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18 Onion Powder Substitutes To Try In Your Next Recipe

For most home cooks, it’s hard to imagine making a savory dish without the powerhouse flavor from onion powder. It’s easier to use than traditional onions and doesn’t lead to a cry fest in the kitchen.

But what happens when you run out or have an allergic guest? 

These 18 onion powder substitutes are here to rescue you. So easy to keep in your pantry or fridge for rainy days, they’ll elevate whichever savory recipe you have in mind.

Nutritional Value Table

SubstituteCalories (Per 100 gm)Protein (Per 100 gm)Fat (Per 100 gm)
Garlic Powder32216.8g0.76g
Onion Flakes 3498.95g0.46g
Dried Onions31310.2g1.7g
Granulated Onion34710.12g1.05g
Onion Paste 441.4g0.2g
Garlic Paste 1233g0g
Onion Salt00g0g
Grated Onion441.4g0.2g
Garlic Puree1233g0g
Fennel Bulbs311.2g0.2g
Celery Stalk160.7g0.2g
Chopped Chives303.27g0.73g
Celery Seeds39218.07g25.27g
Fine Diced Carrots410.93g0.24g
Fine Diced Green Pepper280.9g0.2g

Substitutes For Onion Powder 

To know how to properly use these substitutes, keep reading: 

1. Garlic Powder 

The king of savory meals, garlic powder is just as tasty as the onion version. It doesn’t leave that sticky fresh garlic feeling on your hands, either.

All you have to do is measure out the amount you want, toss it in, and let it bloom over hot oil. 

If you’re worried about that garlic taste, don’t be. Since it’s a powder, the flavors melt in with whatever dish you use. There are no large garlic chunks to chew on either. 

How To Substitute

Use half a teaspoon of garlic powder for every teaspoon of onion powder you would have used.

2. Onion Flakes

Onion flakes are dried, minced onions that can be sprinkled into our recipe at the beginning or end of the cooking process. Of course, you can make your own at home, but the smell from the process can be pretty intense. 

They work brilliantly with a homemade bagel seasoning and can double as salt for those watching their sodium level. You can also use onion flakes if you’re sensitive to raw onions. 

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of onion flakes to half a teaspoon of onion powder.

RELATED: The Best Garam Masala Substitutes: Reviewed And Ranked

3. Dried Onions

One of my favorites, dried onions, acts as a crunchy layer to casseroles, macaroni and cheese bakes, and just about any savory baked dish.

They’re great when sprinkled on top of tomato or butternut squash soup and are extremely tasty when tossed in a salad, like croutons. 

If you’re looking for a seasoning mix replacement, grind the dried onion slices in a mortar and pestle and create your own onion powder! 

How To Substitute

Use a handful of dried onions for every half teaspoon of onion powder. You can use twice as much dried onion because it’s a light flavor.

4. Granulated Onion

Granulated onions are made from white onions that are finely diced and gently dehydrated to create sugar-like crystals of onion. This process makes it easy for you to incorporate onions into your recipes.

However, I suggest buying granulated onions instead of making them, which can be messy and time-consuming. 

Granulated onions are heavier than onion powder, so that’s something to keep in mind. 

How To Substitute

Use half a teaspoon of granulated onions to one teaspoon of onion powder, as the granules are more prominent and will deliver more flavor.

5. Onion Paste

Now let’s look at some wet substitutes. Onion paste is a pungent, flavorful substitute made by blending white or red onions into a spreadable paste.

It’s usually sold in jars but can be made at home if you have a powerful food processor or blender. I suggest using white onions as the red kind can leave purple dye patches all over your kitchen counter. 

Onion paste can be pretty intense, so don’t overdo it. Instead, follow the instructions below for the best results. 

How To Substitute

Use half a teaspoon of onion paste for every teaspoon of powder. If you don’t like intense onion flavors, cut this onion paste suggestion in half.

6. Garlic Paste

To level up your at-home cooking skills, try garlic paste as an onion powder substitute. It’s easier to use than whole garlic slices and melts into your recipe seamlessly.

You can buy garlic paste or make a homemade version with a food processor. The flavor is strong, but organic paste has twice the taste compared to garlic powder. 

If you’re making the paste, remove the skin from each garlic clove before pulverizing it in the processor. 

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of garlic paste for every teaspoon of onion powder. If you want to reduce the garlic aftertaste in your meal, use ¼ teaspoon.

RELATED: 10 Of The Best Alternatives To Chinese Five-Spice To Use In Your Cooking!

7. Onion Salt

Anybody watching their sodium will be happy to learn about onion salt, a hybrid between dehydrated onion and regular salt.

You can make onion salt with some ground, dehydrated onions, and sea salt to control your sodium. Use a 1:1 ratio. 

Sea salt has less sodium than table salt, so it’s recommended. 

How To Substitute

Since this has sodium, it’s best to use half or ¼ teaspoon of onion salt for every full teaspoon of onion powder.

8. Grated Onion

There’s nothing better than fresh onion, mainly if you’ve run out of onion powder. If you’re not a fan of large chunks of onion, grating them is the next best thing.

The grated onions melt into any recipe, especially soups and thick stews. Be warned, you’ll cry a lot while grating, so you can skip this step and buy the pre-grated version in most stores. 

I’ve discovered that red onions work better than white onions when it comes to grating, especially if you don’t mind the messy process. 

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of grated onion for every teaspoon of onion powder.

9. Leeks

Next are leeks, which are close enough to onions that you’ll barely notice the absence of the onion powder.

They also work as an excellent replacement for raw onions, especially if you’re not a fan of the pungent flavor. When sauteeing the leeks, ensure they have a soft texture and translucent look. 

They should break apart when lightly pressed. That’s how you know the leeks are ready. 

How To Substitute

Use half of a leek stock for every teaspoon of onion powder.

10. Garlic Puree

Think of garlic puree as a smoother version of garlic paste. There are no chunks, so the puree is perfect for smooth dishes. You can even use it as a topping for garlic bread.

For the best results, roast your garlic in the oven with the skin on until it’s soft, then blend it with a food processor. The result is a nutty, warm tasted flavor. 

Remember to remove the skin before blending. 

How To Substitute

Use one or half a teaspoon of garlic puree for every teaspoon of onion powder.

11. Scallions

As a close cousin to onions, scallions are my idea of the perfect onion powder substitute. They taste exactly like onions, and they’re easy to prepare.

The only downside is that they can be difficult to cut at times. You want to use the green end first, then work your way down to the white bulb. 

Dried scallions are another flavorful way to spice up your dishes. To make this at home, split your scallions into small pieces and let them dry in the sun for a full day or in a dry room for up to three days. 

How To Substitute

Use two small stems of scallions for every teaspoon of onion powder.

12. Fennel Bulbs

You’re not alone if you’ve never known how to use fennel. The bulbs, strangely shaped, can work as an onion powder replacement. 

Given their tricky shape, cutting fennel bulbs can be challenging. To avoid accidents, divide your fennel in half from top to bottom,  and slice it like an onion or shallot. There’s a tutorial below. 

How To Cut Fennel Bulbs

Here’s how you can cut a fennel bulb without making a mess: 

  • Remove the top stems from your fennel
  • Wash your fennel bulbs and pat them dry 
  • Take a sharp knife and cut the fennel bulb in half, from top to bottom. 
  • Rinse the fennel bulbs again to remove some acidity 
  • Cut the bulbs horizontally with the flat side down as you would an onion 
  • If you want, dice them again with your knife until small

How To Substitute

Use half a fennel bulb for every teaspoon of onion powder.

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13. Shallots

I like to think of shallots as mini onions because that’s exactly what they look like. Shallots are popularly used in middle eastern cuisine due to their sweet and savory blend of flavors and availability.

Grab some at your nearest market or grocery store if you’ve never tried shallots. 

They usually have light pink skin and almond shapes and are a great onion powder substitute. 

How To Substitute

Use two shallots for every teaspoon of onion powder.

14. Celery Stalk

As a must-use ingredient for Italian dishes, celery stalks are surprisingly flavorful, adding texture without overpowering every bite. To enhance the flavor of your recipe, add some garlic powder. 

Pro-tip, wash your stalk thoroughly as the groves easily hold soil. You can combine this with a finely chopped fennel bulb for extra flavor and aroma. 

How To Substitute

Use 1 cup of chopped celery stalk with every teaspoon of onion powder.

15. Chopped Chives

If onion powder is too acidic for you, try chives. Their mild flavor will blend beautifully with any fried dish, especially soups and stews.

You can also use it as a garnish for comfort foods like baked or mashed potatoes. They also serve as a flavoring for stuffed finger foods like egg rolls, empanadas, and taquitos. 

If you’re using chives, reduce the amount of oil when frying, as they cook pretty quickly. 

How To Substitute

Use two teaspoons of chives for every teaspoon of onion powder.

16. Celery Seeds

For a dried version of celery stalk, use celery seeds. They carry a distinct, slightly spicy flavor with a mild aftertaste.

Celery seeds aren’t potent in taste but adopt a toasty flavor when properly bloomed and will do great as an onion powder substitute. 

Celery seeds come in different forms. You can buy the whole seed version or the crushed and ground version. Pair this with onion salt for a more robust flavor profile. 

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of celery seeds for every teaspoon of onion powder.

17. Fine Diced Carrots

Often used as a flavor enhancer and thickener in bolognese, diced carrots are an underrated onion powder substitute, but they work!

This is an excellent suggestion for anyone allergic to onions or acidic vegetables. You can slice the carrots julienne style or finely dice them. 

Fry them as you would regular onions, or add them into a stew-like onion powder. If you want a bit of spice, use white carrots or parsnips.  

How To Substitute

Use one medium-sized carrot, finely diced, for every teaspoon of onion powder.

18. Fine Diced Green Pepper

It wasn’t until I ran out of onion that I realized how similar green pepper was in flavor. It’s not as strong as onion powder, but it delivers a level of savoriness that’s compatible with most recipes.

Once finely diced, you can fry these in a bit of oil until they’re slightly translucent and soft before adding your other spices. 

Wait until the green pepper aroma is released. You can also use red or yellow pepper, especially if you want a slightly sweet flavor.

How To Substitute

Use one green pepper for every teaspoon of onion powder and remove the seeds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Correct Substitution Of One Teaspoon Of Onion Powder? 

Use a one-to-half ratio when it comes to dry spice substitutions. For example, half a teaspoon of garlic powder equals one teaspoon of onion powder.

For fresh substitutes like onions, shallots, and so on, use more, as new ingredients have a less concentrated flavor. For example, one-half of a large onion equals one teaspoon of onion powder or flakes. 

What Spice Is Similar To Onion Powder? 

Garlic powder is closely similar to onion powder, followed by celery powder. 

Do Onion Powder Substitutes Taste Bad? 

For the most part, no, but this depends on your taste preference. For example, if you hate garlic, green pepper, or carrot, using it as a substitute won’t taste good.

On the other hand, if you love how onion powder tastes and want something close to it, stick to substitutes like shallots, leeks, chives, fresh onion, and fennel.

18 Onion Powder Substitutes To Try In Your Next Recipe 

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Find out how to make a perfect onion powder substitute with this easy guide.


  • Garlic Powder

  • Onion Flakes

  • Dried Onions

  • Granulated Onion

  • Onion Paste

  • Garlic Paste

  • Onion Salt

  • Grated Onion

  • Leeks

  • Garlic Puree

  • Scallions

  • Fennel Bulbs

  • Shallots

  • Celery Stalk

  • Chopped Chives

  • Celery Seeds

  • Fine Diced Carrots

  • Fine Diced Green Pepper


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio.

Recipe Video

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