substitute for chives

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Are you making a recipe that calls for chives? If you are and you’ve just noticed that you have no chives in your kitchen, then this list of easy ways to substitute for chives is sure to come in handy for you! It outlines 7 easy chive substitute options! Some you may have in your kitchen right now!

substitute for chives

Chives, scientifically known as Allium Schoenoprasum, are a flowering plant in the Amaryllidaceae family which generates edible leaves and blossoms. 

Onions, shallots, scallions, garlic, leeks, and Chinese onions are close relatives of chives. 

Chives are a popular herb that you can find in supermarkets, but you can also grow them easily in your own backyard garden. Chives are used popularly to garnish omelets, soups, stews, and mashed potatoes. It is also used to make crab cakes, potstickers, sauces, seasonings, and broths and to make spreads for bread and sandwiches.

Chives impart a mild onion-like, or leek flavor with garlic undertones and a mild herb scent to any dish.

If you’re making a dish that calls for chives but you can’t find any, the best chive substitutes are dried chives, scallions, Chinese leeks, leeks, shallots, onions, and baerlauch or wild garlic.

We discuss each of these chive alternatives in more detail below including the recipes each can be used in, why each works as a sub for chives, as well as the appropriate substitute ratios.

Best ways to substitute for chives

Dried chives

dried chives

An ideal substitute for fresh chives is dried chives. Dried chives, like most other dried herbs, have a more concentrated flavor than fresh, so add less of it when you’re using it as an alternative for chives.



The best substitute for chives are Scallions also called green onions, spring onions or sibies. Scallions are young onions or bulbs with wider stalks that have 3 separate sections which are white, light green and dark green. 

The dark green section of the scallions have a taste that is mildly oniony, like chives, and this makes it an excellent substitute for chives. 

Use scallions to replace chives in any dish in a 1:1 ratio


Chinese leeks

Chinese leeks

Chinese leeks also called Asian leeks or garlic chives are basically immature spring garlic before the cloves have formed. Chinese leeks are another fantastic substitute for chives if you can find them. They’re mostly found at Asian stores and have a flavor that is similar to chives but stronger.

Chinese leeks look sort of similar to chives too, which makes them an easy chives substitute to use because they have a similar visual impact. Use Chinese leeks in recipes like stir-fries, potstickers, or garnish.




Leeks are a bulbous vegetable with a white base, that then transitions to a light light green stem or stalk and, then a dark green leafy top.

Leeks have a flavor that is oniony, but milder and sweeter. Leeks work great in recipes like soups, stews, and pasta as an alternative to chives.

Unlike chives, leeks can be cooked for longer, and, in a pinch, they can also be finely chopped for garnishing. 




Shallots have a delicate and sweet flavor with a hint of sharpness but lack the bite of yellow or white onions. Therefore, shallots make another good substitute for chives in recipes like stirs fries and even as a garnish.

Note that shallots have a strong flavor than chives do, so, use fewer shallots to replace chives in any recipe.




Onions are one of the cousins to chives and therefore onions make a good chive replacement as well. Onions have a stronger flavor than chives so make sure to use less, to begin with. You can always add more later if the recipe needs it.

Also, not that sweet onions and yellow onions are milder than red onions and yellow onions so try to use the milder onions if you can.


Wild garlic (or Baerlauch)

wild garlic

Baerlauch is also called wild garlic. These broad-leaved greens are another way to substitute for chives. Baerlauch tastes like a mellow version of garlic with a grassy flavor, but with a pungent smell. Chop these up and use them as a garnish.

Substitute for dried chives

The best substitute for dried chives is fresh chives. A good conversion ratio is 1:3. Meaning for every teaspoon of dried chives a recipe calls for dried chives with one tablespoon of fresh chives. 

Homemade dried chives

Besides using fresh chives as an alternative for dry, you can also use your own homemade dried chives at a 1:1 ratio. To make dried chives from fresh chives, you will need a bunch of fresh chives that have been rinsed and properly dried.

Preheat your oven to the lowest setting (usually 150 F). Then finely dice the chives and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. 

Keep the oven door slightly ajar. Check on the chives for progress every 20 minutes until the chives are crunchy to the touch. Store in an air-tight container and use it whenever you need dried chives. 

These homemade dried chives are the perfect dried chives substitute in any recipe that calls for it.

FAQs about chives

Are green onions and chives the same thing?

No. It is important to note that green onions and chives are not the same things. Chives are milder in flavor than green onions, but, green onions can be used in many recipes that call for chives. Use fewer green onions than chives when substituting. 

Can I use parsley instead of chives?

Yes. You can use parsley instead of chives, especially as a garnish. 

Can I use onion powder instead of chives?

Yes. If you just want a little bit of onion flavor, add some onion powder to sauces, salad dressings, and dips in place of chopped chives. 

When it comes to herbs like chives, there are many ways that they can be replaced in a recipe. These are the 7  best substitutes for chives. Most of them are easy to find which means that you can get on with your recipes asap!

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