Skip to Content

12 Scrumptious Scallions Substitutes

Scallion is a delicious and visually-appealing vegetable that adds a piquant flavor to any dish. However, not everyone can find scallions easily in their local grocery stores.

Don’t worry; we got you covered – below are some best alternatives you can use in place of scallions. They’re cheap and easy to buy; they all offer satisfying textures as well as distinctive flavors.

They range from mild onion flavors like shallots and garlic to smoky ginger and sweet mint — there’s something here for everyone!

Don’t let the lack of scallions ruin your meal prep efforts! Pick one of these substitutes or create your combination with the ingredients you have on hand.

Quick Table: Scallion Substitutes

Substitutes For ScallionCalories
Green Onions32
Young Asparagus20
Spring Onion32
Onion Powder342
Brown Onions132
Garlic Scapes30

Substitutes For Scallion

1. Green Onions

Green onions are very similar in texture to scallions and taste similar to the typical scallion (i.e., chives and leeks).

What makes them different is that they are slightly milder than all of the other listed alternatives and have a slightly more lemon-like taste due to the higher presence of sulfur in their chemical makeup.

They add a nice zing to almost anything! They can be added raw or cooked into most dishes with excellent results. (They can be boiled with the potatoes in a recipe, and they will cook much faster than scallions.)

How To Substitute

Use the exact amount you would for the scallion. Add raw or cook in with the rest of the ingredients in a recipe.

2. Ramps

Ramp is a type of wild onion that has a sweet taste due to its high concentration of minerals (which is good). They are pretty mild and can be used in a wide variety of dishes as an alternative to scallions.

Ramps have some needles on them but are soft and edible, so you can add them without taking the time to peel them, which saves time. Ramps impart more flavor than many other scallion substitutes, but they do not overpower the flavor of whatever you are cooking.

How To Substitute

Use the same amount you would for the scallion. Add raw or cook in with the rest of the ingredients in a recipe.

3. Chives

Chives are mild green onions with a very mild flavor and a low amount of pungent flavor. The scent is not as noticeable as with most of the other scallion substitutes, but it does add a light flavor that you will enjoy.

Chives are commonly used in baking and cooking; they are commonly added to things like potato salad and bread, but they can also be ground up in a spice grinder and added to soups or stews.

How To Substitute

The number of chives to add depends on whether you are using them raw or cooked. If you are using them raw, use a little less and cook them first, as they can be a bit tough. If you are using them cooked, add them after the vegetables have been cooked to prevent overcooking.

4. Garlic

Garlic is strong and pungent, and it can overpower the taste of the main ingredients in a dish (i.e., onions or garlic).

The strong garlic flavor can be eliminated by using less of it or by using other ingredients to enhance the flavor instead, such as shallots (another type of onion substitute) or other herbs like thyme or rosemary.

Garlic adds a lovely flavor to dishes, and many people do not like having to remove all of it before consuming their meal because it can be quite strong for some people.

It is an excellent alternative to garlic if you do not want to use it in a recipe.

How To Substitute

The amount of garlic to add depends on how strong it is; the fresher it is, the stronger the taste. The best way to find out is to try it out in a recipe and see how much you need to add.

However, here’s a rough rule of thumb: mince two medium-sized garlic and add one minced garlic for every scallion you want to use in your recipe. Be careful; this amount will vary depending on how strong your garlic is.

5. Shallot

Shallots are a type of onion that is peeled and sliced in rings. Shallots add zest to a dish due to their mildness; they do not have the intensity that onions have, so they pair well with more robust flavors like garlic, herbs, or season.

Of course, you can use shallots any time you want to substitute or enhance the flavor of an onion; this is one of the main substitutes for scallions as well.

How To Substitute

The amount of shallots to add depends on how much you want to add to a dish; the fresher they are, the more you will need to add.

Onions are usually measured by the number of cups they make; if your recipe calls for 1 cup of minced onion, that means 1 large or 2 medium-sized shallots. If your recipe calls for ¾ cup extra of minced onion, that means 1 medium-sized shallot will do it.

6. Leek

Leeks are seeds from the root of a type of onion that has a mild flavor, but they are more pungent than shallots or chives. They add a nice little pop to most dishes and are a great scallion substitute.

However, leeks are not always as good as scallions in terms of texture; their texture is slightly thicker, and their milder taste will overpower the flavor if more than a few leeks are added to the dish.

Leeks can be used any time you would use onions or garlic to season your dish, but it is best to cut large quantities and use them all up before discarding/saving any leftovers.

How To Substitute

The amount of leeks to add depends on how much you will be using in your recipe. If you need to measure using cups, use 1 cup of leeks for every ¾ cup in the recipe.

7. Young Asparagus

Asparagus has a similar texture to scallions, and it is quite mild in flavor as well. The flavor is more concentrated along the stalk part than the green part, so you can use it without worrying about overpowering the main ingredients in a recipe.

(However, using the stalks will create extra work for you because they are not uniform like scallions are. You will have to clean them, which can be a little time-consuming and tedious.)

Asparagus is often used in soups, salads, and sandwiches.

How To Substitute

If you are cutting a recipe that calls for a scallion and you want it to have the flavor of asparagus, use 1/2 of one. If you want something milder still, use 1/3.

8. Spring Onion

Spring onions are a milder version of scallions (they have fewer pungent oils). They have less texture than scallions, and they don’t taste like each other; however, they layer on the flavor’s intensity as scallions do.

Spring onions are very versatile, and they can be used as an alternative to most onion substitutes. They are great in soups, salads, sandwiches, and pretty much any recipe that calls for some sort of onion.

How To Substitute

The amount of spring onions to add depends on how much you will be using in your recipe. If you need to measure using cups, use 2 stalks of spring onions for every ¾ cup in the recipe.

9. Tarragon

Tarragon has a strong flavor, and it is quite pungent; it must be used in a small amount to enhance the flavor of any dish.

Tarragon is often used in salad dressings and things like potato salad and bread. Its flavor is very similar to that of dill, making it another alternative for people who do not like it.

How To Substitute

The amount of tarragon to add depends on how strong you want the flavor to be, so start with small amounts and work your way up.

One tablespoon of chopped tarragon is equal to approximately ¼ cup of fresh dill.

10. Onion Powder

Onion Powder is a great scallion substitute. The taste is very similar to that of scallion, but it is a little milder. Onions tend to be slightly bitter and harsh when not properly cooked, but that isn’t the case with onion powder.

Onion powder will be mild, sweet, and earthy with no hint of bitterness. It’s ideal for sprinkling on soups or stews or used as a rub for grilled meats and poultry. 

How To Substitute

Onion powder is a highly concentrated seasoning that can be used instead of fresh scallions in any recipe.

The best way to substitute onion powder is to use the same number of fresh scallions. For example, put 1 tablespoon of onion powder in place of 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions.

11. Brown Onions

Brown Onions are a great substitution for fresh scallions. Brown onions are caramelized onions. They are sweet, buttery, and deliciously rich in taste, with a deep flavor that will add an unexpected sweetness to dishes.

Brown onions are great in stews, stir-fries, or on burgers. Just as with fresh scallions, you can use brown onion slices interchangeably with fresh in recipes; they are less intense than their fresh counterparts so use them sparingly when cooking. 

How To Substitute

Use 1 tablespoon of browned onion in place of 1 tablespoon of chopped raw scallion. You can also substitute 3/4 cup of browned onion for 1 cup of sliced raw scallion.

12. Garlic Scapes

A garlic scape is a mildly flavored replacement for scallions that is used in many Chinese and Japanese dishes. The flavor is similar to garlic, but the taste isn’t as pungent.

Garlic scapes are readily available at Asian markets and are usually a bright green color, although they can also be yellow, orange, or red depending on their maturity.

Just like with fresh scallions, use garlic scapes sparingly because they could overpower your dish if used in copious amounts.

How To Substitute

Fresh garlic scape may not seem like an authentic substitute for the fresh scallion since it doesn’t have the same sweet aroma and strong flavor of fresh onions.

Instead of using them as is, try blending them with almond butter. Use 1 tablespoon of garlic scapes in place of 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Use Scallions Substitutes?

The best way to use these substitutes is to rinse them thoroughly before using them in your recipe. If you are using fresh scallions, wash them well and cut off the bottom of the stem, as this part of the vegetable tends to be a bit dirty when purchased fresh.

Scallions also have tendrils that attach themselves to your fingers and hands, so you need to pull these off before use. If you are using a substitute for scallions, simply chop one up loosely before use in recipes.

How Do I Store Scallions Substitutes?

These substitutes will keep for about five days outside of the fridge. Once they have been washed or rinsed well, they should last much longer, but they will lose their flavor and texture after that time if not used.

If you are using scallion substitutes fresh, keep them in the fridge to prevent them from getting too old and past the five-day mark. If you have leftover substitutions in the fridge, you can place them in a paper bag and freeze them for up to three months.

Just be sure to leave a letter with your name and phone number on it so that they make it back to you if they thaw while they are being stored out at room temperature.

Are Used Scallion Substitutes Safe?

Used scallion replacements should be avoided unless you know they have not been added with any form of white sugar or corn syrup before being purchased. Some scallions’ replacements may have been treated with pesticides.

The best way to tell if these products have been treated with pesticides is to watch for an expiration date. Scallion substitutes that have already been treated with pesticides will be a much different color than untreated ones.

Are Frozen Scallion Substitutes Safe?

Frozen scallions’ replacements are fine for consumption by everyone. Be sure to check the ingredients on the bag to ensure that no dairy products or added ingredients of any kind have been added to them before freezing.

The best way to do this is by looking at an ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing or by asking your local grocer if they can be certain the product has not had any added ingredients before being frozen and sold in their store.

What Is The Best Way To Grow Scallions Substitutes?

The best way to grow scallion substitutes at home is by planting them in well-drained soil, either in pots or directly into your garden area, where they can grow freely.

They will do better if you plant them directly into your garden soil because they need plenty of room to grow without being cramped by other plants.

You can also plant them in pots and store them for up to three months inside your home as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight.

Can I Eat Scallions Or Substitutes Raw?

You can eat raw scallion substitutes, but they will not be as flavorful as those that have been cooked first. You can chop them up and add them to salads, sandwiches, or other dishes that require chopped scallions.

Be sure to remove any outer leaves before preparing your scallion substitutes for eating raw. This will ensure that they do not have any pesticides left on them after being treated with pesticides and then harvested.

12 Scrumptious Scallions Substitutes

Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Our Scallion Substitutes are an excellent addition to any dish that would typically include scallions.


  • Green Onions

  • Ramps

  • Chives

  • Garlic

  • Shallot

  • Leek

  • Young Asparagus

  • Spring Onion

  • Tarragon

  • Onion Powder

  • Brown Onions

  • Garlic Scapes


  • 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

Jess Smith