Scallions, the delicate green guardians of gastronomy, gracefully waltz between the realms of herbs and veggies.
Also known as green onions, scallions are popular in many cuisines. Their slender elegance and mild zing elevate dishes from Mexican to Japanese to Southeast Asian cuisines.
But what happens when your recipe calls for these subtle stars, and you find an empty crisper drawer? After all, many dishes feel incomplete without them.
The culinary world is rife with substitutes if you find yourself in a pinch. So, if you’re not fortunate enough to have scallions, we have a list of perfect substitutes for the same.
I. What are scallions?
Scallions belong to the Allium family (the onion family), which also includes commonly used ingredients like onions, leeks, shallots, and garlic.
These onions are harvested when the bulb is still young, giving them a petite white base with crisp, straight edges. Their slender green stalks, varying from light to dark green, add a touch of elegance to their appearance.
You can actually eat both the white and green parts of scallions. They’re versatile and can be used both raw or cooked in a variety of dishes.
Scallions are available year-round, with the peak season being during spring and summer. It’s worth noting that scallions are often confused with spring onions, but they are not the same – spring onions have a larger and more bulbous white base.
II. Common uses of scallions
Scallions are commonly used in dishes to enhance the flavor of other ingredients. They can be used raw, cooked whole, or minced and added to various recipes to impart a delicate onion flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some popular dishes that incorporate scallions:
- Salad dressings
- Garnish for dishes
III. Substitute For Scallions – 9 Best Options
Some alternatives to scallions come from the same family, such as chives, shallots, and leeks. But there are also other options available to replace green onions. These include:
Fresh chives are awesome as a substitute for scallions in raw dishes. They bring a milder taste and a hint of garlic flavor. Plus, they can add a pop of color and flavor to soups, salads, scrambled eggs, and dips or herb butter. So versatile and delicious!
When substituting chives for scallions, it is recommended to use a slightly larger amount than would normally be used to ensure the best possible flavor.
Shallots are these awesome veggies that are mild and delicate, with a garlic-like flavor. They’re perfect to use instead of scallions in marinades, salad dressings, salads, stir-fries, and more!
They have a bit of a stronger flavor than green onions, so you might wanna reduce the amount slightly when substituting. Shallots will add a rich flavor and a hint of garlic to the dish. Roasting the shallots until they caramelize will bring out their sweet flavor.
Leeks are a fantastic option for recipes because of their delicious taste and similarity to bigger scallions.
Use the white portion of the leek instead of the leaves, as the raw leaves become tough.
Leeks should always be cooked to enhance their sweet flavor and reduce bitterness. They can be cooked in various ways, including boiling, frying, sautéing, and slow cooking.
4. Yellow onions
Yellow onion, with its delicate flavor and golden hue, is one of the most versatile green onion substitutes. These onions are a great addition to soups, stews, and slow-cooked dishes.
Yellow onions have a stronger flavor than other onion varieties, so you may want to use slightly less than the amount called for in the recipe.
5. Red Onions
Red onions are an excellent replacement for scallions in garnishes and raw dishes. They have a milder flavor compared to other onion varieties but still pack a stronger punch than green onions.
To avoid overpowering the dish, chop red onions into small pieces and use them sparingly.
Sweet red onions can be used as a replacement for green onions in cooked dishes as well. When using these onions in cooked dishes, they should be cooked for a longer time than usual to soften the texture and mellow the flavor.
6. Spring Onions
Spring onions are early versions of large white onions harvested before their bulbs reach full size. They have a flavor and texture similar to scallions, with a purplish striping to their outer skins.
They can be used in the same proportions as scallions in any dish, although they may be slightly more pungent. However, the bulbs sweeten when sautéed.
The stalks are also great for topping nachos, dips, rice, and potato salads due to their vibrant color. It is important to purchase only fresh and young ones from the store.
Read More: Substitute for Onion
Ramps are wild leeks that grow in shaded and woody areas, making them a great alternative to scallions. They have notes of garlic, onion, and pungency but should be used sparingly due to their stronger taste.
Ramps can be eaten raw, but cooking them slightly makes them softer and more flavourful. Unfortunately, ramps are not easy to come by.
8. Garlic scapes
Scapes are green shoots from garlic plants that have a delicate flavor, combining the taste of scallions and garlic. They can be used in various ways, such as finely chopping or adding them to butter, and are suitable for sprinkling on pizza and stir-fries.
However, they are difficult to find in supermarkets and should be added in smaller amounts than scallions due to their stronger garlic flavor
9 . Onion Powder
Onion powder is made from dehydrating and grinding onions into fine powder. It works best in cooked dishes, as it won’t have the texture or flavor of fresh scallions. Be sure to use onion powder sparingly, as a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.