The Best Type Of Onion To Substitute For Cooked Shallots

Shall we talk about shallots? The small but mighty vegetable coincides with the allium family, so it bears a close relationship to onions, garlic, chives, and leaks. Like these other alliums, shallots work as a wonderful flavor addition to your favorite foods and condiments. Shallot confit puts an infused twist on standard oil, whereas slivers of the vegetable work equally well as a garnish on your favorite sides.

If you don't have shallots on hand, however, there's no need to make an extra trip to the grocery store. Remember those other alliums? You can use everything from leeks to chives to pearl onions in leu of shallots. Granted, some choices work better than others, depending on your recipe. It's easier to replace shallots with onions when you're planning to cook the vegetable. Raw onions have a more intense flavor, whereas the cooked version offers a milder taste. 

Yet even when you're cooking your shallots, one particular kind — and color — of onion stands out from the pack. While most onions will suffice, this particular variation is ideal, thanks to its neutral and versatile flavor. 

Yellow onions are your most neutral option to replace cooked shallots

Neither too sweet nor too intense, yellow onions use their neutrality as a weapon. While you can cook with all kinds of onions, yellow onions are especially ideal for replacing shallots. To understand just why they're so effective, consider your other options. White and red onions typically have a more intense flavor that doesn't quite match the mellow undertones of shallots. Meanwhile, sweet onions are sweet and not quite on par with shallots, either.

Yellow onions hover somewhere in the middle. When cooked, they exude a lighter flavor and reduced intensity, making for a suitable shallot replacement. As already established, these onions don't work quite as well when raw. However, when making a dish that calls for cooked shallots, yellow onions are typically your best bet.

As for how to properly swap shallots with yellow onions, one small onion equates to roughly three shallots, so determine your ratios accordingly. While having the real deal on hand is always better, yellow onions are a more common kitchen staple. They're a no-brainer when you're short on shallots. Luckily, when cooked, they prove perfectly fine and flavorful.