Ingredients White Onions Substitutes by Alex Bayev April 30, 2023 Published: April 30, 2023Last Updated on May 18, 2023 282 views 282 The humble white onion is a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world, lending its pungent flavor and aroma to countless dishes. However, there are times when dietary restrictions, personal preferences, or simple unavailability can lead you on a quest for the perfect white onion substitute. This article aims to guide you through the fascinating world of alternatives, delving into the flavor profiles, textures, and culinary applications of these intriguing ingredients. Contents👅 Flavor Profile⚖️ Scale Conversion🔄 Closest Substitutes⤵ More alternatives🍳 Substitution by Meal Type💡 Tips and Guidance🧾 Conclusion 👅 Flavor Profile White onions boast a sharp, pungent flavor with a hint of sweetness that mellows when cooked, making them suitable for a wide variety of dishes. They have a crisp texture when raw, which turns soft and tender when subjected to heat treatments like sautéing or caramelizing. ⚖️ Scale Conversion Here’s a handy conversion table to help you determine the equivalent amounts of white onions in various forms. It’s always great to have a kitchen scale handy for more accurate measurements. But if you don’t have one, use the envelope chart below. SizeWeight (grams)Weight (ounces)Chopped (cups)Sliced (cups)Onion FlakesOnion PowderMinced Dried OnionSmall70 – 100g2.5 – 3.5 oz1/3 cup1/2 cup1 tbsp1 tsp1 tbspMedium150 – 180g5.3 – 6.3 oz2/3 cup1 cup2 tbsp2 tsp3 tbspLarge250 – 350g8.8 – 12.3 oz1 1/3 cups2 cups4 tbsp4 tsp5 tbsp 🔄 Closest Substitutes Yellow Onions These versatile onions offer a similar flavor profile and texture to white onions, making them an excellent substitute in most recipes. Use a 1:1 ratio for substitution and expect a slightly sweeter flavor. Shallots With their mild, delicate flavor and hint of garlic, shallots can be a suitable substitute for white onions, especially in dishes where a subtle onion taste is desired. Use two to three medium shallots for one medium white onion, finely chopping them before adding to your dish. Leeks The tender, pale-green lower part of the leek is a fantastic substitute for white onions in cooked dishes. Use 1 ½ cups of chopped leeks for one medium white onion, making sure to wash the leeks thoroughly to remove any grit. Red Onions While red onions have a more robust flavor and a striking color, they can be used as a substitute for white onions when cooked. Use a 1:1 ratio for substitution and consider soaking them in cold water to mellow their flavor and reduce color bleeding.wee Sweet Onions These onions are known for their mild, sweet flavor and can be used as a substitute in dishes where a softer onion taste is preferred. Substitute one sweet onion for one medium white onion, adjusting the cooking time slightly as sweet onions can cook faster. ⤵ More alternatives Green Onions Also known as scallions, these onions can be used as a substitute in raw applications or added towards the end of cooking. Use one cup of chopped green onions for one medium white onion, keeping in mind that their flavor will be milder. Chives Ideal for garnishes and uncooked recipes, chives can provide a mild onion flavor. Use one cup of chopped chives for one medium white onion, noting that their delicate texture will not hold up well to prolonged cooking. Onion Powder This concentrated onion flavoring can be used in a pinch as a white onion substitute. Use 1 tablespoon of onion powder for one medium white onion, adding it directly to your recipe. Garlic Although garlic has a distinct flavor, it can still be used as a substitute in some recipes, particularly those that call for sautéing or roasting. Substitute two to three cloves of minced garlic for one medium white onion, but be aware that the overall flavor of the dish will be more garlicky. Fennel Fennel’s mild anise flavor can provide an interesting twist as a white onion substitute, particularly in dishes where a slightly sweet and aromatic profile is desired. Use 1 ½ cups of chopped fennel for one medium white onion, keeping in mind the unique flavor it will bring to the dish. 🍳 Substitution by Meal Type Curry For curry, you can use yellow onions as they have a similar taste and texture to white onions, but are a bit milder. They work well in slow-cooked recipes like curry. Another option is shallots, which offer a subtly sweet and mild flavor that complements many curry dishes. Both can be substituted in equal amounts for white onions. Salad In salads, red onions are a great choice because of their milder flavor and eye-catching color. Alternatively, green onions (scallions) provide a gentler taste and can create a unique flavor profile. Both options can be used in the same quantity as white onions. Indian Cooking Shallots work well in Indian cuisine due to their mild flavor and subtle sweetness, which complements many Indian dishes. Red onions are another option because they have a slightly milder taste compared to white onions. Both substitutes can be used in equal amounts for white onions. Meatloaf For meatloaf, yellow onions are a suitable replacement as they have a comparable taste and texture to white onions and can withstand the cooking process. Leeks are another option, offering a mild onion flavor. Use the white and light green parts of leeks and substitute in the same quantity as white onions. Chili In chili, like chili with dark chocolate — yellow onions are a good choice because of their similar taste and texture to white onions. Alternatively, red onions can be used for a slightly milder flavor. Both options can be substituted in equal amounts for white onions. Greek Salad Red onions are popular in Greek salads due to their milder flavor and appealing color. Green onions can also be used as an alternative, creating a different flavor profile. Both substitutes can be used in the same quantity as white onions. Stir Fry For stir-fries, yellow onions work well because of their similar taste and texture to white onions. Red onions are another option, offering a slightly milder flavor. Both substitutes can be used in equal amounts for white onions. 💡 Tips and Guidance Combining Substitutes. To achieve a more similar taste to white onions, try combining different substitutes. For instance, use a mix of yellow onions and shallots to create a balanced flavor profile. Enhancing Flavor Profiles. Add complementary ingredients like celery, carrots, or bell peppers to enhance the flavor profile and add depth to your dish when using substitutes. Adjust Cooking Time. Be mindful of the cooking time when using substitutes, as some may require shorter or longer cooking times than white onions. For example, sweet onions tend to cook faster, while leeks may need a little extra time to soften. Texture Considerations. Some substitutes, like chives or green onions, have a more delicate texture than white onions. Adjust your recipe accordingly and add these ingredients towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavor and texture. 🧾 Conclusion While white onions are a versatile and beloved ingredient in many kitchens, exploring the world of substitutes can open up new culinary possibilities and flavors. Whether you’re dealing with dietary restrictions, personal preferences, or ingredient shortages, there are numerous alternatives available to suit your needs. So go ahead, embark on a flavorful journey, and experiment with these exciting white onion substitutes to find the perfect balance of taste and texture in your next culinary creation. PinYumTweetShareTelegramVibeFlip0 Shares Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Recipe Rating Recipe Rating Δ You may also like A Voyage of Vegetables: Savoy Cabbage Substitutes and... The Ultimate Guide to Navy Beans Substitutes The Ultimate Guide to Fresh Cilantro Substitutions: Unlocking... In Search of a Substitute: Exploring Alternatives to... The Perfect Swap: Your Guide to Pearl Onion... The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Cipollini... Unearthing the Best Substitutes for Chayote Squash: An... Spicing It Up: Best Alternatives for Poblano Peppers The Sweet Spot: Best Golden Syrup Substitutes for... Spice Up Your Life: Mastering the Art of... Alex Bayev Hi, I'm Alex Bayev, bayevskitchen.com founder and food blogger who is passionate about cooking and photography. Since starting my blog in 2015, I have been sharing simple yet elegant recipes made with high-quality ingredients that anyone can recreate at home. I believe that food has the power to create unforgettable experiences.