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What can I use if I don’t have Lipton onion soup mix?

Quick Answer

There are a few easy substitutions you can make if you don’t have a packet of Lipton onion soup mix on hand:

  • Make your own mix from dry onion flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, and beef bouillon granules or powder.
  • Use a different dry onion soup mix brand.
  • Substitute canned or fresh french onion soup.
  • Leave out the onion soup mix and adjust other ingredients to compensate.

Read on for more details and recipe ideas for replicating the flavor of Lipton onion soup mix at home.

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

Making your own onion soup mix at home is easy to do. Here are two recipes to try:

Recipe 1

  • 1⁄3 cup dried minced onion
  • 1⁄4 cup onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per recipe in place of a 1.2 ounce packet of Lipton onion soup mix.

Recipe 2

  • 1⁄4 cup instant minced onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons beef bouillon powder or 8 beef bouillon cubes, crushed
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Mix together and use 2-3 tablespoons per recipe calling for 1 packet of onion soup mix.

These homemade versions give you control over the amount of salt and flavor. You can adjust to taste by using low-sodium bouillon or reducing the amount of salt-heavy ingredients like celery salt.

Other Brands of Dry Onion Soup Mix

Most grocery stores stock various brands of dry onion soup mixes near the spice section or soup aisle. Common brands include:

  • McCormick
  • Shore Lunch
  • Burma
  • Better Than Bouillon
  • Campbell’s

Read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists to compare products. The soup mix flavors can vary slightly between brands, with some being more salty or onion-forward than others. But in most recipes, substituting a 1.2 ounce packet of any dry onion soup mix will yield good results.

Canned or Fresh French Onion Soup

In place of dry onion soup mix, use 1 cup of canned french onion soup or 1 cup of homemade french onion soup prepared from caramelized onions and broth.

You may need to reduce other liquids slightly in the recipe since french onion soup brings more moisture. And canned condensed soups tend to be very salty, so taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Fresh french onion soup will provide lots of rich onion flavor without excess sodium, making it an ideal substitute.

Omitting Onion Soup Mix

Don’t have onion soup mix and no suitable replacements on hand? You can leave it out of recipes like dips, meatloaf, roasts, etc. But keep in mind the onion soup mix provides substantial flavor, so you’ll need to compensate:

  • Add extra onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, and bouillon powder or granules.
  • Sauté fresh onions, shallots, or leeks and add them to the dish.
  • Use onion jam or caramelized onions.
  • Add extra salt and pepper to balance the missing seasoning.
  • Use salted butter or chicken broth instead of unsalted varieties.
  • Splash in some soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or steak sauce for an umami punch.

The ideal substitution will depend on the specific recipe, so you may need to experiment.

Recipe Ideas

Here are some popular ways to use Lipton onion soup mix and how to modify recipes when you don’t have it:

Onion Dip

  • Substitute 1 cup french onion soup or 1/4 cup homemade onion soup mix.
  • Or omit soup mix and add 1/4 cup caramelized onions and extra onion powder to taste.

Onion Meatloaf

  • Replace Lipton mix with 1/2 cup french onion soup per loaf.
  • Or cook 1 cup diced onions until caramelized and mix into meatloaf.

Onion-Mushroom Pot Roast

  • Use 1 packet of a different dry onion soup mix brand.
  • Or add 2 tablespoons homemade mix and an extra onion, halved.

Ranch Mix Dip

  • Substitute 2-3 tablespoons of homemade soup mix.
  • Or leave out mix and add 1/4 cup caramelized onions and pinch of garlic powder.

Onion Chicken

  • Replace Lipton mix with 1/4 cup french onion soup per pound of chicken.
  • Or omit mix, use salted butter, and sauté onions to caramelize before adding chicken.

Baked Beans

  • Swap 1 packet Lipton mix for 1/4 cup other dry onion soup mix brand.
  • Or cook onion and garlic until softened, add to beans with soy sauce to taste.

Sloppy Joes

  • Instead of Lipton mix, use 1/4 cup canned french onion soup per pound of beef.
  • Or caramelize onions and garlic and add to meat mixture.

Tips for Replicating Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Here are some top tips for replicating the trademark taste of Lipton onion soup mix:

  • Boost umami flavor. Incorporate ingredients like caramelized onions, garlic, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tomato paste, parmesan cheese, or anchovy fillets.
  • Get the onion-to-salt ratio right. Onion powder and onion flakes provide a concentrated flavor. Balance it out with celery salt or bouillon for the right salty-savory balance.
  • Don’t forget other supporting flavors. In addition to onion, Lipton’s mix contains touches of garlic, celery, and beef. Add a pinch of garlic powder, celery seed, etc. where needed.
  • Cook onions down. Raw onion can taste harsh. For smooth, mellow onion flavor, cook sliced onions over low heat until caramelized and darkened.
  • Toast dry ingredients. Quickly toasting the dry homemade mix intensifies the flavors.
  • Simmer sauces and gravies. Letting a dish with onions slowly simmer gives time for the flavor to develop.
  • Use broth instead of water. Chicken or beef broth boosts flavor in place of water in recipes like pot roasts.
  • Go easy on salty ingredients. Lipton mix adds a lot of salt. Use low sodium broth and limit celery salt or soy sauce when substituting.


With a homemade version, different brands, french onion soup, or onions and seasonings, you have many options for replicating the taste of Lipton® onion soup mix. Adjust recipes as needed by sautéing aromatics, reducing additional salt, and incorporating umami flavors. With the right balance, you can make flavorful recipes without that signature Lipton packet.