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How to Use Chives

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The Potential of Chives: From Garden to Gourmet

Chives often get tossed onto something last minute as a “garnish.” But this herb has so much more to give in terms of flavor! Let’s look at how this potent herb is easy to use in an assortment of ways.

Growing Chives at Home

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to cultivate, thriving in both indoor and outdoor settings with minimal care. Whether in a pot on your windowsill or a garden bed, these resilient herbs offer a steady supply of fresh, flavorful greens throughout the growing season. Considered a cool weather crop, this herb thrives between 60°F-75°F (15°C-24°C) in full sun and fertile, well-drained soils.

Chive Characteristics

With slender, hollow stems and delicate, onion-like flavor, chives add depth and lively green color to dishes. They also offer a poofy globed bloom that can be used as an edible flower in salads.

Nutritional Benefits

Beyond their culinary appeal, chives boast an array of health benefits. Rich in vitamins A and K, as well as folate and antioxidants, these little greens pack a powerful nutritional punch. Incorporating chives into your diet can support immune function, promote healthy digestion, and contribute to overall wellness.1

Flavor Profile and Pairings

Chives offer a delicate onion flavor with subtle hints of garlic, making them a great addition to a wide range of dishes. They pair beautifully with creamy cheeses, eggs, potatoes, seafood, and fresh salads.

close up image of chive butter next to chives on cutting board

Complements for Chive Flavor

The mild, onion-like flavor of chives works with ingredients that share similar tangy profiles. Creamy textures, such as sour cream or Greek yogurt, provide a perfect backdrop for the herb’s subtle tang, while rich proteins like salmon or steak benefit from the herb’s fresh, herbal notes.

Contrasting Flavors

While chives shine in dishes with complementary flavors, they also offer an interesting contrast to ingredients with opposing profiles. Their bright, herbal taste can balance the richness of heavy cream sauces, add a refreshing bite to spicy dishes, or lend a fresh finish to savory pastries.


  • Common: mild onion flavor, the most widely used variety
    • Garnish for soups, salads, and savory dishes
    • Ingredient in omelets, scrambled eggs, and frittatas
    • Flavor enhancer for cream-based sauces and dressings
    • Topping for baked potatoes or mashed potatoes
    • Mix-in for herb butter or compound butter
  • Garlic: offer a hint of garlic along with their onion-like taste
    • Stir-fry ingredient for Asian-inspired dishes
    • Flavoring for homemade dumplings or potstickers
    • Addition to noodle dishes such as pad Thai or chow mein
    • Component of savory pancakes or fritters
    • Infusion in vinegar or oil for a garlic-chive flavored condiment
  • Siberian: broader leaves and milder flavor
    • Substitute for common chives in any recipe for a milder flavor
    • Garnish for delicate dishes where a subtle onion flavor is desired
    • Mixed into dips, spreads, or cream cheese for a gentle onion taste
    • Ingredient in light soups or broths to add a hint of onion essence
    • Decorative element for plating or garnishing appetizers and canapés

How to Use Chives

Sprinkle freshly chopped chives over omelets, salads, or baked potatoes for a burst of freshness, or incorporate them into homemade dressings and dips for added depth of flavor.

More Ideas Using Chives

  • Appetizers/Salads/Sides: Chive and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, Creamy Chive Potato Salad, Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad, Sourdough Chive Breadsticks
  • Sauces/Condiments: Lemon Chive Vinaigrette, Chive Aioli, Creamy Chive Pesto, Chive Infused Oil
  • Mains: Chive and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Marinara, Chive Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast, Pan-Seared Salmon with Chive Cream Sauce
  1. Ware, M., RDN, L.D. (2023, July 18). What are the health benefits of chives? Medical News Today. Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275009 ↩︎

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