Shallot Substitutes: 8 Must-Try for Your Next Recipe

shallot substitute

If you just realized your shallots got exhausted and you are looking for a good shallot substitute for your recipe, I’m here to help you out.

Shallots, just like onions, are used to add flavor to a variety of dishes. In fact, they are like small onions, only that they grow in clusters like garlic. They are a delight to food lovers and chefs all over the world because they provide a distinct flavor that lies between onion and garlic to your dish.

There are many reasons why you can be looking for a shallot replacement. It can be that you suddenly figured out that you used up the last bulb the last time you cooked, and it’s quite late to go to the grocery store. Or it is a bit hard to find in your area.

You don’t have to be bothered about what you can use in place of shallots because this article will show you some really good shallot substitutes.

Let’s get right into it!

8 Best Shallot Substitutes 

Generally, onions and other vegetables in the shallot family can be a good shallot substitute because of their similarity. However, you need to use them in the right proportion to get a shallot-y dish.

1. Yellow Onions

Best Replacement For Shallots

These are considered one of the best replacements for shallots because they are not too sweet or too sharp in flavor. They are highly nutritious and contain potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients. It is best to replace yellow onions in a ratio of 1:1 for dishes that require shallots for great results.

2. Small red or white Onions

These are one of the best substitutes for shallots that you can use. Although these onions would not give the garlicky flavor that shallot gives, you can add little crushed garlic to the dish, and it would be just fine.

In determining the quantity of red or white onions to use, keep in mind that one of these onions can stand in for about three shallots. Also, red onions are your best bet if you are particularly looking for Thai shallots substitutes.

3. Spring Onions or Scallions

Spring onions have an upper part that is somewhat hollow and green in color, as well as a white base of undeveloped bulbs. You can substitute the white base of spring onions for shallots, especially when preparing soups, salads, or seafood dishes.

4. Chives

Chives have a mild and not-too-spicy taste that is similar to shallot; as such, they are also a good shallot substitute. You can chop the small white bulbs and scapes of chives using kitchen shears. You can then use it to garnish your soups, omelets, or mashed potatoes in place of shallot.

5. Garlic

There are some shallot dishes that garlic can be used for. When it is raw, garlic has a strong spicy flavor; when it is roasted, it has a sweeter taste. Look at what the recipe requires and use your garlic accordingly. 

6. Leeks

Leeks have a subtly sweet taste, just like cooked shallots and are gentler than onions in flavor. Leeks are also high in manganese, provitamin A, and vitamins C and K1. You can decide to cook only the white and light green parts of the leeks. Or, you can choose to use the tougher green top to add flavor to your soups and stocks.

To use them as a shallot substitute, cut them thinly using a large chef’s knife, rinse them, and cook them like you would prepare shallot. You can then add them to foods like stews and pasta. 

7. Dried Onions

Dried Shallot Equivalent

Dried onions are an excellent dried shallot equivalent. Although they don’t exactly have the same taste and texture as shallot, they do well when used in small quantities. To achieve an even more shallot-y result, you can add some garlic powder to the dried onions.

8. Garlic Scapes

These are the green stalks that extend from garlic bulbs, and they are sweeter and milder in taste than garlic bulbs. While they are a bit different in flavor, they are a good replacement for shallots because they give a taste similar to a mix of spring onions, garlic, and onions. 

(Looking for a substitute for lemongrass? Check out my article on the best lemongrass substitute.)

Are Shallots Onions?

Shallots are not onions, although they belong to an onion family called Allium ascalonium L., and are closely related to garlic and chives. Shallots typically grow in clusters from a bulb. And while onions have a more intense taste, shallots have a milder and sweet flavor that is less sharp than onions. Also, the bulbs of shallots are slimmer and longer when compared with regular onions.

Well, now you know!v

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I cook with shallot?

Shallots can be used to prepare a variety of dishes like salads, french casseroles, and Asian soups. You can also chop it and saute it to prepare sauces and quiches

Are shallots healthier than onions?

Shallots are similar in nutrients to onions because they are from the same family. However, shallot contains more essential nutrients like copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese.

What is the difference between shallots and onions?

Generally, shallots are more delicate in structure than onions. They are also sweeter and milder in taste than onions. The subtle taste of garlic in shallot makes them a flavourful addition to many dishes. Moreso, shallot does not overpower the taste of any recipes it is used in; thus, it is ideal for dishes like salad.

What is the best shallot substitute?

When used in the right proportion, almost every vegetable in the shallot family can be used to replace it. However, because of its similarity in taste to shallot, many chefs believe that yellow onions are the best shallot substitutes.


In conclusion, discovering suitable shallot substitutes for your recipes adds versatility to your culinary endeavors. Whether you opt for common kitchen staples like onions and garlic or explore more unique alternatives such as leeks or green onions, each substitute brings its own distinct flavor profile to the table. So, the next time you find yourself out of shallots, fear not – embrace the opportunity to experiment with these eight must-try alternatives and elevate your dishes with new and exciting tastes.

Happy cooking!

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