6 Shallot Substitutes

Are you in the process of making a recipe that calls for shallots but you don’t have access to any? Well, don’t panic! We’ve got you covered. 

Shallots are pretty hard to replace, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some pretty good substitutes out there.

6 Shallot Substitutes

If you don’t know what shallots are, they are small onions that are very light and quite delicate in flavor. The flavor even has subtle hints of garlic in it, so it’s quite distinct in the way it tastes. 

We’ve put together a list of 6 shallot substitutes that you can use if you find yourself in a position where getting hold of the real thing isn’t really possible. So let’s have a look! 

1. Garlic

It should be no surprise that garlic is the first substitute to kick off this list.

As we’ve already mentioned, shallots have a very subtle garlic flavor to them, so it only makes sense that you can use actual garlic when the real thing isn’t accessible. 

You can use either raw or roasted garlic as a substitute, but be aware that they taste slightly different. Raw garlic is a bit more spicey and potent, whereas roasted garlic is richer and sweeter.

Whichever form you choose will depend purely on the recipe you are making. 

Although garlic is a great substitute for shallots, bare in mind that garlic is quite a bit stronger, so it won’t mimic the taste of the shallots fully.

You might want to add less garlic to your dish than you would with the shallots to make sure the flavor isn’t too overpowering. 

2. Scallions 

Also known as green onions, scallions are another great substitute for shallots. They are in the same family of shallots, and this is one of the reasons they work so well. 

Scallions have a very mild taste and the white part of the scallions has a sweet onion flavor that strikingly resembles the flavor of actual shallots.

You can use scallions in either their raw or cooked form, and they taste just as good either way. 

3. Leeks 

Leeks are a good option too. Leeks are a lot milder in flavor than onions (see also ‘5 Substitutes You Can Use Instead Of Spanish Onions‘) and they taste slightly sweet, which is a similar taste to cooked shallots. 

Leeks are also a great substitute if you’re looking for a healthier option. They are rich in vitamins C, K1, and A. They also help greatly against heart disease. 

If you do choose to use leeks as a substitute, make sure you rinse them and thinly slice them. Once you’ve done this, you can prepare them exactly how you would prepare shallots.

4. Chives

Chives are mild and they aren’t too spicey in taste, and they can be used as a substitute for many recipes and dishes. 

If you are making recipes that call for fresh shallots but you can’t get a hold of them, then chopped chives are a great alternative for you to use.

The main thing you have to watch out for with chives is their different texture. 

Cooking them can also deplete their flavor quite a bit, and because they are already mild in flavor when they are raw, this can change the taste of the dish considerably. 

5. Yellow Onions

Many people, including professional chefs, consider yellow onions (see also ‘5(½) Substitutes You Can Use Instead Of Spanish Onions‘) to be the best shallot substitute of them all. They are quite similar in taste to shallots and are neither too sweet nor too sharp. 

They are also incredibly nutritious, so just like leeks, they are quite a healthy substitute. They are filled with vitamin C, potassium, and good levels of iron. 

Yellow onions are quite easy to find and are easily accessible to find in most grocery stores. They also work as a substitute in both their raw and cooked forms.

6. Dried Onions

You can also use dried onions for a shallot substitute. The only real issue with using dried onions is that they will not have the same texture as shallots, nor will they have the exact same taste.

Dried onions are known for their higher concentrated flavor, so if you do use dried onions, make sure you use a considerably smaller amount so the flavor doesn’t become overpowered. 

Dried onions are incredibly versatile though, so if you get the measurements right, you can use them in a variety of dishes. 


Luckily, there are plenty of good substitutes for shallots. As you can see from this list, various types of onions make some of the best substitutions because they are so similar in taste and texture. 

Shallots are, after all, small onions themselves, so it only makes sense that other varieties of onions work so well. 

Try out some of these substitutes today and see which one you enjoy the most. Next time you run out shallots, you can fall back on these options! 

6 Shallot Substitutes

6 Shallot Substitutes

Recipe by Jenna

Are you in the process of making a recipe it calls for shallots but you don’t have any? Click here to learn about 6 shallot substitutes you can use instead!

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Garlic

  • Scallions 

  • Leeks 

  • Chives

  • Yellow Onions

  • Dried Onions


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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