8 Best Sweet Onion Substitutes

Sweet onion is a popular type of onion that lacks a pungent flavor. Some well-known sweet onions include OsoSweets, Vidalias, Mauis, Texas sweets, and Walla Wallas.

When first hearing the name, you might think this onion contains a lot of sugar. On the other hand, the opposite is true. It does not have any. Instead, its unique flavor is the mildness, which has its roots in a low content of sulfur and water.

Chefs often use raw sweet onions for relishes, salads or chop them to garnish dishes.

However, in some cases, they do have the ingredient at hand. Then, some best substitutes often are

Best Sweet Onion Substitutes

8 Amazing Substitutes for Sweet Onion: Know What to Use and When

Bermuda Onion

Bermuda onion is the first ingredient that can substitute the sweet onions well for their similar taste and flavor.

For more details, the onion is a flat and large onion that often has yellow or white. It offers a pretty mild taste, making it suitable for cooking, toasting, stuffing, and French-frying. Besides, some chefs use slices of raw Bermuda onions in sandwiches and salads.

When it comes to the ratio for the sweet onion replacement, it should stand at 1:1.

Maui Onion

Maui onion is first found in Mount Haleakala, a dormant volcano on Maui island. It has a lightly sweet flavor that is similar to the sweet onion. Plus, both do not own a sharp taste or make you shed tears with their odor due to the lack of sulfur.

Other than that, in Maui onion, you might sense different tastes of chives and garlic. A high water content existed in the ingredient also makes it distinctively juicy.

Maui onions are best for dishes requiring extra oomph, such as salsa, guacamole, and pasta sauce.

Red Onion

As a massive fan of red onion, I highly recommend you to use it to replace the sweet onion with a sharp and robust flavor as well as a unique purplish-red skin.

However, for its more potent taste, you should reduce the amount of red onion when substituting for the sweet one. Decrease the fat and calories to have a better result alike.

Vidalia Onion

Vidalia onion is a hybrid Granex onion that features a bright yellow color and a mild and sweet flavor.

Compared to the sweet onions, the Vidalia ones might be thicker skinned and sweeter yet not as intense as their peers.

Also, it is rather hard to find the vegetable if you do not live in the counties included in the Vidalia Onion Act of 1986, a Georgia state legislature law. Using some other alternatives such as shallot or red onions would help.


Do you know that garlic is always a great substitute for most kinds of onions, not only the sweet ones, in cooking?

The fact might have its root from the condiments being flavorful and incredibly beneficial to our health. For example, when digested often, it helps lower our blood pressure and cholesterol, decreases blood clotting, quells inflammation, and supports our immune function.

Besides, while the sweet onions can not remain flavor after being cooked, the garlic can taste well in either raw or cooked status. Even after cooking, you can sense the garlic stronger and sweeter.

White Onion

When serving dishes like salads, soups, or fried rice for a crowd, I love using white onion instead of sweet onions for its bigger size and milder taste. Plus, they do not require as much money as their counterpart.

Spanish Yellow Onion

As its name indicated, Spanish yellow onion is a type of onion originating in Spanish. Then, they become more popular worldwide for their versatility, a mild taste with a medium level of sweetness.

That means you can utilize it in most dishes calling for the sweet onions, ranging from salads, desserts, and sandwiches to sauces and soups.

Walla Walla Onion

Last is the Walla Walla onion, also known as Washington’s official state vegetables.

It includes a more mellow and complex taste than the sweet onions. Moreover, it owns a less grainy and crunchy texture than its peers.

You can apply either raw or cooked Walla Walla onions in grilling, roasting, sauteing, and baking for its usage.

Sweet Onions Storage: Useful Tips And Tricks

While using the alternatives is a quick solution, nothing is better than having the real sweet onions close at hand.

That is when you should think about storing a fixed amount of the onions in your pantry correctly.

There are a couple of tips that many experienced chefs share to prevent them from getting rot or losing their flavor fast.

First, consider keeping them in mesh bags or tight boxes. Otherwise, you can store the onions in a dry, calm, and ventilated area far from other products and vegetables.

Suppose your kitchen has a refrigerator; put the onions into it. Do not forget to use newspapers or paper towels to wrap them.

Drying the onions with the oven is also a suitable method. Keep in mind to chop them first and remove them from the oven before they get brown. After that, put those dry vegetables into an airtight container before leaving them at room temperature.

You can find elevated screens or ranks to put those sweet onions on for an easier storage way. Make sure no one touches the vegetables for a longer lifespan.

How to Store Spring Onion for Months

FAQs About Sweet Onion Substitutes

What Do Sweet Onions Taste Like?

There are many sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla. Mainly, they have a sweet taste. Unlike the typical onions, those lovable counterparts do not have an astringent and sharp flavor.

They are often used as thin slices serving on top of sandwiches or in salads for the features.

Can I Replace Shallots For Sweet Onions?

I do not recommend using the shallots to replace the sweet onions simply because it lacks the primarily sweet taste. Instead, shallots are better alternatives for the yellow onions with the ideal 1:1 ratio.

Besides, if you want substitutes for sweet onions, pick up white onions, Bermuda onions, or others suggested above.

What Make An Onion Sweet?

There are a few reasons making onions sweet. First, of course, it is sugar. The high content of sugar built-in often leads to sweetness. However, in some cases, such as sweet onions, it is not sugar yet the low level of sulfur compounds, particularly pyruvic acid, leading to the taste.

Plus, that also explains why the sweet onions are not spicy.

How To Make Onions Taste Sweet?

To make the onions, you can sprinkle them in vinegar. Besides, you can also get rid of the strong flavor of the onions and sweeten them by slicing and soaking them in ice water. Wait for around 20 to 40 minutes for the best result.

Why are sweet onions sweet? Can you really eat Vidalia onions like apples?


To conclude, the above list is the 8 best sweet onion substitutes.

In a nutshell, I suggest you use the Bermuda onion as an excellent replacement for its versatility and similar features to the sweet one. Besides, the white onion is worth considering due to its low price and massive uses.

Hopefully, those pieces of information have helped you have the most delicious meal for your family and friends.

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