Substitute for Shallots and How Is It Different From Onions

Substitute for Shallots and How Is It Different From Onions

One of the fundamental and primary tasks for everyday living includes cooking. And of course, there are some essential elements and ingredients for every recipe. One such vital ingredient that people use in cooking is shallots. However, you would need a substitute for shallots if you do not find them available for your recipe.

What are shallots?

Shallots are vegetables added to various dishes to enhance their flavor and taste, like onion and garlic. Several recipes involve using shallots to add a nice finish to the plate. Not only do they make your food taste great, but they are also full of nutrients.

But there are times when shallots might not be available for you to make a particular dish. Moreover, you might not want to add shallots due to allergies or other health-related issues. Yet you cannot make your food without it, as most dishes require some flavoring agent.

Do not worry, as there are quite a few types of substitute for shallots that you can use to make your food. So that your dish doesn’t miss anything on the taste and you can enjoy your delicious meal.

Shallots are vegetables closely related to garlic, onion, or chives, and thus they belong to the allium family. They are small compared to the typical onion and have skin with a papery-like texture and coppery-pink color.

Substitute for Shallots and How Is It Different From Onions

Can I substitute shallots for onions?

Under the skin, the flesh looks white or pale-purple. As a flavoring ingredient in cooking, a shallot is quite similar to onion and garlic. But unlike an onion’s strong taste and flavor, shallots have a milder and more delicate taste. You can store a shallot in cold and dry storage, just like onions preserving it for about a month.

Like onions, shallots are very flexible to use in different recipes. You can use them as chopped, sliced, shredded, cooked, and raw and various other types depending on your preference. You can add other flavoring veggies like garlic, onion, and chives with shallots.

They are good if used in cooked dishes and vinaigrettes, salads, salsas, and even marinades. In addition, you can use it to fry on oil or butter in cooked food or make soups, sauces, and other dishes. Shallots are highly nutritious as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Shallots are delicious ingredients and are extremely good at adding flavor to your food. Many use shallots in soups, stews, and even fish or meat recipes. But if you have any problem using shallots or are currently unavailable, there are some types of substitute for shallots.

Types of shallots

Like many food ingredients, even shallots have different types. Each differs in shapes, sizes, and even slightly in taste. One can choose any of these for their cooking depending on their choices:

Jersey shallot

Jersey shallot, also known as pink shallot, is one of the most common shallots used today. These shallots have a rosier color and are very delicious. People also call it red shallot, orange shallot, or even false shallot.

French shallots

This is one of the most famous shallots used in different dishes by many people. These are mainly used to make French and Asian cuisine dishes. But it can also be used to make other dishes, like soups, vinaigrettes and more.

French grey shallot

According to many people, this shallot is perhaps the best kind of shallot. That is why people often refer to it as the true shallot or griselle shallot.

As the name suggests, the griselle shallot is a French-style shallot. It has grey-colored skin with an inside of almost purple.

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This shallot is known for its elongated shape, and its highly robust flavor makes your dishes more delicious. It takes almost 200 days to mature and cannot be stored for that long as it does not have a long shelf life.

Banana shallot

The banana shallot is a kind of shallot that is a hybrid made by mixing onion and shallot. But even though this shallot is a hybrid, it is pretty standard and is used in many dishes.

It is the largest shallot with brown or rusty color outside, having an easier skin peal. This shallot tastes like a softer and sweeter version of onion or garlic. This shallot is also known as Echalion shallot.

Yellow shallot

The yellow shallot, more commonly known as the golden shallot, is a small onion. This also provides a milder, softer, and sweet taste than most onions. The yellow or golden shallot is usually used in stews and soups to add more flavor to the dish. More commonly, it is famous for being used in pickles recipes.

Ambition shallot

The name might sound intimidating or motivating, but it is a mild-tasting shallot. These are teardrop-shaped shallots that take a bit of time to grow. These are some of the first shallots to grow from seeds rather than the bulb. This is due to the research of a Netherlands company.

Prisma shallot

The Prisma shallot is another example of a hybrid shallot. This is also known as the red shallot due to its color. It is red from both inside and outside. This shallot has very smooth skin. This shallot is an exception compared to other shallots. This has a more dense, intense, and strong taste. One can say it’s the perfect substitute for onions.

These are a few types of shallots that are commonly used. But if you have any problem using shallots, there are plenty of substitutes for shallots for you to use.

How to substitute for shallots in cooking?

Cooking is one of the necessary skills to acquire for everyday tasks. As various ingredients are required for cooking, one must be aware of these vital things.

One such ingredient is shallots added to various dishes to magnify and enhance their taste. The presence of shallot in your recipe adds flavor to your plate, making it delicious. Due to its mild, soft, and tender taste, it is acceptable to many people and used in various dishes worldwide.

Also, shallots are used in various dishes due to their nutritious nature. There is a load of nutrition one can get through shallots. You can get iron, zinc, vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber by eating shallots.

So people consider it both healthy and tasty. Moreover, due to its versatility, one can use shallots in almost every dish. This allows the cook to change dishes with the same flavoring ingredient. But if you don’t want to use shallots, there are many substitutes for shallots for you to add to your dish. So if anyone doesn’t prefer shallots or has an allergy or health issue should not be a factor to enjoy a dish.

Substitute for Shallots and How Is It Different From Onions

What can I substitute for shallots?

Shallots are an essential vegetable you need to use to add smell and flavor to your dish. It can be used for various purposes like chopped, smashed, sliced, and more. However, there comes a time when you might not be able to get shallots, or you don’t like shallots or other reasons. Still, you can make your favorite dish by using the best shallots substitutes yet getting the same result.

Yellow onions

Firstly, shallots are closely related to onions, so it is logical to replace them with onions. But rather than any onion, yellow onions are almost perfect for replacing it.

They have a soft taste and are not too sweet or too sharp. You can get the same taste as a shallot using a yellow onion. This also has much nutrition, including vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, and more. Thus they have health benefits, including resisting fatty liver and even some cancers.

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Of course, the old and classic ingredient to add flavor is garlic. This is another suitable replacement for shallots, as it falls under the same family as shallots.

Although, garlic tastes a bit strong and spicy and has a more pungent smell. However, it tends to take on a sweeter and richer taste when fried or roasted. Thus, you can use raw and cooked garlic, depending on the necessary recipe.

You can also use this chopped, crushed, or add little garlic cloves. Although you won’t get the exact taste, it’s still going to be delicious.


A chive is one of those plants that are related to onions. Like shallots, they also have a soft, delicate, and mild taste and are not too strong or spice.

Unlike garlic, you can get a more shallot-like taste using chivies. These are green stalks, and small white blubs added in dished or served as garnishes.

One can use chives in soup, stew, omelet, and mashed potatoes. You can serve these as chopped, shredded, or sliced. But when cooking chives, you should keep in mind that they are a bit different from shallots. So cooking for too long can deepen their mild flavor.

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are an extension of garlic or the stalk grown from the garlic bulb. But compared to the garlic bulb, they have a milder and sweeter taste.

Using this as a substitute for shallots adds taste, flavor to your dish and makes it more delicious. And just like shallots, you can use garlic scapes raw or cooked depending on your choice. However, you might get a slight taste and texture than shallots. This can be used as roasted, garnish, omelets, scrambled eggs, and more.

Red onions

Like a yellow onion, red onions are also an excellent option to replace shallots. However, they taste a bit potent and more robust than yellow onions and have a sharper taste.

They also have various health benefits like preventing cardio and neurodegenerative diseases. Red onions have a more pungent taste than yellow ones, which also have a savory flavor than shallots.

Thus, it is better to consider the amount of red onion you use while cooking. You must use a smaller portion of red onions than in shallots.

Substitute for Shallots and How Is It Different From Onions


Leeks are another relative of shallots and have an excellent similar taste and flavor profile. Compared to red onions, they are way milder and slightly sweet and tender taste.

Their nutritional value is also high, containing magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, provitamin A, and antioxidants. These are extremely good for health-protecting from cardiac diseases. One can use leeks in soups, mashed potatoes, stew, pasta, and more.

Dried onions

Dried onions are also a suitable replacement for shallots. It can provide you a close or similar taste as shallots but may differ in texture a bit. Like red onions, you can also try dried onions in small quantities compared to what you would use in shallots. This is because dried onions have a concentrated and robust flavor than shallots. Soups, stews, steaks, and vinaigrettes go excellent with dried onions.


Scallions or green onions are another adequate substitute for shallots. There are also in the same family as shallots. The entire scallion plant is edible: the green tops and white bottoms. They provide a mild taste to your dish, similar to that of shallots. However, the white part is slightly sweeter. You can eat it raw or cooked, deepening your choice and the recipe.

Final thoughts

You can make various dishes with shallots, and of course, these will taste delicious. This is because of shallots’ flavoring properties mixed with your recipe, thus, giving it more taste. But often, people have problems with shallots. This can be due to the unavailability of shallots or allergy or doesn’t prefer shallots. In those cases, the best option is to substitute for shallots like red or green onions, garlic, leeks, and others. These give you the perfect replacement of shallots as a flavoring agent to pop up the taste and make it more delicious.

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