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This unique ingredient is hard to replace, but there are a few options! Here’s the best scallion and green onion substitute.

Green onion substitute | scallion sustitute

Making a recipe that calls for green onions or scallions and don’t have them on hand? What’s the difference between green onions and scallions, anyway? They’re the same food! Green onions, otherwise known as scallions, are a member of the onion family. Their fresh flavor is milder than a yellow onion or red onion, with a hint of garlic and chive. Green onions are used in cuisines from Mexican to Japanese to Southeast Asian.

Caveat: Green onions are very mild and often used raw, which is unique to the members of the onion family. There’s no true substitute, so if you have time to grab them, it’s worth it! But if the store is all out or you don’t have time to shop, we get it! Here’s the best scallion and green green substitute to use in recipes.

How many tablespoons is 1 green onion or scallion chopped?

Before we start: you can use this substitution ratio for chopped green onion. Here’s the ratio:

  • 1 medium green onion / scallion = 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped

Best scallion and green onion substitute

1. Chives (good for garnishes)

The best scallion or green onion substitute? Chives. This green 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. Use the substitution ratio above. If green onion / scallion greens are used as a garnish in the recipe, chives work particularly well: you may not even need to measure. (PS here’s the difference of chives vs green onions.)

2. Shallot (thinly sliced, in cooked dishes)

The best scallion or green onion substitute in cooked dishes? Thinly sliced shallots! Shallots are a small onion with a delicate flavor. The flavor is closer to a green onion than red or yellow onion, and it works particularly well where the green onion is cooked or in dressings. It also works in potato salads or egg salad.

3. Omit entirely.

Some recipes make more sense to simply omit the green onion or scallion. For example, a cornbread with green onions inside could work with chives, but it wouldn’t make sense with any other type of onion. Green onion is often added at the end of a stir fry, so you could simply omit it.

Here are some of our favorite green onion recipes featuring green onions / scallions:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

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