leaves of leeks.

4. Onions

Regular onions can be a convenient substitute for scallions, especially if you don’t have them on hand. Since spring onions are simply onions harvested before they are ripe, substituting regular onions can provide a similar flavor profile. However, it’s important to consider the texture and intensity of the onions. Larger white or red onions are recommended for best results. Before using, it’s a good idea to soak the onions in plain or salted water to reduce their intensity. If you have chives or leeks available, combining them with onions can enhance the desired flavor and presentation.

5. Wild Garlic

In Chinese cuisine, wild garlic can be an excellent substitute for scallions. The leafy stalks of wild garlic are similar in texture and flavor to scallions. Although wild garlic has larger leaves, it can be chopped to fit the requirements of any recipe that calls for scallions. This plant has dense leaves on top and a bulb at the bottom, and the size of the bulb depends on the maturity of the plant. For the best experience, saute the greens and wild garlic bulb before serving. This enhances the flavor and provides a satisfying substitute for scallions.

6. Scallions

Scallions, also known as green onions, are closely related to spring onions and can be used as a substitute in many recipes. While they have a slightly milder flavor compared to spring onions, scallions offer a similar green and oniony flavor. They can be used in soups, broths, stews, rice dishes, salads, and more. Scallions can be chopped, diced, or used whole, depending on your preference and the requirements of the recipe.

7. Garlic and Onion Powder

If you’re looking for a convenient substitute with a long shelf life, garlic and onion powders may be an option. While they won’t provide the same texture as scallions, these powders offer a concentrated flavor of garlic and onion, respectively. They are particularly useful when you want to add the flavor of scallions to dishes such as soups, sauces, or marinades. It’s important to note that the powdered form may have a stronger flavor than fresh scallions, so adjust the amount accordingly.


When you need to substitute scallions in your recipes, there are several alternatives to choose from. Leeks, chives, shallots, onions, wild garlic, scallions, and garlic/onion powder all offer varying degrees of similarity in flavor and texture, and while each substitute has its own unique characteristics, they can all be satisfactory replacements for scallions in various culinary applications. Experimenting with these substitutes can add a new dimension to your dishes and allow you to explore different flavors and textures. Whether you’re looking for the mild onion flavor or the crunchy texture of scallions, these substitutes can help you achieve the desired result.
It’s important to note that amounts and cooking methods may vary depending on the recipe. Adjusting the amounts and cooking techniques to suit your taste and the dish you’re preparing will ensure the best results. Additionally, keep in mind that while these substitutes may not be an exact replica of scallions, they can provide a flavorful and enjoyable alternative.
In conclusion, if you find yourself without scallions or simply prefer to use a substitute, leeks, chives, shallots, onions, wild garlic, scallions, and garlic/onion powder can all serve as viable options. By incorporating these substitutes into your cooking, you can continue to enjoy the unique flavors and textures that spring onions bring to your dishes.


What are some alternatives for scallions?

Spring onions can be substituted with leeks, chives, shallots, onions, wild garlic, scallions, and garlic/onion powder.

Can I use regular onions instead of scallions?

Yes, regular onions can be used as a substitute for scallions. They provide a similar flavor profile, although their texture may be slightly different.

Do these substitutes have the same flavor as scallions?

While these substitutes have their own unique flavors, they generally offer a similar onion flavor to varying degrees. Experimenting with different substitutes may help you find the closest match to scallions for your specific recipe.

Are there any substitutes for the green stem of scallions?

Chives, scallions, and wild garlic can be used as substitutes for the green stem of scallions. These alternatives provide a similar green, oniony flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Can I use garlic and onion powder instead of scallions?

Yes, garlic and onion powders can be used as a substitute for scallions when you want to add their flavor to a dish. However, keep in mind that the powder form may have a stronger flavor, so adjust the amount accordingly.