onion powder substitute

Top 7 Onion Powder Substitutes That Add Spice, Flavor, and Aroma

Using onion powder is essential for many, as plenty of dishes contain this ingredient. However, it can be messy if you run out of this powder right before you start cooking.

You can still make any dish you like, but you do need to know the alternatives that work best.

What Is Onion Powder?

This powder is simply ground dehydrated onions that have a very fine texture. Usually, it contains salt, and sometimes, some seasoning as well. Yellow, white, and red onions are often included in this powder. 

Onion powder has a flavor that resembles onions but also has less potency and adds saltiness to the dish. This powder is common in making burgers, cooking soups, potatoes, stews, dry rub, and sauces.

What Can I Replace Onion Powder With?

These onion powder substitutes are great for different dishes and recipes: 

Best For Soup, Meatloaf, and Risotto

#1. Whole Onion

Using the whole onion is always the best choice, as this fresh vegetable has all the aromas and flavors you need. You can chop up your onion very small or even mince it if you need it to dissolve more.

Use three tablespoons of chopped onions for every one tablespoon of onion powder. 

Keep in mind that you will need to pick what onion to use, and while all will work, we recommend you use yellow if possible. Use whole onions when you’re making soup, risotto, and meatloaf.

See More: Onion Substitutes

#2. Onion Flakes

Another good option is to use dehydrated onion flakes that taste a bit like onion but are less pungent. These flakes are usually in any grocery store, and you can either crush them or grind them into a fine powder. Use this choice in making soup, sauces, meatloaf, and pasta. 

You can replace one tablespoon of onion powder for two tablespoons of onion flakes. If you’d like, you can mix onion flakes with salt and spices to get the same flavor as onion powder. 

#3. Onion Salt

This product is salt mixed with a bit of onion powder, but it is mostly salt. Keep in mind that when you use onion salt, you’ll also need to reduce or eliminate salt. Use onion salt when you prepare soups, sauces, meatloaf, risotto, and potatoes.

You can buy onion salt at any grocery store, usually by the spice rack and condiments section. Use about half the amount that the recipe calls for. Keep in mind that this salt is very high in sodium and could overpower the rest of the ingredients.

#4. Scallions

Scallions belong to the Allium family that includes onions, leeks, and garlic, so they have similar properties.

This vegetable is common in Asian dishes, but you can add it to soups, meatloaf, noodles, and potatoes. The flavor is mildly sweet and less pungent, so you may need to add double the amount of what the recipe indicates.

To get scallions, you can try the produce section at your grocery or organic store. You can use the entire plant, from the green top to the white bottom, but keep in mind that it will add crunch to the dish. 

See more: Chives vs green onions vs scallions differences

Best For Eggs, Dips, Curry, and Potato Salad

#5. Garlic Salt

In a similar way to onion salt, garlic powder mixed with salt is a good replacement for onion powder. You can find garlic salt in any grocery store as it is a very common ingredient. Use garlic salt when making eggs, dips, curry dishes, and potato salad.

If you are replacing onion powder with this choice, make sure you reduce the salt content as well. You can add about half the amount or less, as the saltiness can overthrow the rest of the flavors. 

#6. Shallots

This type of onion is very small and it has similar properties to garlic. They are brown or red outside but white on the inside, and you can use them in the same way you would onions. You can use shallots in making eggs, curry dishes, potato recipes, and even curry. 

You can find scallions at any grocery store or farmer’s market. Consider adding about half at the beginning, as some people find shallots to be very pungent.

See More: Shallots Alternatives

#7. Grated Onion

This fresh option adds the aroma and pungency of onions, but it also adds a bit of texture. To make grated onions, simply peel an onion, trim the edges, and use a grater to the size you want.

Yellow and Vidalia onions are good options that you can find in any grocery and organic store. 

Use about two tablespoons of grated onions for every one tablespoon of onion powder. This substitute works great in curries, dips, potato salads, sauces, and dips.

Remember that this choice has a stronger aroma than the rest, so you may want to add it at the end of the cooking process.


Can I substitute onion powder for garlic powder?

Yes, garlic powder is a great replacement for onion powder. Both onions and garlic come from the Allium family and have similar properties. You can replace each other for the same amounts.

Can you substitute onion salt for powder?

You can use onion powder in place of onion salt but you will need to add salt as well. Onion powder is also a good substitute for regular onions when you can’t find them or don’t have any.

Is onion powder good for high blood pressure?

Onion powder is a good replacement for salt for those suffering from high blood pressure. However, check the ingredient list on the container, as some brands also add a bit of salt to the mix. You shouldn’t confuse onion salt with onion garlic, as onion salt contains high amounts of sodium.


While not everyone thinks about it too much, onion powder is in plenty of the foods we all love. If you were about to cook and can’t find this spice, then it is time to pick one of these 7 alternatives. Each of these choices adds flavor and will create delicious results. 

onion powder alternatives

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