When you run out, there are a few substitutes for chives that will work in a pinch.
Chives are a well-loved and commonly used herb in dishes around the world.
However, sometimes the supermarket isn’t quite so super and you need to find something quick.
Chives are a bright green herb, closely related to onions, garlic, and shallots.
What’s best about chives is that they have a mild onion flavor, perfect for many dishes.
Unlike their family members, chives aren’t considered potent in their flavor.
Instead, they have a light garlic and onion flavor perfect for topping dishes.
Whether you’re mixing in chopped chives or sprinkling them on something great, there’s no need to fret.
There are several substitutes for chives that you can use to keep the dishes going!
Best Substitutes for Chives
The trick to substituting herbs in any recipe is taking a good hard look at the other flavors in the dish.
With chives, there are several other options that can mimic that fragrant flavor.
From shallots and scallions to parsley and leeks, it really depends on the dish at hand.
Because of their delicate taste, go easy on the substitutions. Many of these cousins have a stronger flavor!
If you’re in need of a substitute for chives, use one of these options!
With a close relation to chives, it’s no surprise that shallots make a great substitution in a pinch.
It’s important to note that shallots have a much stronger onion flavor than chives.
That being said, start with a half or 2/3 substitution ratio of shallots for chives.
You won’t get that same gorgeous green coloration with shallots, so this substitution is best for cooking.
Enjoy that peppery onion flavor in any dish that calls for chives!
Scallions, aka green onions, are probably the best substitution for a recipe that calls for chives.
They look and taste nearly identical, given their close relationship!
The most noticeable difference will be the slightly stronger onion flavor in scallions in comparison to chives.
While chives feature a mild garlic flavor, scallions are indeed an onion.
I have no problem using a 1:1 ratio of substituting scallions for chives depending on the dish.
Bonus points for the appearance being almost exactly the same for garnish.
If you’re looking to substitute for the flavor of chives, leeks are a great option.
They have a bit more sweetness to the flavor but work well with many dishes.
Whether you’re cooking with or garnishing, you want to finely chop this herb to replace chives.
This way, you get the same texture and look as fresh chives.
Because the flavor is just slightly different, start with about half as many leeks as chives.
Then, you can continue to adjust to get the flavor you’re looking for.
4. Dried Chives
Using dried chives from your cupboard can be a great alternative for chives.
This is, of course, ideal because it’s the same ingredient, just with less moisture.
Because fresh herbs have a high water content, their dried counterparts typically have a stronger flavor.
That being said, you want to start light with this substitution.
A good rule of thumb is to replace fresh herbs with 1/3 of the serving of dried herbs.
So, for one tablespoon of fresh chives, use 1 teaspoon of dried chives.
You can always add more as you’re cooking if the flavors aren’t there!
5. Wild Garlic
If you’ve never cooked with wild garlic, it looks nothing like the common clove of garlic.
In fact, its long green leaves look very similar to tarragon.
The flavor of wild garlic makes it a great substitute for chives if the dish relies on garlic.
You get that same mild garlic flavor, with just a change of appearance.
If the dish you’re cooking relies on the onion flavor behind chives, this might not be a good substitute.
You could always pair it with another substitute if you can’t find chives!
If you’re cooking a recipe that calls for chives simply as a garnish, parsley is a good substitute.
This goes for mashed potatoes, eggs, and fish.
Because parsley has a more herbal and citrusy flavor, it’s not a good substitute for cooking with chives.
While it makes a beautiful green garnish, it just doesn’t quite hit the same flavor-wise.
The great news is the flavor of parsley will pair well with many dishes.
So, if you’re using parsley in place of chives, you can easily make a 1:1 substitution.
If your recipe calls for chives for that light onion flavor, why not use onions?
Of course, the flavor will be stronger, but onions can be a great substitute for chives.
While most recipes with chives will have you add them late in the game, this isn’t the case with onions.
You need to add them to recipes early on, so they can meld flavors and soften.
Unless you’re looking for a strong onion flavor, I wouldn’t recommend garnishing with fresh onion.
It will have quite a bite in comparison to mild chives!
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