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The 5 Best Substitutes for Onion Powder

Do you like to use onion powder a lot? We do too.

A dish becomes even more flavorful when we sprinkle some of it on the food.

It’s a versatile ingredient, so you can use it in various savory dishes.

It can also be an excellent substitute for those who don’t like fresh onions.

However, what if it’s the other way round? What if your favorite seasoning is unavailable?

Why do you worry about a trivial matter? There are several ingredients you can use when you run out of onion powder.

In the coming sections, we will learn about the 5 best substitutes for onion powder so keep reading.

What is Onion Powder?

what is onion powder

Onion powder is simply a seasoning and flavor agent made from pounded dried onions.

It’s a popular ingredient and is available in many places.

It’s very flavorful, and you can also use it as a spice in some dishes.

You will find red, white, or yellow onion powder at the stores.

You can also make it at home by following some simple steps and use them in marinades, bread, stews, soups or anything else.

Manufacturers use at least four methods to make the seasoning, including freeze-drying, vacuum-shelf drying, dehydration and flow drying.

The companies also use toasted onions to make some varieties of onion powder.

The 5 Best Substitutes For Onion Powder

If your preferred seasoning is unavailable and you need it urgently, the following alternatives can work pretty well.

1 – Onion Flakes

onion flakes

Onion flakes follow the same manufacturing process as onion powder.

It’s just dehydrated onion that’s not been pounded into powder.

You can use the flakes as they are or grind them in an appliance or with mortar and pestle.

You can use onion flakes in almost all the dishes that require the powder version.

Add as a whole or ground in dipping sauces, spreads, sandwiches and salads.

You can also sprinkle them on pizzas, soups and stews.

If you don’t like to use fresh variety, the flakes will work well in marinades if you want some onion flavor.

Onions contain vitamins B and C, calcium, manganese, iron, potassium and antioxidants.

So, using onion flakes regularly in your food can keep specific ailments at bay and boost overall well-being.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon onion flakes (ground) .
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon onion flakes (whole).

2 – Jarred Minced Onion

jarred minced onion

The manufacturing process is the same for onion flakes and jarred minced onion.

Its texture is more refined than the flakes variety but coarser than onion powder.

It can also be a suitable alternative when you don’t have your favorite seasoning.

Jarred minced onion can work great in any dish that asks for onion powder.

So, you can add it to soups, marinades, dry rubs, sauces and sprinkle on sandwiches and pizzas.

It’s also an excellent addition to the famous French onion dip.

You can find many varieties made by different brands, so there is an unlimited choice.

Keep some in the kitchen cupboard to use whenever needed.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 tablespoon jarred minced onion.

3 – Fresh Onion

fresh onion

If you are out of onion powder, fresh onion can also be an alternative in several dishes.

But the powder version has a more intense flavor when measured in the same amount.

So, you will have to add more whenever you use fresh onion.

You have the liberty to use any type of onion when substituting onion powder.

You can also cut it in various ways according to a recipe’s demands.

The crunch from fresh onions also is something of an advantage which the powder form can’t imitate.

Add fresh onions to stir-fries, soups, salads, stews, marinades, fried rice, sandwiches, pizzas and much more.

You can dice them up or slice them thin, or you can make rings too.

Fresh onion is also healthier because it’s natural, devoid of additional ingredients.

It contains loads of fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Quercetin, a substance in onions, can prohibit the activity or development of factors that cause cancer.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 3 tablespoons chopped fresh onion.

4 – Onion Salt

onion salt

Made from ground onion, salt and some spices, it can also replace onion powder in several dishes.

Except for the saltiness, both are almost the same.

So, when the other seasoning is missing, grab a bottle and use it as required.

Onion salt can be a perfect substitute in tomato and egg dishes, meat dishes, marinades, stir-fries, stews and soups.

You can also sprinkle it on top of salads and snacks.

Use it in any dish where there is a demand for onion powder.

It’s also a very healthy option as it doesn’t have fat, calories or cholesterol.

But you may want to lower the amount of salt and salty items to maintain the flavor.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1 teaspoon onion salt (reduce salt and salty items from the recipe).

5 – Garlic Powder

garlic powder

Finally, if you don’t have onion powder, you can opt for garlic powder.

It’s made in a similar way as the former ingredient but may contain some other spices as well.

It has a more pungent and different smell and flavor, but it can suit well in a variety of dishes.

Both are pretty versatile, but you can use garlic powder in even more dishes.

So, you have a great option when you use it.

Add it to garlic bread dough, bruschetta, sauces, and salad dressings; you can also make chutneys and include it in soups, stews, curries and pickles.

Besides being a flavorful spice, garlic also has many medicinal properties, and so does garlic powder.

When we chop, crush or chew garlic, it produces sulphuric compounds, which are responsible for the various health benefits.

Suitable ratio.

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder = 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (taste and add more if needed).


Since onion powder adds so much taste to food, it can be difficult not to cook without it.

But when it’s unavailable, you can always use one of the items mentioned above.

If you follow the ratio, your dish will taste delicious with a distinct aroma.

Apart from the five ingredients, you can also use shallots, onion paste, granulated onion, celery seed, fennel bulb, chopped celery, leeks, scallions, chopped chives, and garlic salt.

However, use them only if the others are unavailable.

Have fun cooking great dishes and enjoy them with family and friends.

If you love cooking, experiment with different ingredients to know what each dish tastes like with a specific component.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use in place of 1 teaspoon onion powder?

If you’re looking for a substitute for 1 teaspoon of onion powder, there are a few options available.

You can use one tablespoon of fresh chopped onion, or ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder as an alternative.

If you don’t have either of those on hand, try substituting with 1 teaspoon of dried minced onion, or 1 teaspoon of onion flakes.

All these options will give your dish the desired flavor of onion powder, without having to buy it.

Can I substitute onion powder for fresh onions?

Onion powder can be substituted for chopped fresh onions in some recipes, however you should not expect it to taste exactly the same.

The flavor and aroma of fresh onions can’t be replicated with onion powder. Additionally, the texture of chopped onions cannot be replicated either.

When substituting onion powder for fresh onion, use 2/3 the amount that is called for in the recipe to get a comparable flavor.

What can I use instead of onion and garlic powder?

If you don’t have either onion or garlic powder, you can use a combination of other seasonings to get the desired flavor.

A great substitute for onion and garlic powder is a mix of dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil and parsley.

This combination will give your dish an earthy, savory flavor that can provide a great alternative to onion and garlic powder. You can also experiment with other herbs or spices depending on the dish you’re making.

For example, cumin is often used as an onion substitute in Mexican cuisine. A pinch of cayenne could be used for heat instead of garlic powder.

Does onion powder make a difference?

Yes, onion powder can make a huge difference in the flavor of your dish. The powdered form of onion is much more potent than fresh onions, so you can use less onion powder to get the same flavor as fresh onions.

Onion powder also has a longer shelf life and doesn’t require any extra prep work like chopping or sautéing, making it a great addition to any pantry.

So if you want a flavorful way to enhance your dishes without much effort, onion powder is the perfect ingredient for you.

Do chefs use onion powder?

Yes, onion powder is a popular ingredient used by professional chefs and home cooks alike.

It’s an easy way to add an extra layer of flavor to any dish without having to do a lot of prep work.

Onion powder is also more shelf-stable than fresh onions and can stay good for up to two years, making it a great pantry staple.

Chefs also use it in certain recipes when they don’t want large chunks of onion in their dish or when the texture of fresh onions isn’t desired.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to add flavor without having to chop and sauté, onion powder is the perfect ingredient for you.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Onion Powder

onion powder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Onion Flakes
  • Jarred Minced Onion
  • Fresh Onion
  • Onion Salt
  • Garlic Powder


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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