Onion powder is a great way to preserve onions and is more convenient than peeling and chopping onions.
It’s also helpful to make your own if you buy some at a really good price but won’t eat them all, and if some onions you have are starting to go soft and you don’t want to throw them out.
When using onion powder in recipes it’s important to know how much to use, so here’s how much onion powder equals one onion.
2 tablespoons of onion powder equals one medium sized onion.
A medium-sized onion weighs about 6 oz (160g), onions are 89% water.
Onion powder is made by dehydrating onions which remove 90% of the water content.
Turning onions into onion powder reduces their weight to 81%.
Many people wonder if onion powder is the same as eating fresh onions, how good of a substitute they make in recipes.
So, below I will provide a breakdown of the nutrients found in each, and how they compare when used in recipes.
Is Onion Powder the Same as Onion?
Onion powder as the name suggests is made from an onion.
However, if you’ve ever tasted it on its own, you will have noticed that it tastes very strong.
So, how does onion powder compare to a regular onion, and are they the same?
Onion powder is not the same as onion.
Onion powder is much more concentrated than onion so when used in recipes you use 20% of the amount you would use if you used regular onion.
Raw onion also has on average 20% fewer nutrients than onion powder.
Below is a table I put together that shows a side-by-side comparison of the nutrients in onion powder compared to the nutrients in onion.
In the first column, I’ve put the nutrients based on the same amount of onion powder to the same amount of onion.
So, it compares half a cup of onion powder and half a cup of onion.
But, as I mentioned at the start of this article, onion powder is very concentrated and when an onion is turned into onion powder it loses 80% of its mass as shown in this article by Healthcanning.com.
Therefore, I’ve made another column which is ‘onion powder adjusted’.
For this column I took the nutrients in onion powder and minus 80%, to give a more accurate comparison of the nutrients in onion powder and the nutrients in raw onion.
|Nutrient (per half cup)||onion powder||onion powder adjusted||onion, raw|
|Fiber, total dietary||23.00%||4.37%||7.00%|
You can see how much onion powder differs based on each nutrient.
But, it’s a bit hard to read so I put together another table that shows the difference in nutrients between cooked onion and onion powder in the table below by making another column.
It is the amount of each nutrient in cooked onions minus the amount of each nutrient in onion powder.
It tells you how much more of each nutrient cooked onions have compared to onion powder.
I’ve also put the total of all the nutrients in both onion powder and cooked onion at the bottom of the table.
|Nutrient||onion, powder adjusted||onion, cooked||nutrient difference|
|Fiber, total dietary||4.37%||6.00%||1.63%|
From the data you can see that cooked onions have 20.17% less nutrients than onion powder.
This is quite surprising, and I was curious why this is.
In my opinion, it’s likely due to the way that onion powder is made.
Onion powder is dehydrated or cooked on very low heat for 10 hours.
This must have some effect on the nutrients in the onion and brings them out more.
Also, when onion powder is made the dried and shredded onion is put through a sieve.
It’s very possible that the parts of the onion that make it through the sieve are only the most nutrient-dense parts of the onion.
Here’s a really good video that shows how onion powder is made, and how you can make it at home.
I looked at some videos of how onion powder is made in a factory and it’s the exact same method.
Onion powder can be a good thing to try in your diet instead of onions if you experience negative effects from eating onions, which I explained in this article about why some people get gas from onions.
But, the main reasons to use onion powder are because it keeps for a lot longer than fresh onions, and it doesn’t require as much cooking, but more on this below.
Can You Substitute Onion Powder for Onion?
Onion powder is made from onions but they don’t have the same level of nutrients and flavor.
Onion powder is much more concentrated.
So, can you substitute onion powder instead of regular onion in recipes?
Onion powder can be substituted for onion. 2 tablespoons of onion powder equals one medium sized onion.
It gives you an almost identical flavor to an onion.
The one difference is that you don’t get the same texture and appearance of using regular onion.
It’s very convenient to use in soups and sauces.
Some people blend soups which means it takes less time to blend the soup when you use onion powder.
When using it for sauces it also saves time, as you don’t need to brown the onions which can take as long as 10 minutes.
You also don’t need to peel and chop the onion which takes time.
And according to medical professionals dehydrated foods are as good for you as regular foods.
The three main types of onions white, red, and yellow/brown do differ a bit in their nutrient qualities, and carbs.
Yellow/brown onions contain the lowest amount of fiber which makes them the easiest to digest.
I explained this in detail in this article about the fiber in onions.
It explains what vegetables in the onion family are the easiest to digest, such as leeks, garlic, and shallots.
As well as, how easy onions are to digest compared to other foods.
Can You Use Onion Powder Instead of Minced Onion?
Minced onion is a very finely chopped onion, and onion powder is also very fine.
Onion powder is dry because it’s cooked on low heat for a very long time, or dehydrated.
This does affect how strong the flavor of onion powder is compared to a regular onion, so here’s whether you can substitute onion powder for minced onion.
It’s possible to use onion powder instead of minced onion but onion powder is much more concentrated, and 2 tablespoons of onion powder equals 1 medium sized minced onion.
A good rule of thumb is to use only 20% of the amount of minced onion you would use when using onion powder instead.
The other main difference is that the texture of the end dish won’t be the same.
Onion powder is the consistency of fine sand.
Whereas, the pieces of onion in minced onion are quite a bit bigger.
When onion powder is rehydrated by the liquids in a regular dish it will still be a lot finer than minced onion.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.