Taste

The Difference Between Chives And Scallions, Because You Need To Know

Who knew?
06/13/2016 06:00am ET | Updated July 2, 2018

Chives, green onions or scallions ― what’s the difference?

They might taste similar, and you might even be able to substitute one for the other in some recipes ― but they are definitely not the same plants.

Here’s why:

Scallions and green onions (not chives) are actually the same thing ― alliums (specifically the genus and species Allium fistulosum). They’re long, green and floppy, with a bulb that doesn’t really bulge that much. Here’s what they look like:

The Huffington Post

Spring onions, which also look similar, are scallions that have matured, have a bigger bulb and are spicier and more pungent than scallions.

Chives, on the other hand, are also alliums, but a different species (schoenoprasum), and grow like weeds -- and for a few weeks in early spring can be found with pretty little purple flowers on them! Chives are much more pungent herbs, best used diced into smaller doses. Even better, a chive's flowers are also entirely edible, and Bon Appetit recommends throwing them in to add a colorful "oniony burst" to salads and stir fries.

Here are some flowering chives, picked up at a local farmer's market, followed by photos of chives with the flowers cut off:

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge, try out your chives in the recipes below:

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread
Buns In My Oven
French Green Beans With Butter And Herbs
Simply Recipes
Smashed New Potatoes With Garlic And Chives
Simply Recipes
Grilled Flatbread With Morels
Annie's Eats
Get the Grilled Flatbread with Morels recipe by Annie's Eats
Grilled Sirloin With Lemon-Chive Pesto
The Scrumptious Pumpkin
Get the Grilled Sirloin with Lemon-Chive Pesto recipe by The Scrumptious Pumpkin
Black Pepper Popovers With Chives And Parmesan
FamilyStyle Food/Food52
Get the Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan recipe by FamilyStyle Food via Food52
Roasted Parsnips
Simply Recipes
Get the Roasted Parsnips recipe by Simply Recipes
Spring Green Risotto
Annie's Eats
Get the Spring Green Risotto recipe by Annie's Eats
Crispy Buffalo Oven Fries
How Sweet It Is
Get the Crispy Buffalo Oven Fries recipe by How Sweet It Is
Buttermilk Chive Biscuits
Annie's Eats
Get the Buttermilk Chive Biscuits recipe by Annie's Eats
Green Goddess Dressing
Simply Recipes
Get the Green Goddess Dressing recipe by Simply Recipes
Chinese Boiled Pork Dumplings
Steamy Kitchen
Get the Chinese Boiled Pork Dumplings recipe by Steamy Kitchen
Breaded And Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Simply Recipes
Smoked-Trout-And-Caper-Cream-Cheese Toasts
Michael Turek/Food&Wine
Eggs In A Basket With Maple Bacon, Fontina & Chives
F For Food
Goat Cheese & Chorizo Rolls
Burcu Avsar/Food&Wine