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The 10 Best Substitutes for Chives

Chives are a staple of European cooking and have been used for centuries to add flavor and texture to dishes.

Their mild onion-like taste is perfect for bringing an extra dimension to salads, soups, sandwiches, and omelets.

But what can you use as a substitute if you can’t find any chives at the store?

What are the best substitutes for chives? The best alternatives for chives will depend on the dish you’re making, but some of the most common replacements are green onions, spring onions, shallots, garlic scapes, leeks, or wild onions. If you don’t want an onion flavor in your dish then chopped parsley or cilantro are also good options.

So if you’re looking to substitute chives in a recipe but don’t know where to start – help is here!

Let’s explore the 10 best substitutes for chives and see which one is right for your dish.

What Are Chives?


Chives are a type of herb that belongs to the onion family.

They are known for their long, thin, and hollow green leaves that have a mild onion flavor.

Chives are commonly used in cooking to add flavor to dishes such as soups, salads, and sauces.

They are also used as a garnish for their bright green color and delicate texture.

Chives are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as calcium and potassium.

They are also low in calories and high in antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Chives are easy to grow in a garden or in a pot on a windowsill.

They prefer well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade.

Chives can be harvested by cutting the leaves with scissors or a knife, and they will continue to grow back throughout the growing season.

Scientific nameAllium schoenoprasum
FamilyOnion family
FlavorMild onion
UsesCooking, garnish
Nutritional valueVitamins A and C, calcium, potassium
Growing requirementsWell-draining soil, full sun or partial shade
HarvestingCut leaves with scissors or knife
Health benefitsLow in calories, high in antioxidants

The 10 Best Substitutes for Chives

Chives, a member of the onion family, are beloved for their mild flavor and vibrant green hue. This herb is often used to garnish dishes or added to sauces and salads for extra flavor.

If you’re looking for an alternative to chives, here are ten great substitutes that will deliver a similar taste and texture to your cooking:

1 – Onions

Yellow Onions

Onions are a tasty and nutritious addition to any dish.

They come in many varieties, offering different flavors and textures based on their pungency levels.

While yellow onions offer the strongest flavor due to their high sulfur content, red onions provide subtle sweetness while white onions come with a mild taste.

When substituting chives with onions, dice them into small pieces before incorporating them into your recipe.

By doing this, you can replicate the texture of chopped chives without compromising the flavor of your dish.

2 – Shallots


Sweet yet pungent shallots are members of the allium family and offer a slightly more intense flavor than onions.

They also have a higher sugar content than regular onions, adding sweetness once cooked.

Often used in vinaigrettes or pureed for sauces, shallots are an excellent alternative for those seeking an extra kick in their recipes.

To replace chives with shallots, mince them until they’re small enough to mimic the size of chopped chives before proceeding with your recipe.

3 – Scallions


Also known as green onions or spring onions, scallions boast a milder flavor than traditional yellow-white onions and contain more moisture due to their high water content.

These alliums are commonly used for soups and salads due to their crunchy texture when raw or lightly cooked.

When substituting scallions for chives in recipes, consider using both the bulbous part as well as the stems – this will help recreate the sharpness found within fresh chive cuts without overpowering your dish’s flavors.

4 – Leeks


Longer than scallions but shorter than regular onions, leeks possess an unmistakable onion-garlic aroma that is ideal for accentuating various dishes like soups and stews.

Separating leeks into smaller sections helps bring out their subtle sweetness while enhancing their nutrition profile – it also makes it easier to give dishes that extra amount of balance needed when replacing chives with leeks in recipes.

To substitute leeks for chives properly, cut them into thin rounds before adding them into your cooking pot or skillet – this will ensure their delicate bite blends seamlessly into your desired dish without masking other flavors found within it.

5 – Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives (Allium tuberosum) are members of the amaryllis family that boast garlic-like aromas and mild onion notes that make them stand out from regular kitchen herbs like parsley or basil – they also contain higher amounts of essential vitamins compared to traditional white-yellow onion varieties!

To substitute garlic chives for regular ones in recipes, use scissors instead of knives when chopping them up – this will keep more volatile compounds intact while preventing stronger odors from developing once the heat is applied during the cooking process!

With these easy steps, you can enjoy delicious dishes filled with natural flavors without having to sacrifice nutritional value!

6 – Dried Chives

Dried Chives

Dried chives offer a concentrated flavor in comparison to their fresh counterparts.

They make an excellent garnish for salads and soups, providing subtle garlic notes combined with a mild onion taste.

When selecting your dried chives, look for ones that have an even texture and vibrant green hue.

Because of their delicate texture, it’s best to sprinkle them on top of finished dishes rather than cooking with them.

7 – Cilantro


With its distinct aroma and pungent flavor, cilantro is one of the most beloved herbs in many cuisines worldwide.

Its bold personality complements a variety of dishes perfectly, enhancing their flavors while adding eye-catching color.

Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to use; simply chop or tear fresh cilantro leaves into small pieces and sprinkle them over your dish just before serving.

8 – Parsley


Another popular kitchen herb is parsley, known for its mild nutty taste and vivid green hue.

Its versatility makes it suitable for both savory dishes as well as sweet recipes like cakes or muffins.

To get the most out of parsley’s unique flavor profile, pair it with other herbs like sage or rosemary.

Parsley also works well when added into vinaigrettes or sauces, offering a subtle background note without overpowering other flavors.

9 – Tarragon


Tarragon is part of the sunflower family and imparts an unmistakable anise-like flavor along with licorice notes reminiscent of fennel or dill.

Its sharpness makes it ideal for seafood dishes as well as creamy sauces like béarnaise or mayonnaise-based salads like potato salad or coleslaw where its gentle bite cuts through the richness of these dressings nicely.

10 – Dill


Dill has been cultivated since ancient times and is widely used across Europe in both savory and sweet recipes alike from pickles to pastries such as kolache cookies from Eastern Europe—a popular treat during Easter celebrations!

Its distinctive aroma gives almost any dish an unmistakable zing; use it sparingly to avoid overwhelming other flavors in your recipe!


What herb can I use instead of chives?

There are several herbs that can be used as a substitute for chives, including shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, and dill. Each of these herbs has a unique flavor profile that can add a similar taste to your dish.

Can I use parsley instead of chives?

Yes, parsley can be used as a substitute for chives. While parsley has a slightly different flavor profile than chives, it can still add a fresh and vibrant taste to your dish.

Can I use thyme instead of chives?

Thyme is not the best substitute for chives, as it has a much stronger and more pungent flavor. However, if you don’t have chives on hand, you can use shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, or dill as a substitute.

What are chives the same as?

Chives are a type of herb that belong to the onion family, and they have a mild onion flavor. Some other herbs that are similar to chives include shallots, scallions, leeks, and garlic chives.


In conclusion, chives are a versatile herb that can add a mild onion flavor to many dishes.

They are easy to grow and are packed with nutrients, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

However, if you don’t have chives on hand, there are several alternatives that can be used in their place.

Shallots, regular onions, scallions, leeks, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, and dill are all great substitutes for chives, each with their own unique flavor profile.

So don’t worry if you don’t have chives in your pantry, there are plenty of other options to choose from.


The 10 Best Substitutes for Chives

Looking for the best substitutes for chives? This post has got you covered! Learn about 10 great alternatives to chives, including shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic chives, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, and dill. Plus, discover everything you need to know about chives, from their nutritional value to how to grow and harvest them.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Garlic Chives
  • Dried Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Tarragon
  • Dill


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.