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Are Scallions and Green Onions Really Different?

Chopped scallions and whole scallions are on a wooden cutting board.
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You’ve got a new recipe, and it calls for scallions. You don’t have any on hand, but you do have green onions. Are they the same thing?

There’s good news for your next recipe. Green onions and scallions are exactly the same thing. No, really, there is zero difference between the two.

The vegetable has long green stems and small white bases. They’re harvested early, so those bases haven’t become full bulbs quite yet. Scallions have an onion flavor, but it’s milder than a traditional yellow onion. They can be eaten raw of cooked into dishes.

As for the name, stores can choose to label them how they’d like—scallions or green onions—but they’re still the same. As for the reason, it could be regional differences or simply store preferences.

There is one more bit of produce you might have in mind when thinking about green onions and scallions. Spring onions are another variety that’s often confused for a scallion, but it actually is different.

Spring onions look quite a bit like scallions, but they have a much more sizable bulb on the end that could be white or red. Essentially, they’re scallions that were allowed to continue growing. Unlike scallions, though, they have a sweet taste and stray away from the strong onion flavor making them more mild.

The next time you’ve got a recipe calling for scallions, feel free to grab those green onions, and if you’ve got extra, you might even be able to grow your own.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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