5 Best Garlic Chives Substitutes

Do you miss the taste of garlic chives? If the answer is yes, then this article is definitely for you.

Garlic chives are a popular ingredient among chefs and can be used in countless recipes.

Charred and raw garlic chives are a culinary delight.

But this plant can sometimes be rare.

This is why we have compiled a list of garlic chives substitutes that mimics its actual taste, aroma, and texture. 

What Is Garlic Chives? 

Garlic chives, also known as Chinese chives, are onion family members.

However, unlike other onions, garlic chives do not form bulbs. Instead, they grow upright stalks that sprout small leaves. The stems can be anywhere from 5 to 50 cm long.

This herb has a mild, sweet flavor and a slight garlic taste, but it is more favorable and lacks the sharpness of garlic

in addition, garlic chives have a strong flavor when raw, but once you cook them, their flavor mellows out and becomes milder again.

They are typically used in Asian dishes but can also be used in Western cooking.

And the most common use for garlic chives is in stir-fries and soups. They can also be served with dumplings or added to salads.

You can also make broth out of them—just add them to the water as it simmers on the stovetop!

They can often be frozen or canned at grocery stores, but if you don’t see them there, try an Asian market or online retailer.

5 Best Garlic Chives Substitutes

Most of the alternatives here are a type of onions from the same plant species, Allium.

This means they are likely to have similar growing habits and taste profiles. However, their differences could be primarily in their appearance.

1. Green onions

But these herbs look similar.

Green onions are a type of chive, and they’re related to garlic chives. And can be used in many of the same ways as garlic chives.

Although green onions are crunchy like actual onions, the green part is coarser and thicker than chives.

Their flavor notes are entirely different.

Garlic chives are as pungent as a raw clove or garlic, yet they have a more garlicky flavor than oniony.

On the other hand, green onions have an astringent, oniony flavor, making them sweeter.

The good news is: garlic chives have traces of an oniony undertone.

Hence, substituting green onions for garlic chives would work, but you’d end up with a much more mid-flavor.

If you’re okay with that, you can swap the onions for the chives in salads and stir-fries. You also used them as a garnish for soups and stews.

2. Garlic Scapes

The garlic scape is a more suitable replacement for garlic chives than green onions.

Again, they are similar yet quite different in appearance but are reminiscent of that garlicky flavor.

Their taste was excellent, with the fresh appeal of green with a hint of garlic.

Garlic scapes can hold the fort in almost every situation where garlic is used to flavor food, although they are less urgent.

And since garlic flavor is intense for some people, this will help them enjoy the taste better.

On top of that, garlic scape works exceptionally well in salads.

You can use them in various ways: as an ingredient in Asian stir-frys and soups, added to your favorite sandwich or soup, or baked into bread. You would like them most when folded into fluffy omelets.

I’ve also seen many people blend them finely into a yogurt-based dip, omelet, or salad dressing. 

3. Leeks

leeks and garlic chives are from the Allium genre but with two different flavors.

Leeks are a vegetable, while chives are an herb with scallion and garlic flavors.

The taste of leeks has a more grassy, earthy note than garlic chives, which are spicy and citrusy.

In addition, Leeks taste more like onion, making them milder in flavor than chives.

Regardless, if you’re in a pinch and all you got in reserves are some fresh leek, you can use them.

You might even prefer the mellow flavor of leeks to chives. 

4. Barlauch

Don’t even second guess it…go ahead with the swap!

Barlauch is a relative of garlic chive —more like the wild version.

It is native to Europe, and this forest floor has a predominant garlic perfume.

I’d choose barlauch daily, over most of the other substitutes since it carries that garlicky flavor.

On the contrary, it doesn’t have that underlying note of onion. But that will ensure your recipe tastes delicious.

You can garnish your dish with barlauch, as it resembles chives. To make barlauch taste milder and more like chives, slice the stems into long thin pieces and spread them evenly. 

5. Shallots

Shallots are close in taste to their cousins, the Chinese onion, scallion, and chive.

But they are more distant relatives to garlic chives, as they are more onion than garlic.

Shallots are used in cooking, but they’re also pickled. In Asian recipes, shallots have been deep-fried and sliced up as condiments.

They have a mild flavor, which makes them an excellent addition to salads, soups, and stews. They are also used in sauces, dips, and dressings. 

Read Also: 5 Best Garlic Clove Substitutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can You Buy Garlic Chives?

You can find garlic chives in farmers’ markets, specialty produce shops, and grocery stores. If you don’t see them at your local supermarket or farmer’s market, try an Asian grocery store.

These herbs are more likely to be in the produce section.

Also, when opting for regular garlic chives, look for dark green leaves that are not wilted.

Flowering chives are usually sold in packages, with the ends of each bunch already trimmed. Look for bright green stems and fat yellow buds at the end of each stem—these indicate that it is fresh.

How Can You Store Your Garlic Chives? 

Garlic chives are about as delicate as you can get when it comes to your food storage.

They need water and air, so they can’t be stored in a sealed container.

Instead, they should be stored in a perforated bag that lets moisture escape while keeping the chives free from pests and insects.

The best way to store garlic chives is to use a plastic bag or another type of container that lets air in.

Garlic chives are fragile, so you don’t want them crushed between your hands or other hard surfaces.

I’d recommend storing them in the crisper section of the refrigerator.

Are Chives And Garlic Chives The Same?

The answer to this question is “no.” Chives and garlic chives are pretty similar but not the same.

Let me break it down:

Both chives are members of the allium family.

But chives are perennials and have more of a mild onion-like taste. This makes them less spicy.

Garlic chives, on the other hand, grow teller with white blossoms and flatter leaves.

They got their name ‘garlic chives’ because they have a more potent, garlic-like flavor.

Hence, garlic chives have a more robust flavor than chives, with a savory garlic flavor that is slightly spicy than sweet.

Although they can be used in the same ways as traditional chives—as a garnish, for flavoring cooked foods, etc.

But they tend to be more prevalent in stir-fries and other dishes with lots of garlic.

Can I Eat Garlic Chives Raw?

 Probably not raw and alone. But you will enjoy it if chopped and used as a garnish like chives.

You can also add them to your omelet or quiche! They’re versatile, so you can use them in whatever way you want.

They taste lovely in an omelet with goat cheese, thyme, and garlic mushrooms! It’s a delicious combination that will make your mouth water just thinking about it.

I love them with steaks or chops over a bed of rice pilaf with broccoli rabe and almonds. This is one of my favorite ways to eat them because they go so well together!


When preparing a dish that calls for chives, you can use any garlic chives substitutes here.

However, the taste and look of it will differ from chives

These mild-flavored green stalks have only grown in popularity over the last few years and are delicious and endlessly versatile, pairing well with a wide range of different ingredients.