Our Favorite Shallot Recipes to Make When We Can’t Commit to Onions

Shallots have a great onion flavor—without the bite

Let’s take a moment to remember shallots, the unsung hero of so many of our favorite dishes. Less assertive than onions with a mild garlic flavor, shallots add a hint of sweetness and can step in as a substitute in most onion recipes. While mild enough to eat raw, they’re also delicious cooked, playing especially well with delicate flavors or dishes with big kicks of spice.

Shallots are great for perking up green beans: for a reliably tasty side, quick-pickle shallots and sauté them with green beans. Or make a salad with blanched long beans, tofu, and an umami-rich soy sauce dressing and top with crispy fried shallots. Pairing various members of the allium family is a great way to get a balanced onion flavor instead of the pungency that using only yellow onions give. Six-onion pizza is topped with a white onion puree—a compote made with leeks, red onions, and shallots, and raw scallions and chives. Use shallots in other dips and sauces to give them something between garlic and onion without overpowering the nose. Shallots are used extensively in Asian recipes: our smoky Laotian tomato dip uses charred shallots, tomatoes, garlic, chiles, and bell pepper. A caramelized shallot cream sauce is a perfect accompaniment to our venison loins with stewed quince. From onion dip to potato salad, here are our favorite shallot recipes.

Grilled Shallots with Dill (Schalottenlök i Folie)

Milder than their cousin the onion, shallots are ideal for grilling. For a midsummer cookout in Sweden, home cook Asa Johanson tosses shallots in butter and olive oil, wraps them in foil with dill, and cooks the package slowly on the grill until the shallots soften and caramelize, taking on a deep, sweet flavor.

Shallot–Red Wine Purée

Chef David Bouley slowly oven-roasts unpeeled shallots for this purée, and while the skins are removed from the final product, they help add a deep, caramelized flavor to each bite. Stir into tomato-based sauces, add to stir-fries, or spread on crostini with cheese. Get the recipe for Shallot–Red Wine Purée »

Morels with Mint, Peas, and Shallot

Morels with Mint, Peas, and Shallot

Fried Brussels Sprouts

Get your sprouts crispy all over with a quick trip through a deep fryer, then dress them in a sweet-and-sour sauce of honey and balsamic. Fried shallots, walnuts, and Parmesan bring texture and flavor, and a dose of lemon zest ties it all together. Get the recipe for Fried Brussels Sprouts »

Sautéed Onion and Yogurt Dip

This recipe is a far cry from the gloopy, mayonnaise-like onion dip you’ll find in a jar at your local grocery store. It’s light, tangy, and inspired by Persian mast-o-musir, a mix of diced shallots and yogurt or labneh. Here, the alliums are lightly cooked to soften their bite; it’s the perfect thing to make for a beach picnic or summer cookout. Get the recipe for Sautéed Onion and Yogurt Dip »

Radish and Cilantro Salad with Goat Cheese

Radish and Cilantro Salad with Goat Cheese

Lao Poached Bass With Shallots and Eggplants

A light yet hearty seafood dish, this recipe comes from Soulayphet Schwader, chef-owner of New York City’s Lao-inspired Khe-Yo restaurant. Though Schwader makes this dish with what he calls “the funk,” the strong Lao fermented fish paste padek, storebought fish sauce is used here.

Venison Loins with Shallot Sauce and Stewed Quince

Venison Loins with Shallot Sauce and Stewed Quince

Lao Tomato Dip

Penn Hongthong, the author of Simple Laotian Cooking (Hippocrene, 2003), taught us that charring the vegetables for this dip is the secret to its smoky flavor.

Shallot and Pancetta Tortilla Crisps

Ultra-crisp tortilla pizzettes, developed by SAVEUR test kitchen director Farideh Sadeghin, can be tailor-made with just about any ingredients. We like them topped with creme fraiche, shallot, and pancetta, a flavor profile not unlike alsatian tarte flambee.

South Indian Onion Stew (Sambar)

In South India, rice and sambar is a daily meal. A stew made from chana dal (yellow split peas), sambar is a spicy medium for vegetables from miniature eggplants to okra to pearl onions. South Indian sambar is bolstered by sambar powder—coriander seeds, red chile, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves, among other spices, that are coarsely ground together—as well as spices typically found in garam masala.

Sautéed Green Beans with Pickled Shallots

Shallots are quick-pickled and sautéed with green beans in this refreshing side.

GGS (Ginger, Garlic, and Shallot) Dressing

This handy aromatic dressing from Rachel Yang, co-chef at Joule in Seattle, adds a sweet, bright bite to stir-fries and soups.

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Sole Meunière

Dover sole is a remarkable fish—meaty and succulent, but with a delicate flavor. When it comes to cooking it, the simplest way is the best, as in classic sole meuniere, where butter and lemon subtly enhance the taste and texture.

Thai Cucumber Relish (Ajad)

This quick, spicy-sweet relish makes a perfect picnic side.

Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce (Sambal Kecap)

This sweet, thick, soy sauce is spiked with chiles and shallots.

Roasted Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Shallots

Roasting potatoes for potato salad, rather than boiling them, lends a caramelized sweetness that’s offset by a tangy dressing of sour cream, mustard, and shallots.

Six-Onion Pizza

Six-Onion Pizza