7 Best Onion Powder Substitutes

If you’re out of onion powder and can’t make it to the store, there are a few onion powder substitutes you can use instead.

The easiest thing to do is replace the onion powder with fresh onions. Just chop them up and add them to your dish. You can also substitute with garlic or shallots instead of fresh onions if you prefer those!

But that isn’t the only onion powder alternative. If you don’t have any of those, you can still use Onion juice, onion salt, Chives, Leeks, or Green onions.

There is still more, and you can never go wrong with these alternatives.

The only thing is you need to know how to use them.

Now, let me show you.

What Is Onion Powder?

Onion powder is a staple seasoning in most households.

It’s a common flavor enhancer made from dehydrated, pulverized onions that add depth to sauces, gravies, salad dressings, soups, and meats.

If you think onions are potent, wait until you taste onion powder.

Just one teaspoon of this stuff has the same flavor-enhancing power as a whole onion.

That’s some severe get-up-and-go in a tiny package!

Best Onion Powder Substitutes

1. Fresh Onions

You are missing a lot if you’re not using fresh onions in your cooking.

Although, if you want to save time and store a handy ingredient for long-term use, Onion powder is the best.

However, fresh onions can still do justice if you don’t have the powder on hand.

There are several advantages that fresh onions have over onion powder, like nutrition, flavor, and fresh onions cost less than onion powder.

Additionally, onions have a much milder flavor, and they can be eaten raw to give a little bit of crunch to a salad or even a sandwich.

On the other hand, onion powder is more intense in flavor and can’t be eaten raw — but it is much easier to use in cooking.

Use 1/2 medium chopped onion to substitute one tablespoon of onion powder to use it properly.

See Also: Best Substitutes For Rose Water

2. Dehydrated Onion Flakes

Onion powder is a time-honored way to add onion flavor and aroma to your dishes, but it’s not the only option in your pantry!

Dehydrated onion flakes are a fantastic substitute for onion powder and can be used in any recipe that calls for onion powder, including:

  • Deeply flavored soups
  • Flavorful stocks
  • Seasoning rubs
  • Chilies or stews
  • Breaded chicken or pork chops

The only difference between dehydrated onion flakes and onion powder is their flavor and form.

Onion powder is ground very finely into fine dust, while dehydrated onion flakes are still slightly chunky, though you can buy them in different sizes.

Dehydrated onion flakes have a slightly more pronounced, raw-onion flavor than onion powder, cooked in a process known as “calcining.” (Yes, this is the same process as creating lime from limestone.)

Lastly, use it in a 1:3 ratio –that is, one teaspoon onion powder = 3 teaspoon onion flakes

3. Onion Salt

Most people would be like: Why should I use Onion Salt over Onion Powder?

Onion Salt is a seasoning mix made with onion powder and table salt, usually in equal amounts.

So when you add onion salt to a recipe, you’re adding two different flavors -a kick of oniony goodness and salt.

Sadly, it has a strong flavor that can overwhelm other flavors if you are not careful.

So make sure you’re using one tablespoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon onion salt

4. Onion Juice

Onion juice and onion powder are both products that are derived from onions. And are often used interchangeably as a spice in a variety of dishes.

It’s not even a debate. Onion juice beats onion powder in every single way. Sure, you can’t sprinkle it on your pizza, but what food is improved by onion powder? (Answer: none.)

Onion juice is much more flavorful than onion powder, and the flavor is much more complex. Instead of the dry dust that is onion powder, onion juice adds depth of taste to your favorite recipes.

Onion juice is also much better for you than onion powder. Onion juice has plenty of Vitamin C, manganese, B-6, and other great nutrients.

Plenty of medical studies shows that onion juice can help improve your health.

The Substitution ratio is 1/2 teaspoon onion juice for each tablespoon of onion powder.

5. Chives

When it seems all hope is lost, you can count on chives.

Chives are a thin, green stalk with a bulb at the bottom that is edible. They’re part of the onion family.

So they have an oniony taste, although they are milder than yellow or red onions.

The best thing about using chives is that they are healthier fresh herbs than onions. You can chop or mince them for dips, soups, fish, mashed or baked potatoes, seafood dishes, and omelets.

The substitution code is 1/2 cup finely minced chives for one tablespoon onion powder.

6. Leeks

Leeks also have an oniony taste similar to chives in flavors.

When you need a fresh substitute for onion powder, leeks are your best bet.

They give you the mild flavor and aroma of onions. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper than onion powder — and if you know where to look, you can get them for free!

When choosing leeks in the store, look for crisp green leaves that aren’t wilted or discolored.

Leeks have lots of antioxidants, which can help prevent aging, cancer, and heart disease.

They also contain fructooligosaccharides (FOS), promoting healthy gut bacteria growth.

Plus, they’re incredibly versatile! Use them as you would onions or scallions, or sauté them with some bacon and serve over steak or burgers. You can also grate them into your salad dressing or mix them into your mashed potatoes.

The substitution ratio should be 1/2 cup finely minced leeks for each tablespoon of onion powder.

See Also: Best Substitutes For Stewed Tomatoes

7. Shallots

You can easily substitute shallots for onion powder and get a few other benefits.

Shallots typically have a milder flavor than onions powder, so if you’re looking for an onion powder substitute that is more subtle and delicate in taste, you will appreciate shallots.

You can dice and sprinkle them raw on bruschetta, salads, and pasta dishes or chop them for soups, quiches, or stir-fries.

In addition, grilling your shallots alongside meat, tofu, and other veggies is another way.

They give your dish a nutritional boost, as they contain vitamins A and C and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

The high antioxidants in shallots help protect against certain diseases and even keep your skin healthy and glowing.

When substituting, use 1/2 cup chopped shallots for every tablespoon of onion powder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Onion Powder Like Onions?

It’s a question that has plagued the spice community for years: Is onion powder like onions?

The story behind onion powder is much more complicated than you might think.

But yes, onion powder is very much like onions.

Onions are a vegetable, and onion powder is not. Onion powder is the powdered version of dehydrated onions, dry and flaky.

What Does Onion Powder Do To Food?

Onion powder adds an unmistakable onion flavor to your meals.

Onion powder is one of those ingredients you may not know about, but your taste buds certainly do.

It’s a standard ingredient in many pre-made sauces, soups, and spice rubs.

What Does Onion Powder Taste Like

Onion powder has many benefits when it comes to your weight loss journey.

Onions are loaded with antioxidants, and while they can have some unpleasant effects on your breath, they’re great at promoting healthy digestion.

This is because onions have prebiotic properties and are a great source of fiber.

Many people interested in weight loss find that spices like onion powder help them stick to their eating plan because onions add a ton of flavor without adding too many calories.

Do Chefs Use Onion Powder?

Onion powder is an essential pantry staple for chefs, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a versatile ingredient that instantly adds flavor to soups, sauces, marinades, rubs, etc.

See Also: Cubanelle Pepper Substitutes


Is there anything more frustrating than being in the middle of an onion-based recipe and realizing you don’t have any onion powder?

It’s an absolute nightmare, we know.

 It’s like a slap when you realize how easy it would be to pick up a bottle of onion powder on your way home, but now you’re suddenly thrust into a mad dash to find a substitute.

You now have seven onion powder substitute that you can pick up to replace onion powder in your cooking.