Substitutes for Spring Onions

Spring onions, also known as scallions or green onions, are a popular ingredient in various cuisines for their mild onion flavor and crunchy texture. If you’re looking for substitutes for spring onions, here are some options across different categories:

Best: Chives

Chives are the best substitute for spring onions in terms of flavor and appearance. They have a mild oniony taste and a similar green hue, making them suitable for garnishing and adding a subtle onion flavor to dishes.

How to Use

  • Use chives as a garnish or in recipes where a mild onion flavor is required.
  • Chop them finely and add them towards the end of cooking or use them raw in salads, soups, and dips.

Cheapest: Onion Tops (Green Parts of a Bulb Onion)

The green tops of regular bulb onions, if available, can be a cost-effective alternative. They have a slightly stronger flavor than spring onions but can be used similarly in cooking.

How to Use

  • Chop the green tops and use them as you would spring onions.
  • They work well in salads, as garnishes, and in cooked dishes where a more pronounced onion flavor is acceptable.

Tastiest: Shallots

Shallots offer a delicious alternative with a more refined, sweet, and aromatic flavor. They are milder than regular onions and can be used both raw and cooked in a variety of dishes.

How to Use

  • Finely chop shallots and use them in dressings, sauces, or as a topping.
  • They can be sautéed and added to dishes where a delicate onion flavor is desired.

Most Accessible: Leeks (White and Light Green Parts)

Leeks, particularly the white and light green parts, are a widely accessible substitute that can mimic the texture and flavor of spring onions. They are milder and larger, suitable for both raw and cooked applications.

How to Use

  • Slice the white and light green parts thinly and use them in soups, stews, and salads.
  • Leeks can be sautéed, grilled, or used in dishes where a mild, sweet onion flavor is needed.

Most Unusual: Fennel Bulb

The fennel bulb provides an unusual but effective substitute with its crunchy texture and slightly sweet, anise-like flavor. While not oniony, it can bring a refreshing and aromatic quality to dishes.

How to Use

  • Thinly slice the fennel bulb and use it in salads, slaws, or as a garnish.
  • It pairs well with citrus, seafood, and in dishes where a crunchy, slightly sweet element is desired.