Scallions Vs Shallots: Key Differences

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Scallions vs Shallots



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Are you a home cook struggling to differentiate between scallions vs shallots? You’re not alone. These two ingredients may look and taste alike, leading many to use them interchangeably. But there are some key differences that set them apart.

The most noticeable difference is the color of their outer skin – scallions have a white and pale green exterior, while shallots have a reddish-brown and purple outer ring. Additionally, shallots grow in clusters while scallions are single stalks.

In this article, we’ll explore the various differences between shallots and scallions and when to use each of them in your dishes.

So, let’s dive in and become a pro at distinguishing between these two alliums!

What Are Scallions?

Scallions are members of the onion family. They are a type of green onion that grows in bunches.

They have a mild, grassy flavor, and their texture is crisp, tender, and juicy.

Furthermore, Scallions can be eaten raw or cooked and are an excellent addition to any dish.

They can be used in soups, salads, dips, spreads, sandwiches, wraps, vegetables, meat, and poultry. Scallions are also great for garnishing.

They are available all year round, but the peak season is from spring to fall.

What Are Shallots?

Shallots are part of the allium family — the same family as onions, garlic, and leeks. They’re just a lot less intimidating to work with.

Instead of being a giant globe of a vegetable, shallots are more like garlic — little bulbs that don’t have layers but are made up of cloves separated by thin membranes.

Also, shallots have a mild onion-y with traces of garlic taste.

They can be easily chopped and tossed into stir-fries or casseroles and make a great substitute for onions in many recipes.

Differences Between Scallions Vs Shallots

Below is a table that briefly shows how much scallions can differ from shallots.

Where They DifferScallionsShallots
AppearanceScallions are bulbs with thin edible stalksShallot is a true bulb
FlavorsHave a much lighter, milder tastetaste slightly like regular onion, with hints of garlic flavoring
RecipesThey are mostly used in Asian cuisine, whether grilled, cooked, roasted, or sauteed. Everything from soups, pasta, sauce, potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, cheddar cheese, scallion scones, or biscuits.Shallots are the key element in classic French cuisine. Best used in many vinaigrette dressings, salad, classic French soups, and other recipes, whether slow-roasted, glazed, pickled, or caramelized.
Nutritionally valueScallions are incredibly healthy as they are richer in minerals than shallots Shallots have more protein, potassium, carbohydrates, and calories than scallion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shallot An Onion Or Garlic?

The best description is: that shallots are neither onion nor garlic.

Shallots are shallot.

They are cousins to onions and garlic, but more on the onion-y side, even though they look like garlic and taste like one.

Shallot is a small red type of onion with tan-colored papery skin and multiple cloves inside, just like garlic.

They look more like a cross between a red onion and a ginger root. The most common type of shallot is the Gray French shallot, which is usually light brown with pinkish-red flesh inside.

What Can Be Substituted For Shallot?

A shallot is a type of onion, so onions make an appropriate substitute. If you don’t have onions on hand, try garlic or leeks.

When a recipe calls for shallot, you can typically substitute it with another onion.

A shallot is a member of the same family as onions, garlic, and leeks, and it’s used in many recipes because of its milder taste than traditional onions.

As a result, any ingredient with a mild onion flavor can be substituted to fill in for shallots.

Aside from those, you can also try Scallions (green onions), Chives, and leeks.

Why Do Chefs Use Shallots Instead Of Onions?

The flavorful, versatile shallot is one of the most popular ingredients in a chef’s kitchen because they add just the right amount of sweetness to balance out umami flavors.

They don’t have that tangy bite like a regular onion.

Their subtle flavor makes them perfect for rounding out the edges of any dish that might taste too sour, too sweet, or too salty.

Can I Substitute Chives For Scallions?

YES! If you don’t have scallions or want to try out a new flavor, chives can be a great substitute.

First off, both chives and scallions are species of the same genus and family (Allium). So chives will add some of that savory onion flavor you’re looking for.

However, Chives have a delicate onion flavor with a hint of garlic, while scallions have a more robust onion flavor.

You can use either herb in soups, salads, sauces, and dressings. Both can also be used interchangeably cooked or baked in casseroles and other dishes.

It is generally better to substitute one for the other when the dish is served hot rather than cold.

Can You Freeze Scallions?

You can freeze scallions, and it’s easy to do!

First, chop them up into the size pieces you want.

Then, please put them in a freezer bag, and remove as much air as possible. You can use a straw to suck the air out through the straw before sealing the bag.


Both will add a kick of flavor to any dish, but if you have to choose between the two, it’s alright to give scallions the nod.

The difference is small, but it could be important for your specific needs. Overall, scallions are better deliciously and nutritiously. They have more health benefits than shallots, and they’re less expensive.

In terms of taste, scallions and shallots are pretty similar; however, scallions are milder and have less dirt-like tasting than shallots, which is a good thing.

But the choice is yours!


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