Can’t find the fresh chives you need for making a recipe? Here’s the best substitute for chives, that tender green herb that’s part of the onion family.

Substitute for Chives

Making a recipe that calls for chives and don’t have it? We’ve got your back. Chives are a tender fresh herb that’s part of the onion (allium) family. They’re often used fresh chopped as a garnish for soups and salads. Dried chives are also used dried in dips. Chives are very easy to grow in a pot or garden. What’s the best way to substitute them?

Can I substitute dried chives for fresh?

Technically, yes. However, dried chives don’t have a lot of flavor on their own! They’re best re-hydrated in creamy dips or cooked recipes. It may not bring loads of flavor, but it’s an option if it’s all you have. Ratio: For 1 tablespoon fresh chives, substitute 1 teaspoon dried chives. This works for any dried herbs.

Best substitute for chives

1. Green onion (scallion) greens.

The best substitute for chives? Scallion greens! Scallion is also called green onion, and the dark green part tastes a lot like the fresh flavor of chives. You can substitute it one-for-one. So 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion greens = 1 tablespoon chopped chives. We do this often in our recipes if we don’t have chives on hand! (Here’s the difference of chives vs green onions.)

2. Omit it!

Other sources suggest that leek and onion can replace chives. But chives have a very delicate flavor, and are often used thinly sliced as beautiful green garnishes. It doesn’t quite make sense to substitute cooked leek or onion here. We’ll leave that up to your discretion! Our recommendation is green onion all the way.

Here are some of our favorite recipes featuring chives:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Thanks for the information. I am a culinary student and I’m making Vichyssoise and I needed chives for garnish. The stores were out.

    1. You’re welcome! Green onion tops are best for Vichyssoise if you can find them. Thanks for writing and good luck!

  2. I wanted a dried alternative to dried chives, you and two other sites only gave substitutes in fresh alternatives – NOT dried, very disappointed.