Best Red Onion Substitutes

Many of the finest recipes call for red onion, but what if you don’t have this pantry staple?

There are numerous of alternatives to red onion, such as chives leaves, celery leaves, white onion, leeks, or yellow onion.

What is Red Onion?

The surface of red onions is reddish-purple, and the meat is purple-tinged. Although they are often utilized in the culinary world, the vivid peel of this onion has been used as a dye for generations. They are often bigger than other cooking onions, and they are customarily eaten both raw and cooked.

The taste of raw red onions is powerful and peppery. Cooked ones tend to be sweeter and more mellow. They are tough and withstand grilling nicely. They’re also tasty grilled and pickled. If you get onion on your burger, chances are it’ll be red onion, and these vivid purple beauties are also popular in salsas, salads, and as crunchy taco toppings.

Because of their strong taste, these onions pair nicely with citrus and vinaigrettes, as well as heavier sauces. Furthermore, they offer a more subtle taste profile than standard cooking onions and are accessible globally.

1. Chives

Chives have a strong taste similar to red onions. Raw chives have the desired crispness of onions, making them an excellent alternative. When it comes to chives, you’ll want to use around half the quantity of onion called for in the recipe since chives are a little more compact.

Chives may be used in place of fresh or cooked red onion in most recipes, and they make a great garnish. With their subtle, characteristic taste, chives will never overrun your meal while providing the desired oniony flavor.

2. Celery

Celery may seem to be an unusual choice for red onion, but it works well in terms of texture. If you’re making a stew or roast, you may easily substitute celery for the red onions. You should employ a one-to-one ratio, putting in precisely the same quantity of celery that the recipe calls for.

Although celery has a subtle taste, it is an aromatic component. You may absolutely use it in recipes that call for red onion, but it will lack the usual zing of the genuine thing. You won’t even notice the difference if you add some additional pepper or garlic salt.

3. White Onions

Although white onions tend to be slightly milder than red, they are still a good substitute. White onions arent as peppery, so you can use them in place of red onions in uncooked dishes. The only thing you’ll truly miss is the purple color.

To bring out the sweeter aromas of white onions, soak them in water before using. For a comparable flavor, use regular white onions or pearl onions. When adding white onions to a meal, use a one-to-one ratio, just as you would celery. They caramelize wonderfully, much like red onions.

4. Leeks

Leeks are onion relatives and may be used in place of red onions. They have a softer taste, so you may want to use a little more of them in your recipe. Also, make sure your leeks are well cleaned and chopped finely.

Leeks take a little longer to cook since they are denser. Furthermore, the outer green leaves might be rough. Remove these leaves and just utilize the light green or white sections of the veggie for the finest results.

Cooked leeks are considerably sweeter than onions, so you’re not going to get an identical match. Still, the taste profile suits, and some foods, such as stews, will benefit from leeks’ subtle flavor. Avoid substituting undercooked leeks for red onions. The tastes will clash, and when these veggies aren’t cooked, they might taste stringy.

5. Yellow Onions

Yellow onions are the stars of meals like French Onion Soup and, in a pinch, may stand in for sweet, acidic red onions. These veggies are also known as brown onions and are somewhat smaller than red onions. As a result, instead of one huge red onion, you may need to use two or three.

It’s a good idea to fill your measuring cup halfway with yellow onions and aim to achieve a one-to-one ratio. While red onions are frequently available in stores, they might be pricey or out of season at times. When this occurs, go buy some yellow onions. They are usually less expensive and a decent substitute for the red ones.

Yellow onions aren’t very tasty raw, but they’re fantastic when cooked. If you’re searching for an alternative for red onion in a cooked meal, try chives or celery instead.

Each red onion alternative on our list has a similar flavor profile and will enhance the flavor of your food. So give them a try the next time you don’t have a red onion on hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

These commonly asked questions will assist you in making informed choices when replacing alternative components for the red onion.

What do onions bring to the table?

Onions are one of the world’s most fragrant veggies. Although each onion is unique, many of them are both acidic and juicy. They also offer a spicy bite that adds flavor to salads and raw meals, as well as textural appeal to salsas and dips.

Cooked onions are sweet and hearty, and they complement stews, soups, and braised foods nicely. Onions, along with carrots and celery, are essential components of any vegetable stew or stock.Onions are available almost all year and are reasonably inexpensive. As a consequence, many cooks consider onions to be one of the most important vegetables in their kitchens.

For one cup of chopped onion, one medium to medium-large onion is generally sufficient. You may also use a tablespoon of powdered onion or onion flakes instead of raw onion, but you won’t get the same hefty texture.

What are the reasons for substituting onions?

If you don’t have a red onion on hand, use one of the substitutions on our list. Furthermore, some individuals prefer to replace other components for onions since onions make their eyes wet.

If you start crying while cutting onions, take a pause and wash your hands with soap and water to remove the onion juice. Better still, invest on an onion cutter.

Furthermore, some individuals avoid using onions because they are frightened of having foul breath after eating, despite the fact that other substances, such as garlic, have more unpleasant outcomes. In reality, you may simply eliminate onion breath by drinking water or eating specific fruits, such as apples, after your meal.

Those who are allergic to onions should avoid them entirely. Instead, utilize a vegetable that is not related to onions, such as celery.

What spices can I substitute for red onion?

Those who are not sensitive to onions may use dried onion flakes or onion salt for red onion.

The advantage of onion flakes is that they have a long shelf life and are very inexpensive. If you don’t use red onion very frequently but have a dish that asks for it, this spice can suffice.

You may also use garlic salt instead of red onion. Garlic salt has a complex, layered taste profile that is somewhat peppery. It won’t give cooked meals the powerful oniony weight like onion flakes, but it’s a fine stand-in for onion taste.

When using garlic salt, use caution. A little pinch is all that is required. Overdoing it may really overpower your food. A decent rule of thumb is to start with a pinch, taste, and then add more as needed. Remember that you can always add more, but you can never take it out!

Wrapping Up

Don’t worry if your recipe asks for a red onion substitution. You may almost probably find something suitable in your kitchen pantry, refrigerator, or spice rack. Consider if texture and crunch, or taste, are more important to you and choose one of the replacements listed below.


What onion is closest to a red onion?

use yellow onions to substitute red onions.

What vegetable is like red onion?

Red onions, yellow onions, spring onions, leeks, ramps, scallions, chives, and shallots are all members of the allium family.

Can you replace red onion with white onion?

Red, white, and yellow onions are all suitable alternatives for each other in a prepared meal, according to Winslow. Cooked red onions may obscure the color of a meal, even becoming bluish-green when combined with alkaline (higher on the pH scale) components, but the taste remains the same.

What is the best onion substitute?

What is the finest onion substitute? Shallots! Shallots are a kind of tiny onion that has a delicate, mild taste. As a substitution, the taste works quite well.

What offsets red onion?

To remove the harsh flavor, immerse sliced onions in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes or sprinkle them with an acid such as vinegar.

Does red onion taste the same as white onion?

The red onion’s biggest asset is its sweetness. The sharpness of its taste and the intensity of its aroma are somewhat stronger than those of white onions, but the sugar content is much greater.

Can I substitute a yellow onion for a red onion?

Red onions, like yellow onions, are allium onions and may be used in recipes that call for yellow onions. Red onions have a deeper purple hue and a milder taste than yellow onions. What exactly is this? The taste of the food will not change.

What type of onion is a red onion?

Red onions, also known as purple or blue onions in certain mainland European nations, are onion cultivars with purplish-red skin and white flesh tinted with crimson. The skin is mostly used in cooking, although it has also been used as a dye.

Is there a big difference between red and yellow onion?

The taste of red onion is comparable to that of yellow onion, with the exception that its layers are somewhat less soft and meaty. They also have a deep purple outer skin and crimson flesh. However, the red hue is washed off while cooking, so it may still be excellent.

Do red and brown onions taste the same?

With their robust flavor, brown onions are an excellent all-purpose cooking onion. crimson onions have a purple exterior and white meat that is tinted with crimson and are gentler and sweeter.

Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *