Let’s face it; sweet onion is just one of those ingredients you can’t live without. It’s versatile, delicious, and can be added to nearly any cuisine.
The problem is that sweet onion is only available in the spring and summer months, which means there’s a lot of time in the year when you have to do without it.
My guess, you’re looking for possible sweet onion substitutes that will give you that same great taste without waiting for your seasonal ingredients to become available again.
What do you choose?
Bermuda onion, maui onion, red onion, white onion, spinach, yellow onion, walla walla onion, vidalia onion, and garlic are all fantastic substitutes for sweet onion that you can use anytime.
Table of Contents
- What Is Sweet Onion?
- Best Sweet Onion Substitutes
- 1. Garlic
- 2. Bermuda Onion
- 3. Spanish Yellow Onion
- 4. White Onion
- 5. Maui Onion
- 6. Red Onion
- 7. Vidalia Onion
- 8. Walla Walla Onion
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What Onion Is Closest To Sweet Onion?
- Can I Substitute Regular Onion For Sweet Onion?
- Can You Use Shallot Instead Of Sweet Onion?
- Why Do you cry While Chopping Onions?
What Is Sweet Onion?
They are also great for caramelizing, as they retain their sweetness when cooked. Sweet onions have high water content and low sulfur content compared to others. This gives them their mild flavor and makes them great for eating raw.
In addition, we’re not just talking about French onion soup — you can use them in just about any recipe, from lasagna to chicken tikka masala!
Sweet onions are grown in specific parts of the country that have specific soil types and climates –namely, Texas (1015Y Supersweet), Washington (Walla Walla), Georgia (Vidalia), California (Imperial Sweets), Tennessee (Tennessee Sweet), and Oregon (Red River).
Each variety has its flavor profile, but all share a similar sweetness to make them interchangeable in recipes that call for sweet onion.
Best Sweet Onion Substitutes
Not the best alternative, but garlic can stand in for sweet onion. Garlic is a kind of onion that contains many nutrients and many health benefits.
It is a popular vegetable with an intense flavor and aroma. It is used in savory recipes to add unique flavor to dishes.
Compared to sweet onions, sweet onions are milder and sweeter.
And because of its intense flavor and smell, garlic should be used sparingly in most dishes so it doesn’t overwhelm other flavors.
2. Bermuda Onion
Bermuda onions are large, round, and have a mild taste. They’re typically yellow and have thin papery skin. Their mild flavor makes them the perfect sweet onion substitute for salads or eating raw, as they don’t overpower other flavors.
However, Bermuda onions have a slightly intense flavor compared to a sweet onions. But they are ideal in a stir-fry. Its strong flavor will stand up to the pan’s heat and blend well with other ingredients.
It’s also best suited for pickling, burgers, and other savory dishes.
If you’re unsure which type of onion you should use, try experimenting with both types — Bermuda onions might be just the ingredient you need to take your cooking to the next level!
3. Spanish Yellow Onion
This type of onion is juicy, with a rich and deep flavor. It can be used both in cooking, where it is mainly used as an ingredient to flavor other dishes, and raw, where it can add a necessary crunch.
You can use it in place of sweet onion for all kinds of cooking: sauteing, roasting, braising, grilling, and more. If you’re preparing a dish where onions are the star ingredient (think salad or onion rings), go with Spanish yellow onion, which will have a slightly stronger flavor than Sweet Onion in its raw form.
On the other hand, if you’re making a dish where onion flavor complements other ingredients (like French onion soup), you can use either of them. But since Sweet Onion is sweeter than Spanish yellow onion when cooked down, it might be your preference for these recipes.
One common way to prepare Spanish Yellow Onion is by caramelizing it.
4. White Onion
White onion and sweet onion have some similarities in flavor and appearance, but they also have a lot of differences. The fact is that White Onion is a better choice for many dishes because of its higher water content and lower sugar content.
White onions are a staple ingredient in Latin American cuisine. The onion’s skin, flesh, and juice all have a white tinge.
They are crisp and sharp, with a milder flavor than yellow onions.
White onions are not as sweet as yellow or Vidalia (sweet) onions, but they become sweeter the longer you cook them.
For example, if you caramelize white onions, they turn very sweet and savory.
You can use white onions raw in salads or sandwiches for a clean, crisp flavor and crunchy texture. They work well on pizzas and in salsas, too.
If you’re looking for a replacement for yellow onion in your recipes, look no further than the white onion!
5. Maui Onion
Maui onion is a type of sweet onion grown in the United States. The Hawaiian island of Maui has a unique climate ideal for growing many different types of onions, including the famous Maui onion.
Sweet onions are flat and round, while Maui onions have a more oblong shape. They both have a mild taste, but sweet onions tend to be sweeter than Maui onions. Sweet onions are more often used for cooking, but Maui onions can also be used for cooking.
However, Maui onion has a higher water content than regular sweet onion – this gives it less bite when eaten raw but makes it easier to caramelize or cook down into a jam or chutney.
6. Red Onion
Red onions belong to a variety of Allium cepa (the same species as white onions and sweet onions) characterized by their reddish color.
Red onions are known for their mild, sweet flavor, making them great for raw dishes like salads or crudités platters. They have an attractive appearance that makes them favorite chefs and culinary enthusiasts.
Although sweet onion has a milder flavor than red, regular white, or yellow onions, they’re usually sweeter.
7. Vidalia Onion
A Vidalia onion is also a good variety of onions if you want a milder taste and aroma. This is because it is grown in a particular part of Georgia, where the soil produces onions with lower amounts of sulfur, contributing to a stronger onion flavor.
Vidalia onions are more expensive than sweet onions because they have to be grown in special conditions. But if you can afford it, you will appreciate it in salads, salsas, and sandwiches.
They’re also delicious when grilled or caramelized with other vegetables for side dishes or casseroles.
8. Walla Walla Onion
A Walla Walla onion is a sweet onion that originated in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington State. Walla Walla onions have a crisp texture. The flavor of the onion is delicate, sweet, and mild.
They are best used in raw preparations and salads. In contrast, sweet onions have an aromatic scent and are slightly spicy. They are most commonly used in cooked preparations like sauteed or grilled onion rings, soups, stews, or any dish that requires a light-tasting onion ingredient.
The sweetness of both onions varies depending on where they were grown and how they were harvested and stored.
In addition, Walla Walla onion tends to be slightly smaller than sweet onions, with more water content. But both types have white flesh and taste similar.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Onion Is Closest To Sweet Onion?
The onion closest to a sweet onion in terms of taste and uses is Vidalia Onion, which grows in the South Georgia area of the US, and is known for its sweetness. The Vidalia onion, when compared to a sweet onion, has a more mild flavor and aroma.
The Vidalia onion can be used in various ways, sauteed or prepared raw, similar to a sweet onion.
Can I Substitute Regular Onion For Sweet Onion?
Culinarily speaking, yes. But you might not want to. No doubt, regular onion and sweet onion are alliums family members and look more similar. However, they are two distinct varieties with distinct flavors.
You would not use a sweet potato when you wanted a russet potato. Regular onion has a much sharper flavor than sweet onions, which are milder, sweeter, and more delicate.
Can You Use Shallot Instead Of Sweet Onion?
You can use shallot instead of sweet onion, but you may want to adjust your recipe to compensate for the shallot’s different texture and flavor. Shallots are a vegetable that looks like small red onion. They have a stronger taste than onions and are not as sweet as sweet onions.
When substituting shallots for sweet onions, you should only use half as many shallots because they are much more potent.
Why Do you cry While Chopping Onions?
It’s a scientifically-proven fact that onions make people cry. But why? Well, it turns out that you tear up during chopping onions because slicing an onion releases a gas called propanediol S-oxide.
When this gas is released into the air, it reaches your eyes and mixes with the water in your eyes to create sulfuric acid, which makes you tear up. So basically, your body is just trying to protect itself from a perceived attack.
Sweet onions are an incredibly delicious, versatile ingredient that can be used in various ways. The only problem is that they are not always available or easy to find.
And when the time of scarcity comes, your best chance is to use this sweet onion substitute. So go try them out!