Substitutes for Spring Onions: Top Picks

In this list, we’re going to show you some great alternatives for spring onions. 

Spring onions are the same as other onions in one sense – they are an ingredient that goes so well in so many dishes. This is where the similarities often end; with a milder flavor, they are smaller and so different in texture. So should you find yourself needing to substitute spring onions for something else, it isn’t necessarily as simple as picking a red onion.

Indeed, with a little more to consider than that we’ve saved you the trouble of experimenting by picking out 5 of the best options to try instead.

Check out these substitutes.

1. Red spring onions

Red spring onions are almost identical to regular spring onions but they are red in appearance. These are not as easy to find in the stores, especially when out of season.

The preparation method is the same as with spring onions, just wash them off cut them at the tip, and chop.

Flavor-wise? These onions make a delicious alternative in salads, soups, or as a garnish on stews.

2. Shallots

Shallots are ideal substitutes for spring onions. The shallot is a type of onion with a mild flavor which makes it similar to a spring onion.

Shallots grow in clusters like garlic bulbs and taste similar to both garlic and onions with a milder and sweeter taste.

Shallots make a great alternative in almost all but the spicier dishes, if you are looking at a great sub for something spicy you’ll want to look at some of the options below

3. Green onions

Different from spring onions are green onions, these two are often mistaken for one another but you need to look to tell the differences.

Green onions (also known as scallions) have round bulbs that are a lot more prominent than the smaller tips you will see with spring onions.

Green onions have a more regular flavor with them being more like white onions with a less mild flavor.

4. White Onions

White onions are another good option to substitute for spring onions in certain scenarios. White onions have the typical onion flavor that can be strong and a little hot in the mouth, according to some.

Use onions as a substitute in things like salsa or other spicy dishes. This is where they make an excellent alternative to the spring onion. 

Just be sure to downsize the portion accordingly as one onion is a lot larger than one spring onion.

5. Red onions

Red onions have a stronger flavor than spring onions so they are not always the best option right out of the gate.

Try these in salads, or finely chopped and added to broths for stews or noodle dishes. Red onions also go well as a garnish on foods like hot dogs, tacos, tortillas, etc.

If you can’t find any of the above options then red onions might be a good alternative to spring onions.