5 Healthy Alternatives to Onions for Cooking


Onion is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world. It is consumed in various ways in almost all cuisines across the globe. Leaves and bulbs gotten from the onion plant are used in preparing soups, snacks, salads, vegetables, sauces, stews, barbecue, etc. They provide aroma and flavour to the food.

Onions are also rich in nutrients, low in calories, and high in vitamins and minerals. They are important in cooking any savoury and spicy dish. In Nigeria, onions are crucial to a typical Nigerian meal or snack. However, recently the price of onions has gone up and become exceedingly expensive. Here are 5 alternatives to onions for cooking.

1. Garlic

Benefits of Garlic for Men


You can use garlic as a substitute for onions. Garlic improves the flavour of the dish and has many amazing health benefits too. Garlic belongs to the genus Allium, which is the same as onions. Garlic is a good flavouring agent and can also be eaten as a vegetable. You can use garlic as an alternative to onions to flavour many foods, such as salad dressings, sauces, vegetables, meats, soups, and stews. However, you may have to add more garlic to make up for the onion flavour.

2. Carrots

Alternatives to onions

Carrots are affordable, colourful, and delicious. They can serve as a great alternative for onions for flavouring your food.

Carrots are an excellent source of fibre and vitamin A. This root vegetable is an amazing source of beta-carotene and antioxidants. Additionally, they are also low in calories and are very easy to cook and very versatile. Carrots can be chopped, fried, boiled and steamed to cook various soups, stews and sauces.

3. Ginger

Alternatives to onions

Ginger is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. The rhizome or underground part of the stem (ginger root) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is peeled and grated, then easily added to various sauces and marinades to spice up the dish. This aromatic spice adds warm spiciness and flavour to any dish, which makes it a suitable substitute for onions in your meal.

Ginger is also packed with nutrients and compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

4. Scallions (Green Onions)

Alternatives to onions

Scallions are vegetables belonging to the genus Allium. They are also called green or spring onions and have a milder taste than most onions. This vegetable is very healthy, as it is rich in antioxidants, minerals and fibre.

However, it is also a great alternative to onions for cooking. You can use scallions in preparing noodles, sauces and salads.

5. Chives

Alternatives to onions

Chives are a flowering plant that are closely related to onions. The leaves are used for a variety of culinary purposes. They can act as a flavouring herb and provide a milder onion-like flavour to your meal.

They are rich in many natural nutrients that the body needs. You can use chives to garnish your food, prepare sauces or salads.

Other alternatives to onions:

  • Leeks: Chopped leeks can be used as a substitute for onions in your recipe. They are firmer than scallions, and they provide a milder flavour to the dish.
  • Cabbage: Chopped cabbages can serve as an alternative to onions when making many snacks and barbecue like suya.
  • Shallots: These are another close relative to onions. Shallots can be diced, minced, or sliced, and then used for seasoning dishes.
  • Bell pepper


Bottom Line

There are so many reasons why many people would be seeking to find alternatives to onions for cooking. However, I’m sure that most Nigerians will need substitutes for onions because of how expensive it has become. These are alternatives for onions above, are healthy, tasty, and will give your food the flavour it needs.


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