What’s A Good Cipollini Onions Substitute?

Cipollini onions are small, flat-shaped spheres. They are well-liked in Italy and are beginning to gain popularity in the United States. They are pronounced “chip-oh-lee-nee”. But what if your recipe calls for cipollini onions and you don’t have any? In that case, a Cipollini onions substitute from our list will help. 

They are frequently eaten whole in an Italian sweet-and-sour sauce. But they are also tasty marinated or pickled. And they also taste great when roasted whole.

In this article, we’ll explore all the options regarding what makes an ideal substitution for cipollini onions and when.

What is Cipollini?

An Italian heritage onion variety is the cipollini. They are sometimes known as Borettana onions and are native to Boretto, Italy. Actually, the term “cipollini” refers to “small onion.”

Cipollini onions can be found in red, yellow, and white hues. They are flat, spherical, and have skin as thin as paper. Although cipollini onions are smaller than other varieties, some can get rather big.

Cipollini onions’ sweet, mild flavor is the key factor in why people adore utilizing them. Compared to a standard white onion, cipollini is much sweeter. Recipes taste sweet and caramel-flavored because of the sugary flavor. 

Compared to other onions, cipollini is relatively mild in flavor. Since they are so delicious, they are frequently roasted and eaten whole.

The tiny onions get even sweeter and milder as they simmer. The mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth cipollini may even win over onion haters.

Substitutes for Cipollini Onions

There’s a high probability that you’ll come across cipollini onions while browsing your cookbooks or recipe databases online. Don’t worry if you can’t locate these tasty baby onions in your neighborhood shops. With one of these simple cipollini onion alternatives, you can still cook that dish you have longed to try.

1. Vidalia Onions

An incredibly delicious variety of giant onions is the Vidalia onion. They resemble cipollini onions in flavor but are much larger. They make a fantastic stand-in for chopped cipollini.

Genuine Vidalia onions originate from Vidalia, Georgia. In the spring, when they are ripe and in season, check for them in your neighborhood grocery shop.

2. White Onions

One can easily find white onions at grocery stores around. A good, large white onion may usually be found at any time of year. It is a simple swap for cipollini onions.

Cipollini onions lack the sharpness and spice of white onions. They will still work as a substitute if the onion is diced and sautéed to aid in the caramelization of the sugars in it. To make the white onions as sweet as possible, sauté them thoroughly.

3. Yellow Onions

You should have little trouble finding yellow onions, a common onion variety. They have a softer flavor than a traditional white onion. This will effectively replicate the flavor of cipollini onions.

Since yellow onions are larger than cipollini, they must be sliced. To enhance taste, thoroughly cook the chopped white onions.

4. Red Onions

Compared to other onions, red onions have a considerably milder flavor. Given that they are less bitter than a white onion, they are frequently consumed raw.

Chopped cipollini onions can be swapped out for red onions. Since they have a vivid reddish-purple color, they will appear different. However, the flavor will be comparable.

5. Pearl Onions

For cipollini onions, pearl onions make a great substitute. Pearl onions are tiny, white onions that look fresh. Usually pre-peeled, they have a size similar to a quarter.

Pearl onions are the ideal size for roasting recipes. Like a cipollini onion, the tender, bite-sized onion will give any dish a ton of flavor!

6. Shallots

Cipollini onions and shallots have a very close relationship. The oblong-shaped onion has a sweet and garlicky flavor. They are frequently used to season stews and meats.

Similar to cipollini onions, shallots can be roasted whole. Given how similar the tastes and aromas are to a chopped cipollini, they make a fantastic substitute.

7. Seed Onions

Garden supply stores frequently stock seed onions. These tiny onions can be cooked even though they are meant to be planted!

The only difference between huge onions and seed onions is size. White seed onions, for instance, are available in sizes no larger than a bouncy ball. They would become relatively large if planted. They are still small and ideal for roasting and eating whole as “seeds”.


The cipollini onions are genuinely unique. They assist in producing an unmatched tangy, caramel-like, and sweet onion flavor in dishes. But don’t let their rarity get you down. Use a simple cipollini onions substitute from our list as you continue your create your culinary masterpiece.