Chives, leeks, and scallions - similar but definitely not the same. Here's how to tell the difference between them and common uses for these herbs.


Chives are from the species allium schoenoprasum, and while similar to onions, tend to have a much milder, slightly sweeter flavor profile. Chives have long, narrow, and flat green leaves. Sometimes you'll find little white teardrop shaped bulbs ( these are Chinese chives) or even small edible purple flowers on them!

When to use - Chives used in many recipes, but more often than not, are utilized as a garnish (Eggs Benedict anyone?). They are also delicious grilled.

Here are some quick and easy ways to use chives:

Dill and Chive Garlic Mayo

Mashed Potato Pancakes w/ Goat Cheese & Chives *You can also substitute the goat cheese for your cheese of choice!

Pro-tip: Experiment in your cooking! Remember, if at first you don't succeed, chive chive again. 


Leeks, also known as allium ampeloprasum, are titans of the onion family. While they look like overgrown scallions, leeks have a milder flavor than that of scallions. 

When to use - The white and light green parts of the stalk are typically used when braising, making soups, and more. Leeks have leaves that aren't typically used because they tend to be tougher. However, clean them thoroughly, cook them a little longer, and it will make a delicious addition to any meal! (Stir fry, anyone?) 

Here are some yummy leek recipes:

Mushroom and Leek Tart 

Potato Leek Soup 

Pro-tip: Cooking thoughtfully and consuming food that brings your body comfort, joy, and health is a very real way of supporting your emotional wellbeing. In life and in the kitchen - leek the negative vibes outside!


The scallion aka the green onion, is also known as the species allium fistulosum. (This makes them a completely species from chives but still in the same allium "ornamental onion" family.) It looks like a baby leek and has a stronger flavor than that of chives or leeks. However, it's less intense than that of an onion. Scallions have stems that go from white to light green and cylindrical leaves. 

When to use - Pick scallions that have white stems without bulges. The ones that have bulges are spring onions, meaning that they were left to grow a little longer before being harvested. The white stems have the most intense, onion like flavor. Scallions are typically found in Asian cuisine and the entire plant is used in countless ways, even raw!

When cooking, use the stems closer to how you would use onions and the green tops closer to how you would use chives. The tops of scallions and chives are often used interchangeably, but the scallion will have a slightly stronger flavor.

Simple and delicious ways to use scallions:

Extra Flaky Scallion Pancakes

Onion Scallion Beef

I'd end this article with a joke about the onion family

... but that would be shallot to handle. (hehe)