13 Best Onion Powder Substitutes For Your Cooking

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You are looking for the best onion powder substitutes due to various reasons. Maybe you were Halfway through a recipe that called for onion powder, and you couldn’t find it in the spice cabinet. Don’t sweat it because I’m here to help you out with it. 

Onion Powder

Onion powder is one of its kind, yes, but it can be substituted with other ingredients similar to it in flavor and texture. Some of the best onion powder substitutes are onion flakes, onions, onion salt, onion paste, chives, and garlic powder.

Onion powder, commonly used as a seasoning, is made of dried, ground onions. You might’ve seen onion powder as an ingredient in most chips flavorings, seasoning blends, etc. Onion powder is to a dish what Spiderman was to Iron man. (Marvel fans, where are you at?)  

They don’t know that I know that you know how important it is to know about the different substitutes of onion powder, in case you run out of it. (Friends Fan much?) In this article, I’ll tell you all about onion powder, why it needs to be substituted, and the best substitutes for onion powder. Let’s go!

Quick Peek: Onion Powder

Onion Powder

The following scribbles tell you what onion powder is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Onion Powder?

Onion powder is made from dehydrated onions. The dehydrated onions, when grounded, make up fine onion powder. It provides a balanced flavor to the dish and works well in gumbos, soups, etc. A sprinkle over dishes doesn’t hurt and gives the whole dish a spicy kick.

Describing Onion Powder: Flavor and Texture

Onion powder also comes in handy when you’re missing the flavor of a few onions in your dish. Although its flavor is a bit stronger than onions, it smells just like them. The aroma of onion powder is intense and sharp. It is an important ingredient in most recipes. It may not be one of the most intense flavors, but you’ll surely feel its absence if it isn’t used. It has a smooth, powdery texture. 

Uses of Onion Powder

Onion powder is nothing less than a boon to your kitchen. When used, it provides a rich, spicy flavor to the dish. Using it in place of onions is another common use of onion powder. This is beneficial because it eliminates the hassle of chopping onions without a waterfall flowing through your eyes.

Onion powder gives amazing results when used in marinades for meat and meat rubs. You can also add garlic powder, cayenne, etc. when using onion powder in meat rubs. It gives an extra lift to the whole dish. Not only that, but onion powder is also an important ingredient in most sauces, dips, stews, etc. 

Onion Powder on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Onion powder is a versatile ingredient that is low in calories and high in nutritional values. It has anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties, preventing the risks of infections and boosting immunity. It reduces the risk of heart problems and helps in treating diabetes. It is also beneficial in boosting digestion and regulating blood pressure. It is also helpful for our bone health. 

Why Should We Substitute Onion Powder?

With all that onion powder has to offer, it would be extremely foolish for us to go about a recipe without its inclusion. Be it a spice mix or a soup, it is incomplete without onion powder. That is why it’s important to replace it with something if you don’t have it in your spice cabinet. 

Also, if you are suffering or know someone who might suffer from onion allergy, you need the help of a bunch of ingredients. These ingredients work as the best substitutes for onion powder, helping you relish the flavor of onions without using them. So, shall we discuss the best substitutes for onion powder right away?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

13 Best Onion Powder Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about onion powder let us discuss the best substitutes for onion powder.

1. Onion Flakes

Onion Flakes

It is a no-brainer that the best substitute for onion powder would be onion flakes themselves. These are also made out of onions that have been dehydrated. The only difference is that they don’t get grounded into a powder. 

So, if you want to substitute onion powder, onion flakes should be your go-to option. All you need to do is grind these flakes into a fine powder. Onion flakes should be used when not grounded to substitute onion powder in drier dishes.

2. Onion (Minced/ Granulated/ Paste/ Raw)


Onion powder, a by-product of onions, would have onions as one of the best substitutes. Onions in several forms like minced, granulated, made into a paste, or raw can easily substitute onion powder. These have a similar flavor and somewhat similar texture to that of onion powder.

3. Onion Salt

Onion Salt

Want to enjoy the flavor of onions but don’t have the time to chop them up? Behold onion salt! Onion salt is the blend of onion powder and salt. That is, it is a mixture of dehydrated ground onions and salt. Onion salt is different from onion powder which is devoid of salt.

Onion salt is a suitable substitute for onion powder due to its flavor and texture. You might have to add less salt to your recipes, considering the salty flavor of onion salt. 

4. Onion Paste

Onion Paste

As the name suggests, onion paste is the paste of boiled onions. Onions are peeled and boiled in water for around ten minutes and then made into a fine paste using a blender or food processor. Garlic, chilies, or ginger can be added to make the paste depending on the nature of the intended recipe.

Onion paste has a refreshing onion flavor and thus is a good substitute for onion powder in recipes. You can substitute on an equal ratio, and onion paste will surely enrich the flavor of your recipes.

5. Chives


Chives are flowering plants with edible leaves and flowers. These are categorized as herbs such as parsley and basil. These are called onion chives due to the onion taste they have. 

Chives are a great substitute for onion powder in recipes that aren’t very dry. They can be used to replace onion powder for their onion-like flavor. These work amazingly in sauces, dips, etc., and cooked dishes instead of marinades or dry meat rubs.

6. Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder might seem strange to you when it comes to substituting onion powder with it. But it isn’t really that strange. Garlic powder and onion powder are like siblings and can be substituted with each other. They are often used together in recipes. 

Garlic powder is a bit stronger in flavor than onion powder. Hence, it should be used in a lesser amount when you’re substituting onion powder with it.

7. Garlic Salt

Garlic Salt

Combining dried, ground garlic with salt gives you garlic salt. Sometimes an anti-caking agent such as calcium silicate is also added. Garlic salt is not the same as garlic powder (obviously!) since garlic powder is simply the powdered version of dehydrated, ground garlic. Garlic salt is used as seasoning and garlic substitute and in salad dressings.

Garlic salt has a salty flavor with subtle hints of garlic. Since garlic salt doesn’t have a dominant garlicky flavor and has a texture comparable to onion powder, it is deemed a considerable substitute for onion powder. 

8. Shallots


Shallots are uniquely and closely related to onions. These are small, bulb-shaped onions. When raw, they have an intense aroma, but it turns sweet once cooked. They have a mild, sweet but sharp, spicy flavor and an onion-like texture.

Shallots are worthy substitutes for onion powder due to their intense flavor, similar to onions. You can chop it and use it in any recipe that calls for onion powder as long as you are not particular about textural replacement.

9. Fennel Bulbs

Fennel Bulbs

Fennel is a herb coming from the carrot family. The whole fennel plant is edible – its bulb, stalks, and fronds. Fennel bulbs have a similar flavor to onion powder, making them a considerable substitute for onion powder. Fennel bulbs also have a similar aroma to it, but their flavor is milder than onion powder. While substituting onion powder with fennel bulbs, make sure to use more than required.

10. Scallions


Scallions are a type of young onion also known as green onions. Once cooked, they have a mild peppery flavor and a smooth, soft texture. They have white stems with a small bulb at the end. 

Scallions are just like chives when used as a substitute for onion powder. Its flavor is a bit sweeter, which works great in pasta dishes, sauces, etc. They’ll also provide the dish with a crunchy texture. Make sure to use them in Asian dishes that call for the usage of onion powder.

11. Leeks


Leeks, just like scallions and chives, belong to the onion family. These have an aromatic flavor but with a bit of a hard stalk. These have a firm, crispy texture and a slippery texture when cooked. These can be eaten raw or used in soups, risotto, stuffings, and pizzas.

Leeks work well as onion powder substitutes in dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries and are best when cooked. Avoid using them as a substitute for onion powder in dry dishes.

12. Celery Seed

Celery Seed

Obtained from a marshy plant called smallage, celery seeds are spices with a strong earthy flavor and a slightly bitter taste. They look similar to poppy seeds in size. These seeds are available in whole and ground versions. Celery seeds can be your last resort as an alternative to onion powder since they differ in flavor profiles. They can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio in recipes that call for onion powder.

13. DIY Onion Powder

DIY Onion Powder

Have a little time to test your mettle in the kitchen? Grab some onion and get yourself onion powder! DIY onion powder is affordable, easy to store, and tastes more heavenly than store-bought powder or other substitutes. 

To make onion powder, chop a few onions and dry them well. You can use a dehydrator, for that matter. Once they have cooled down, blend them in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle. Coffee grinder is the best equipment because it allows you to check the desired texture. You can store the powder in an air-tight container and use it when required.

Short Recap Of Best Onion Powder Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best onion powder substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Onion Powder Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture-

  1. Onion Flakes
  2. Onions
  3. Onion Salt
  4. DIY Onion Powder

Best Onion Powder Substitutes That Are Not Onion Based-

  1. Chives
  2. Garlic Powder
  3. Garlic Salt
  4. Shallots
  5. Fennel Bulbs
  6. Leeks
  7. Celery Seeds

Best Onion Powder Substitutes That Should Be Least Considered-

  1. Celery Seeds

Final Musings

Onion powder is an essential ingredient for most recipes. It cannot overpower the dish with its flavor, even though its flavor is pretty sharp. When not equipped with onion powder, use any of the above-mentioned ingredients to substitute it.

I know you’re crying onion tears due to this article’s end, but don’t worry. I’ll be back with another food item and its best substitutes sooner than you might think. Let me know in the comments how you liked this article. Until next time!

How To Use Onion Powder Substitutes In A Recipe

Onion Powder

Onion Powder Substitutes

Onion powder is one of its kind, yes, but it can be substituted with other ingredients similar to it in flavor and texture. Some of the best onion powder substitutes are onion flakes, onions, onion salt, onion paste, chives, and garlic powder.
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  • Onion Flakes
  • Onions
  • Onion Salt
  • Onion Paste
  • Chives
  • Garlic Powder
  • Garlic Salt
  • Shallots
  • Fennel Bulbs
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Celery Seeds
  • DIY Onion Powder


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can be used in place of onion powder?

Onion flakes, minced onions, chopped chives and onion salt can all be used in place of onion powder.

What is in onion powder ingredients?

Onion powder comprises dehydrated and ground onions.

Is onion salt the same as onion powder?

Onion salt is not the same as onion powder. Onion salt is the mixture of onion powder and salt while onion powder does not contain any salt.

What is the equivalent of 1 onion to onion powder?

A medium-sized onion can be chopped to substitute for a tablespoon of onion powder.

What can you use onion powder for?

Onion powder can be used to enrich the flavor of recipes. They can be added to sauces, dips, pizzas and seasonings.

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