Chives vs. Green Onions: 8 Different Things You Should Know

What’s the difference between chives, green onions, and scallions? There is a lot of false information about these tiny green onions, which are often put on stir-fries or boiled into soups.

The shape and colour of chives and green onions are similar, and when they are thinly sliced, they look almost the same.

I talked to Chef Jonathan R. Poyourow, an associate professor in the College of Food Innovation and Technology at Johnson & Wales University, to find out more about the differences between chives and green onions.

What Are Chives?

Chives are long, thin herbs that taste a little bit like onions. Poyourow also said, “Chives are more delicate and taste great when eaten raw.”

They are often finely chopped and added to recipes or used as a garnish to add a bright splash of colour or flavor. You can use them to make hasselback potatoes, scalloped potatoes, or tarts with asparagus and chives.

Common Uses of Chives

Chives are best used raw because they have a mild taste and can quickly turn bitter when cooked. The taste of chives is similar to that of other onions, but it is much milder.

Chives vs. Green Onions

Fresh chives are a great way to top soups, stews, salads, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, omelets, deviled eggs, and anything else that could use a bit of onion flavor.

Because they aren’t too strong, they can also be used as a part of a spread or dip. Because of this, chives are often added to compound butters and dips.

What Are Green Onions?

Green onions are young onions with long, hollow stems that end in a small, thin bulb, white roots, and almost entirely edible dark green leaves. The term “green onions” is a catch-all phrase.

Green onions, also called scallions, can come from many different types of onions, but what makes them unique is that they are young onions that haven’t grown much of a bulb yet.

When spring onions are left to grow a little longer, the bottom bulb gets a little bigger. Green onions are related to leeks, shallots, and garlic and have a mild onion flavour.

Common Uses of Green Onions

Green onions are a common ingredient in Asian cooking. They are often cooked with ginger and garlic in stir-fry dishes. Scallions are best known for being used in Chinese scallion pancakes, which are often served as an appetizer or side dish.

The green part of green onions is also often used in baked goods like biscuits and scones and in dips like sour cream and onion dip.

Chives vs. Green Onions

Chives & Green Onions Nutrition

Chives Nutrition

Here’s how much of each nutrient 100 grams of raw chives have:

  • Calories: 30kcal
  • Protein: 3.27g
  • Fat: 0.73g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.35g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Calcium: 92mg
  • Potassium: 296mg
  • Vitamin C: 58.1mg
  • Folate: 105mcg
  • Vitamin A: 218mcg
  • Vitamin K: 213mcg

Green Onions Nutrition

Here’s what 100 grams of raw green onions have in terms of nutrients:

  • Calories: 32kcal
  • Protein: 1.83g
  • Fat: 0.19g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.34g
  • Fiber: 2.6g
  • Calcium: 72mg
  • Potassium: 276mg
  • Vitamin C: 18.1mg
  • Folate: 64mcg
  • Vitamin A: 50mcg
  • Vitamin K: 207mcg

Similarities Between Chives And Green Onions

Both chives and green onions are in the allium family, which also includes garlic and shallots. Both can be used as garnishes, but green onions are used in cooking more often than chives.

Poyourow says that the nutritional value of the two parts is almost the same, except that chives have a little more calcium and vitamin A.

Chives vs. Green Onions: What’s the Difference?

Even though chives and green onions are related to leeks, shallots, and other alliums and have a similar flavour, there are a few important differences to keep in mind when planning a meal.

  • Heat tolerance: Green onions hold up to heat and can be stir-fried or charred; chives will quickly become bitter and unusable if cooked at too high a temperature.
  • Appearance: Chives have much thinner, more delicate stems than green onions do. They also tend to have a uniform green color, while green onions are white at the root and gradually transition in color to their green tops.
  • Texture: Chives have thin stems with a barely noticeable texture. The white part of green onions is crunchy, like an onion, while the green part is thicker and coarser than chives.
  • Flavor: This is the main difference between the two: Green onions have an astringent, onion-y flavor; chives, meanwhile, are much milder. Therefore, chives are herbs and green onions are vegetables.

Can You Substitute Chives and Green Onions for One Another?

Green onions and chives can sometimes be used in place of each other, especially if you plan to eat them raw.

But because green onions have a stronger flavour, you should use less of them in recipes that call for chives. In contrast, chives should be used in greater quantities in recipes that call for green onions.

The basic idea behind baking is the same. You can use chives in a biscuit or scone mix that calls for green onions, but you’ll need to use more than the recipe says.

Use green onions instead of chives in recipes that call for high or direct heat, because the high heat will ruin the flavour of the chives. Instead, sprinkle chives on top for a similar taste.

How To Regrow Green Onions

You can’t grow chives again, but it’s easy to grow green onions in your kitchen. Just put the root (the white part at the bottom) in a glass and pour just enough water to cover it. Leave the top of the glass empty.

Then, put the glass near a window that lets in a lot of light. Like herbs, you can cut off what you need and the rest will grow back. Just remember to change the water every so often.

Storing Chives and Green Onions

Once you get chives home from the store, they don’t keep well in the fridge. It is preferable to utilize them within a day or two of purchasing them.

Chives vs. Green Onions

The green onions will last longer than the chives. When you bring them home from the supermarket, they can stay in the refrigerator for a week or more. Chives and green onions will last longer if you wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in a container with no air holes.

As this guide shows, green onions can also be chopped ahead of time and kept fresh until they are needed.

You can also grow green onions from their roots, but you can’t do that with chives. Both vegetables, though, add taste, colour, texture, and smell to a wide range of dishes.

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