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Spring Onion Substitute

Whether you are a professional chef, a home chef, or a food enthusiast, you probably know that an onion is an essential ingredient in the kitchen, and spring onion is no exception. This native North American onion can be found in different cuisines worldwide (irrespective of the country).

Spring onion delivers that much-needed freshness with its amazing flavor, giving your dish a richer flavor and texture. It complements other ingredients in soups and sauces; it is also a fantastic addition to a salad bowl. But what if you don’t have spring onion? Would you be able to get that same rich flavor from your dishes?

Well, absolutely! There are suitable replacements for spring onion in virtually any recipe that calls for it. If you don’t know what spring onions are, then read this article to find out what they are, how they can be used, and how to replace them in any recipe if you don’t have them.

What are Spring Onions?

Spring onions are frequently called scallions (or green onions) because they are called green onions in many countries. However, in the United States, spring onions are different from green onions.

Spring onions are immature onions. These baby onions are picked up before they get the chance to form a large bulb. Since they are still infants, the spice is minimal, the taste is sweeter, and the freshness is more pronounced.

They can be spotted with a small bulb, either white or slightly pink, which can be consumed; however, the top green part is much tougher and is usually not consumed.

Uses of Spring Onion in Recipes

The spring onions have a subtly sweet and fresh flavor compared to regular red onions, and this mild and sweet flavor makes it delicious and ideally used in various dishes. Before adding to your food, you should chop off the tough parts, then chop into desired shapes.

It can be incorporated into your soups, stews, or other dishes, and it can also be grilled, toasted, or used as a garnish for salads. Because of its low spice, it can also be consumed raw.

Below are some recipes that call for spring onions;

  • Chicken and spring onion stir-fry
  • Creamed potatoes and spring onions
  • Fried rice with egg and spring onion
  • Spring onion curry with besan
  • Spring onion oil noddles
  • Spring onion soup
  • Mongolian beef and spring onion
  • Crispy spring onion pancakes
  • Pa muchim (spring onion salad)
  • Spring onion fritters with garlic and smoked paprika mayonnaise
  • Chinese spring onion-ginger sauce
  • Charred spring onion, ricotta, and baby artichoke pizza
  • Slow-cooked potatoes with spring onions
  • Spring onion carbonara
  • Potato, leek, and spring onion soup.

Substitutes for Spring Onion

Spring onions would augment the flavor of any dish it is incorporated into, it would also leave it with a richer texture or consistency, but we may not always have spring onions in our pantries, this is where the need for a substitute comes in, you need a substitute that can seamlessly replace spring onion in any recipe.

Lucky enough most onions can make perfect substitutes for others, and spring onion is the infant of another onion. I will share my best substitutes for spring onions when you run out of them with you.

Red Spring Onion

Red spring onion

The red spring onion is the perfect substitute for regular green spring onion because it is virtually the same as regular spring onion. The only difference is the noticeable red color covering the bulb. Just like the name suggests, these distinctively red spring onions can be spotted in grocery stores during spring and occasionally late winter.

Before preparation, cut off the roots and tough parts just like green spring onions. They can be substituted seamlessly in any recipe because they have the same flavors and nutrition. Use one to1 ratio when substituting. For example, one cup of chopped red spring onion would be used instead of one cup of chopped green spring onion.



Scallions or green onions are usually called spring onions. They look pretty similar, but they are, in fact, different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in place of one another.

Scallions make very good substitutes for spring onions because, just like spring onions, scallions are also mild in flavor, so they can be a good option if you don’t want an onion with a strong overpowering flavor. Just chop some scallions and use them in any recipe that requires spring onions. Use the same measurements when substituting.



Chives may not be a very common substitute for spring onions, but if you need a last-minute substitute and you have some chives available, then grabbing some wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

They have a stronger spicy taste but are not as strong as red or yellow onions. This could be a great addition to soups or other recipes involving cooking and can also garnish omelets and salads.

They are thinner than spring onions and have a more noticeable sharp onion flavor, so it is advisable to use a reduced quantity when substituting.



Leeks are also part of the allium family, and fortunately, they have a sweet onion flavor. They can be a suitable substitute for spring onions, they are mildly sweet, and they would alter the flavor of your dish. Leeks can also be added to salads because of their sweet flavor.

Just wash some leeks and use them to substitute any recipe that calls for spring onions. Leeks can be great additions to various dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is spring onion healthy?

Spring onions contain vitamin B2 and thiamine. It is also rich in vitamin c and vitamin k, and vitamin A. Spring onion contains many nutrients the body needs to stay healthy.

Does spring onion help in respiratory activities?

Spring onions are often said to have good effects on respiration because it helps reduce mucus, and it also treats flu.

Can I use shallots in place of spring onions?

Yes, shallots can be a very good substitute for spring onions. They come from the same onion family and are very mild, unlike other pungent onions.


Making a dish that calls for spring onions, but you don’t have any? Well, no need to get all worked up. Tons of substitutes can easily substitute spring onion in various recipes.

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