Vidalia onions are mild and sweet onions and are one of the essential parts of Southern summer cooking. These onions are famous. After all, they taste delicious in all recipes because they are less acidic and pungent than other onions in the market.
You can enjoy them as cooked or raw in dishes such as salsas and sandwiches and as sides with your favorite meat.
But do you know that finding Vidalia onions can sometimes be a task? Many grocery stores don't always keep them. Moreover, you may not have them in your pantry when cooking in an emergency.
In that case, instead of panicking, you can opt for certain substitutes to meet the need.
The best Vidalia onions substitutes are yellow onions, shallots, potato onions, and red onions. You can also use garlic, chives, and scallion.
We have this guide for you if you want to learn about each and how to use them in your recipes. So, keep reading and find a match.
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Best Substitutes For Vidalia Onion
A Vidalia onion is mainly found in Georgia, where the soil has less sulfur. This is why the onions found here are sweet rather than sharp.
The list below shares all the top substitutes for these onions, so you don't have to compromise while cooking. Take a look.
1. Yellow Onions
Yellow onions are one of the best alternatives to Vidalia onions. They may not be as sweet as the latter, but once caramelized, yellow onions add a delectable taste to any dish.
Whether you cook pork chops or steak, topping your meat with these onions will help you create a tempting dish for lunch or dinner.
Unlike Vidalia onions, you can't eat raw yellow onions. They have a strong flavor; however, you can sautee or grill them to achieve sweet perfection. When cooked properly, yellow onions become soft and caramelized, which is ideal for replacing sugar in your recipe.
These onions can be used to make stews, soups, and salads. You can also add them to the gravy if the recipe requires it.
Do you know that shallots were recognized as onions after 2010? Before that, they were just any vegetable. Because of their shape, texture, and taste, shallots joined the family of onions quite later, and since then, they have been used in various recipes.
While considered onions, shallots are also quite close to chives, garlic vegetables, leeks, and scallions. Shallots are pretty similar to Vidalia onions, courtesy of their soft layer.
Since shallots have a strong flavor, they can get overwhelming on the first bite. However, they have a unique spicy touch that adds great taste to any dish.
Shallots are often caramelized or chopped when mixed with other ingredients. They are primarily used in Mediterranean and Asian dishes and grown in these regions.
Shallots are reddish-brown, meaning that they can be pungent. So, before you use them, soak them in water to release their spicy taste and excess sulfur.
You can also use these onions in sauces because they don't break and become pretty soft under heat.
When replacing shallots with Vidalia onions, don't follow any ratio. Instead, add them according to the recipe's demands and your taste preference.
3. Potato Onions
Potato onions look quite like potatoes. These are known as Egyptian and underground onions and can easily replace Vidalia onions in pickles.
Compared to other onions, potato onions are pretty small. This means you can use them for cooking a large amount of food without worrying about waste.
These onions resemble round-shaped bulbs and have a mild, sweet taste. They can be intense, but you won't taste any harsh flavor, usually present in most varieties of onions.
Potato onions are pretty succulent and tender. You can add them directly to your salads or caramelize them to achieve a certain degree of sweetness.
You can also easily sautee these onions as they don't get soggy easily.
4. White Onions
This is one of the most used categories of onions. White onions can also efficiently replace Vidalia onions any day.
White onion is sweet and dry with a light color and mild taste. It has a very low amount of sulfur and an extended shelf life, making them easy to store for a long duration.
White onions have a light body, meaning you can easily mash them using a fork. Since they have strong layers, you may find it hard to eat these onions raw.
So, what is the best way to use them? We recommend frying, caramelizing, or chopping the onions, so they gel well with the rest of the ingredients.
But be careful when heating them. Unlike Vidalia onions, white onions break easily and lose their shape when cooked. If your dish requires the onions to retain their shape, you can opt for other onions on this list.
5. Red Onions
If you can't find any substitute mentioned above, we recommend using red onions aka purple onions. These are intense and spicier than sweet onions, but if your recipe demands this vegetable and you can't get your hands on other options, purple onions might be your only saviors.
That said, you can't use these onions directly when replacing Vidalia onions in a recipe. You should ensure to kill the taste and aroma of this onion and make it sweeter and mild before you use it in your dish.
To do that, soak the onions in water for 30 to 60 minutes straight. This step is imperative to eliminate the strong taste and smell. Once that's done, you can chop the onions and add the pieces to your food.
The quantity of this onion depends on your recipe's requirements.
6. Walla Walla Onions
This might be your first time coming across these onions, but Walla Walla onions are pretty sweet and ideal to replace Vidalia onions.
Whether you want to make onion rings or add these vegetables to your soups and stews, Walla Walla onions may never disappoint you.
These onions have a very mild taste and a sweet fragrance. They look pretty like red potatoes and have the same color and shape.
Additionally, Walla Walla onions have high sugar levels, meaning you might not need to caramelize them before adding them to a dish.
However, there is a bummer. Despite being very similar to Vidalia onions, people don't use Walla Walla onions because of their price. Yes, these onions are expensive and are not readily available.
But we can't recommend this substitute enough if you can afford them. Since Walla Walla onions are firm, you can use them for cooking any dish. However, before you saute or grill them, cut them into thin slices to prevent burning. This tip also helps to maintain their shape and texture in a better way.
Garlic is an herb, not a vegetable, so can it replace Vidalia onions? Contrary to common belief, many people use garlic to replace onions. Since this herb has a strong taste and aroma, it can be used to substitute sweet onions any day.
However, too much garlic may ruin your dish. So, whether you want to use the herb in salads, soups, or stir-fries, we recommend adding a small amount to your dish.
Chives are green, slender stems with an intense flavor. They are a herb with a flavor similar to onions and are used to add much-needed color to any dish.
You can use chives in soups, salads, and stews.
Since chives are slightly sweet, you can use them to replace Vidalia onions. We recommend using a small quantity of this herb to prevent the chopped chives from overpowering other ingredients.
Besides, add chives as the last ingredient when cooking for good results. Chives get soft under heat and taste awful.
These are young onions and are also, at times, referred to as green onions. Scallions are long with fat bottoms. These onions have a pepper-like flavor and turn pretty soft when appropriately cooked.
Because of their mild flavor, they are often used to replace Vidalia onions in most recipes.
You can either cook or use the raw leaves as is. Green onions taste great in soups, stews, and even rice.
If a recipe demands you add Vidalia onions, you shouldn't be disappointed if you can't find them. Instead, go for any of the nine substitutes above for a similar taste and result.
When used correctly and adequately, these substitutes elevate the taste of any dish, making your meals delicious. In addition, most of the substitutes are inexpensive, meaning you save a lot of money with them.
So, if you can't wait to cook, dig into your pantry or go grocery shopping and create a hearty feast at home.
Substitutes for Vidalia Onion
- Yellow Onions
- Potato Onions
- White Onions
- Red Onions
- Walla Walla Onions