One of the most commonly used herbs in many recipes is chives. With their mild flavor, they are often used as an effective garnishing for soups. They’re from a family closely linked to onions, leeks, and garlic and have long leaves like grass.
While garlic and onion have more potent flavors, chives are gentle and enhance the taste of your dish without altering the flavor too much. Their flavor is still mildly onion-like with a tinge of garlic because of their similar origins.
If you don’t grow chives in your garden and can’t find any at your local store either, you can also use a substitute for chives. Here are some of the options you can go for when you’re all out of chives.
Also known as wild garlic, barlauch can easily be used to replace chives. It has a similar garlic taste but doesn’t have the underlying notes of onion that chives have. When replacing chives with barlauch, make sure your recipe won’t suffer any significant changes without the onion-like taste.
You can also use barlauch as a garnish as it has a similar appearance as chives. To ensure that you get the closest taste to chives as possible, consider slicing up the barlauch into long, thin pieces. This helps spread the flavor out and make it milder.
Start with a smaller quantity than chives when replacing them in your recipe and work your way up.
A more potent chives replacement are leeks. They have a strong taste before they’re cooked and have a unique pepper-like flavor different from chives. Note, however, that they bring a sweet addition to your dish. Still, they work as a decent replacement for chives.
You can also use Chinese leeks, which look similar to chives and have almost the same taste. They’re great to use as a garnish because of their thin, long stalks.
You can soak leeks in ice water before using them to make the taste milder and then chop them into tiny pieces before adding them to your dish.
Start with a smaller quantity of leeks than chives and add more only if you feel like the flavor needs a boost.
3. Green Onions
Green onions are one of the best chives substitute options out there. They already look very similar to chives and are often confused for one another.
It’s important to remember that chives are thinner and have longer stalks and barely any bulbs, while green onions have bulbs and thicker stalks.
Green onions also have a stronger taste than chives, so you should ideally use a lesser amount of them when replacing chives in your recipe.
Cut them up into small pieces to resemble the appearance of cut-up chives, and you can use them as garnish.
Another substitute for chives is scallions or spring onions. They have the same green outward appearance, which means they’ll give your dish the same look as chives. They have a slightly onion-like flavor that is stronger than chives but still mild.
When replacing chives in your recipe, you should start with a smaller quantity of scallions to bring the same flavor to your dish as chives.
The last chives replacement are shallots. These can’t be used as a garnish because of their different appearance compared to chives, but if you need to add them to a sauce, they’ll do the trick. They’re sweet and peppery and have a slight onion-like taste, similar to chives.
Their unique taste means you should ideally use a smaller quantity when replacing chives.
Tips from the pros
When you’re adding a substitute with a very subtle taste, it’s best to add it towards the end of your cooking. This ensures that the sub doesn’t lose its flavor from being submerged in the heat for too long so that it can bring its unique taste to your dish.
The bottom line
Hopefully, you’ve found an acceptable chives substitute from the list I’ve come up with.
Because of their onion-like, garlicky flavor, chives can easily be substituted for various other herbs and ingredients that have similar flavors in their composition.
Remember to chop them up into small pieces before adding them to any recipe to distribute the flavor and replicate the mild, delicate taste of chives.
- Choose barlauch as a substitute for chives
- To ensure that you get the closest taste to chives as possible, consider slicing up the barlauch into long, thin pieces. This helps spread the taste out and make it milder.
- Start with a smaller quantity than chives when replacing them in your recipe and work your way up.