What Is the Best Substitute for Onions in Recipes?

updated May 1, 2019
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Q: My wife’s childhood was riddled with stomachaches. After moving away and cooking for herself, she realized that onions were the cause. We’ve been onion- and shallot-free (and stomachache-free) for almost 20 years. We don’t miss the flavor, but I can’t help but think that the recipe step of sautéing onions is important.

(Giving spices a chance to release their flavors into the oil/butter/etc.) I’ve tried substituting celery, apples, and even finely chopped collard green stems, but those textures don’t fade away like an onion can melt into the background. What can I use for that important step of so many dishes?

Sent by Chad

Editor: This is a (very!) old Good Question that might have some good ideas for you:

Readers, what ideas do you have?