Onions are often dehydrated to retain the sweet and spicy flavor known before creating onion powder. Onion powder is often used in savory dishes as it also poses the benefit of having tear-free cooking.
Depending on the needs of your dish, onion powder comes in different forms ranging from toasted onion powder to dehydrated chopped onion powder.
Onion powder substitutes can be from different forms of onions you have presently, either chopped, minced, or fresh. And if you do not have onion powder at all, you can also substitute celery, bulbs, and fennel for onion powder in a pinch.
What Is Onion Powder?
Onion powder is dehydrated, and ground onions are usually used for meals. Most onion powders are commercially prepared and have a lot of culinary uses.
It is usually used as the star ingredient in preparing onion salt, a mixture of dried onions and salt mixed.
What Is Onion Powder Used For?
Onion powder is usually used as a seasoning for various foods such as pasta, grilled chicken, pizza, etc. it can also be used as one of the primary ingredients for the “beau monde seasoning,” as it can also be used as a meat rub.
Onion powders taste great when used in soups and stews as it gives them that tasty flavor. And in most rubs and marinades, onion powder usually goes well as its base.
Suitable Onion Powder Substitutes
In need of onion powder, and you don’t have any at hand? Here are some fantastic onion powder substitutes you can use.
1. Onion Flakes
When you need to substitute onion powder for casseroles, salads, and stir-fries, onion flakes should be the first choice you should consider.
As the name implies, onion flakes are flat pieces of onions that have been dehydrated and, therefore, share the same onion flavor as onion powder.
Unlike the onion powder, onion flakes won’t add moisture to your dish because they are much drier, and for this reason, also, it might result in drying your dish more than it’s supposed to be. Luckily for you, you can turn your onion flakes to powder by passing it through a grinder or grinding it manually.
2. Onion Salt
People often wonder if you can use onion salt instead of onion powder, and the answer is yes, you absolutely can. They are almost interchangeable.
Onion salt is one of the best substitutes, and another added advantage is that you can find it in a lot of stores worldwide. It is also very healthy because it contains zero fats, calories, and cholesterol.
The only issue with onion salt is the amount of salt it contains. We all know the excess intake of salt is terrible, so we need to maintain our daily intake of sodium.
So, when using onion salt, make sure that you adjust the amount of salt you’re adding to the original dish to maintain an excellent taste in the dish.
3. Fresh Onions
When looking for a substitute for a dry and jarred product, swapping it with the new version is always a healthy choice as fresh products are the healthiest.
The advantages of using fresh onions as a substitute are numerous. You can use your onions in any form to add beauty to the dish, ranging from chopped onions, diced onions, grated onions, and so on.
The texture, color, and crunchy texture of fresh onions play a significant role in some recipes that powder can not replicate.
The only disadvantage of using fresh onions is that it can turn your dish into a mushy texture when cooked too much, so ensure not to overcook it, especially when it is being cooked with cucumbers.
4. Jarred Minced Onions
Jarred onions are similar to onion powder as they are both onions in dried forms. However, while onion flakes are tiny, jarred onions can come in many sizes and can also be substituted for fresh onions by adding a little water.
Just like the onion flakes, jarred minced onions are a good substitute for onion powder, but due to their size and texture, they cannot fit in all recipes like the onion powder.
Being a dried product, this form poses a risk of drying off your dish so, it is better used in salads and stir-fries but if you have to use it in your regular meals, make sure you add enough water to fix this dryness issue.
5. Garlic Salt
Like the onion salt is a mixture of powdered onion and salt, garlic salt is also garlic powder and salt. This powder is best used in pasta, soups, stocks, and dips.
Since garlic salt is often made of 2/3 of salt, the amount of salt in this powder is more than half, and if you are going to be replacing it in place of onion powder, you have to ensure that you don’t mind the strong flavor of garlic and salt instead of onion.
Garlic salt is very convenient because it is most likely present in the kitchen and grocery stores and provides the same texture as the onion powder.
6. Chopped Celery
Celery is a vegetable that has been in use over a long period. Even if it does not provide your dish with a strong flavor like the onion powder, it could give it an aromatic tone.
The main reason why this can be used as a substitute for celery is due to its versatility and level of micronutrients.
Since celery has a mild flavor, it won’t overwhelm the original flavor of the dish, and you could add several other vegetables if you wish to give your dish a complex and layered flavor.
You can use lots of other substitutes like the shallot, scallions, onion paste and fennel bulbs, and several other ones. You can use any healthy alternative that fits your taste as long as it is healthy.
How Do I Make Onion Powder?
You can make your onion powder at home by using a dehydrator and fresh onions.
- Wash your onions thoroughly to remove the dirt attached to them.
- Remove the root of the onion and also remove the first outer layer.
- Slice the onions thinly to about ¼ inches thick.
- Get your dehydrator and clean appropriately before laying your onion slices on it with enough space to ensure appropriate airflow.
- Dehydrate the onion slices at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 hours to several days if you’re using a conventional over, dry at about 140-degree Fahrenheit until crunchy, which might take a few hours.
- Check if the onion is dry, and if they look dry enough, take one of it and snap in half. If it doesn’t snap, continue dehydrating until it is fully dehydrated.
- Ground and store your onion powder in an airtight container when fully dry.