Onions are often dehydrated to retain the sweet pungent flavor they're known for, to create onion powder. Often used in savory dishes, onion powder has the added benefit of tear-free cooking. It comes in many forms from toasted onion powder to dehydrated chopped onions depending on the needs of your dish.
Substitutes for onion powder include the many forms of onion you may have on hand: salt, fresh, and chopped. Shallots, fennel bulbs and celery can also be used as an alternative to onion powder in a pinch.
Substitutes for Onion Powder
While onion powder is a staple in many savory dishes, and has it’s benefits over using fresh onions, it can easily be replaced by using the fresh version. Shallots, scallions, or any of the other substitutions here will work just fine, although you may have to use a bit more of the fresh version to get the same flavor packed into onion powder. Our favorite substitutions for onion powder are:
Onion Powder Substitute for Fresh Onion
While onion powder provides a quick chop-free onion flavor to dishes, some recipes work better with the texture and water content of a fresh onion, so be sure your recipe doesn’t rely on the dryness of onion powder when making this substitution. If opting to use fresh onion instead of powder, use about half a cup of fresh onion for every tablespoon called for onion powder.
How to Make Onion Powder
You can make your own onion powder in a dehydrator using fresh onions, and end up with a great tasting and easy to use powder.
- Wash your onions to remove dirt.
- Remove the roots and peel the outer layer of onion
- Thinly slice the onions to about ¼-⅛ inch thick
- Lay your onion slices on dehydrator trays with space between them to ensure proper airflow
- Dehydrate the onions at 100-110 degrees fahrenheit for 12 hours to several days. Doe conventional oven, cook at 140 degrees fahrenheit until crunchy, usually a few hours.
- Check that the onions are dry, they should snap in half, not bend. If they do not snap, continue to dehydrate
- Ground and store your onion powder in an airtight container
Common Onion Powder Substitution Questions
Can I substitute fresh onion for onion powder?
Yes! Use about ½ cup fresh onion for every tablespoon of onion powder.
Can I substitute onion powder for garlic powder
Yes! While these two seasonings have different flavors, they both add a savory quality into dishes. Because garlic powder is a bit stronger than onion powder, use about ½ the amount of garlic powder as you would onion powder.
What can you use instead of onion powder?
Instead of onion powder you can use: grated fresh onion, shallots, fennel bulbs, scallions, garlic powder, onion salt, or celery.
Can I make my own onion powder?
Yes! Using a dehydrator, cook sliced onions at about 110 degrees fahrenheit for 12 hours until they are crisp. Once they’re crisp enough to snap in half, grind them down and store in an airtight container.