8 Perfect Substitutes for Spanish Onions


When it comes to onions, there are so many different types to choose from.

But, when a recipe calls for Spanish onions, and you don’t have any on hand, what’s the best substitute?

Here’s a look at a few of the most common substitutes for Spanish onions.

So, let’s get right into it. 

8 Best Spanish Onions Substitutes

1. White Onions 

Be it American white onions or European white onions, you can easily replace Spanish onions with either in any recipe that you like.

They are versatile, cheap, and easily found in stores so, it is one of the best quick-fix solutions for when you can’t find Spanish onion to work with. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of white onions as Spanish onion is called for in the recipe and you should be good to go. 

Here is a YouTube tutorial to help you make the most of your white onions for grilling – 

2. Sweet Onion 

If you want a milder flavored onion as a replacement, then sweet onions are great substitutes.

They are both savory and sweet and work wonderfully well in salads, soups, and pizza toppings or burgers.

Keep in mind that they are softer and not great if you plan to make fried onions.

How to Substitute? 

Depending on the recipe and texture that you are looking for, you might want to adjust the ratios, but you can use the same measure in most cases. 

To caramelize onions like a pro, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

3. Red Onions 

Red onions are another great option for Spanish onion substitutes.

They can range from mild to pungent in flavor and are great for eating raw or cooked.

You can add them to your salads, pickle them, or make great grilled veggies.

How to Substitute? 

The same measure of red onions can be used to replace Spanish onions though there may be slight flavor differences. 

Check out this YouTube video to make the perfect pickled red onion – 

4. Vidalia Onions 

Vidalia is a sweeter onion that is great to eat raw or when pickled.

You can add them to your sandwiches and burgers, and they should work just as well as Spanish yellow onions in most recipes.

They are also great when roasted or grilled.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of Vidalia onions to replace Spanish onions in your cooking. 

Here is a video tutorial to help you make the most of your Vidalia onions – 

5. Walla Walla Onions 

Walla Walla is a mellow and sweet-flavored onion that is great for caramelizing and adding to your roasted veggie mix.

They get sweeter in flavor when cooked so you can add them to sauces and dips, as well as a flavoring for rice.

How to Substitute? 

Using the same measure of Walla Walla onions as Spanish onion is called for should work just fine in most recipes, although there may be slight flavor differences. 

Here is a simple and easy-to-make summer side dish that you might want to check out – 

6. Yellow Onions

Since Spanish onion is a kind of yellow onion you could also use another yellow onion alternative that you find at stores as a substitute in most recipes.

Yellow onions can be more intense in flavor than Spanish onions, which is a milder version.

How to Substitute? 

A 1:1 ratio substitution of yellow onions for Spanish onions should work just fine in most recipes that you can think of. 

For a slow-roasted yellow onion recipe, check out this YouTube video – 

7. Leek 

Ramps or leek can also work as a quick-fix solution to replacing Spanish onion in your dishes.

The overall flavor of the recipe might change slightly but you will get the same pungent and savory flavors you are looking for. 

How to Substitute? 

You might want to play around with the measure of leek or ramps you want to replace Spanish onions, depending on the flavor balance you are looking for. 

Check out this YouTube video for a simple English onion soup with leeks – 

8. Shallots

Shallots can also give you the savory and onion-like flavor that you want in a Spanish onion substitute.

The only drawback is that shallots are tiny, and you will need to do a lot of prep to get just as much flavor as a whole Spanish onion.

How to Substitute? 

The same measure of shallots as the measure of Spanish onions in your recipe will work just as fine in most cases.

Check out this video tutorial for a recipe for Italian braised shallots – 

Bottom Line 

I hope you find some of these substitutes for Spanish onions to be a good fit for your dish.

Let us know in the comments below if we missed any good ones.

And be sure to share this post with your friends and family who are always looking for new ways to mix up their cooking!

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About Judy Taylor

Judy has been fascinated with food and drinks since her teenage years. She loves experimenting with various cuisines, her favorite being pairing food with wine and drinks. She travels 7-8 months a year across the globe, exploring local food and culture. Her dream is to open a small Mexican outlet on a beach someday.