Pantries and spice cabinets are powerhouses of the kitchen. They hold ingredients used in various dishes, many of which we count on. But what happens when we are out of something?
Do you stop cooking or find a comparable substitute? Recently, this happened to me when my onion powder was a brick and inedible. I need an onion powder substitute but wasn’t sure exactly what to use.
I had some fresh onions but wasn’t sure what the onion powder conversion was. So off I went. Want to learn the best onion powder substitute?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
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What Is Onion Powder?
A pantry staple used in various cuisines, onion powder, is dehydrated ground onion used as a seasoning. It adds a savory component to foods. Red, white, and yellow onions make up the powder.
Onion powder is 100% onion.
Onion powder is used to flavor soups, stews, hamburgers, and chilis and is the backbone of many spice rubs. It holds no significant nutritional value.
Sometimes clumps will form. You can add a few rice grains to absorb moisture to stop this.
Six Onion Powder Substitutes
- Fresh Onion — This is the most straightforward swap for onion powder. You are likely to have fresh onions on hand. Use ½ cup of chopped onion in place of one tablespoon of onion powder.
- Onion Salt —This spice blend consists of ground dehydrated onions and salt. Omit any other salt in your dish and taste as you go. You can always add a little bit of salt if needed. One teaspoon of onion salt is ¾ salt and ¼ onion powder.
- Onion Flakes — Onion flakes consist of chopped, dehydrated onion. If you want to swap these for onion powder, you can grind them in a spice grinder and then do equal substitutions.
- Leeks — This stalky green vegetable adds an excellent onion flavor to dishes. The most intimidating part of cooking leeks is cleaning them. Simply Recipes has a tutorial. Leeks are great in soups and stews. Sautee them in butter or olive oil to soften.
- Shallots — Looking for a less pungent option? Perhaps even an onion powder substitute that isn’t fussy? Try shallots. Use the same ratio of onions (½ cup chopped for one tablespoon powder).
- Chives — These are an excellent substitute for onion powder. They have a delicate texture so add them to dishes to allow the flavor to come through.
How To Make Onion Powder
It’s easy to make onion powder. Slice onions into rings, dehydrate, and then grind. Alpha Foodie has a great tutorial that includes options that don’t require special equipment.
Homemade onion powder will keep indefinitely, although it will lose flavor after a year.
Onion Powder Substitutes – Conversions
Onion Powder Substitute For Onion
You can substitute onion powder for onion. In general, 1 tbsp. Onion Powder = 1/2 cup chopped fresh onion.
One Onion To Onion Powder
One medium-sized onion chopped equals two cups. Using the standard above, you will need four tablespoons of onion powder equals ¼ cup.
One Tablespoon Minced Onion To Onion Powder
If you need, substitute ⅜ teaspoon of onion powder for one tablespoon of minced onion.
Here’s the math—one Tablespoon of onion powder substitutes for ½ cup of fresh chopped onion. Half a cup is equal to eight Tablespoons. One-eighth of a tablespoon equals ⅜ teaspoon.
One Teaspoon Onion Powder Substitute
If you don’t have onion powder, you can substitute an equal amount of onion flakes or granules. Or, if you wish to use fresh onion, just about three Tablespoons will do.
Onion Powder Substitutes FAQ
Onion Powder Substitute For Shallot
Shallots have a subtle, sweet flavor that differs from onion, but they can replace one another. One tablespoon of onion powder equals ½ cup of chopped shallot, approximately what a large one yields.
Onion Powder Substitute FODMAP
If you observe a Low FODMAP diet, Chives are a good substitute for onion powder. They are on the approved list from the University of Virginia.
Even though chives are a completely different food, they provide a similar savory flavor. Since this green grass-like herb is delicate, it’s excellent as a garnish. You can incorporate it in cooking, but the flavor won’t come through, so use it towards the end of cooking.
There is no direct conversion but use chives sparingly and taste as you go.
What Do You Think?
What do you use for an onion powder substitute? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
Are you looking for other food substitute ideas? We’ve got 23 mushroom substitutes, swaps for white beans, alternatives for chicken wings, and parmesan cheese, too.
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