Onion Salt vs Onion Powder: What’s The Difference?

Whether you’re new to cooking or a seasoned pro, it’s likely that you’ve encountered both onion salt and onion powder at some point. You might have even wondered, “What’s the difference between these two?” Well, we’re here to answer that question!

In this guide, we’ll cover the following topics: What is onion salt? What is onion powder? How do I convert onion powder into salt? Can I use one instead of another? Which one is stronger than the other? And more! Let’s get started!

While both powders are made from grinding dehydrated onion into a powder, onion powder is 100% ground onion while onion salt contains other spices and salt.

Is Onion Salt the Same as Onion Powder?

No. Onion salt is a mixture of salt and dehydrated onion, while onion powder is made from dried, ground onion. 

Onion Salt and Powder Overview

Both of these products are used to season food before they’re cooked or served as part of an appetizer. They can also be added directly to soup stock at the beginning of preparation if desired; just remember not to overdo it with either product since they’re both high in sodium!

What is Onion Salt?

Onion salt is a combination of onion powder and salt. On average, the ratio of salt to onion powder is 1:5 (salt:onion powder). It’s often used as an ingredient in cooking and can be sprinkled on food to add flavor.

Onion salt is made from ground dried onions mixed with coarsely ground white or pinkish-tan crystals (salt), which gives it a distinctive color and texture.

The flavor isn’t as strong as onion powder but still adds a little of the onion sweetness. 

What is Onion Powder?

Onion powder is a spice made from ground, dried onion. It’s most commonly used as a flavoring agent in recipes that call for it, but it can also be added to dishes where you might use salt or other spices.

The flavor of onion powder is stronger than fresh or even cooked onions (unless you cook them down to the point where they become mushy). This makes it an excellent addition to meat rubs, soups and stews–or any recipe where you want an extra kick!

The sulfuric and sometimes garlic-like flavors are sought after by many in the kitchen. So much so that sometimes onion powder is used instead of garlic powder in a pinch.

Onion powder has a stronger flavor than onion salt and can be used in recipes that call for both powders and salts. For example, if you’re making chicken soup or stew and want to add some extra flavor but don’t want to make it taste too salty, use onion powder instead of regular table salt–it will give the dish just enough kick without overpowering its other ingredients.

Onion powder can also be used as an ingredient for homemade barbecue rubs (a dry mix consisting of herbs and spices) or sprinkled on top of grilled meat before serving it up at dinner parties so everyone gets their fair share without having to dig around inside their food!

What’s the Difference Between Onion Powder and Salt?

The main difference between the two is that onion powder is made from dried, ground onion. Onion salt is a mixture of granulated salt and ground onion powder. This means that it has a more concentrated flavor than regular table salt and can be used in place of regular table salt.


Onion salt and onion powder are both used as seasonings, but they have some key differences. Onion salt is made from dehydrated onions that have been ground into a fine powder. It’s often used in recipes and as a condiment, while onion powder is typically added to recipes for flavor.

Onion salt has the same flavor profile as fresh onions (i.e., pungent) but a much finer texture, so it dissolves easily when cooked or added to food items like soups or stews. 

The combination of salt and onion makes onion salt popular on dishes like salads, toast, and even pizza. You can use it as the salt in sauces to add a little sweetness.


Onion powder is stronger than onion salt, which means it has a more potent flavor. It’s also more concentrated and pungent–in other words, you don’t need to use as much of it to get the same amount of flavor as you would with onion salt. 

Being strictly dehydrated onion means you’ll find the sharp, sweet aromas of onions with that garlic-like note on the side. 

Onion salt has the addition of salt to the flavors of onion so you can expect the salty flavor with a hint of sweetness from the ground onion. 


You can tell the difference between the two spices just by looking at them. Onion powder is dehydrated, ground onion. The powder is a fine granule with a hint of yellow color.

Onion salt has a coarser texture due to the crystalline nature of the salt. You’ll have the crystalline structure of the salt interspersed with the finer powder texture of the included onion powder. 

Culinary Uses

You’ll find they can be used in many of the same ways. They are both a common ingredient in stews, grilling, on vegetables, in dips, dressings, sauces, marinades, and more. 


As they both contain onion powder, other than the increased salt content in onion salt, they have similar nutritional characteristics. This includes vitamin C, manganese, antioxidants, and potassium. 

When to Use Either Onion Salt or Onion Powder

Onion Salt

Onion salt is a seasoning. It’s often used in recipes, but it can also be used to season meat and fish. Onion salt can be used in place of regular table salt, though you should keep in mind that it adds a slight onion flavor that won’t suit every dish.

It’s a great option for finishing off those french fries or the vegetable dish you’re putting on the table. Add a little flavor without cooking it in.

Onion Powder

Onion powder is made from dehydrated onion flakes. The process of dehydration removes the water content, which makes it more concentrated in flavor than salt. Onions are dried and ground into a fine powder that can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling or losing potency.

Onion powder is used in many dishes and recipes where a stronger onion flavor is desired. It can be added directly to soups and stews as they cook or sprinkled over top just before serving; it’s also an ingredient in breads, meat rubs or marinades (especially those containing beef), poultry seasoning mixes, vegetable soup mixes and spice blends like Cajun seasoning mix.

If you want the onion flavor without the texture and bulk of fresh onions, for instance in burgers, onion powder is a great flavor alternative.

Can You Substitute Onion Powder with Onion Salt and Vice Versa?

Yes. They have similar flavors and textures. The idea behind these spices is they dissolve nicely into our food, adding flavor without changing the volume or texture. 

Onion salt is partially diluted when it comes to onion flavor due to the addition of salt, so it will be less intense. Only slightly so though. With the average ratio of salt to onion being 1:5 there’s still quite a bit more onion than salt.

If using onion salt instead of onion powder, you’ll want to make sure you account for the added salt to the recipe before adding any more salt.


How do I convert onion powder to onion salt?

The first step to converting onion powder into onion salt is to add the appropriate amount of salt. You’ll want to manage that 1:5 ratio of salt to onion. For example, add one tablespoon of salt to 5 tablespoons of onion powder. 

The great thing about making your own is that you can control the mix yourself. You create the ideal flavor and balance between the sweetness of the onion and the additional salt. 

If you plan on using your homemade mixture right away (and don’t mind waiting for it to dissolve), this should be all there is to it! But if not using immediately–or if making larger batches–you may want some extra help getting everything mixed together evenly without clumping up too much while sitting around waiting its turn in the jar before being used up on your next batch of homemade potato chips or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Is onion powder stronger than onion salt?

If you’re looking for a more robust flavor, onion powder is the way to go. It’s also more concentrated than onion salt, so you don’t need as much of it when cooking or baking.

Onion salt is more versatile. You can use onion salt on popcorn, in breads, and even on fries if you want!

What can I substitute for onion powder?

There are a couple of options if you don’t have onion powder.

  • Fresh Onion. This may seem obvious, but the flavors you want are easily achieved by using fresh onions. This flavor will be accompanied by more moisture, different textures, and added volume. If that doesn’t work in your recipe try one of these other alternatives.
  • Onion Paste. Onion paste will add a little moisture, but nowhere near as much as fresh onions. To replace your onion powder with onion paste, add 2-3 teaspoons of onion paste for every teaspoon of onion powder required. 
  • Onion Flakes. Since onion powder is made by grinding up the flakes of dehydrated onions, it makes sense that onion flakes would be a suitable onion powder replacement. You can even grind them up if you want to get the finer texture. Replace your onion powder with onion flakes in a 1:1 ratio.
  • Onion Salt. Almost every recipe that calls for onion powder would be satisfied quite nicely with onion salt. It’s close enough to not cause any problems. Use a 1:1 ratio but pay attention to any additional amounts of salt in the recipe and adjust them accordingly.
  • Garlic Powder. With a very similar, almost identical texture, garlic powder makes a great substitute. Your finished dish will have a slightly different flavor, but not necessarily in a bad way. Onion powder has a garlicky flavor on its own. Start by using half of the amount as garlic powder has a strong flavor. 


To conclude, we hope that this article has helped you understand the differences between onion salt and powder. 

We know how confusing it can be to decide which one is right for your dish when there are so many options available on the market today! 

But now that you know what each one tastes like and what they’re used for (as well as why they’re different), we think it should be easier for you to choose wisely next time around.