Onion Salt vs Onion Powder: Are They Same? Are They Interchangeable?

Onion Salt vs Onion Powder

Both onion salt and onion powder make it simple to add the flavor of onions to food.

They are the essential seasoning blends in your kitchen as they are full of flavor and timely. A pinch of any of them can make a bland dish something savory and delightful.

They are both affordable and widely available at any supermarket store. In addition to their many similarities, there are also some differences the

at you must know if you want to use them.

So, to know their similarities and differences and to find out if you can use one instead of another in a dish, keep scrolling until the end of the article.

What is Onion Powder?

Onion powder is a condiment that is frequently used in any kitchen. It is produced by 

dehydrating onions and grinding them into a fine powder. It smells strongly of onions, with a trace of sweetness, sulfur, and a little bit of garlic.

Onion powder is frequently used as a substitute for garlic powder due to its sulfuric and garlicky flavor. Due to their similar textures and flavor profiles, you can often use onion powder and garlic powder interchangeably.

Onion powder evenly distributes the onion flavor all over the dish. And when compared to fresh onions, onion powder offers the same delicious flavor without undesirable side effects like mushy onions when cooked for a long period, stinging eyes, and so on.

What is Onion Salt?

Onion salt is a combination of any kind of salt and onion powder. 

Similar to onion powder, onion salt imparts onion flavor to a dish but has a salty taste. It has a pleasant flavor and a gentler pungency; however, it is not as powerful as onion powder or fresh onions.

You can easily store onion powder and salt longer as they are made from dehydrated onions and salt.

Onion Salt vs Onion Powder: Comparison

ComparisonOnion SaltOnion Powder
Ingredients Salt and onion powderGround dehydrated onions
Flavor Salty and less intense than onion powderStrong aroma, sweet, sulfur, garlicky
TextureCrystal-like powderSmooth powder
Nutritional factHas sodiumNutritious

1. Ingredients

Both onion salt and onion powder are made from grinding dried or dehydrated onions.

However, onion powder only contains 100% ground onion and no other spices. On the other hand, spice and salt are usually mixed in a 1: 5 ratio to make onion salt.

Thus, onion powder and onion salt are similar and distinct; you need to pay attention to the quantity when you use them in your dishes.

2. Texture

Onion powder has a smooth texture as the dehydrated onions are ground into powder.

Whereas onion salt has a crystal-like texture as it is made by mixing salt and powder or grinding the mixture of salt and powder. 

3. Flavor

Onion powder smells strongly with a tinge of sweetness, garlic and sulfur, and garlic. In contrast, the flavor of onion salt is not as intense as fresh or onion powder. But still, you can use them interchangeably with little adjustment.

The primary difference between onion salt and onion powder is the salt. This implies that onion salt is just diluted with salt but both onion powder and onion salt have onion flavor.

While onion salt is preferable if you want to add two flavors at once, onion powder is preferred when you want to control the number of spices you are putting in your dish.

4. Culinary Uses

Many savory recipes call for onion salt and onion powder.

You can easily see the use of onion powder in grilled meats, stews,  vegetables like Meat-free Kebabs, marinades,  French Onion Dip, and many more to enhance the flavor and taste.

Like onion powder, onion salt is also used in many dishes, such as Crispy Salsa Chicken, Onion & Chilli Roasted Potato, and so on, to lift the taste.

5. Health Benefits

Onion powder is nutrient-rich as it contains vitamins B, C, manganese, potassium, antioxidants, and whatnot. It has the nutrients that can help treat heart problems, cancer, and headaches.

It also has numerous other health benefits, including the ability to treat colds, control diabetes, support bone health, and improve hair.

And all of these health benefits are also offered by onion salt. And if you are worried, let me tell you it is low in calories and doesn’t contain cholesterol. So if you use low-sodium ingredients to prepare onion salt, it will help you lose weight and maintain good heart health.

You may also like: Scallion vs Shallot

Can I Replace Onion Salt with Onion Powder and Vice Versa?

Yes, certainly. Using onion powder in any recipe instead of onion salt is simple because you will just need to add some salt to make it work.

On the other hand, the main ingredients of onion salt are onion powder and salt, so it naturally tastes like onion powder with an almost similar texture. But onion salt has a less intense aroma than onion powder since salt and onion powder are typically combined in a 1:5 ratio.

As 1 tablespoon of onion salt and 1 tablespoon of onion powder are roughly equivalent,  you can use onion salt in most dishes that call for onion powder. However, it might be a little less simple as it already has salt. 

If you try to increase the flavor of onion in a dish using onion salt, you will inevitably increase the saltiness. So, you need to be careful.

And, while using onion salt,  remember to reduce using additional salty seasoning spices or mixes, or your dish will taste briny.

What Can You Use as Onion Powder Replacement?

1. Fresh Onion

Fresh onions are the most obvious solution. However, in contrast to onion powder, fresh onions will contribute moisture to your recipe; therefore, it’s important to dry the onion out as much as possible before adding it.

To obtain the desired taste, start by replacing 1 tablespoon of onion powder with 1 cup of finely chopped fresh onion for the best results.

2. Onion Paste

Onion paste can be another useful substitute.

To replace 1 teaspoon of onion powder, add around 2 to 3 teaspoons of onion paste.

3. Onion Flakes

It is the closest replacement you can use since flakes are basically dehydrated onions, much like how onion powder is produced.

In your recipes, you can swap out onion flakes for onion powder in a 1:1 ratio.

4. Onion Salt

You can use onion salt in almost every recipe that calls for onion powder, particularly soups, marinades, stews, and eggs (scrambled or omelet).

Use a 1:1 ratio for this replacement for the best outcomes.

5. Garlic Powder

garlic powder in a wooden bowl
Image credit: innakreativ, Shutterstock

Garlic powder is another excellent alternative because it has a texture similar to onion powder. However, the finished dish could have a somewhat different flavor if you use garlic powder instead of onion powder.

So, for this substitution, start using half the amount, i.e., one-half teaspoon of garlic powder for every teaspoon of onion powder.

Other substitutes for onion powder are chopped chives, garlic salt, shallots, fennel bulbs, and scallions.


What is Onion Salt to Onion Ratio?

Two tsp of onion salt is about equal to one small to medium white or yellow onion in flavor.

What is Onion Powder to Onion Ratio?

1 tbsp of onion powder is equivalent to 1 cup of finely chopped fresh onion in flavor.

Bottom Line

Though onion powder and onion salt have many distinctions, both are used to lift the flavors and tastes of your dishes. And the good thing is they are each other’s substitutes. So when you don’t have one, use the other and enhance the flavor of your dish.

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