5 best chive substitute options

chive substitute
Chives are a popular, versatile cooking herb known for their mild onion-like flavor and bright green color. Green onions or scallions can be an excellent replacement for chives in most dishes. While they have a slightly stronger flavor, they share similar characteristics and can provide a similar taste profile to chives.

What is the flavor profile of chives?

The flavor of chives is onion-like, with a slightly sweet and grassy undertone. The taste is fresh, subtle, and refreshing, making it a popular herb in many dishes, especially in French and Mediterranean cuisine.

It also has an ounce of garlicky flavor and some similarities with scallions and green onions.

What is a good alternative for chives?


While several herbs and spices work as alternatives to chives, scallions are your best bet because they have a similar flavor profile. Scallions are also known as green onions or spring onions, and they are a type of onion that has a mild onion flavor with a hint of sweetness.

When comparing the flavor profiles of chives and scallions, chives have a milder, more delicate onion flavor, while scallions have a slightly stronger flavor. Scallions also have a bit more crunch and texture compared to chives.

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You can use scallions in many with chives, such as potato salad, omelets, and baked potatoes. You can also use them in marinades, dressings, sauces, stir-fry, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and dips. 

Using scallions in a dish can add a subtle onion flavor and a slight crunch, enhancing the plate’s overall taste and texture. Note that 1 tablespoon of chopped scallions equals 1 tablespoon of chopped chives.

Other great alternatives include parsley, barlauch, wild garlic (ramsons), or Chinese leeks.

What is a good substitute for fresh chives?

Fresh chives are the best way to infuse your dish with their flavor. If you don’t have any around, there are plenty of options. Here are the best chives substitutes:

  1. Leeks
  2. Shallots
  3. Garlic
  4. Parsley
LeeksThey have an onion flavor with a slightly sweet taste, work well in soups, stews, and casseroles and can be used as a garnish or chopped and cooked into the dish
ShallotsHave a mild onion flavor with a slightly sweet taste and a hint of garlic, go well with vinaigrettes, sauces, and marinades
GarlicHas a strong flavor that can be overpowering if used in large quantities, but it works well as a substitute in savory dishes, such as soups, stews, and sauces
ParsleyFresh, sweeter, slightly bitter flavor can work well as a substitute for chives in salads, and marinades

1. Leeks


Leeks are a great ingredient substitute for fresh chives as they have an onion flavor with a slightly sweet taste. The texture is similar to chives, with a slight crunch, making them an ideal replacement. However, their flavor is very intense, so it’s best to soak them in iced water before use so they won’t overpower the dish.

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Leeks work well in soups, stews, and casseroles and can be used as a garnish or chopped and cooked into the dish. 

Ideally, you’d have to use about half the amount of leeks when substituting. 

2. Shallots


Shallots have a mild onion flavor with a slightly sweet taste and a hint of garlic. They are an excellent substitute for fresh chives in dishes that require a milder onion flavor but a more potent overall aroma, such as vinaigrettes, sauces, and marinades. 

When substituting, make sure to use 2/3 the volume of shallots.

3. Garlic


Garlic has a strong, pungent flavor that can be overpowering if used in large quantities. However, it can work well as a substitute for fresh chives in small amounts. 

Garlic is ideal for savory dishes, such as soups, stews, and sauces – some might even say it works with anything. Still, garlic is not a great substitute when the recipe requires a more onion-like taste.

The substitution ratio is 1 garlic clove for every tablespoon of chopped fresh chives.

4. Parsley


Parsley’s fresh, sweeter, slightly bitter flavor can work well as a substitute for chives in certain dishes. However, it will provide a different mild onion flavor than chives, so there may be better choices for all recipes. 

It is ideal for use in salads, dressings, and marinades.

The substitution ratio is 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley for every tablespoon of chopped fresh chives. 

What could be substituted for dried chives?

Onion powder
Onion powder

If you don’t have dried chives, one alternative you’ll find in your closest grocery store is onion powder. Onion powder has a flavor profile similar to chives but is more concentrated and intense. Chives have a milder, more delicate flavor than onion powder but share a similar onion-like taste.

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When substituting onion powder for dried chives, use 1 teaspoon of onion powder for 1 tablespoon of dried chives.

When added to a dish, onion powder can add a subtle sweetness, depth of flavor, and a slight pungency that can complement and enhance the other flavors. It can also provide a savory, umami flavor that can make the dish more satisfying. Here are some recipes where you can use this spice:

  • Soups and stews
  • Sauces and dips
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Meat dishes: such as steak, chicken, and pork
  • Roasted vegetables: such as potatoes, carrots, and broccoli, add a savory flavor
  • Baked potatoes: sprinkled on top of a baked potato with butter, sour cream, and other toppings
  • Deviled eggs: added to the filling 
  • Cream cheese dip: mixed into cream cheese to make a flavorful dip for vegetables or crackers
  • Soba noodle dishes

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried chives instead of fresh ones?

You can use dried chives as a substitute for fresh chives. However, remember that the flavor of dried chives is tamer than fresh chives – so they don’t provide much flavor. However, it’s better than nothing. As an estimate, one tablespoon of fresh chives equals a teaspoon of dried ones. 

Can I Substitute Chives for Shallots?

Chives and shallots have different flavor profiles, so substituting one for the other may not provide the exact taste you’re looking for, but in some recipes, such as salads or dressings, you can use one instead of the other.

Can I use parsley instead of chives?

While parsley has a different flavor than chives, you can use it as a substitute in some dishes where a mild herb flavor is needed, such as soups or stews.

Can I use Dill instead of chives?

Dill has a unique flavor quite different from chives, but you can still use it in some recipes where a fresh herb is needed, such as on fish or in a dip.

Can I use spring onion instead of chives?

Spring onions have a mild onion flavor, but they are not a substitute for chives, as chives have a much milder taste and are typically used for their green color and delicate texture.

Can I use onion powder instead of chives?

Onion powder can be used as a substitute for chives in a pinch, but remember that the flavor will be much stronger, so use it sparingly.

Can I use garlic instead of chives?

Garlic has a much stronger flavor than chives, so it is not the best substitute. However, if you are making a dish that includes garlic and chives, you can increase the amount of garlic and use it as a substitute.


Alexandra is a passionate writer with a deep appreciation for food - not just as nourishment but as an expression of culture, a reflection of history, and a celebration of life. She knows that everything in life requires a little spice - and gets a kick (get it?) every time she achieves the perfect combination of heat and depth.

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