Not all onions are odious orbs of tear-jerking fumes. In fact, some are super sweet! That includes scallions. Here’s everything you need to know about this tasty, versatile veggie.
Fast facts on scallions
What are scallions? Scallions are a type of edible young onion. They have green leaves that look like tubes and a white, immature bulb. You can prob find them at your local grocery store, but they’re also super easy to grow at home.
What’s the difference between scallion vs. green onion? Scallions and green onions are different names for the same thing! They have a tender texture and a mild, onion-like taste.
How do you use scallions? Scallions are a delicious addition to tons of dishes. They’re also a good alternative for folks who find the flavor of other onions too powerful.
While they might not look the part, scallions are actually part of the Allium cepa (aka onion) fam. They have a white base and long green stalks. You can eat both the base and the stalks raw or cook them. The white part of a scallion sort of tastes like a white onion, but it’s slightly sweeter and less pungent. The green stalk has a fresh, almost grassy taste to it.
Scallions can add a pop of yum to just about anything. (Well, they might be weird on cereal, but you get the point.) Here are some tips for incorporating them into your fave foods.
- Sprinkle some on your soup.
- Swap red onions for scallions in your next salad.
- Perk up your sandwiches with thinly sliced scallions.
- Add some to tuna, potato, or pasta salads.
- Throw a handful of nice long pieces into a delish DIY stir-fry.
- Make a marvelous marinade for chicken, beef, seafood, or fish.
- Add them to homemade baked goods like breads, biscuits, or savory scones.
Ready to give scallions a whirl? Try these five stellar scallion recipes.
1. Chinese scallion pancakes by Omnivore’s Cookbook
Scallion pancakes are a staple in Chinese cuisine. This rockstar recipe packs all the classic flavors. But the best part? It only has five ingredients!
Bonus: The recipe comes with a step-by-step guide with pictures, so it’s super easy to follow along.
2. Cheddar scallion scones by Budget Bytes
These budget-friendly scones boast tangy cheddar cheese and a pop of black pepper. But scallions are def the star of the show 🌟. They’d be perfect for your next brunch, but can also come in clutch if you need a quick snack.
3. Green onion and garlic crispy tofu by Food with Feeling
This vegan stir-fry is full of bold flavors. It’s so simple and tasty, you might have to break up with your fave takeout spot. It’s also a great choice if you’re ga-ga for garlic.
4. Charred scallion turmeric yogurt dip by The Original Dish
This smooth scallion dip is crazy good. The light onion-y flavors pair perfectly with the bold taste of turmeric. Feel free to smother it over your flatbreads, sandwiches, and wraps.
5. Ginger scallion sauce by The Foodie Takes Flight
We love an aromatic moment. This dynamite condiment tastes great in stir-fries and with grilled veggies or meats. But we won’t judge you if you eat it with a spoon. (It really is that good.)
Here’s how scallions stack up to other types of onions.
Scallions vs. green onions
Scallions and green onions are the exact same thing. At the store, they come in:
- long green leaves
- thin, stringy white roots
- stiff white stalks with no bulb at the bottom
Scallions vs. spring onions
These ones sort of look like scallions, but they’re a different type of plant. The bulb on the bottom is usually white, but it can also be purple or yellow. The bulb will also probably be larger than a scallion’s. They also have a slightly stronger flavor than scallions.
Scallions vs. sweet onion
Sweet onions are similar to yellow onions. While they might make your eyes water, they’re not overly pungent. They have a slight sweet flavor and they’re super versatile. While they do grow with tall green leaves, you’ll typically only find the large bulb in the store for sale.
Pro tip: They’re 10/10 delish sauteed in butter with a pinch of salt. It has a killer caramelized flavor.
Scallions vs. red onion
Red onions have a bit of a bite to them. They’re a top-notch addition to salsas, salads, sandwiches, and guac. If raw red onion isn’t your thing, you’re still in luck. It’s great grilled, baked, roasted.
Scallions vs. white onion
These round beauties are hella pungent. While you can technically can eat them raw, you might wind up with some gnarly breath. Your best bet is to cook them until they’re tender, or use raw amounts sparingly.
Scallions vs. chives
Chives are a different type of plant species than scallions. They’re a herb with a mild flavor. Chives are known for their long, tubular green leaves. FYI: They make a great garnish on eggs, soups, and salads.
A scallion’s lifespan depends on how you store it. Dried scallions can last months and months. But if you’re using the fresh stuff, here’s what you do.
If you know you’ll be using them quickly:
- Rinse the scallions well, then shake off the excess water.
- Wrap them in wet paper towels. (You don’t want them dripping wet, just damp.)
- Store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
- They should last about 3 to 4 days.
If you want to keep them fresh for longer:
- Fill a glass jar with water until it’s half-full.
- Place your scallions into the jar with the ends facing down.
- Cover the tops with plastic wrap.
- Secure a rubber band around the brim of the glass.
- They should stay fresh for up to a week.
You don’t need a green thumb to grow your own scallions. The whole process is super simple. Here’s how to do it.
- Buy a bunch of scallions from your local grocery store.
- Cut the stem about 2 inches up from the bulb. (Psst. You can save the tops for cooking!)
- Fill a jar with an inch of water.
- Place the bottoms of the scallions into the water.
- Let them hang out on a warm windowsill.
- Done! In about a week they should regrow.
P.S. You can also plant the bottoms in a pot. Just place the roots into some soil. They should last for months (or longer!) if you give them a little TLC. Be sure to keep the pot in a warm area and water them on the reg.
Scallions are a mild-tasting member of the onion family. They’re a *chef’s kiss* addition to tons of tasty recipes. You can also use them as a garnish to give your dishes a pop of color.
You can find scallions at most grocery stores that sell produce. But you can also regrow old roots or plant them from seed to sprout at home.