Spring Onion Substitutes

Have you ever been in the middle of cooking a meal and realized you’re missing a crucial ingredient? It’s frustrating, to say the least. But don’t let a missing ingredient ruin your dish. If you’re out of spring onions, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore six surprising substitutes for spring onions that will keep your dish flavorful and fresh.

A bunch of spring onions are on a cutting board with some of the white parts of the onion finely chopped. There is a knife beside the onions.

From scallions to spices, you’ll learn how to replace spring onions without sacrificing taste. So don’t panic, and let’s get cooking!

What are Spring Onions?

Spring onions are a staple in many kitchens, but what exactly are they?

Also known as scallions, green onions, or Welsh onions, spring onions are a type of young onion with a long, green stem and small white bulb.

They have a milder taste than regular onions, making them a popular addition to salads, soups, and stir-fries. Spring onions are also a great source of nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate. [Source]

Why Replace Spring Onions?

If you’ve run out of spring onions or simply can’t find them at your local grocery store, don’t worry. There are plenty of substitutes that can offer similar flavor and texture.

Additionally, if you’re cooking for someone who doesn’t like the taste of spring onions, these alternatives can provide a similar taste without the same level of pungency. So let’s explore some surprising substitutes that you can use in your cooking today.

Top 6 Spring Onion Substitutes

Looking to replace spring onions in your kitchen? Here are some ideas you will love!

A wicker bowl holds a bunch of spring onions.

1. Scallions

Scallions, also known as green onions, are the best substitute for spring onions. The truth is, they are actually the same thing.

So, if you have been looking for “spring onions” but can’t find them, green onions are the same thing with a different name.

These slim and long onions have a mild and sweet flavor that can make your dish delicious. The green stalks can be chopped and used in salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish, while the white bulbs can be sautéed or cooked into soups and stews.

Scallions are readily available in most grocery stores and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

If scallions aren’t quite what you’re looking for, leeks can also be an excellent substitution for spring onions.

A closeup of several leeks laid side by side.

2. Leeks

Leeks, with their delicate flavor and crunchy texture, can be a wonderful substitute for spring onions.

They have a slightly sweeter taste than spring onions and can be used in soups, stews, and casseroles.

The green parts of the leeks can be chopped and used as a garnish or in salads, while the white parts can be cooked and used as a base for sauces and gravies.

Leeks are also easy to find in most grocery stores and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Bonus: You can plant the root-end of leeks in soil and they will grow to create more leeks you can use in your next recipe!

If you want to experiment with different flavors, shallots are another excellent option for substituting spring onions.

Looking at the root end of rosy pink shallots.

3. Shallots

If you’re looking for a substitute for spring onions with a more intense and slightly sweet flavor, shallots are a versatile option. Their slightly crunchy texture and mild onion-like taste make them perfect for adding depth to a wide range of savory dishes.

Shallots can be used similarly to spring onions and can be chopped finely and added to salads, soups, and stews or cooked until caramelized and used as a topping for pizzas, tossed with pasta, or served over black bean burgers.

Shallots also work well in sauces and ranch dressing and can be added to roasted vegetables for extra flavor. They’re also a great substitute for spring onions in fried rice.

If you want to add a fresh and delicate onion flavor to your dishes, chives are a great alternative to spring onions.

Pink flowers on the tops of a field of chives are illuminated in this image.

4. Chives

Chives are a great alternative to spring onions. These slender green herbs are related to onions and garlic and have a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can brighten up any dish. Chives are often used to garnish soups, salads, and even chickpea mock tuna salad.

But they are also versatile and can be used in place of spring onions in many recipes. 

To use chives as a substitute for spring onions, finely chop them and add them to your dishes. They work well in salads, stir-fries, and even Just Egg omelettes.

You can also sprinkle them on top of baked potatoes or use them to flavor cashew cream cheese. Chives are also a great addition to homemade dips and salad dressings. 

However, chives are milder than spring onions, so you may need to use a larger quantity to achieve the desired flavor. If you prefer a more robust onion flavor, you can combine chives with a small amount of minced onion or shallot. 

Looking down on several bunches of fresh ramps on a cutting board next to a knife.

5. Ramps

Ramps are a spring delicacy, and if you’re lucky to live near them or have access to them otherwise, they make a great substitute for green onions in your recipes.

They look similar to spring onions, except they have broad leaves with purple stems. You can use them just as you would spring onions, chopped in salads, or sautéed with veggies.

Ramps have a short three-week growing period, so be prepared to pounce on the next batch you find!

And if you’re looking for other ways to add flavor to your meals, check out the next section on dehydrated onions.

6. Dehydrated Onions

If you’re in a pinch, using dehydrated onions will work with cooked dishes like soups and stews. You can even use them to make a tasty vegan ranch dressing or plant-based French onion dip.

I don’t recommend dehydrated onions in fresh recipes like salads because the onions need to rehydrate to deliver the best flavor and texture.

Spring Onion Recipes

Use this spring onion substitute guide to create any of these popular plant-based recipes:


When it comes to cooking, running out of a necessary ingredient can be frustrating. But don’t worry, there are several surprising substitutes for spring onions that will keep your dish flavorful and fresh.

From scallions to spices, experimenting with different ingredients can expand your culinary knowledge and lead to new and exciting dishes. So next time you find yourself without spring onions, remember these six substitutes, and don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen.

As the famous chef Julia Child once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.” Put aside your fears and approach your kitchen like a pro!

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