The Best Shallot Substitute

My close family and friends love my cooking. To ensure to give the best, I go out of my way to use some of the most versatile available ingredients.

For most cooking, I use shallots because they bring out that mildness in them, which gives dishes a sweet taste. Moreover, even without garlic, the presence of shallot gives your food the most desired feeling.

When you ran out of Shallots in the kitchen, some of the available shallot substitutes include red onions, leeks, yellow onions, garlic, scallions, green onions, leeks, and garlic scapes.

  • Scallions

Scallions are also known as spring onions.

They have white bulbs with green stems, and you can add them raw in any dish, and they’ll still provide a fantastic taste.

If you want to get a taste that’s closer to shallots, use the base only. The green parts go well with salads, dressings, and uncooked meals.

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  • Garlic scapes

Although you don’t come across them garlic scapes in grocery stores all the time, they have a strong and pungent taste.

This makes them a good substitute in the place of shallots.

Garlic scapes taste somewhere in between onions and garlic hence the strong scent. To avoid having so much on your dish, cut by at least ¾ to replace shallots.

  • Red onions

As compared to white onions, red onions have that sweetness and mildness as that of shallots. A 1:1 ratio works perfectly in the place of shallots.

Red onions always bring that aroma in your food. Also, they go well in salads and dressing when chopped into thin slices.

  • Leeks

Leeks don’t have a strong taste or scent, so they can work best in meals and salads that need shallots.

Leeks flavor doesn’t need an extra touch of garlic because the green part used in the same ratio as shallots will bring out the intended taste.

So that leeks don’t overcook, add them along the cooking process to maintain the green color.

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  • Onions and garlic

Although they have a pronounced taste, you can still use onions in case you don’t have shallots. Where the recipe needs more than half a cup of shallots, try cutting down on the number of onions. You don’t want a dish with a lot of onion flavor instead of the original meal.

Adding a pinch of crushed garlic or garlic powder neutralizes the oniony taste and brings out a flavor that’s closer to shallots.

Although I love using shallots, sometimes I forget to purchase them because of my busy schedule. However, the best shallot substitute for me would be the white onions.

In a recent surprising turn of events, I asked a friend to get me some white onions; instead, she dropped by with a whole bag of shallots. To me, that’s happiness because they will serve my cuisines for a long time.

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How to choose and cut a shallot for cooking


When you’re shopping for shallots, choose fresh ones as they provide that mild taste in your cooking. 

To know that shallots are fresh, press them between your thumb and if it’s firm, then know that’s fresh and nice.

After buying shallots, what’s the best way to cut a shallot? It all depends on whether you’re using the shallot for dressing and salads or cooking. To finely chop your shallots, use the following method.

  1. Remove the root end, and papery covering then throw away.
  2. Slice the shallot lengthwise into halves.
  3. Put one of the halves on a chopping board and slice lengthwise, then pause when about to reach the end. This will help keep the layers intact and make it easy when chopping across into cubes that are more beautiful. Use the tip of your knife to slice.
  4. To dice into cubes, with the shallot parallel to the chopping board, make a single cut from the tip to the root. Cut across the shallot using the knife.

Storing shallots


You can find shallots throughout the year, if you want fresh ones for your cooking, buy in small amounts. When well stored, especially in cool and dark areas, you can use them for up to one month.

However, if they sprout, you can also plant them in a container or small garden if you have one. Another alternative to ensure that the shallots stay for long is chopping and freezing them.

Frozen shallots are suitable for cooking for 2 months.

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What are the various types of shallots


Typically, there are three different types of shallots available in the market. They include

  • The Echalion,
  • The Jersey shallot,
  • French gray shallot.

Each shallot derives its name depending on its method of planting or appearance.

For example, the Jersey shallots commonly grow in the US, and they have a rose or pink color. On the other hand, the echalion shallot, which some people call the banana, is a graft between the normal shallot and onions.

Finally, the French gray shallots have the name because of the outer appearance, which is almost grayish. Many gourmet cooks also use it because of its versatility.

Spotting shallots are easy because of their appearance. They have a copper-pink paper-like cover, and they’re small in size. Shallots do grow in the same manner as garlic cloves, in clusters. The bulbs of shallot are purple and white.

Thai shallot substitute


Did you know that an authentic Thai dish encompasses spicy, sweet, sour, and salty flavors? First, shallots are one of the ingredients they use to make savory meals.

If you plan on trying Thai dishes and you lack shallots. You can choose to use yellow onions because of their amazing flavor.

Although the regular onions would work, not getting the right amount may leave you with a dish full of onion taste. For a mellower flavor, cut the onions into tiny pieces and cook them until they turn golden brown.

Thai shallots also do well when added to dressings and salads; hence it is best to use a substitute that won’t leave an unwanted taste in the mouth when eaten raw.

Banana Shallot Substitute


A banana shallot is a breed between the normal shallot and onion. Although it’s larger and longer than the typical onion, it has a mild and sweet taste.

They additionally cook and peel easily than yellow or white onions. Because of the many similarities, you can always substitute a banana shallot with a regular shallot.

You can also use the green onion. However, you’ll only use the white part to get the most taste of whichever dish you intend to prepare.

Can I substitute shallots for garlic?


Although you can use garlic in the place of shallots, it’s essential to compensate for the taste. When you cook garlic, it brings out the mellow flavor, removing the pungent taste.

Onions, on the other hand, provide that delectable taste when caramelized. If you must use garlic because you don’t have shallots, try out the garlic chives, although you’ll have to add them to your dish towards the end.

However, if you get yellow onions, they work best with your meals as their acidity brings out the sweetness in food after cooking.

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When to use shallots instead of onions

Most people prefer using shallots to onions because of their sweet and mild taste.


You can eat a raw shallot, and you wouldn’t need to worry about a foul smell in your mouth. Shallots also have a complex and rich flavor and bring out some form of intensity in each dish because of the garlic component.

Because of the many good reasons, instead of onions, use shallots for your salad and dressing. This is because you can finely mince these cooking agents.

Shallots also play well when incorporated mignonette and many other sauces. You wouldn’t want to use regular onions in your vinaigrette because you won’t enjoy it.

Although you can’t replace green onions with shallots, they taste better in raw meat, eggs, spaghetti sauce to noodles.

However, when you choose to use shallots instead of onions, you’ll have to use even five times more because of their small size.

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