Can Shallots Be Used Like Onions in a Recipe?

Shallots
Lew Robertson, Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Question: What are shallots? Is the shallot an onion?

Shallots are often confused with scallions

Answer: The shallot looks rather like a small, elongated onion with copper, reddish, or gray skin. Once you peel it, it divides into cloves like garlic, rather than one bulb with concentric layers like an onion. This can be confusing in some recipes as it is hard to determine whether the entire shallot bulb is needed or if the number count refers to the amount of shallot cloves.



Once peeled, small shallot bulbs will have 2 to 3 individual cloves and large shallots can have up to 6 cloves. In general, if the recipe calls for 1 shallot, use all the cloves within that single shallot bulb.

Do not confuse shallots with green onions or scallions as they are called in some areas, particularly in Louisiana. Early French settlers most likely had to substitute green onions for shallots, hence the confusion.

More About Shallots and Shallot Recipes:

• What are shallots? FAQ
Shallot Cooking Tips and Measures
Shallots Selection and Storage
Shallots History