What can I substitute for green onions?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “what can I substitute for green onions?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for green onions. Moreover, we will also discuss the effects of substituting green onions with their substitutes on the recipes.

What can I substitute for green onions?

The best substitute for green onions is chives. This green herb has a remarkably similar flavor to the green onion and looks very similar. The flavor of chives is a bit more delicate, so you could use a few more if desired.

What are chives?

Chives have an herbaceous, oniony flavor and are generally the best substitute for scallions especially in recipes that call for raw scallions. They’re perfect for sprinkling! If you often find yourself in need of scallions, you may want to keep this dried version on hand.

What can be the other substitutes for green onions other than chives?

Some of the other substitutes are:

  • A small amount of bulb onion. Raw onions will have significantly more bits than scallions, so make sure to use them.
  • The white part of a leek.
  • Half the stated amount of spring onion.

What can you substitute for green onions in fried rice?

You can substitute finely chopped green onions, garlic, or shallots if you’re out of onions.

Can you replace green onions with red onions?

Red onion, or any other onion for that matter, is a pretty reasonable substitution for the white portion of the green onion/scallion. They’re all alliums, after all, and have a reasonably comparable flavor.

Can you substitute leeks for green onions?

Yes, you can. Leeks look very similar to green onions, but the stalks are much wider and leaf-like. However, they can taste similar to full-strength onions and might overpower a recipe if you use too much. They are a good substitute only if you are using them in a cooked dish, where the flavors will be able to mellow and the stalks will soften.

How To use leeks in place of green onions: 

Trim the leeks by removing the tough base and the rougher upper green tops. Cut the leeks lengthwise and wash under running water. This will remove the dirt and grit that is often present between the layers. It is usually chopped and added at the beginning like onions.

Can you substitute ramps for green onions?

Ramps are wild leeks that can be foraged in the spring. They can grow wild throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the Eastern United States, and many people consider the first ramps of the season to be a delicacy. Ramps have a very strong flavor of not only onion but also garlic.

How To use ramps in place of green onions:

As ramps are strong, they should be used sparingly and to taste. They are not appropriate as a garnish but can work well in a cooked recipe or sauce. They are prepared much like leeks. Their taste can be enhanced by vinegar. So, they are also perfect for pickling.

Can you substitute shallots for green onions?

Yes, you can. Shallots are smaller onions that have a milder, sweeter flavor. When being used in place of green onions, a small amount of minced shallot will not overwhelm the recipe. They can be used as substitutes in cooked dishes. Raw shallots might be quite pungent.

How to use shallots in place of green onions: 

Shallots are usually minced and added towards the start of the cooking. They are not typically used as garnishes or topping.

How can you substitute red onions for green onions?

White, yellow, or red onions can work as a final resort but are used sparingly. The reason onions are not as effective is because they can be substantially stronger than green onions. They might be more pungent and have a stronger flavor. Do keep in mind that these won’t work as a substitute for the leaves of the green onion.

How to use other onions in place of green onions: 

Mince them very finely, and use them with discretion. The bite of raw yellow or white onion can easily overpower a dish if too much is used. Red onions are sweeter and more mellow, and if you are using them for a garnish on tacos or in salsa, they are a better choice. Most recipes will ask you to slice them thinly.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “what can I substitute for green onions?” with an in-depth analysis of what can be substituted for green onions. Moreover, we have also discussed the effects of substituting green onions with their substitutes on the recipes.



Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.