Chives vs. Green Onions – How Do They Differ?

Chives vs green onions: What's the difference?

Chives appear thinner with delicate stems when compared to green onions. Green onions have a recognizable onion flavor, while chives are much milder. 

It’s easy to mistake the star ingredients of numerous Asian and Mexican dishes: chives and green onions. Each item has a unique taste and texture of its own. Both chives and green onions can impact any recipe. However, chives and green onions are often mistaken. There are several differences between the two. Here are some fantastic chives vs. green onions facts. 

Besides, both these ingredients differ in other various ways as well. Let’s understand each of these features in detail below to use the correct allium at the right time to complete your dish. 

What Are Green Onions?

Chives vs. Green Onions - How Do They Differ?
Green onions have long, hollow, green tubular leaves growing out of a white bulb.

Green onions, also known as scallions, are young or immature onions harvested before the bulb develops. They have long, hollow, green tubular leaves growing out of a white bulb. 

The green onion’s green and white parts are famous in many cuisines. Moreover, you can consume it raw as well, if not cooked. While the white portion lends a more robust onion flavor to the dish, the green part is used for its mild and fresh taste.

Green onions develop hollow tube-like dark green leaves and grow in bunches. At the base of the white end, you’ll also find small, flavorless, thread-like white roots.

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Some Types of Green Onions

  • Leeks
  • Classic green onions
  • Tokyo Negi
  • Red Beard
  • Calcot

Green onions go well with noodles, stir-fries, stews, soups, salads, and pasta. 

Tip: You can swap green onions with spring onions in many dishes due to their almost similar flavor. 

What Are Chives?

Chives (or Allium schoenoprasum) are another popular member of the onion family, also known as the Allium family. They are a typical garnish in various recipes, especially side dishes. Unlike green onions, chives have a green pencil-like stem and hollow center. 

Fresh chives have a very mild but distinct flavor from regular onions in their taste. Since chives are extremely thin, don’t expose them to too much heat. Add them towards the end of the cooking process as garnishing for the best results. 

You can also consume chives fresh and raw if you like their not-too-pungent flavor. Garnish tacos, soups, salads, omelets, and dips (especially sour cream) with finely chopped chives for added flavor. 

Chives vs. Green Onions - How Do They Differ?

How Are Chives and Green Onions Different?

Check out our table below to explore how are chives and green onions different.

ChivesFeaturesGreen Onions
Green pencil-like stem and hollow centerAppearanceLong, slender green stalks extending from an immature white bulb
Mild onion and garlic flavorFlavorMild oniony flavor
Seasonings in cheeses, soups, mashed potatoes, fish, deviled eggs, etc. When cut into fine slices, the green part is ideal for garnish in Asian and Mexican recipes. UsageSliced green onions add a nice kick to the salads, sandwiches, gravies, etc. in diced form. Use green onions to add a spicy onion flavor. Enjoy them raw or cooked.
Can be consumed both raw and cookedConsumable formProper vegetables and, thus, added at the beginning or middle of the cooking process
Flavorful stalksHarvested forWhite bulbs instead of long dark green stems, although both are edible
Have skinny stalks that barely have a noticeable texture when cutTextureThe white portion is quite crispy, and the green part is quite thick and coarse compared with chives

Frequently Asked Questions

Which recipes call for green onions?

There are a bunch of recipes that call for green onion. A few of them are: 
Loaded Baked Potato Rounds
Asian Shrimp Pancakes
Veggie Pasta Primavera
Vegetable Pad Thai
Deviled Eggs
Ham & Green Onion Biscuits

Which has a stronger flavor – chives or green onions?

Green onions have a robust flavor. On the other hand, Chives are consumed for their much milder flavor. Thus, green onions fall under the vegetable category and chives under the herbs category. 

Are shallots and green onions similar?

No, shallots (or young onions) and green onions are not similar. While the former is milder and sweeter, the latter is sharper and pungent. 


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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