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The 5 Best Substitutes for Spanish Onions

The Spanish onion, a type of yellow onion, is named for the country where it was first cultivated.

It has a milder flavor than other onion varieties, making it a good choice for salads.

The skin of the Spanish onion is thin and papery, and the flesh is pale yellow.

When cooked, Spanish onions become sweet and tender.

They are often used in French onion soup, and other dishes were desired a subtle onion flavor.

In addition to its culinary uses, the Spanish onion is also believed to have medicinal properties.

You can use these onions in any recipe that calls for yellow onions, but you may want to consider using a different onion if a strong flavor is desired.

Spanish onions are a popular ingredient in many dishes, but they can be hard to find and expensive.

If you’re looking for a good substitute, consider five options.

Each of these substitutes will give your dish a similar flavor to Spanish onions without the hassle or expense.

Let’s take a look at them.

What is Spanish Onion?

what is spanish onion

Spanish onions are a variety of onions commonly used in culinary dishes.

Also known as “brown onions,” they have a milder flavor than other types of onions, making them a versatile ingredient for soups, stews, and sauces.

Spanish onions are typically larger than other varieties, and their thin, papery skin makes them easy to peel.

The flesh of the Spanish onion is white and has a mild flavor.

Spanish onions are often used in soups, stews, and salads.

They can also be sautéed or roasted and served as a side dish.

Because of their large size, Spanish onions are also often used as an ingredient in recipes that call for chopped onions.

When cooked, Spanish onions become sweet and caramelized, adding a richness of flavor to any dish.

Whether you’re sautéing them with other vegetables or slicing them into thin strips for salads, Spanish onions are a versatile and delicious addition to any meal.

When choosing a Spanish onion, look for one that is firm and heavy for its size with crisp, dry outer layers.

Avoid onions that are soft or have brown spots on the skin, as these may be signs of decay.

Spanish onions can be stored in a cool, dry place for two weeks.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Spanish Onions

If you find yourself in a pinch and don’t have any Spanish onions on hand, several good substitutes will work just as well in your recipe.

1. White Onions

white onions

One of the most common vegetables in the kitchen, white onions are a staple in many dishes.

There are two types of white onion: the American white onion and the European white onion.

The American white onion is spicier and has a sharper flavor than the European white onion.

They’re versatile, inexpensive, and keep for a long time in the pantry.

But what exactly are white onions, and how do they differ from other kinds of onions? White onions are a type of allium, along with garlic, chives, and leeks.

They have white papery skin and crisp white flesh.

They’re slightly more pungent than yellow onions and have a sharper flavor.

White onions are often used in Mexican dishes like salsa, guacamole, and enchiladas.

2. Sweet Onions

sweet onions

There’s something about sweet onions that makes them irresistible.

Maybe it’s their plump, juicy texture or delicate flavor that is both sweet and savory.

Whatever the reason, sweet onions are a favorite ingredient in many dishes.

They can be used in salads, soups, and sauces, or they can be grilled or roasted for a delicious side dish.

Sweet onions are also a great topping for pizzas and burgers.

Compared to Spanish onions, sweet onions are much milder in flavor.

They are also much sweeter, making them a great choice for dishes that need a little sweetness.

Sweet onions also have a softer texture, so they may not be the best choice for dishes that require a lot of cooking or frying.

When substituting sweet onions for Spanish onions, you will need to consider the dish’s sweetness.

If you are making a savory dish, you may want to add a little extra salt or acidity to balance out the sweetness of the onions.

Sweet onions can also be used in desserts, such as pies and cakes.

Just be sure to adjust the sugar content of the recipe accordingly.

3. Vidalia Onions

vidalia onions

Have you ever had a Vidalia onion? If you haven’t, you’re missing out.

Vidalia onions are a type of sweet onion that is grown in Georgia.

They have a milder flavor than other onions, making them perfect for salads and dishes where you don’t want the onion to be too overpowering.

The Vidalia onion is a variety of the common onion, and its sweetness characterizes it.

The sweetness of the Vidalia onion is due to the low sulfur level in the soil where it is grown.

Vidalia onions are typically yellow or light brown, and they have a slightly flattened shape.

The skin of the Vidalia onion is thin and delicate, and the flesh is white or pale yellow.

Vidalia onions are typically used in salads, as they are not as strong in flavor as other onions.

They are also one of the only onions that can be eaten raw, as they are not as intense as other types of onions.

Vidalia onions are available from early spring through late summer, and they can be found in most grocery stores.

4. Walla Walla Onions

walla walla onions

Those of you unfamiliar with Walla Walla onions are a type of onion that is grown in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington State.

The onions are large and round, with light golden skin and a sweet, mellow flavor.

They are named after the town of Walla Walla, located in the heart of the onion-growing region.

When cooked, they become even sweeter, making them a great choice for caramelized onions or roasted vegetables.

They can also be used to substitute Spanish onions in many recipes.

The onions are harvested in late summer, and they are available fresh from August through October.

They can also be stored for several months if they are cured properly.

The key is to cure them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Once they are cured, you can keep them in a mesh bag or an open container in your pantry.

5. Yellow Onions

yellow onions

Last but not least, we have yellow onions.

These are the most common type of onion, and they’re also the ones you’ll find in most recipes.

Yellow onions have a papery skin that can range in color from white to brown.

They’re also the sharpest-tasting of all the onions, so yellow onions are the way to go if you’re looking for that classic onion flavor.

Yellow onions are also the most versatile when it comes to cooking.

You can use them in just about any dish, from soups and stews to roasted vegetables and grilled meats.

And because they’re so common, they’re also the easiest to find.

You can usually find yellow onions in the produce section of your local grocery store.

Compared to Spanish onions, the two are identical in shape and size.

They both have that same classic onion flavor, but yellow onions are sharper.

Yellow onions are also a bit easier to find, making them a good substitute if you can’t find Spanish onions at your local grocery store.


Spanish onions are a type of onion that is widely used in cooking.

They have a sharp, flavorful taste that lends itself well to many dishes.

However, they can be difficult to find in stores, and they can be quite expensive.

As a result, many people choose to use substitutes instead.

Some common substitutes for Spanish onions include yellow onions, white onions, and Vidalia onions.

Each of these options has its unique flavor, so it is important to choose one that will complement the dish you are making.

Ultimately, the best substitute for Spanish onions is the one that best suits your taste and your budget.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Spanish Onions

The 5 Best Substitutes for Spanish Onions
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • White Onions
  • Sweet Onions
  • Vidalia Onions
  • Walla Walla Onions
  • Yellow Onions


  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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