The Best Onion Powder Substitute

The Best Onion Powder Substitute

No onion powder in the pantry and your favorite recipe calls for some? Here are some reliable substitutes for onion powder that can provide a similar flavor.

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Onions are a vital ingredient in the kitchen. Most dishes are incomplete without the strong and aromatic flavors of onions. If the tear inducing onions aren’t your thing, a great ingredient that can add similar flavors is onion powder. Onion powder is made of dried up onions which are grounded afterwards. Before cooking, the powder can be added to meats, curries, soups and sauces. With just a pinch of onion powder, you can achieve an onion like taste in casseroles, meatloaves and other regular dishes.

Onion powder’s texture is somewhere between a fine powder and granulated dehydrated onion flakes. Onion powder has a longer shelf life and offers a similar flavor in just a small amount. Run out of onions and onion powder? Here are some handy onion powder substitutes you can fall back on.

Best Onion Powder Substitutes

Onion powder, even though is not widely used in Indian cooking, can be a great addition to any dish. If you are running low on onion powder and need a similar alternative, here are some of the best onion powder substitutes.

1. Finely Grated Fresh Onion

Fresh onions paste gives aromatic flavor to a recipe without adding extra bulk to the dish when finely grated. In many recipes, this is a good onion powder substitute, but not for recipes that do not take the extra moisture. Onions have about 85% water, but are dehydrated to 4% in powder form, which means that you will have to adjust the liquid content of the recipe. Grated onion can be transformed into a moist paste that offers a fragrant flavor. The taste will be stronger than the onion powder.

Also Read: What To Do With Onions? 5 Ways To Use This Vegetable

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Grated onion can be transformed into a moist paste to add flavor and color to a dish.

2. Dehydrated Onion Flakes

Dehydrated flakes of onion are made of fresh dried onion, which is the source of onion powder. The flakes and onion powder differ widely on the size and shape. There is no particular taste difference, but the onion flakes add a sweeter taste than onion powder. Grinding the flakes in a blender will be close association with onion powder.

3. Onion Salt

Onion salt, which is exactly what it sounds like, is another substitute for onion powder. It is made from onion powder and salt. It is an excellent substitute for onion powder because the composition is primarily the same. Make sure you add the salt accordingly, as this mix contains salt already. Adjust the onion salt according to your own taste and tolerance.

The main problem with onion salt is the salt content. Start with half the quantity than what the recipe demands onion powder before adding salt. After every addition, you can adjust the flavor by adding onion salt and tasting it.

4. Scallions

Scallions or spring onions (hara pyaaz) are young onions with lots of green ends. These are used widely in Asian cooking. These onions are weaker in taste and not as pungent as red onions which are commonly used. Freshly, finely chopped scallions can be a great onion powder replacement. Make sure you caramelise them to achieve that distinct onion flavor.

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Used widely in Asian cooking, scallions are milder than red onions.

5. Garlic Powder

The flavor aspect of the dish will change completely when you add this, but the pungency will be similar. Even though it does not add an onion-like flavor, garlic powder will add lots of flavor to any dish.

6. Shallots

Shallots have many similarities with a typical red onion as well. It can vary in color from bright red to a golden brown, but its interior is pinkish white. Shallots , fresh or pickled, are a unique ingredient to flavor and texture to a dish. They have an onion-like taste, but slightly on the milder side. Shallots when caramelised or ground can replicate the taste of onion powder.

Shallots are milder in taste than regular onions.


Onion powder is a loved and heavily used ingredient in most kitchens. From seasonings to sauces to marinades, onion powder can be used in a lot of ways. Onion powder substitutes include, dehydrated onion flakes, finely grated fresh onions, scallions, shallots and onion salt.

Do you like using onion powder in the kitchen?

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