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What is Onion Salt?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Onion salt is a convenient substitute for chopped onions. It’s useful when you don’t have the time to prepare chopped onions, or want to add onion flavor to a dish without the bulk of additional ingredients. Most onion salt is made with a combination of dehydrated powdered onions and salt, and usually a preservative ingredient that keeps the powder and salt from adhering to each other. This seasoning should be differentiated from onion flakes or onion powder, which do not contain salt.

The ratio of table salt to powdered onion is about three to one. If you are looking for lower salt foods, you probably shouldn’t choose onion salt, since a quarter teaspoon (about 1.4 grams) has almost as much sodium as does regular table salt. Average sodium content in this product is about 450 milligrams as opposed to the 575 mg offered in the same size serving of table salt. Alternately, simply remember that onion salt does contain salt and lower additional salt in your recipes when you use it.

In flavor, two teaspoons of onion salt is about equivalent to one small to medium yellow or white onion. But many feel that the seasoning is better than using raw onions because it tends to impart a milder and less sharp flavor than does raw onions. Also if you want to season things like hamburgers, soup, salad dressing, meatloaf, spaghetti sauce or the like, you may not want chunks of onions to change the texture of your dish.

There are also some gourmet onion salts you may want to try. Some feature kosher salt, and a few have organic onions. The more commercially processed onion salts do contain sodium silico aluminate, which concerns some people. It has been potentially linked to greater incidence of kidney disease, and some people fear a connection between consumption of aluminum products and Alzheimer’s. Many of the organic versions of onion salt do not contain any aluminum products, and can be easily found in natural foods stores or online.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Charlie89 — On Aug 14, 2010

Does anybody know how to make onion salt? I wanted to try my hand at it, but I'm not sure how to start.

Do I just dry an onion and mix it with salt, or what?

By rallenwriter — On Aug 14, 2010

I am actually a fan of onion salt, I especially like to use it when I make beef.

If you just lightly salt a prime rib before you put it on the grill or in the pan, it adds such flavor to the meat.

Of course, don't use too much, because then your beef will be tough, but using just a dash can really kick up the flavor in your meal.

By closerfan12 — On Aug 14, 2010

I may come across as snooty, but I really don't like to use onion salt, or really any seasoned salt.

I think that having the veggies and herbs mixed in with the salt makes them lose their flavor, and compromises the flavor of the salt as well.

For me, I would rather just take the extra two minutes to chop some onions or whatever other herb I need and cook it fresh alongside sea salt.

I think it's one of those things that seems like a lot of work at first, but really pays off and becomes addictive if you start to take the time.

By anon37551 — On Jul 20, 2009

I love onion powder and rgularly use it as a condiment.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
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