Shallots Vs. Green Onions | Are They Same Or Different?

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Welcome to today’s difference article; shallots vs. green onions. Standing in the middle of the supermarket and thinking, “Do I need to buy shallots or green onions for today’s dinner?” 

Shallots and green onions

One can easily get confused between them because they both are varieties of onions at the end of the day. However, there is a huge difference between shallots and green onions, even if they belong to the same family.

Today, we are going to brush up on our knowledge and learn the difference between shallots and green onions. We’ll learn how they differ in multiple aspects and have a full blown debate.

Even if you already know the differences between them, stick with me until the end of the article because you may discover some interesting facts about both.

By the end of the article, you can easily decide whether you need to use shallots or green onions in your delicious meal. Before jumping into the shallots vs. green onions debate, let’s look at the differences between them.

Shallots Vs. Green Onions | Difference Table

Basis of differencesShallotsGreen Onions
Scientific nameAllium cepa gr. aggregatumAllium fistulosum
OriginSoutheast AsiaWestern China and Central Asia
HarvestOnly bulbsThe whole stalks with white base and green tops
CultivationSummer and fallWhole year
Physical appearanceBrown or red-pink skin with white and little purple fleshLong, thin and green hollow stalks with white bases.
Taste Onion flavor with a hint of garlicStalks have a grassy flavor and bulb has a mild taste of onions.  
UsageUsed both cooked and raw. Mainly suitable for flavoring salads, soups, stews, etc.Used both cooked and raw.Used for garnishing purposes on soups, salads , salsa, etc.
Nutritional contentsRich in calories, carbohydrates, protein, and potassium.Rich in vitamin C, A, K, and folates.

What are Shallots?


Shallots belong to the same family as garlic, onion, and leek. However, they are quite different from regular onions.

They are versatile ingredients while cooking as they can be eaten raw or cooked. The flavor of shallots is similar to a regular onion with a hint of garlic taste. 

It is like a cousin of onions that is a little more aromatic. Shallots grow in clusters underground like garlic, with each bulb sheathed by a thin, copper-colored husky, but only the bulb is sold in the market.

It is believed that shallots originated from Southeast Asia, but when shallots traveled to France, they became an integral part of most French cuisines. The best thing about shallot is that they will not make you cry like regular onions.

Types of shallots

Shallots are very likely similar to onions, but different kinds of shallots are also available in the market. Let’s know about them so we can choose the best one when we visit the market next time.

There are total 6 types of shallots which are listed below:

  • Piquant – It is a French variety of shallots with a brownish coat outside and pink flesh when cut in half. It is also one of the fastest-growing shallots with a strong flavor. 
  • Ambition – This kind of shallot shape is similar to a shape of a teardrop. It has a mild onion flavor and takes a long time to grow and harvest. 
  • Prisma – Prisma shallots are also called red shallot as it is completely red inside and out. It has a very intense flavor and can directly replace onions in any recipe.
  • Yellow Shallots – Yellow shallots or golden shallots are small in size. It also has a milder taste, unlike other shallots, and is slightly sweet in taste. It is idle for making pickles recipes. 
  • French Gray Shallots – This is considered an original or true shallot. It has a gray-colored exterior with a purple interior. It is filled with versatile flavors and has a shorter shelf life than the other shallots.
  • Banana Shallots – A hybrid shallot with a sweet onion flavor with a hint of garlic taste. It is widely used because of its exotic taste, and the peeling process is much easier than other types of shallots.

What are green onions?

Green Onions

When it comes to green onions, we all know that most soup recipes are incomplete without garnishing them with this. Green onions are sometimes called scallions, as it is very hard to differentiate between them. 

So, you may find that many of the time, people will call it scallions only. It also belongs to the same family of shallots, garlic, and chives.

Green onions are consumed as a whole. They are harvested before their bulbs are fully developed. The thin hollow stalks add extra crunch to the dish, like soups and salads.

The green onions have two different parts, but their taste is also distinct. The bulb of the green onion is similar to the taste of white onion, and the long stalks have a more grassy flavor.

One can safely substitute chives with green onions as they are quite similar except for the white bulb part in the green onions.

Another interesting fact about green onions is that you can regrow them at home. Just cut the top, leaving a little bit of it, and place it in a jar with some water. In about a week, it will be regrown. 

Shallots Vs. Green Onions | Differences Between The Two

Shallots and green onions

You may think that shallots and green onions can be used interchangeably as they are similar and belong to the same family.

However, they have huge differences in terms of taste, usage, and nutritional value. We shall discuss and understand both of them one by one.

1. Origin

Shallots have been cultivated for thousands of years. It is also mentioned in Greek history and literature. Originally, they were cultivated in Southeast Asia and, from there, spread into India and the Mediterranean region. 

It is also said that shallots were a staple food in ancient Europe and considered a sacred plant because it is full of nutrients.

On the other hand, green onions were cultivated in Western China and as well as in some parts of Asia. They have also been valued medicinally and are mentioned in ancient Chinese herbals. It is quite popular in Asian foods for garnishing purposes.

2. Harvest and cultivation

Even though they are from a family, their harvesting and cultivation process is very distinct.

They have similar parts to bulbs and green stalks, but green onions are generally harvested when the bulbs are not fully developed and the stalks are still alive. In contrast, in shallots, the bulbs are left to grow completely, and the green stalks mostly die before harvesting.

Furthermore, green onions are found throughout the year, but shallots are best picked in summer and fall.

3. Physical appearance

If you visit a supermarket, you may find it easy to distinguish between them. Shallots are sold for their bulb part, and green onions are sold as a whole- with bulb and green stalk.

The other major difference between shallots and green onions is that shallots have red-pink or brown flesh, and when cut in half, it is similar to a garlic clove.

Shallots might have 2 to 3 cloves and sometimes 3 to 6 cloves. The green onion bulb is like white onion, and it has long and thin stalks.

4. Nutritional value

Shallots and green onions are both healthy and full of nutrients. If we compare both, shallots are a little higher in calories and carbohydrates than green onions. Besides, shallots are a good source of protein and potassium. 

On the other hand, green onions have benefits similar to regular onions as well as due to the green hollow stalks containing nutrients similar to spinach. It is rich in vitamins and folates. 

Shallots and green onions both are from the Allium family; therefore, they are rich in antioxidants. We can understand why they have been mentioned in ancient books. 

Health benefits of green onions and shallots

We have already discussed the nutrient content of green onions and shallots. Let’s have a look at what specific health benefits they both provide. 

Green onions

  • Reduces inflammation As green onions are a good source of antioxidants, it helps in reducing inflammation. 
  • Good for the heart Flavonoids are present in green onions, reducing blood pressure and preventing hypertension. 
  • Lowers cholesterol – The presence of organo- sulfur reduces the cholesterol level. Also, flavonoids help in increasing good cholesterol.
  • Helps in diabetes – A diabetic patient can add green onions to their diet. It is best suitable for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 
  • Boosts immunity The richness in vitamins, potassium, and iron helps to build a strong immune system. It also prevents many infections like the common cold. 


  • Improves heart health – As it also belongs to the Allium family, it is rich in antioxidants that positively impact heart health. 
  • Detoxification – Shallots play a great role in removing toxins from the bloodstream and are important ingredients in detoxifying the liver.
  • Helps diabetic patients – Shallots have a good impact on insulin. It also helps to control weight gain caused due to diabetes. 
  • Improves abdominal health – Richness in dietary fiber keeps you full after a meal and softens the stool. It also kills intestinal worms as it has antimicrobial properties.
  • Helps fight obesity – Antioxidants boost metabolism, and shallots can also suppress fat accumulation and prevent obesity.

Top Recipes To Make with Green Onions

Let’s see some of the dishes that you can make quickly using green onions. Have a look!

1. Chinese Scallion pancakes

Scallion Pancakes

Chinese scallion pancakes are a famous Chinese food and an ideal breakfast. Just prepare a good dough and roll it into a circular sheet. Spread some green onions with some herbs or Chinese spices if available.

Roll it in a cylindrical shape and then shape it like a snail. Now, again roll it in a circular shape. Brush a pan with some oil and cook the pancake for a few minutes. Serve it with a dip as per your choice.

2. Fried rice

Fried Rice

Fried rice is the most common recipe, and green onions are the star ingredient of this dish. Cook your fried rice as usual with sauteed veggies, egg, rice, soy sauce, and vinegar.

At the end of the recipe, sprinkle a good amount of chopped spring onions along with some sesame seeds. It will add extra crunch and flavor to your rice.

3. Glowing green hummus

Glowing Green hummus

Glowing green hummus is another tasteful hummus recipe. Who would think that green onions could be added to hummus?

Like regular hummus, use chickpeas, other ingredients, and chopped green onions. This hummus can be easily stored for around 7-8 days in the refrigerator.

Top Recipes To Make with Shallots

Here are some of the top dishes that you can make using shallots. Give them a quick read!

1. Caramelized shallots

Caramelized Shallots

Caramelized shallots are a must-try if you love to add caramelized onions to your recipe. Add oil in a pan and some shallots.

Sprinkle some salt as per taste and cook the shallots for about 15 mins until it is caramelized. Remember to slow cook to bring out the sweetness of shallots.

2. Caramelized shallot pasta

Caramelized Shallot Pasta

Caramelized shallot pasta is a delicious dish with amazing flavors. The added caramelized shallots can give a robust flavor to your basic pasta sauce.

Sauté some garlic and caramelized shallot with tomato sauce. Add cooked pasta of your choice and sprinkle it with some basil or parsley. This is all it takes to get this pasta ready!

3. Pickled shallots

Pickled Shallots

Pickled shallots are quick to make and add aromatic flavor to your burgers and sandwiches. Brine vinegar, salt, sugar, and peppercorns in a bowl.

Pour this brine over the sliced shallots. After giving it a little rest, you can put these pickled shallots in your burgers or sandwiches and enjoy.

Shallots Vs. Green Onion | Which is tastier?

Chopped Shallots

Green onion tastes grassy because of its stalks, whereas shallot has a more onion-kind flavor with a hint of garlic taste. Shallot brings out more flavor in any food and has a very strong aroma.

The texture and taste of shallot are the same throughout, and the taste is sharper and stronger than green onions. Therefore, we can easily conclude that shallots taste better than green onions.

Shallots Vs. Green Onion | Which is healthier?

Shallots on a board

Both shallots and green onions are from the same family and have many common nutrients, like the presence of antioxidants. On the health side, shallot has fewer points as shallots have more fat and carbs than green onions. 

Also, because of the stalks, green onions have similar benefits as spinach or leafy vegetables. One can add green onions to their meal to make it more healthy.

Shallots Vs. Green Onion | Which is Versatile?

Shallots in a bag

There is no doubt that shallots are more versatile than green onions as they have a very strong aromatic flavor and a wide variety, from red to banana shallots.

Shallots can easily replace the use of onions in any dish. One can cook it or also consume it in its raw form with salads, etc.

Can We Substitute Shallots For Green Onions and Vice Versa?

Green onions and shallots may be used as substitute for one another as they belong to the same family. But you need to keep in mind that they actually have different flavors.

Shallots have a uniform taste all over and a sharper taste whereas green onions have a slight flavor at the white ends and the an aromatic flavors at the green ends.

If you don’t mind the different levels of sharpness, then you can use them for one another in different scenarios.

Shallots Vs. Green Onion | Which is Better?


It’s clear from the above debate the when it comes to shallots vs. green onions, shallots win. They have more points when it comes to taste, versatility, and health.


After such a long and tasteful discussion on shallots vs. green onions, I am sure many of you will easily pick them as per your recipe requirements.

Next time someone talks to you about green onions or shallots, you can amaze them with so many interesting facts and information.

If you think this was helpful, let us know in the comments, and we will be back with more comparisons. Until then, enjoy the aromatic flavor of shallots and the crunch of green onions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Shallots or green onions; which has a strong flavor?

Shallots have a strong flavor because their taste resembles onion flavor and as well as has a garlic touch.

Are shallots healthier than green onions?

Shallots and green onions belong to the same family and are rich in antioxidants. However, green onions are low in fat, making them a little healthier than shallots.

Can you replace shallots with regular onions?

Yes, Prisma, a kind of shallot, can easily replace the use of regular onions in any recipe.

How to identify shallots and green onions?

Green onions have small bulbs and thin, long and hollow stalks, whereas shallots are sold with bulbs only that are fully developed.

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