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Substitute For Chives: 9 Useful Alternatives Disclosed

Chives are one of the most often used herbs in many recipes, and they are available in numerous varieties. Because of their mild flavor, chives are typically used as a tasty garnish for soups and other dishes. They are members of a family that includes onions, leeks, and garlic, and they have long leaves that look like grass.

If you don’t have chives growing in your yard and can’t find them in your local supermarket, you can alternatively use a substitute. Here are some alternatives if you’re out of chives.

  1. Scallions
  2. Leeks
  3. Barlauch(Wild Garlic)
  4. Shallots
  5. Fresh Onions
  6. Garlic
  7. Chinese Leek

Before we delve deeper into the full list of best chives substitutes, let us understand a bit of history about this popular herb.

9 Best Chives Substitutes 

Substitute For Chives

Chives are edible herbs related to onions, leeks, garlic, and scallion. This herb has been grown all over the world for millennia.

Historians say that one variety of chive originated in the Mediterranean region of Europe, specifically Greece. A different type of chive plant may have originated from China or other parts of Asia.

Chives are one of the most often encountered herbs in stores. They have a delicate flavor that lends an elegant finish to any cuisine and are frequently used as a garnish.


The term ‘chive’ derives from the Greek words ‘skhoinos’ and ‘prason,’ which mean ‘rush’ and ‘leek.’ Additionally, the French word for “chives” is “cive,” which is derived from the Latin word for “onion.” Given its linguistic origins, it’s unsurprising that chives were described as ‘rush leek’ during the Middle Ages.

Chives are known for their mild, onion-like flavor and crunchy texture. If you’re cooking a recipe that calls for a strong flavor, some of the best substitutions includes garlic and onion.

While garlic and onion have more robust flavors, chives are more delicate and add a delicate touch to your food without overpowering its flavor profile.

Because of their comparable beginnings, their taste is still faintly onion-like with a tint of garlic.



Scallions, also known as spring onions, are an excellent replacement for chives in all facets. Because they are green, they resemble chives and will impart the same attractive character.

If you enjoy eating greens as much as chives, you’ll enjoy scallions. They are excellent for garnishing foods and also contribute a nutritional component. As a result, you will not be missing anything.

While scallions have longer stalks than chives, this is not significant. They have the same perfume and flavor as chives, and impart a slight onion flavor that will not overpower the rest of the meal.

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However, caution should be exercised when using scallions. While they have milder flavors than chives, they are nevertheless more potent.

As a result, it is suggested that you do not use the same amount of scallions as chives. Rather than that, decrease the scallion amount by a bit.

As is customary, you can always start small and tweak the recipe as necessary. Even better, you can incorporate the scallions sooner in the cooking process.

Scallions can be used similarly to chives. You can use them as toppings and garnishes with confidence, knowing that you’ll get exactly what you want.


Leeks are also an allium family member. As a result, they may be the most excellent substitute for chives. Leeks have a more intense peppery flavor than chives, and their stalks are substantially larger, making them difficult to utilize as a garnish.

However, cut them uniformly if you intend to garnish your food with leeks.

The best approach is to soak them thoroughly in chilled water, and cook them in a lower quantity. This can help mitigate the leek’s savory flavor. And with a few simple strategies for keeping leeks fresh, you’ll have an excellent chive substitute for your dishes.

Begin with fewer leeks and add extra only if you feel the flavor lacks.

Barlauch(Wild Garlic)


Barlauch or Wild Garlic is a good substitute for chives. It has a mild garlicky flavor comparable to chives, despite its appearance being remarkably like tarragon.

Additionally, wild garlic is referred to as ramsons, bear leek, wood garlic, bear’s garlic, or buckrams. It grows naturally in the forest and is one of the fresh herbs that complement salads and mashed potato recipes exceptionally well.

To achieve the best effects, thinly slice the wild garlic and use it to garnish.

It has a garlic flavor comparable to chives, but it does not contain the underlying undertones of onion that chives do. When substituting barlauch for chives, ensure that your dish will not suffer any substantial alterations due to the lack of an onion-like flavor.

Because it has a solid resemblance to chives, barlauch can also be used as a garnish on dishes. Consider slicing the barlauch into long, thin pieces to ensure that you get the most similar flavor to chives—this aids in spreading the taste out and making it softer in flavor.

When substituting for chives in a recipe, begin with a smaller quantity and add some more if needed.

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Shallots, also known as Thai red onions, are not similar to chives, but they are still good enough to substitute for them. Shallots have a more onion-like appearance and a sweeter and pepperier flavor than chives.

When preparing a sauce, shallots are frequently substituted for chives by chefs. However, because of the peppery flavor of shallots, it is preferable to use a smaller amount.

According to experts, fresh shallots should not be used as a garnish. However, if you are in a hurry, you can use a small amount of chopped shallots for garnishing if you have them.

Fresh Onions

Fresh Onions

Fresh onions are a fantastic substitute for chives. Remember that chefs add chives at the very end of the cooking procedure to preserve their flavor.

However, unlike chives, they should be added during the cooking process. This method softens them and reduces the onion’s strong flavor, resulting in a satisfactory substitute.

Onions also have a more robust flavor than chives, so you should use less of them when substituting for chives in recipes.

Cut them into small pieces to mimic chopped chives and serve as a garnish.


Despite its strong flavor, garlic is a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and digestive element that may be used in various recipes. It’s good to substitute garlic for chives in your cooking recipe or dish.

When preparing a recipe or dish, it is best to incorporate minced garlic at the beginning of the cooking process. Because most people dislike the smell of garlic, you should always start slowly, and add only a tiny amount at a time.

When using it as a substitute for chives, keep the 1:3 ratio constant. One refers to the amount of garlic used, and three refers to the number of chives used.

Chinese Leek

Chinese Leek

Chinese leeks are also known as Chinese chives in some circles. Chinese leeks have a more chive-like appearance when compared to other types of leeks. Furthermore, Chinese leeks and chives have a very similar flavor profile.

Using fresh Chinese leeks as a topping is simple because of their long and thin stems, and cooking them in place of chives is simple as well. They are considered one of the most excellent substitutes for chives.

Besides that, they are readily available at any Asian supermarket. As a result, you can substitute these Chinese leeks for chives in various Asian cuisines, particularly Chinese cuisine.

Onion Scapes

Onion scapes are the stems that sprout from the tops of onion bulbs. They are a tasty complement to dishes, although they are rarely used in anything other than Chinese stir-fries.

Although they have a moderate flavor, their flavor is quite similar to that of chives, with a hint of garlic in them. 

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Furthermore, they have a crunchy texture, which means that they can be used to give a new textural element to your dish. They are similar to chives in that they can be put uncooked in a dish, which makes them ideal for garnishing.

As with the other chive alternatives mentioned above, it is ideal to slice scapes lengthwise and then crosswise to give them the appearance of chives on the plate.



A decent substitute for chives is parsley, preferably in tiny amounts, especially in dishes that ask for a garnish. In recipes where chives are used to garnish eggs or potatoes and fish, parsley can be used to substitute for the herb.

On the other hand, parsley has a bitterer, sweeter, and more lemony flavor than chives.

Parsley should be added at the end of the cooking procedure. When cooked for an excessive time, it might become mushy and bitter.

Parsley is a good 1:1 substitute for chives in recipes since it often mixes nicely with other ingredients used in the same recipe as chives.

Substitute For Chives Related FAQs

What do chives taste like?

Chives have a moderate flavor, making them ideal for use as toppings or garnishes on dishes. In general, chives have a subtle onion flavor that does not overshadow the rest of your dish. Furthermore, compared to more potent herbs, they are much more kid-friendly.

In some situations, they can be used as a perfect substitute for fresh onions in recipes that call for them. Chives are so mild in flavor that chefs frequently add them to a recipe only towards the conclusion of the cooking process to ensure that the dish doesn’t lose its flavor and become bitter.

How do you properly store chives?

Chives can be consumed both fresh and frozen. Don’t let them get too dry. They will entirely lose their flavor as a result.

Place the chives, chopped or intact, in an airtight resealable bag and place it in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you may cut them up and put them in the freezer instead.

What typical recipes call for chives?

Chives are a widely used herb in various cuisines worldwide, with a particular emphasis on Asian cuisine. A white sauce with chives is frequently served over fish or vegetables, and a cream sauce for baked potatoes includes chives.

You should also experiment with chives in other dishes, such as a French omelet with chives, chive-stuffed chicken, or chive crab cakes. You can even eat them raw if you choose.