Substitutes For Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onions are a type of sweet onion native to Georgia, USA. With a distinctly sweet and mild onion taste that has seen them surge in popularity with chefs and cooks across the country, they’ll always be in high demand.

As with most sweet onions, these are versatile and easy to work with in any recipe. The soil in Georgia is ideal for growing sweet onions which is why they are considered some of the best in the world.

Still, you could find yourself needing to substitute something else for Vidalias. It could be that they aren’t available, as is often the case, or that you prefer a less sweet onion for your recipe.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best alternatives for every situation.

White Onions

White Onions are stronger and more intense in the flavor department when compared to Vidalia Onions. They’re also not as sweet. However, they are the most versatile and widely available onion out there.

If you simply need an onion for your recipe, then White Onions will work in salads, stews, pies, casseroles, and more.

It would be best if you didn’t use the same quantities when using these onions in place of Vidalias. Instead, account for the more robust potent flavor by using half the amount. For example, one tablespoon of Vidalia Onion should be half a tablespoon of White Onion.

If you are looking for a sweeter onion, then read on to find out what’s recommended.

Shallots

Shallots are an oval and elongated type of onion that offer a similar intensity of flavor to Vidalias. The main downside is that they can’t provide a similar texture since they’re different in size and shape.

A lot of people recommend garlic as the second-best alternative, but we have to recommend the shallot. Onions, garlic, and shallots are all from the same family of plants called Allium. So there isn’t much between them, and some of it does come to personal preference.

Shallots do make an ideal replacement for Vidalia onions because they’re as mild as garlic but with the depth of flavor that you find in an onion. They’re somewhere in the middle of the two, and this makes an ideal alternative for stews, soups, and other slow-cooked dishes.

Walla Walla Onion

The Walla Walla is another sweet onion that is easily found in the United States. Vidalia onions are one of the sweetest varieties available so finding another sweet onion to compensate is often the ideal substitute when you simply can’t get a Vidalia in the store.

It’s easier to find these onions at farmer’s markets and health food stores where they know the products they’re selling well. These onions are often marketed as brown onions in grocery stores, making it hard to identify them if you’re not an expert because not all brown onions are Walla Wallas.

If you can find these in the store, you can use them as a direct replacement using the identical amounts and quantities as you usually would.

Garlic

Onions and garlic are often used together, so if you can’t find any onions that are suitable at all, you can adjust the recipe on the fly.

Since Vidalia Onions are naturally mild and sweet, you can get away with adding in additional garlic. So in cooked dishes, you can add in a quarter to a half a clove of extra garlic per person depending on your personal taste.

Brown Onions

Also known as Yellow Onions, the Brown Onion makes a good substitute when you’ve exhausted almost every other option. These are much crunchier than other onions, including Vidalias. They also have a more intense flavor without so much sweetness.

To get around that, you can add some sweetener like sugar in small quantities. Adding in additional liquid can also help soften the onions as sweeter onions have higher water ratios than “regular” brown onions.

Potato Onions

Potato Onions are similar to shallots as they grow as bulbs in clusters. They’re also relatively small, with many people mistaking the two for the same thing.

The main visible difference between these and shallots is that potato onions are rounder and less elongated. They are also known in North America as Mother Onions, Hill Onions, and Pregnant Onions. With a sweet and mild flavor, these can be a better option than shallots or garlic but can be more challenging to find. 

You can use these in place of Vidalia Onions with a one-to-one ratio in most dishes, but they might not be ideal for salads or similar dishes.