What can I substitute for shallots?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for shallots”? With an in-depth analysis of shallots and the possible substitutes of shallots with their benefits and some shortcomings. 

What can I substitute for shallots?

If there is a shortfall of Shallots in your kitchen or stores then you can use its substitutes. Shallot can be best substituted for yellow onions, chives, leeks, red onions, scallions (green onion) and garlic.


Shallots have various substitutes which give the same taste, flavour, and benefits to the dish as shallots give. 

Shallots are from the onion family. Shallots can be of different colours like golden, brown, and red. They are used in our meals for making different dishes and salads. They add flavour to the meal and can be eaten in raw form as well.

Shallots are rich in iron and other minerals. They are a good source of antioxidants and may help with blood sugar control, circulation, heart, and bone health, and more. They may also aid in the defence against infections and the overall healthy weight.

Here we’ll discuss some substitutes which you can use as a replacement for Shallots.

Yellow onion:

Yellow onions, according to many cooks, are one of the greatest shallot alternatives. They have a similar flavour and are neither excessively sweet nor too harsh.

Yellow onions contain nutritious content. The person who daily consumes onions has a low risk of diseases like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cancer. Yellow onions are rich in antioxidants that decrease the cholesterol level of the human body. Due to lower cholesterol levels, it helps in minimizing the risk of heart diseases.  


Chives are flowering onion-like plants. They have a moderate, not overly spicy flavour, similar to shallots, which makes them acceptable like shallots in many recipes.

The only drawback is that as compared to shallots, the structure of chives differs from that of shallots, and roasting them might decrease their strong flavour.

There are various benefits of using chives other than adding flavour to the meal. Chives help prevent Osteoporosis, as it is rich in vitamin K. Using Chives leaves can help in dissolving calcium oxalate in kidney stones because it contains steroids, tannin, and numerous minerals such as K, Mg, and Na. 


Leeks are linked to shallots and have a comparable flavour characteristic. They have a softer flavour than onions, with a slightly sweet flavour similar to fried shallots.

They also contain high nutrients such as manganese and vitamin C. You can use leeks in different dishes such as pasta, using leeks in the same way as shallots.

There are various benefits of using leeks as a substitute for shallots; leeks help in weight loss. They may protect our bodies against cancerous cells. Leeks promote healthy digestion. Due to the laxative properties of leeks, it is recommended for relieving constipation.

Red onions:

Many people believe that yellow onions are the ideal substitute for shallots, but we can also use red onions. They are, generally, stronger and have a harsher flavour than yellow onions.

Red onion has anthocyanin which gives purple colour, and it helps to protect the heart. Although dip the onion in water for a few minutes to avoid bad breath if you use it raw. There are several benefits of using red onions, they contain sulfur which helps protect our body from ulcers and various cancerous cells.


It is also named green onion. It is a good shallot’s substitute. It has two parts containing a green top and white bottom. The white part has a sweet taste as shallots and the green top has a soft flavour. 

You can use them as both (raw & cooked).

Scallions are rich in vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin). Scallions also contain an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. When green onions are chopped, an enzyme is released that forms allicin, which is important in breaking down and creating sulfenic acids, which is super beneficial for fighting inflammation.


Shallot can also be substituted for garlic. Garlic has many health benefits. It has a sweeter flavour when cooked, whereas raw garlic has a spicy flavour. The drawback is it won’t exactly taste like shallot’s taste.

If we intake garlic it lowers the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, and cancers, etc. Using garlic is best for colds and flu. It helps in developing stronger bones. 

Other than these benefits, garlic helps in improving skin as well.

But consuming too much garlic every day could cause problems like irritation in the digestive tract. 

Other FAQs about Shallots that you may be interested in.

What is a shallot?

What does a shallot look like?

Why use shallots instead of onions?


In this short article, we have mentioned all the possible substitutes if someone is going to make a tasty dish but unfortunately, he/she ran out of shallots. Every substitute is mentioned along with its benefits and shortcomings.

Medicinal benefits of the substitutes for shallots are also mentioned here.