Chives are the leaves of members of the onion family, allium. Most chives sold in grocery stores are cultivated specifically for their use in recipes, their bulbs are not as fragrant or flavorful as most garlic and onion plants. If you are in the middle of a recipe and don’t have access to chives, any of these chive substitutes may act as viable alternatives.
You’re probably not far from access to wild onions, which yield edible chives that can be used in recipes as chive substitutes. Wild onion grows as a weed throughout most of North America and it’s likely that it’s growing rampantly in your yard. Simply harvest a few handfuls of wild onion leaves, wash them thoroughly, and slice them thinly for use instead of chives.
Garlic chive, also known as garlic leaf or Chinese chive, are good substitutes for regular chives. These fleshy, pungent, flavorful leaves contain large amounts of the sulfurous compounds for which the onion family is renowned. Use garlic leaf as a chive substitute, using lower amounts of leaves than the recipe calls for.
The leek is another member of the onion family, and it is very similar in taste, origin, texture and appearance to chives. Leek is closely related elephant garlic, and its edible bundle of leaf sheaths form an edible stalk. To use leeks as a substitute for chives substitute in cooking, use the same ratio of leek, and slice the leeks relatively thinly.