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I like adding red onions to my Thai dishes. But, red onions are difficult to come by at my local grocery shop. So I began searching for red onion substitutions in order to cook Thai-style roasted rice and chicken.

If we’re in the same situation, you may use Spanish onions, onion juice, chives, garlic, leeks, green onion, celery, shallots, or white onion for red onion.

Most of these substitutes are close relatives of red onions and may be used in a variety of dishes.

What Are Red Onions?

Red onions have a rich purple exterior and white meat that is tinted with crimson. These all-purpose onions are the most potent type.

These spicy onions have a strong, harsh taste when fresh, but they soften when cooked. Salads, salsas, dips, and other meals benefit from the rich red hue. When buying red onions, seek for sturdy bulbs with smooth skin.

Bigger bulbs are milder than smaller ones, so if you want less bite in your meal, consider a larger onion over a smaller one.

Best Red Onion Substitutes

1. White Onions

As an alternative to red onions, white onions are acceptable. Their hue is what actually distinguishes them. Red onions are purple-ish in color, while white onions are white.

There is a little change in taste between the two. Red onions are significantly sweeter than white onions, while white onions are slightly spicier.

As a result, red onions perform best in recipes where they will be eaten raw, such as salads, but white onions work better in dishes where they will be cooked and blended with other ingredients.

Both have comparable texture and qualities when cooked, therefore substituting one for the other will not significantly alter your recipe or cooking process!

2. Spanish Onions

Both red onions and Spanish onions are suitable for the same recipes. But, each variety of onion has unique properties that make it a better choice for certain recipes.

Red onions, for example, have a somewhat stronger taste than Spanish onions, making them ideal for dishes that don’t need a lot of onion flavor, such as salads.

Spanish onions, on the other hand, have a milder taste than red onions and are ideal for dishes that call for onion flavor, such as onion rings, filled and baked, sauces, or salads.

Red onions are also more watery than Spanish onions. This makes them good for pickling or grilling but less suitable for preparing foods such as stews or soups.

3. Shallots

Most professional chefs would unhesitatingly substitute red onions for Shallots since, despite their hue, they have a lot in common.

Shallots are similar to garlic in that you may utilize the whole bulb. You may also finely slice shallots, which is not recommended for red onion due to its strong flavor.

If you’re cooking a meal where the red onion will overshadow everything else, such as a salad or stir fry, shallots are definitely a better choice! This is because they have a softer and sweeter taste profile.

Apart from that, scallions have less calories than red onions, which is beneficial if you are controlling your weight.

They also contain less salt and carbohydrates than red onions, making them a better option for persons on low-sodium or low-carb diets.

4. Green Onions

Green onions, often known as scallions or spring onions, are a popular flavoring ingredient in a variety of recipes.

These are scallions that have not yet matured into bulbs. These green beauties are not only tasty, but also healthy!

In cooked recipes, you may use either green or red onions. Red onions have a sweet taste that works well in soups and stews, whilst green onions offer depth of flavor to fried rice or an omelet.

5. Leeks

Leeks are the most underappreciated vegetable ever. They are related to onions, garlic, and chives, although their taste is far milder than any of these three.

They may be eaten raw or cooked, and we’re here to help you decide whether to swap them for the red onion.

Leeks have higher vitamin K per 100g than red onions in terms of vitamins and minerals. They are also higher in manganese, vitamin C, and iron.

As a result, they are a lot healthier option if you want to include a vegetable in your dinner that will make a difference in your diet.

Onions are recognized for their harsh scent and flavor, whereas leeks lack this distinctive aroma.

They will not overshadow the other tastes in your meal when cooked together; instead, they will offer a sense of sweetness and depth.

6. Chives

Chives are an onion family member, however they are more closely linked to garlic than onions.

They are one of the most adaptable herbs, and may be used in salads, soups, stews, casseroles, baked potatoes, omelets, and dips.

Chives, on the other hand, have a mellow onion taste that is considerably more delicate than red onions. They may, however, be used in the same manner as red onions, whether fresh, dried, or cooked.

If you want to use them raw in something like potato salad, add them towards the end to prevent the taste from becoming bitter.

7. Onion Juice

When it comes to the culinary arts, nothing beats an onion to round off a meal.

Alliums are undoubtedly the most essential vegetable class in the kitchen and demand special attention. And if there’s one thing we can’t leave off of this list, it’s onion juice. The nutritional content and taste of onion juice and red onion are extremely comparable.

The main distinction between them is texture. Onion juice is a strong, aromatic liquid created by mixing and straining onions.

Onion juice is thicker than red onion juice, making it ideal for marinades or sauces that need more body. It is also simpler to integrate into smoothies without lumps sticking to the bottom of your cup.

The problem is that they don’t work well in salads.

8. Garlic

Garlic is also a part of the Allium family, which includes the shallot, chive, leek, and rack.

Garlic may be substituted for red onion in most recipes, but it has a considerably more strong taste and a sharper flavor that remains longer on the tongue.

Red onions are softer in taste and somewhat sweeter than garlic.

Additionally, garlic is available in a variety of forms, including fresh, powdered, paste, and pickled.

They may be used to season a variety of meals, including marinades, salad dressings, sauces, vinaigrettes, meats, soups, vegetables, and stews.

9. Celery

Although though celery does not have much of an onion taste, many people prefer it over red onions.

Nonetheless, due of its bland taste and stringy texture, it is often disregarded. The good news is that both celery and red onion are low in calories, with celery having a little advantage.

Red onion, on the other hand, has somewhat higher protein. Also, celery is rather tasteless and should be utilized as an ingredient rather than consumed raw.

It may be consumed raw or cooked, and it can even be juiced.

Benefits Of Red Onions

Eating a red onion has several health advantages.

Red onions are high in antioxidants, which protect your cells from free radical damage in the body.

These foods’ nutrients may also help enhance your eyesight and lower your risk of illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Red onions are particularly helpful in boosting the immune system and improving its general performance.

Red onions also provide health advantages such as improved digestion, better circulation, and lower cholesterol.


White or yellow onions are excellent replacements for red onions.

They have the same allium taste and crunch as red onions, but without the spice or stains from slicing them.

Shallots may also be used. They are not as crisp as red onions, but they have a milder taste and will provide a wonderful onion-y aspect to your recipe.

Experiment with this red onion alternative at your leisure.


What’s a good substitute for red onions?

Yellow onions may be used in place of red onions.

What is a good substitute for red onion in guacamole?

Which onion is best for guacamole? Remember, it is all up to you. I prefer red onions, but I typically use chopped green onions instead. White or yellow onions work well, as do sweet onions such as Vidalia.

Can I substitute a white onion for a red onion?

Red, white, and yellow onions are all suitable alternatives for each other in a prepared meal, according to Winslow. Cooked red onions may obscure the color of a meal, even becoming bluish-green when combined with alkaline (higher on the pH scale) components, but the taste remains the same.

What can I substitute for raw onion?

Carrots, for example. Green Onions, Celery, and the Best Onion Substitutes
Ignore it. The simplest and fastest approach is to leave out the onion… Chives. Adding a handful of chopped chives towards the end of the cooking process works incredibly well for providing nuanced flavor without onions.

What is a low Fodmap alternative for red onion?

Chives are a low FODMAP onion substitute that adds a light onion flavor with a dash of garlic flavor to recipes (3). Chives are available in both dried and fresh versions in the grocery.

What can I use instead of red onion in salsa?

What Is the Best Salsa Replacement for Red Onions? One of the greatest onions for salsa is white onion. They don’t have the same color as red onions, but they have a nice crunch and a clean tart taste that complements salsa beautifully.

What is the secret ingredient that will take your guacamole to a whole new level?

Salsa verde is the key ingredient in my guacamole recipe! A couple of tablespoons of green salsa boosts the taste without detracting from the freshness of the avocado.

What do restaurants put in guacamole to keep it from turning brown?

Onions include sulfur molecules that prevent guacamole from browning. Just top the guacamole with onion and wrap in plastic wrap.

Can you substitute yellow onion for red onion in guacamole?

Onion, red, white, or yellow? “Sure, please,” is my straightforward response. Each onion species gives a unique flavor to the avocado. Your taste receptors are likely to favor one over the other. Red and yellow onions have a sweeter, less-obtrusive taste, but white onions have a sharper bite.

Which onion has the strongest flavor?

White onions have the greatest flavor of any onion on this list. They’re often seen in Asian and Latino cuisines, as well as potato and macaroni salads. You can also sauté them, which makes them great for French onion soup or any other dish that requires a sweet or sour taste.

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