7 Best Onion Powder Substitutes For Your Cooking

Onion Powder

Halfway through a recipe that calls for onion powder, and you can’t find it in the spice cabinet? Don’t sweat it because I’m here to help you out with it. Onion powder is one of its kind, yes, but it can be substituted with other ingredients which are similar to it in flavor and texture.

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!

What Is Onion Powder?

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 either and gives the whole dish a spicy kick.

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 that of onions, it smells just like them. 

The aroma of onion powder is pungent 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.

Why Do We Need Substitutes For 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 most common use of onion powder. This is beneficial because it eliminates all the hassle of chopping onions without a waterfall flowing through your eyes.

Onion powder gives amazing results when used in marinades for meat as well as 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. 

With all that onion powder has to offer, it would be extremely foolish for us to go about a recipe without its inclusion. That is why I’ll give you a few of the best substitutes for onion powder in this article.

7 Best Substitutes For Onion Powder

Be it a spice mix or a soup, and it is definitely 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. 

But what to replace it with? That’s the query you’d be having in your mind right now. Given below is a list of the 7 best substitutes for onion powder. Let’s see what all ingredients made it to the list!

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. When not grounded, onion flakes should be used to substitute onion powder in drier dishes.

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


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

3. Chives


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 in cooked dishes instead of marinades or dry meat rubs.

4. 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. 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.

5. Fennel Bulbs

Fennel Bulbs

Fennel bulbs are a part of the onion family and have a similar flavor to onion powder. It has a similar aroma to it as well, but its flavor is milder than that of onion powder. While substituting onion powder with fennel bulbs, make sure to use a greater amount of it than required.

6. Scallions


Scallions are just like chives when used as a substitute for onion powder. Its flavor is a bit on the sweeter side, 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.

7. 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. They work well 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.


Onion powder is an essential ingredient for most recipes. It has the ability to not 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 with.

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

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