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The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Onion powder is a common form of seasoning that is regularly used to add seasoning or flavor to a variety of dishes. It’s most commonly used in savory dishes.

Onion powder isn’t always convenient to use, however. If you don’t have any fresh onion to hand or are catering to someone who doesn’t like fresh onion in their dishes, you may need a different option.

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder

In such cases, it’s essential to find a suitable substitute.

If you ever run out of onion powder, then the best substitutes are fresh onion, minced onion, onion flakes, onion salt, and scallions.

Whether you are cooking a savory dish, making a dip, or seasoning meat, these substitutes can help you achieve the desired taste and texture.

Let’s dive into the world of onion powder substitutes and discover the best ingredients that suit your needs.

What Does Onion Powder Taste Like?

Onion powder has a very similar flavor to fresh onions, only it is much more concentrated.

It has the same aroma as onion and can be used in similar ways. Although most commonly used in savory recipes, it does have use in sweet recipes as well.

Different varieties of onion powder are made from different types of onion, but white onion is the most popular. It can also be made from toasted onions, yellow onions, or red onions.

Nutritional Value Of Onion Powder

  • Calories: 24
  • Fat: 0.01g
  • Carbs: 5.57g
  • Protein: 0.7g
  • Fiber: 0.39g

Nutritional Value

One tablespoon ofCaloriesFatCarbsProteinFiberRatio
Fresh onion40g1.01g0.09g0.14g3:1
Minced onion300g7g1g0g1:1
Onion flakes170g4g0g0g1:1 or 3:1
Granulated onion24.60.1g5.7g0.8g1.1g2:1
Onion salt6.30g1.4g0.2g0.3g1:1
Scallions20.01g0.44g0.11g0.2gAs needed

Onion Powder Substitutes

Let’s take a closer look at the substitutes for onion powder.

1. Fresh Onion

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - Fresh Onion

Our first substitute is possibly the most obvious. As you can substitute onion powder in place of fresh onion, the opposite is also true and you can use fresh onion in any recipe that requires onion powder.

Onion powder has a more concentrated flavor when compared to fresh onion so you will need to take this into consideration when you make your substitution.

We recommend using three tablespoons of chopped onion for every one tablespoon of onion powder.

Remember that fresh onion has a higher water content than onion powder so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid included in the recipe.

2. Minced Onion

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - Minced Onion

Jarred minced onion shares many similarities with onion powder. It’s dried onion that has been finely ground but isn’t quite as fine as onion powder.

It’s a little coarser but despite this, can be used in the same quantities as onion powder.

If your recipe calls several tablespoons of onion powder, we don’t recommend using minced onion as it is too coarse in larger quantities.

Minced onion is best used when you only need one or two tablespoons.

3. Onion Flakes

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - Onion Flakes

This is one of the best and most universal substitutes for onion powder.

It can be used in practically every recipe that calls for onion powder and when prepared correctly, can be substituted on a simple one-to-one basis, making them very easy to use.

Onion flakes are larger than onion powder as they’re flakes. You can keep them as they are or grind them into powder with a mortar and pestle to make them even more similar to onion powder.

If you do decide to keep them whole, you will need to adjust the ratio, however.

As the flakes are bigger, you will need more of them to get the same amount of flavor. We recommend using one tablespoon of whole flakes for every 1 teaspoon of onion powder.

4. Granulated Onion

There are many similarities between granulated onion and onion powder.

They’re made in very similar ways and have similar flavors so granulated onion makes for a solid substitute for onion powder.

The main difference between the two is that granulated onion is coarser than the more fine onion powder.

However, it is finer than some of the other substitutes on this list such minced onion and unground onion flakes.

As granulated onion is coarser, you do need to use a little more than you would with onion powder. We recommend using two tablespoons of granulated onion for every one tablespoon of onion powder.

5. Onion Salt

If you’ve ever used garlic salt before, onion salt may not be a strange concept for you. Onion salt is usually a mix of onion powder and salt in a three-to-one ratio.

The mix often has a couple of other ingredients such as a preservative to keep the different ingredients together.

You can use onion salt as a straight one-to-one substitution for onion powder.

However, be aware that onion salt does have a high content so you may want to avoid this if you are cutting down the salt in your diet. You should also consider reducing the amount of salt included in the recipe.

6. Scallions

Chopped scallions can be used as a substitute for onion powder but are more limited in their application.

We don’t recommend them for any type of recipe that requires a dry powder to be mixed in so they may not work as well with meatballs, for example.

However, for other dishes where onion powder is used as a garnish, you can use scallions instead.

Cut them finely and use as much or as little as you want. Scallions work great as a topping for soups and chilis, for example.

In fact, there are several different vegetables that you can use in a similar way to scallions. These include:

  • Chives
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Celery

Simply chop and add to the recipe as a topping.

Leeks are especially suitable for soups and stews but if you decide to use celery, remember that this vegetable is high in liquid so you will need to reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe.

Onion powder is used in a number of different savory recipes. Let’s look at some of the most common ones.


The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - Meatballs

Meatballs can be used in so many different recipes such as stews and with spaghetti sauce. As well as ground meat, these commonly use onion powder instead of chopped onions.

French Onion Dip

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - French Onion Dip

If you’re looking for a dip for your chips, French onion dip is a great option. This is commonly made with fresh onion but adding some onion powder will give it a more intense flavor.

Fried Chicken

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder - Fried Chicken

The key to making the best fried chicken lies in how you season your chicken before you fry it. Onion powder is one of the most common seasonings and will make your chicken taste delicious.

Vegetable Soup

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder -Vegetable Soup

There are so many different types of soup that use onion powder to add a little more flavor to the liquid base.

One of the most common soups that use onion powder is vegetable soup so don’t be surprised to see onion powder on your ingredients list.

Black Bean Chili

The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder -Black Bean Chili

Like soup, chili is another type of dish where many different varieties use some onion powder.

Using onion powder means you can skip fresh onion and instead your chili will be packed with beans and vegetables.


The Best 6 Ingredients To Substitute For Onion Powder -Fritters

Onion fritters generally use both fresh onion and onion powder to make the onion taste even stronger. Other fritters such as corn and zucchini will require onion powder only.


In this article, we looked at the 6 best ingredients to substitute for onion powder. As you can see from our list, they all have different properties and consistencies.

Many of them can be used as a one-to-one substitution but some do require adjustments to the ingredients so take this into consideration.

We also introduced some common recipes that use onion powder. These are all savory dishes but they cover a range of different dishes such as chili, soup, meat, and dips.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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